Emily A. Gunston Esq., serves as Deputy Attorney General for Legislative Affairs and Policy at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. She advises the Attorney General and Chief Deputy Attorney General on a range of policy and legal matters and has primary responsibility for the office’s legislative and intergovernmental efforts. Ms. Gunston previously served as Deputy Legal Director at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, where she directed the Committee’s criminal legal system reform work. In that role, she developed and led complex civil rights lawsuits and engaged in policy advocacy in the areas of police accountability, prison conditions, parole and compassionate release, and the criminalization of poverty.
Before joining the Committee, Ms. Gunston served for nine years in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, where she helped lead the Division’s group conducting pattern or practice investigations of police departments. Ms. Gunston led the investigations of the Chicago and Cleveland police departments and the enforcement of the agreement to reform the New Orleans Police Department. In recognition of her work, Ms. Gunston received the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award and three Distinguished Service Awards.
Ms. Gunston began her career as a public defender in Contra Costa County, California, where she tried over 40 cases. She received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.