David Hickton is a former U.S. Attorney and current director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security. He was nominated for United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania by President Barack Obama in 2010 and held the position until November 2016.
Cybersecurity is a major field of expertise for David, and he is an advocate for cybersecurity vigilance, along with the development of new and innovative methods to defend the nation and combat cybercrime. During his tenure, David Hickton created a dedicated section of the U.S. Attorney’s office to focus on cybercrime and national security. He played an integral role in creating legal practices for cybercrime investigations and had several high-profile indictments including five members of the Chinese military for economic espionage, and Russian hacker Evgeniy Bogachev - one of the most prominent cybercriminals in the world. David prosecuted groundbreaking cases including Darkode, the largest English-speaking cybercrime forum where information was bought, sold, traded and shared amongst cybercriminals. He was also part of dismantling the GameOver Zeus Botnet, a global network of infected victim computers that was designed to be “impossible” to take down.
Combatting the country's opioid crisis is another major focus for David. He co-chaired the National Heroin Task Force and founded the U.S. Attorney’s Working Group on Drug Overdoses and Addiction. He brought community prosecutions against large-scale drug traffickers, while working to minimize the stigma and criminalization of addiction and improve access to treatment. He established a civil rights section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and secured fundamental changes throughout the prison system.
Prior to serving as U.S. Attorney, David spent over 25 years in private practice specializing in civil and commercial law. He is a fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, and he has been admitted before the United States Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and several U.S. Circuit Courts. David has been named to Pennsylvania Super Lawyers (2004), selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America (2005-2006), named one of Pitt’s School of Law Distinguished Alumni (2016), along with being named Pennsylvania Attorney of the Year by The Legal Intelligencer (2016). He was an Adjunct Professor of Law for over a decade, teaching antitrust at Duquesne University of Law.
David is a steadfast supporter of several civic organizations, particularly those that benefit children and the arts. He is a past Executive Board Member of the Pittsburgh Public Theater and a longtime member of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. At the request of then-President Bill Clinton, he served on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
David is a dynamic speaker; his engagements touch on subjects including cybersecurity and cyber threats, leadership and the virtues of servant leadership, building safer communities, enhancing community police trust, combating the national opioid epidemic, shaping the future and more. Known for his tireless and passionate advocacy, David speaks from the heart and displays an intrinsic understanding of a variety of topics.
Cybersecurity & Cyber Threats
Leadership & The Virtues of Servant Leadership
Building Safer Communities
Enhancing Community Police Trust
Combating the National Opioid Epidemic
Shaping the Future
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