Meet the U.S. Attorney
United States Attorney
Breon Peace, appointed by President Joseph Biden, is the 48th United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Peace leads an office that is responsible for all federal criminal and civil cases in a district comprised of more than 8 million people in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, and in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Mr. Peace now supervises a staff of approximately 160 Assistant United States Attorneys and 120 professional staff. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Peace was a partner in the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and was a member of the firm’s White-Collar Defense & Investigations and Litigation Groups.
Mr. Peace has had a distinguished career, having joined Cleary in 1996. From 1997 to 1998, he served as law clerk to The Honorable Sterling Johnson, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. From 2000 to 2002, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where he successfully handled a wide array of federal criminal cases, including those involving fraud, organized crime, and narcotics trafficking in the district court, and argued criminal appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. During the 2002-2003 academic year, Mr. Peace was an Acting Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at the New York University School of Law where he trained aspiring prosecutors in the Prosecution Clinic.
Mr. Peace returned to Cleary in 2003 and in 2007 made history by becoming the first African-American man to be elected partner at the firm. At Cleary, he represented clients in white-collar criminal matters and other government enforcement litigation involving various United States Attorney’s Offices, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and authorities outside of the United States. He conducted sensitive internal investigations for major corporations, and represented corporations, officers, and directors in complex commercial litigation matters. In addition, Mr. Peace held several positions of leadership at the firm, serving most recently as a member its Global Executive Committee.
In 2012, Mr. Peace was appointed by The Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to serve as a Special Master in United States et al. v. City of New York, a high-profile case brought against the New York City Fire Department alleging discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in hiring black and Hispanic firefighters. While at Cleary, Mr. Peace also maintained an active pro bono practice vindicating the rights of clients in criminal, immigration, human trafficking, and civil rights cases. Notably, he led the team of lawyers that in 2016 won dismissal of the indictment of a man who had been wrongly convicted of murder, rape, and robbery in 1981 and spent almost 30 years in prison.
Mr. Peace received his J.D. in 1996 from New York University School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and later served as a member of the Board of Trustees, and his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993.
Mr. Peace grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn and attended Clara Barton High School.