David W. Ogden

David W. Ogden
David Ogden
United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
March 12, 2009 – February 2010
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Mark Filip
Succeeded by Gary Grindler (Acting)
James M. Cole
Personal details
Born November 12, 1953 (1953-11-12) (age 57)
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (A.B.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Profession Attorney

David William Ogden (born November 12, 1953), known professionally as David W. Ogden, is the former Deputy Attorney General of the United States. An American lawyer, Ogden also was a high-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Defense during the administration of President Bill Clinton.


Early life and education

Ogden is the son of Horace G. "Hod" Ogden (1925-1998), who was the first director of the Bureau of Health Education at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and previously had worked for the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Elaine Ogden.[1]

Ogden earned an A.B. summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 and a J.D. magna cum laude in 1981 from Harvard Law School.[2] He also served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.[3]

In 1981-1982, Ogden worked as a law clerk for U.S. district judge Abraham David Sofaer, and in 1982-1983, Ogden clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Harry Blackmun.[2]


Ogden began his career in Washington, D.C. as an associate from 1983 until 1985 at the law firm of Ennis Friedman & Bersoff, and he served as a partner at that firm from 1986 until 1988. From 1988 until 1994, Ogden was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Jenner & Block. From 1994 until 1995, Ogden served as the Deputy General Counsel and the Legal Counsel for the United States Department of Defense. From 1995 until 1997, he was an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice, and from 1997 until 1998, Ogden was Counselor to the United States Attorney General. From 1998 until 1999, Ogden was the chief of staff to the United States Attorney General, and from 1999 until 2000, he was Acting Assistant Attorney General. From 2000 until 2001, he was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division in the United States Department of Justice.[2]

Since June 2001, Ogden has been a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, co-running the firm's Government and Regulatory Litigation Practice Group.[3]

Deputy Attorney General

On January 5, 2009, President-elect Barack Obama announced he would nominate Ogden to be Deputy Attorney General.[4] Ogden's nomination was criticized by conservative groups that objected to some of his previous legal work, such as his representation of adult entertainment companies including Playboy and Penthouse.[5][6] But it was also praised and supported by important groups and figures in both parties, including the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Sheriff's Association, the National District Attorneys Association, Larry Thompson, Jamie S. Gorelick, Seth Waxman, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.[7] Ogden was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 12, 2009, in a vote of 65-28.[8] On December 3, 2009 it was announced that he would be resigning his post and returning to private practice in February 2010. [9][10]

According to news accounts, Ogden stepped down in part because of disagreements with Attorney General Eric Holder over management issues.[11]

Personal life

Ogden has three children; two by his first marriage, Jonathan and Elaine Ogden, and a baby daughter, Natalie Sylvie Ogden. Ogden lives with his wife, Anne Harkavy, and children in Arlington, Virginia. Harkavy is currently a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. Jonathan attends the College of William and Mary, and Elaine attends University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.


Legal offices
Preceded by
Mark Filip
United States Deputy Attorney General
Served under: Barack Obama

Succeeded by
Gary Grindler

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