Ambassador David Pressman’s practice focuses on complex international disputes and investigations, transnational and national security related litigation, and high-stakes crisis management. He regularly represents clients seeking to resolve disputes with foreign governments or mitigate risks related to international trade, sanctions, corruption, and investigations.

David represents clients in a range of high-stakes commercial crises that pose existential threats to their business, brand, or position. His crisis management and litigation practice includes clients held hostage overseas, victims of terrorism seeking to vindicate their rights through litigation in U.S. courts, investors and funds seeking to mitigate risk related to foreign investments, well-known leaders and executives who are the subjects of high-stakes congressional investigations, and multinational companies navigating serious risk in a wide array of jurisdictions around the world. David also conducts sensitive internal investigations and advises clients who are the subject of such investigations.

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. David led U.S. 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 service as U.S. Ambassador, David served on the senior leadership team of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the world. 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, and related homeland security challenges. As Assistant Secretary, Pressman worked closely with counterparts in interior ministries around the world and at the U.S. Department of Justice.

As the Director for War Crimes on the National Security Council at the White House, David chaired the U.S. Government’s interagency committee charged with managing efforts to locate priority fugitive war criminals and bring them to justice. During his tenure, several prominent targets, who had long eluded apprehension, were arrested.

David counsels some of the world’s most famous influencers and prominent companies on cross-cutting issues involving security and international law. He co-founded the human rights organization Not on Our Watch with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon, and leads George and Amal Clooney’s family foundation.

David has worked directly for three members of Cabinet under two U.S. Presidents, all in the national security or law enforcement domain. He has keynoted major global convenings including recently delivering the commencement address at New York University School of Law and appearances at venues including the Milken Institute, McCain Institute Sedona Forum, Concordia Summit, among others.

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.


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

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


  • New York
  • District of Columbia