Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s U.S. Attorney Breon Peace appointed to Attorney General’s Advisory Committee

October 8, 2023 Robert Abruzzese
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace announced the arrest of a Brooklyn resident and two Russian nationals for their involvement in a scheme to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions.Photo: Andrew Harris/AP
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Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed seven U.S. Attorneys to the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC), a body that shapes federal policy and elevates the perspectives of prosecutors nationwide.

Among the appointees is Breon Peace, a distinguished legal figure who serves as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and notably, hails from Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.

“United States Attorneys work every day throughout the country to advance our mission of upholding the rule of law, keeping our country safe, and protecting civil rights,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “I am grateful for the perspective the newest members of the Committee will provide on behalf of federal prosecutors across the country and the communities they serve.”

Peace’s career stands as a testament to a life dedicated to both public service and the law. He leads an office in charge of federal criminal and civil cases across Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and parts of Long Island, overseeing around 160 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 120 professional staff.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Before this appointment, Peace was a partner in the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he worked in the firm’s White-Collar Defense & Investigations and Litigation Groups. In 2007, he broke barriers by becoming the first African-American man to be elected partner at the firm.

The Crown Heights native’s legal journey started after attending Clara Barton High School in Brooklyn. He received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1996 and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993. Early in his career, he clerked for The Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He also served as an Acting Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law and trained aspiring prosecutors in the Prosecution Clinic during the 2002-2003 academic year.

Beyond his professional achievements, Peace has demonstrated a commitment to social justice. He served as a Special Master in a high-profile case against the New York City Fire Department, alleging racial and national origin discrimination in hiring practices. Moreover, he led a legal team that secured the dismissal of a wrongful conviction in 2016, freeing a man who had spent nearly 30 years in prison.

The AGAC was established in 1973 and serves as a consultative body to the Attorney General on various policy, procedure, and management issues affecting U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country. With Peace’s appointment, the Advisory Committee gains a member deeply rooted in Brooklyn and versed in both the community he serves and the broader issues facing the nation’s legal system.

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