David Hickton, the founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security, is taking a leave of absence from Pitt to play a critical role in overseeing how trillions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding are spent.
Hickton (LAW ’81), who previously was U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, has been named staff director and senior counsel to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, a bipartisan panel created by a House vote on April 23. “Its purpose is to ensure that the over $2 trillion that Congress has dedicated to this battle—and any additional funds Congress provides in future legislation—are spent wisely and effectively,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in her initial announcement of the committee’s formation.
“David Hickton’s record as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania demonstrates some unique abilities to identify and weed out fraud and abuse,” said Rep. James E. Clyburn, chair of the select subcommittee. “His broad background and experiences will help the select committee protect the extraordinary and unprecedented outlay of taxpayer money as Congress continues to fight this pandemic and its economic consequences. We owe it to all Americans to ensure that funds are spent effectively, efficiently and equitably. David Hickton’s record has drawn praise from leaders on all sides of the political spectrum. I am grateful that he has agreed to serve the nation again at this critical moment in this very important role.”
“I have watched and admired the principled leadership of Chairman Clyburn for many years,” said Hickton. “When he offered me the opportunity to help do this important work for the American people, I could not say no.”