Michael J. Garcia, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, was born in Brooklyn in October 1961. On January 20, 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated him to the Court of Appeals, and the New York State Senate confirmed his appointment on February 8, 2016.
Garcia received his undergraduate degree with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1983 and an M.A. degree from the College of William & Mary in 1984. In 1989, he received his law degree (summa cum laude) from Albany Law School, where he graduated as valedictorian. He began his legal career as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP in 1989. From 1990 to 1992, he served as Law Clerk to Hon. Judith S. Kaye, then Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
From 1992 to 2001, Garcia served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. For his work in a number of high-profile terrorism investigations and trials, he received two Attorney General’s Awards for Exceptional Service and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. In 2001, he became Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement in the Bureau of Industry and Security, and in December 2002, he became Acting Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at the United States Department of Justice. In that role, he led the transition of the agency into the United States Department of Homeland Security. From March 2003 to August 2005, Garcia served as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Department of Homeland Security. Garcia was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2005 to 2008, when he joined Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Garcia was Vice President of the Americas for INTERPOL, the international police organization, from 2003 to 2006. From 2012 to 2014, he was Chair of the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Garcia previously served on the Board of Trustees of El Museo del Barrio.