David E. McCraw is an American lawyer and legal advisor. He currently serves as the Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at the New York Times. He is also notable for his response to Donald Trump's letter demanding a retraction of the New York Times' sexual harassment story, which went viral on October 13, 2016.
Early Life & Education
David McCraw grew up in Monticello, Illinois and is the son of two war veterans who both served in Europe during World War II. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Cornell University , and Albany Law School .
David McCraw has been with the New York Times Company , where he serves as one of the newspaper's most notable newsroom lawyers. In that role, he has been The Times' principal legal advisor on the WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden disclosures and a range of Pulitzer Prize -winning stories, covering such diverse topics as the dangerous working conditions at a Texas foundry, the lethal aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at a New Orleans hospital, and the secret fortunes of China's political elites.
One of his other duties at The Times includes acting as the company’s crisis response manager when journalists are kidnapped or detained overseas.
Mr. McCraw is the lead litigation attorney for freedom-of-information lawsuits brought by the New York Times and its journalists. Over the past decade, they brought more cases related to the Freedom of Information Act against the U.S. federal government than any other news organization in the nation. The suits have led to the disclosure of thousands of documents, including previously secret records about the chemical weapons found in Iraq, the government's legal justification for drone killings abroad, and the identities of companies and individuals allowed to trade with sanctioned nations.
He has worked closely with nonprofit journalism organizations on initiatives designed to enhance the safety of journalists, including free-lance reporters and photographers, working in conflict zones. Mr. McCraw has been actively involved in pro bono work around the world in the area of press freedom and access to information. He has worked on pro bono projects in Yemen, Montenegro, Kuwait, Russia, and Cameroon and conducted workshops on freedom of information in South America, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe.
Before the New York Times , McCraw served for more than a decade as the lawyer to the Boston Globe 's investigative reporting team; the team was later made famous by the film Spotlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2015.
Awards & Accomplishments
In 2010, McCraw was given the Cyrus Vance Award for international pro bono by the New York City Bar.