Andre Damian Williams, Jr. is the newly appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He was nominated for the position by President Joseph R. Biden in August 2021 and was confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote on October 5, 2021, following the resignation of former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. Attorney Audrey Strauss served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York prior to the appointment of Top Federal Prosecutor Williams. For the first time in 232 years, a Black prosecutor has been appointed to hold the highest position in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Upon his appointment, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams pledged to improve and strengthen the Office’s efforts to combat gun violence and white-collar crime by creating a new unit dedicated to criminal prosecution of civil rights violations.
Table of Contents
- Educational Background
- Legal Career – Internships and Clerkships
- Legal Career – Private Practice
- Legal Career – Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
- Board Associations, and Bar and Court Admissions
- Bar Associations
- Bar Admissions
- Court Admissions
- Political Activities and Affiliations
- Most Significant Litigated Matters
- 10 most significant litigated matters handled by Attorney Damian Williams
- Academic and Professional Honors and Awards
- Published Writings and Public Statements by Attorney Damian Williams
- Office Jurisdiction
- Contact Details of State’s Attorney Damian Williams
- Main Office/Criminal Division
- Civil Division
- White Plains Division
- Victim & Witness Services
- Civil Rights Complaints
- Reporting a Crime
- Press Inquiries
- Social Media Profiles of Attorney Damian Williams
- 2004-2007, Yale Law School; J.D., May 2007
- 2002-2003, University of Cambridge; MPhil International Relations, June 2003
- 1998-2002, Harvard College; A.B. Economics, June 2002
U.S. Attorney Williams received a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard College in June 2002 and a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Cambridge the following year. He then studied law at Yale Law School in 2007, earning his Juris Doctorate in May 2007. Top Federal Prosecutor Damian Williams was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal for about two years, from 2005 to 2007.
Legal Career – Internships and Clerkships
The established legal career of U.S. Attorney Damian Williams began in the summer of 2005 when he worked as a Summer Intern at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In the following years, U.S. Attorney Williams served short stints as a Summer Associate in the Jenner & Block in 2005 and Davis Polk & Wardwell in 2006. Later, from 2007 to 2008, he served as a Law Clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit under the Honorable Merrick B. Garland. In this capacity, he was responsible for conducting legal research, preparing legal memoranda and draft opinions, and assisting Judge Garland in preparation for oral arguments. Subsequent to his service in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Top Federal Prosecutor Williams joined the United States Supreme Court as a Law Clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens. From 2008 to 2009, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams was in charge of doing legal research, arranging legal memoranda and draft opinions, and preparing oral arguments.
Legal Career – Private Practice
Shifting to private practice, U.S. Attorney Andre Damian Williams, Jr. became a Litigation Associate in the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP. For about three years, from July 2009 to January 2012, U.S. Attorney Williams maintained a diverse litigation practice, including complex civil, white-collar, and pro bono matters.
Legal Career – Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
U.S. Attorney Williams, the first Black person to be named as the Top Federal Prosecutor for Manhattan, rose through the Office’s ranks and became distinguished as a securities fraud prosecutor with several successful convictions and extraction of guilty pleas from hedge fund managers, including one from a U.S. congressman for insider trading. Andre Damian Williams, Jr. became a part of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in February 2012. He was initially appointed as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, in charge of investigating and prosecuting several federal crimes. Top Federal Prosecutor Williams worked in the General Crimes Unit and the Narcotics Unit for two years. Moreover, he was seconded to the Public Corruption Unit to prosecute former Speaker Sheldon Silver. In 2014, U.S. Attorney Williams became a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, where his primary focus shifted to investigating and prosecuting white-collar offenses. He later became Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in 2018. As Chief, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams supervised over 20 senior prosecutions and led them in handling securities and commodities fraud investigations and prosecutions. Over the years, he has developed expertise in managing matters involving accounting fraud, insider trading, investment adviser fraud, market manipulation, money laundering, and other forms of fraud.
Board Associations, and Bar and Court Admissions
On top of his legal practice, U.S Attorney Damian Williams remains active in his memberships. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at New York University School of Law from October 2020 to May 2021. Furthermore, he is a part of the Board of Directors in the Humans Rights First, from 2010 to 2012, and a member of the Associate Board of Directors in the City Year New York, also from 2010 to 2012. United States Attorney Damian Williams was granted admission to the New York Bar – Third Department in 2009. He was also permitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York since 2012.
- Board of Advisors, Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at New York University School of Law (October 2020-May 2021)
- New York Bar (Third Department), 2009
- United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (2012-Present)
- United States District Court, Southern District of New York (2012-Present)
- Human Rights First, Board of Directors (2010-2012)
- City Year New York, Associate Board of Directors (2010-2012)
Political Activities and Affiliations
Previously, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams engaged in political activities as a Field Organizer in Iowa and South Carolina got the Presidential campaign of John Kerry. For about half a year, from August 2003 to February 2004, U.S. Attorney Williams collaborated with volunteers and other field staffers to make phone calls, knock on doors, and overall, organize support for then-Senator Kerry’s primary campaign. Following the commission of U.S. Attorney Williams in the campaign of then-Senator Kerry, in the spring of 2014, he was employed to serve as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. While studying law, U.S. Attorney Williams also found time to briefly volunteer for the 2016 U.S. Senate campaign of then-Congressman Harold Ford Jr.
