President Biden is announcing eight new nominees to serve as U.S. Attorneys across the country, officials who will be indispensable to upholding the rule of law as the top federal law enforcement officials for their districts.

These individuals were chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice.

The President has launched a comprehensive effort to take on the uptick in gun crime that has been taking place for the last 18 months—putting more cops on the beat, supporting community prevention programs, and cracking down on illegal gun trafficking. Confirming U.S. Attorneys as the chief federal law enforcement officers in their district is important for these efforts.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Eastern District of Virginia

Jessica D. Aber is an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where she has served since 2009. Since 2016, Ms. Aber has been the Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division for the office. From 2015 to 2016, she served on a detail assignment as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Ms. Aber was an associate at McGuireWoods LLP from 2007 to 2008. Ms. Aber served as a law clerk for then-Magistrate Judge Hannah Lauck on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2006 to 2007.

Ms. Aber received her J.D. from William & Mary Law School in 2006 and her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Richmond in 2003.

Carla B. Freedman, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Northern District of New York

Carla B. Freedman is an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, where she has served since 2007. Since 2018, Ms. Freedman has served as the Narcotics Chief for the office. From 1988 to 2004, Ms. Freedman was an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, where she led a unit that focused on investigating organized crime from 1997 to 2004.

Ms. Freedman received her J.D. from New York Law School in 1988 and her B.A. from Syracuse University in 1985.

William J. Ihlenfeld, II, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Northern District of West Virginia

William J. Ihlenfeld is a special counsel at Bowles Rice LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Litigation and Cybersecurity practice groups. Since he joined Bowles Rice in 2019, Mr. Ihlenfeld has also been a member of the West Virginia State Senate. Mr. Ihlenfeld was a partner at Bailey Glasser LLP from 2017 to 2019, and served as United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia from 2010 to 2016. Prior to that, from 2007 to 2010, he was a state prosecutor in Brooke County, West Virginia. From 1997 to 2007, Mr. Ihlenfeld prosecuted domestic violence cases in Ohio County, West Virginia. Throughout his legal career, Mr. Ihlenfeld has advocated for victims of domestic and sexual violence through pro bono legal representation and service to local and statewide nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Ihlenfeld received his J.D. from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1997 and his B.S. from Ohio University, with honors, in 1994.

Christopher R. Kavanaugh, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Western District of Virginia

Christopher R. Kavanaugh is Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He is currently on detail from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, where he has served as an Assistant United States Attorney since 2014. In his role as Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Kavanaugh is the chief national security prosecutor, senior litigation counsel, and counsel to the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia. From 2007 to 2014, Mr. Kavanaugh was an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Since 2011, Mr. Kavanaugh has been an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches federal criminal practice and trial advocacy. Mr. Kavanaugh served as a law clerk for Judge James C. Cacheris on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2006 to 2007.

Mr. Kavanaugh received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2006 and his B.S. in engineering, summa cum laude, from Georgia Tech in 2002.

Darcie N. McElwee, U.S. Attorney nominee for the District of Maine

Darcie N. McElwee is an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine, where she has served since 2002. She has served as the Project Safe Neighborhoods Coordinator for the office since 2005. Between 2005 and 2008, Ms. McElwee was an adjunct professor of advanced trial advocacy at the University of Maine School of Law.  Ms. McElwee began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties in Maine from 1998 to 2002.

Ms. McElwee received her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law in 1998 and her A.B. from Bowdoin College in 1995.

Breon S. Peace, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Eastern District of New York

Breon S. Peace has been a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York since 2007, and previously worked as an associate at the firm from 1996 to 1997, 1998 to 1999, and from 2003 to 2007. He was an Acting Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law from 2002 to 2003. Mr. Peace previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York from 2000 to 2002. Pearce served as a law clerk for Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr. on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 1997 to 1998.

Mr. Peace 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.

William S. Thompson, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Southern District of West Virginia

Judge William S. Thompson is a judge for the 25th Judicial Circuit of West Virginia. He was appointed to that position in 2007 and re-elected in 2008 and 2016. As a part of his duties, Judge Thompson presides over several treatment courts, including the first family treatment court in West Virginia. Prior to his appointment, he was an associate at the law firm of Cook and Cook in Madison, West Virginia from 1995 to 2007. His primary focus was litigation, which included representing several hundred indigent clients in criminal defense and other matters. Judge Thompson also served as President of Madison Healthcare, Incorporated from 1997 to 2007, and as Vice President of Danville Lumber Company from 1994 to 2007.

Judge Thompson received his J.D. from West Virginia University in 1995 and his B.S. from West Virginia University in 1992.

Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney nominee for the Southern District of New York

Damian Williams is an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he has served since 2012. He has served as a Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force for the office since 2018. From 2009 to 2012, he was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Mr. Williams served as a law clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court from 2008 to 2009 and Judge Merrick B. Garland on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2007 to 2008.

Mr. Williams received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 2007, a M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge in 2003, and an A.B. in Economics from Harvard University in 2002.

###

Stay Connected

We'll be in touch with the latest information on how President Biden and his administration are working for the American people, as well as ways you can get involved and help our country build back better.

Scroll to Top
Top