Preet Bharara, a former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), is a renowned and highly regarded lawyer who focuses on investigations and criminal litigation matters. Dubbed “one of the most consequential prosecutors in American history” by The New Yorker, Mr. Bharara led some of the most significant criminal and civil litigations brought in the SDNY on behalf of the United States, leaving an indelible impact on the office. He is widely recognized as one of the most effective and transformative US Attorneys to ever lead the SDNY and one of the most credible voices in law enforcement.

In May 2009, President Obama nominated Mr. Bharara to become the US Attorney for the SDNY, with Mr. Bharara’s nomination unanimously confirmed by the US Senate in August 2009. While serving as US Attorney from 2009 to 2017—one of the longest-serving appointments in the history of the SDNY—he oversaw more than 200 Assistant US Attorneys, who handled cases involving civil rights violations, cybercrime, domestic and international terrorism, financial fraud, gang violence, narcotics and arms trafficking, organized crime, and public corruption. With Mr. Bharara at the helm, the SDNY saw one of its most productive periods in its history.

During his tenure, Mr. Bharara formed the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, which has continued the office’s long history of prosecuting leaders and associates of global and domestic terrorist, narco-terrorist, narcotics and money-laundering organizations. The Unit has convicted many major terrorists, including Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, London imam Abu Hamza and Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, as well as international criminals such as arms trafficker Viktor Bout and Somali pirate Abduwali Muse.

Under Mr. Bharara’s supervision, the SDNY brought a series of significant and systemically revelatory public corruption cases against members of the New York City and New York State governments. The office continued its traditional civil rights work while simultaneously bringing new and innovative cases under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.

Before serving as US Attorney, Mr. Bharara was Chief Counsel to Senator Charles Schumer, the current US Senate Majority Leader. Mr. Bharara was also the Staff Director of the US Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts. While Staff Director, he helped to lead the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation of the controversial firing of US Attorneys, which led to the resignation of the sitting Attorney General. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Bharara was an Assistant US Attorney for the SDNY, where he prosecuted cases involving organized crime, racketeering, securities fraud, money laundering and narcotics trafficking. Mr. Bharara was previously a litigation associate at two other law firms in New York, where he represented a variety of corporate and individual clients.

Mr. Bharara is an author, a frequent public speaker, and a much-valued voice in the national dialogue. He is a distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the New York University School of Law, and regularly speaks to corporations, legal associations and trade groups on ethics and compliance, culture and diversity issues. He wrote a New York Times best-seller titled Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment and the Rule of Law, which provides an important overview of the way the US justice system works and why the rule of law is essential to society. Mr. Bharara also shares his perspectives as host of the “Stay Tuned with Preet” and “Café Insider” podcasts on the Vox Media Podcast Network. In 2012, Mr. Bharara was featured on the cover of TIME magazine and appeared on its list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”


  • Award Text

    Named Among the 100 Most Influential People in the World

    TIME Magazine


  • Award Text

    Recognized Among the 50 Most Influential

    Bloomberg Markets Magazine


  • Award Text

    Named to New York City's Political Power 50 List

    New York Observer


  • Featured on the cover of TIME magazine in 2012 and named among the “100 Most Influential People in the World”
  • Named to Bloomberg Markets Magazine’s “50 Most Influential” list in 2014
  • Named to Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment” lists and Worth magazine’s “The Power 100: The 100 Most Powerful People in Finance” lists in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • Named in 2016 by City & State as “Newsmaker of the Decade,” and included in City & State’s “Power 100-New York City” and “Power 100-Albany” lists in 2013 and 2014, and "Law Power 100" list in 2023 
  • Named in New York Observer’s “The City State: Albany’s Top 40” list in 2014 and 2015, and included in New York Observer’s “New York City’s Political Power 50” list in 2016

Insights & News


  • Education

    • JD, Columbia Law School, 1993

      Member, Columbia Law Review
    • AB, Government, Harvard College, 1990

      magna cum laude
  • Admissions

    • New York

  • Government Experience

    • Department of Justice

      United States Attorney's Office

      US Attorney, Southern District of New York
    • Department of Justice

      United States Attorney's Office

      Assistant US Attorney, Southern District of New York
    • Federal Legislative Branch

      US Senate

      Chief Counsel, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)



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