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President Obama has nominated Gregory Howard Woods III to serve on the bench of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer recommended Mr. Woods to President Obama in February and today praised the President for this nomination. Mr. Woods is a resident of Harlem and was born in 1969.

“I am pleased that President Obama has nominated Mr. Woods to the District Court," said Schumer. “Mr. Woods is an accomplished attorney and is dedicated to public service. I have every confidence that his years of experience in both the public and private sectors will translate into a very successful career as a judge.”

Mr. Woods is a graduate of Williams College and Yale Law School. Mr. Woods received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995.  At Yale, Mr. Woods was Essays Editor on the Yale Law Journal and was awarded prizes for best brief and best oralist in the school’s moot court competition.  Mr. Woods received his B.A. magna cum laude from Williams College in 1991.

Mr. Woods currently serves as General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior, he served as Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation and was appointed by Secretary Ray LaHood in 2009. As Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Woods was awarded the “Secretary’s Partnering for Excellence Award” and the “General Counsel’s Team Award.”

Mr. Woods was also an associate and then partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, working on a variety of financial and corporate matters and focusing on both the United States and Latin America. Mr. Woods was a member of the firm’s corporate practice, focused primarily on corporate finance, and advised a variety of corporations, banks and investors in domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures.

Mr. Woods was a member of the firm’s hiring committee, diversity committee and pro bono committee.  Mr. Woods’ practice and client service led him to be recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in New York in Banking and Finance, among other honors. Mr. Woods entered public service in 1995 as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice. There, he practiced as a civil litigator until 1998, primarily litigating cases around fraud and fraud-related activities.

Mr. Woods has also done a large amount of pro bono work with Practicing Attorneys for Law Students (PALS), an organization devoted to serving the needs of minority law students in the New York area.

In addition to his time with PALS, Mr. Woods is  a board member for the Union Settlement Association – a social services organization serving East Harlem – and previously worked pro bono as counsel to the New York City Investment Fund.  


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