Zachary W. Carter, Public Servant of the Year

Zachary W. Carter served as the 78th Corporation Counsel of the City of New York from January 2014 through August 2019. As the chief legal officer of the City, he led the Law Department, which employs over 1,000 lawyers assigned across sixteen operating divisions to serve the multi-varied legal needs of the City, as well as its agencies, officers and employees. Mr. Carter advised the Mayor and City commissioners on all legal issues affecting City policies and operations.

Prior to his appointment as Corporation Counsel, Mr. Carter was a partner in the firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He served as head of the Trial Group at the firm’s New York City Office and co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Crime and Civil Fraud practice.

Mr. Carter served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York from 1993 to 1999 having been appointed by President Bill Clinton. His office prosecuted the full range of federal criminal cases, including official corruption, securities fraud, major narcotics, organized crime, civil rights and human trafficking. During his tenure, he oversaw the high-profile civil rights prosecutions against the police officers who tortured a Haitian immigrant, Abner Louima, in 1997, and the individuals charged with the bias motivated killing of a rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, during the Crown Heights riots in the summer of 1991.

Mr. Carter has served on the bench, both as a judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York and as a United States Magistrate judge for the Eastern District of New York.

He began his legal career as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, ultimately serving as a deputy chief of the Criminal Division. Thereafter, he joined the law firm of Patterson Belknap as a senior litigation associate. Mr. Carter next accepted appointment as an Executive Assistant District Attorney in the office of the Kings County District Attorney.

Mr. Carter has served on the board of directors of Marsh & McClellan Companies, where he was chair of its Compliance Committee and a member of its Audit and Special Litigation Committees. He has also served on the board of Cablevision where he co-chaired its Special Litigation Committee.

Non-profit board service has included the boards of the Brennan Center, the Vera Institute of Justice and the New York University School of Law.

Mr. Carter is a graduate of Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.