David P. Burns serves as the head of the Criminal Division and in that capacity supervises the Division’s more than 600 federal prosecutors who conduct investigations and prosecutions involving organized and transnational crime, gang violence, securities fraud, health care fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, public corruption, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act violations, child exploitation, international narcotics trafficking, human rights violations, and other crimes, as well as matters involving international affairs and sensitive law enforcement techniques.
Prior to joining the Criminal Division, Mr. Burns served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security Division from September 2018 to December 2020. As the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, he provided counsel and leadership to all units and components of the National Security Division, including the Counterterrorism Section, the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, the Office of Intelligence, the Office of Law and Policy, the Foreign Investment Review Staff, and the Office of Justice for the Victims of Overseas Terrorism. Mr. Burns brings more than 20 years of litigation experience to the Division in both the private sector and government practice.
Mr. Burns returned to the Department of Justice after 13 years in the private sector, where he was a litigation partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. From 2005 to 2018, Mr. Burns’ practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher focused on white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and regulatory enforcement matters. During this time, Mr. Burns represented corporations and executives in federal, state, and regulatory investigations involving securities and commodities fraud, accounting fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international and domestic cartel enforcement, health care fraud, government contracting fraud, and the False Claims Act.
From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Burns served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he tried more than a dozen federal jury trials and argued numerous appeals before the Second Circuit. As an AUSA, he investigated and prosecuted a number of complex cases involving a variety of offenses, including terrorism, export control violations, fraud, RICO, narcotics trafficking, and murder.
Mr. Burns graduated in 1995 from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an Articles Editor of the Columbia Business Law Review. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Boston College in 1991.