Profile

Ambassador David Pressman is a partner in the firm's New York City office. His practice focuses on complex international disputes, litigation, and white collar defense. He provides strategic counsel to clients seeking to resolve disputes with foreign governments or mitigate risks related to international trade, sanctions, corruption, and transnational investigations. He also advises sovereign clients navigating litigation and United Nations bodies or other multilateral entities.

Appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, David represented the United States on the United Nations Security Council and has served as the senior U.S. negotiator on international disputes around the world, from Europe to East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East. He led United States negotiations with China resulting in the most comprehensive and robust package of multilateral sanctions adopted in a generation in response to nuclear activities on the Korean Peninsula. Prior to his confirmation by the Senate, he served as counselor to Ambassador Samantha Power.

David previously served on the senior leadership team of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the United States, which includes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Coast Guard, United States Secret Service, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). As Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, David led the Department’s Office of Policy Development responsible for formulating and advancing policy and regulations on complex legal and security issues including matters related to sanctions, export controls, customs, foreign investment in the United States, transnational criminal investigations, cybersecurity, immigration, and related homeland security challenges. He also served on the National Security Council staff at the White House.

As a litigator in private practice, David has represented clients in challenging, high-profile, and complex criminal and civil litigation while affiliated with a well-known civil rights and criminal defense boutique in New York City. He successfully overturned multiple wrongful murder convictions, participated in a First Amendment challenge before the Second Circuit successfully enjoining laws banning the sale of art supplies to minors, and represented a range of defendants in high-profile, high-stakes felony prosecutions and transnational conspiracy cases.

David is currently serving as the Executive Director of the recently established Clooney Foundation for Justice. David has advised a diverse set of highly-visible and prominent clients on strategies for effective international advocacy. With George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and producer Jerry Weintraub, David co-founded Not On Our Watch, an international advocacy and grant-making organization designed to focus global attention and resources on mass atrocities and gross violations of international human rights. Not On Our Watch has raised tens of millions of dollars to support programs in some of the deadliest places on the planet.

During the Clinton Administration, David served as an aide to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright.

He received his B.A. from Brown University and graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif from New York University School of Law. He was honored as a distinguished alumnus of New York University School of Law in 2014.

Experience

David's recent matters include:

  • Managing international and high-profile crises for clients, including recently leading global negotiations to secure the release of hostages held by a foreign government
  • Successfully representing a corporate client facing imminent expropriation by a foreign sovereign
  • Representing victims of terrorism seeking to hold perpetrators and corporations that provided material support to terrorists accountable
  • Representing Fortune 100 clients before the U.S. Treasury Department and related agencies on multijurisdictional sanctions enforcement matters, Office of Foreign Assets Control investigations, and counseling clients on related compliance risks
  • Represented high-profile witnesses, including former members of the U.S. President’s cabinet, in complex and overlapping congressional investigations; extensive experience preparing high-profile witnesses for congressional testimony
  • Advised major technology client on crisis mitigation and related reputational and legal risk issues
  • Advised international companies on risks associated with transactions and acquisitions, including representing clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) with respect to transactions involving extremely sensitive national security issues
  • Represented clients in wide range of disputes with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security related to the transnational movement of people and goods, statelessness, and citizenship
  • Successfully litigated a First Amendment constitutional challenge to a city law related to artistic expression
  • Successfully defended a wide range of clients facing felony criminal prosecutions and investigations, including successfully overturning multiple murder convictions
  • Advising highly visible individuals on international human rights law and international criminal law

Education

  • New York University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude; Order of the Coif
  • Brown University, B.A., History

Admissions

Bars

  • New York
  • District of Columbia