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.