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Dawn Ison
Staff Profile
United States Attorney

Dawn N. Ison


United States Attorney

Dawn N. Ison was sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan by Chief United States District Judge Denise Page Hood. 

Ison, who most recently served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Public Corruption Unit, will lead one of the largest U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the country. The office currently employs approximately 221 personnel in three locations (Detroit, Flint and Bay City) and serves more than 6.5 million residents.

“It has been a privilege to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for over 19 years. I could not be more honored to extend my service to my hometown in this significant way as the United States Attorney, which serves as the pinnacle of my career. We will continue to work hard to ensure the protection and safety of every citizen in this district and make sure the people of this richly diverse community feel valued.”

President Joseph Biden nominated Ison on November 12, 2021, and she was confirmed by the Senate on December 14, 2021. Ison succeeds Saima S. Mohsin who was appointed as the Acting U.S. Attorney in January.

Since 2002, Ison has served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, where she has prosecuted drug trafficking offenses at the highest level in the Office’s Drug Task Force Unit. She also served as Chief of that unit, which is the largest unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Since 2014, Ison has served as the Office’s District Election Officer, and also represented the Office in the federal court’s alternative to prison program. Early in her career, Ison spent twelve years as a criminal defense attorney. 

Over the course of her career, Ison has successfully handled large-scale, complex, multi-defendant prosecutions. Ison’s work has been nationally recognized on several occasions by the Department of Justice and more recently by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She has also received U.S. Attorney’s Awards for Outstanding Service and for Superior Performance by a Litigation Team. During her career, Ison has taken more than 50 cases to trial both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney.

After law school, Ison served as a Prehearing Attorney for the Michigan Court of Appeals.  She graduated from Spelman College in 1986 and received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1989.

Updated March 17, 2022