Former prosecutor to deliver Elon Law Distinguished Leadership Lecture
Preet Bharara served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan where he prosecuted terrorists, drug cartels, arms traffickers, money launderers, insider traders, and corrupt public officials. He visits October 10 for a talk at the Carolina Theatre.
Former U.S. Attorney and current bestselling author Preet Bharara – whose work included the prosecution of dozens of Wall Street executives on charges of insider trading and a money laundering operation led by Russian oligarchs – will visit North Carolina in October to deliver Elon Law’s 2019-20 Distinguished Leadership Lecture.
The program will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, at the Carolina Theatre at 310 S. Greene Street in Greensboro.
Tickets go on sale beginning Monday, August 19, at noon by calling the Carolina Theatre at 336-333-2605 or by purchasing them online. Tickets are $15 each or free for students, faculty and staff (by phone or in person) with a Phoenix Card.
Bharara is the latest addition to an Elon University line-up of speakers of international prominence invited to campus to encourage and promote discussion and thought during the upcoming academic year.
Nominated to the position by President Barack Obama, Bharara served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 to 2017, earning a reputation as one of “the nation’s most aggressive and outspoken prosecutors,” according to The New York Times. One of Bharara’s final acts as U.S. Attorney was a refusal to resign at the request of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Bharara was fired soon after.
On March 19, 2019, Bharara’s book "Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law" was published by Knopf and debuted at #4 on The New York Times bestseller list. It offers an overview of the American justice system, and why the rule of law is essential to society. Using case histories and personal experiences, Bharara suggests a thought process for Americans to best achieve truth and justice in their daily lives and society.
As U.S. Attorney, Bharara oversaw the investigation and litigation of all criminal and civil cases brought on behalf of the United States in the Southern District of New York. He supervised an office of more than 200 Assistant U.S. Attorneys, who handled a high volume of cases involving terrorism, narcotics and arms trafficking, financial and healthcare fraud, cybercrime, public corruption, gang violence, organized crime, and civil rights violations.
Early in his tenure, he formed the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, which has continued the office’s long history of prosecuting leaders and associates of global and domestic terrorists, narco-terrorists, cartels, and money-laundering organizations. Its convictions have included major terrorists, arms traffickers, and even a Somali pirate.
In 2012, Bharara was featured on the cover of TIME magazine and appeared on its list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” He was included in Bloomberg Markets magazine’s “50 Most Influential” lists in 2014. He was also included in 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.
Under Bharara’s supervision, the office also brought a series of significant and systemically revelatory public corruption cases against members of city and state governments, including the former majority leader of the New York State Senate and the former speaker of the New York State Assembly.
Furthermore, the office continued its traditional civil rights work by, for example, conducting a multi-year investigation into the treatment of adolescent males at Rikers Island and filing Americans with Disabilities Act cases against leading New York City institutions like Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, while simultaneously bringing new and innovative cases under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The office also prosecuted more than 1,000 violent members and associates of various gangs, including the Bloods, Latin Kings, and Trinitarios, in an effort to make communities in the Southern District safer for their residents.
Bharara now serves as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NYU School of Law.
Prior to his political appointment, Bharara served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and as a litigation associate at two law firms in New York. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an A.B. in Government in 1990, and from Columbia Law School with a J.D. in 1993, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review.
About the Leadership Lecture Series
The Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series presented by The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation is an integral part of Elon Law’s commitment to learning, lawyering and leadership. Endowed through a generous gift from The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greensboro, N.C., the Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series brings accomplished leaders from a variety of disciplines to Elon to share their experiences and perspectives with students and faculty.
Previous speakers have included former U.S. Attorney General Lorette Lynch, NATO Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, journalists Adam Liptak, Nina Totenberg, Ronan Farrow and Jeffrey Toobin, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, among other dignitaries.