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Senior Leadership

Audrey Strauss
Deputy United States Attorney

Audrey Strauss is the Deputy United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Strauss was an Assistant United States Attorney for seven years, from 1976 to 1983, and tried more than twenty cases, eventually being promoted to the Chief of Appeals in the Criminal Division and later as Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit. Ms. Strauss also served on the staff for the Independent Counsel for the Iran Contra matter.

Ms. Strauss earned her Juris Doctor degree at Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a Kent Scholar.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Barnard College.

Craig Stewart
Chief Counsel to the United States Attorney

Craig Stewart is the Chief Counsel to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Stewart served as an Assistant United States Attorney from August 1987 through October 1998 and worked in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions.  During his tenure, Mr. Stewart spent more than three years in the Civil Division, handling a mix of affirmative and defensive litigation, and then eight years in the Criminal Division, where he worked in the General Crimes, Narcotics, Special Narcotics, and Organized Crime units.  He also held a number of supervisory positions, including Chief of the Narcotics Unit, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and, finally, Chief Appellate Attorney. 

Mr. Stewart earned his Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School in 1983, and also holds Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees from Yale University, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Following his graduation from law school, Mr. Stewart worked as a law clerk for the Honorable Constance Baker Motley, then the Chief United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

Ilan Graff
Counsel to the United States Attorney

Ilan Graff is the Counsel to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Graff has been with the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York since 2012.  As an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division, he worked principally in the Terrorism & International Narcotics Unit.  He later served as Co-Chief of the General Crimes Unit and Co-Chief of the Terrorism & International Narcotics Unit. 

Mr. Graff graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 2005 and cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2009.  Upon graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to then-Chief Judge Sandra L. Lynch on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge Allyson K. Duncan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Laura Grossfield Birger
Chief, Criminal Division

Laura Birger is the Chief of the Criminal Division for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Birger returned to the Southern District of New York to assume that role on January 2, 2019.

Ms. Birger was previously an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office for 10 years, from 1997 to 2007, serving in the Criminal Division.  From 2004 to 2007, Ms. Birger was chief of the General Crimes Unit, and from 2003 to 2004, she was Deputy Chief of the Appeals Unit.  From 2007 to 2018 Ms. Birger was a partner at the law firm of Cooley LLP, where she represented individuals and entities in white collar criminal, complex civil, and regulatory matters.

Ms. Birger graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1990 and from Yale Law School in 1993.  Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Birger served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Norma L. Shapiro of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Jeffrey Oestericher
Chief, Civil Division

Jeffrey Oestericher is the Chief of the Civil Division for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  Mr. Oestericher has been with the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for 22 years, and has been a Deputy Chief in the Civil Division since March 2003. 

Mr. Oestericher began his career as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in the Civil Division in June 1994.  Five years later, he became the Deputy Chief of Appeals in 1999.  During his tenure, Mr. Oestericher played an important role in many significant civil cases, including as lead attorney in U.S. v. Wells Fargo et al., a mortgage fraud case that resulted in a $1.2 billion judgment and admissions.  He received the Henry L. Stimson Medal from the New York City Bar Association in 2003.

He is a 1987 graduate from the University of Rochester and a 1990 graduate from Yale Law School.

Updated September 30, 2019

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