Damian Williams Is the First Black U.S. Attorney to Lead the Southern District of New York in Its 232-Year History
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By Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root
Williams will oversee several high-profile cases, including an investigation of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Jeffrey Epstein friend, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Damien Williams was confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week to be the next United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, the first Black person to lead the office in its 232-year history. The position makes him the most powerful federal law enforcement official in Manhattan at the age of 41 years old, according to the New York Times.
Here is a little background on Williams’ time at Yale Law School, per the Times:
Mr. Williams also took a keen interest in voting and civil rights, said Heather Gerken, a professor who is now Yale Law School’s dean. She said he turned in one paper on the 15th Amendment, which bars discrimination in voting on account of race, that was so insightful it caused her to revise her class notes and rethink how she taught the topic.
He also published a meticulously researched and reasoned paper in the influential Yale Law Journal. It examined the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina in displacing Black voters in New Orleans, and it offered an ingenious proposal for how the Justice Department could use a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to protect them from disenfranchisement.
Williams joined the Southern District office in February 2012, after some time in private practice to become a prosecutor. From there, he trajectory advanced very quickly to his current position.
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