Most Significant Litigated Matters
United States Attorney Andre Damian Williams, Jr. made a name as a securities and commodities fraud prosecutor as he successfully investigated and prosecuted several politicians involved in fraud. Among the most significant matters litigated by U.S. Attorney Williams include the criminal prosecution of then-Congressman Christopher Collins, who took part in an insider trading scheme. Former Congressman Collins also lied to the FBI when questioned about their conduct. All the defendants in this case, including Congressman Collins, his son Cameron Collins, and Cameron Collins’ father-in-law Stephen Zarsky pleaded guilty to obtaining and sharing confidential information about a failed clinical drug trial to the public. In addition to the prominent prosecution of former Congressman Collins, U.S. Attorney Williams also participated in the prosecution of Sheldon Silver – the former Speaker of the New York State Assembly. The 2017 case against Silver involved bribery and extortion. It was revealed that Sheldon Silver used his official position to receive nearly $4 million in bribes from individuals and businesses in exchange for official acts.
A lawyer with the depth and breadth of experience in both civil and criminal prosecutions, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams handled an array of cases, including a 2014 prosecution of insider trading. In this prosecution, two hedge fund portfolio managers – a so-called “political intelligence” consultant and a government insider at the United States Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – were indicted for their participation in a scheme involving the sharing of a confidential reimbursement rate information from the CMS employee to the political intelligence consultant, who managed the selling of this information to healthcare-focused hedge funds that traded profitably on the information. Apart from prosecuting insider trading cases, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams also handled the criminal prosecution of Gregory Gray – the managing director of Buffalo-based Archipel Capital – who was found guilty of defrauding Archipel investors and perjuring himself in a testimony to the SEC. The defendant was also found to have defrauded a client of $5 million to pay his debts to old clients.
10 most significant litigated matters handled by Attorney Damian Williams
- United States v. Christopher Collins (2018-2020)
- United States v. Sheldon Silver (2013, 2017-2020)
- United States v. Blaszczak (2014-2017)
- United States v. Stefan Lumiere (2015-2018)
- United States v. Gordon Johnston (2015-2018)
- United States v. Rajat Gupta (2012-2019)
- United States v. Gregory Gray (2014-2015)
- United States v. Louis Martin Blazer (2014)
- United States v. Michael Lucarelli (2014)
- United States v. Angelo Fernandez (2013)
Further details regarding the above litigations may be found in the public questionnaire accessible here.
Academic and Professional Honors and Awards
- U.S. Attorney’s Office: Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Award (2019)
- Director’s Award for Superior Performance (2013)
- Yale Law School: Editor, Yale Law Journal (2004)
- Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans (2003)
- University of Cambridge: Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholarship (2002)
- Harvard College: Phi Beta Kappa (2001)
- Detur Prize (1999)
- Harris Prize (1999)
- John Harvard Scholarship (1998-2002)
- Ron Brown Scholarship (1998)
In his approximately 14 years of experience in the legal field, U.S. Attorney Andre Damian Williams, Jr. has been duly recognized for his outstanding work. He was given the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Award in 2019 and the Director’s Award for Superior Performance by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2013. During his university and law school years, U.S. Attorney Williams was also acknowledged as an academic achiever. In 1998, he received a Ron Brown Scholarship. From 1998 to 2002, U.S. Attorney Williams was a consistent John Harvard Scholar. In Harvard College, he garnered awards from the Phi Beta Kappa in 2001, the Detur Prize in 1999, and the Harris Prize, also in 1999. Later, in 2003, U.S. Attorney Williams was awarded the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. The following year, he became the Editor for the Yale Law Journal.
Published Writings and Public Statements by Attorney Damian Williams
- Reconstructing Section 5: A Post-Katrina Proposal for Voting Rights Act Reform, 116 Yale L.J. 1116 (2007)
- Sheltering Deprivations: FEMA, Section 408 Housing, and Procedural Redesign, 116 Yale L.J. 1883 (2007)
- Yale Law Journal – Editor (2005-2007)
As the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Attorney Andre Damian Williams, Jr. leads an Office which encompasses the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City, along with the counties Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester. The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York investigates and prosecutes a broad array of criminal conduct and civil matters. Around 220 Assistant United States Attorneys are present in the Office to represent the United States and its government agencies in civil and criminal litigation.
Contact Details of State’s Attorney Damian Williams
Full Name: Andre Damian Williams, Jr. (“Damian”)
District/State: Southern District of New York
Public email ID: N/A
Main Office/Criminal Division
One St. Andrew’s Plaza
New York City, NY 10007
86 Chambers Street
New York City, NY 10007
White Plains Division
300 Quarropas Street
White Plains, NY 10601
Victim & Witness Services
Civil Rights Complaints
Reporting a Crime
Social Media Profiles of Attorney Damian Williams
Username: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York
Username: US Attorney SDNY
Updated: February 16, 2022