About the Commissioners

Acting Chair

Judge William H. Pryor Jr.

Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Pryor has served as a United States circuit judge for the Eleventh Circuit since 2004. He also taught federal jurisdiction at the University of Alabama School of Law and has served as an adjunct professor at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Pryor served as the Attorney General of the State of Alabama from 1997 to 2004 and as a Deputy Attorney General from 1995 to 1997. Before joining the Attorney General's Office, Judge Pryor practiced law in Birmingham, Alabama for seven years at the law firms of Walston, Stabler, Wells, Anderson & Bains and Cabaniss, Johnston, Gardner, Dumas & O'Neal. From 1987 to 1988, Judge Pryor served as a law clerk for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1987 from Tulane University Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Tulane Law Review, and his B.A. magna cum laude in 1984 from Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe).

Commissioner

Rachel E. Barkow

Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy at the New York University School of Law, where she focuses her teaching and research on criminal and administrative law. She also serves as the Faculty Director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at the law school. Ms. Barkow has been a member of the faculty at the New York University School of Law since 2002 and was the Beneficial Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2008. She worked at the law firm of Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel, PLLC, in Washington, D.C., from 1998 to 2002. Ms. Barkow began her legal career by clerking for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia from 1997 to 1998, and before that for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1996 to 1997. She received her J.D. magna cum laude in 1996 from Harvard Law School and her B.A. with distinction in 1993 from Northwestern University.

Judge Charles R. Breyer

Senior United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California. Judge Breyer previously served as Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission from 2013 to 2016. He has served as a United States district judge for the Northern District of California since 1998. Previously, he worked at the law firm now known as Coblenz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP from 1974 to 1997, with a brief stint as Chief Assistant District Attorney for San Francisco in 1979. From 1973 to 1974, Judge Breyer worked as an Assistant Special Prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. He also served as an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco from 1967 to 1973. Judge Breyer began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Oliver J. Carter of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He received his J.D. in 1966 from the University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and his B.A. cum laude in 1963 from Harvard College.

Judge Danny C. Reeves

United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Judge Reeves has served as a United States district judge since 2001. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Reeves practiced civil litigation in Lexington, Kentucky for eighteen years at the law firm of Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP (what was then known as Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, PLLC). From 1981 to 1983, Judge Reeves served as a law clerk for Judge Eugene E. Siler, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky. He received his J.D. in 1981 from Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law and his B.A. in 1978 from Eastern Kentucky University.

Ex Officio Commissioner

David Rybicki

Designated ex officio member of the United States Sentencing Commission representing the Attorney General. David Rybicki was appointed Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division in 2017. His previous Justice Department experience includes service as counselor to the Attorney General and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia. Mr. Rybicki also served as chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee and worked in private practice as counsel at Weil, Gotshal, and Manges LLP in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Stanford Law School and holds a B.A. from Yale College and an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Gates Scholar. Following law school, he clerked for Chief Judge Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Patricia K. Cushwa

Ex officio member of the United States Sentencing Commission representing the United States Parole Commission. Patricia K. Cushwa was nominated to the United States Parole Commission and the United States Senate confirmed her nomination in November, 2004. She was sworn in as a member of the Commission on December 12, 2004. In August 2015 she was designated Vice Chairman by Chairman Patricia Smoot. Vice Chairman Cushwa is currently serving as the Acting Chair of the Commission. Prior to her appointment to the U.S. Parole Commission, Patricia Cushwa served for 12 years on the Maryland Parole Commission, seven of those years as Chair. Her prior experience includes an appointment as Maryland State Senator as well as an elected term to the Williamsport Town Council. She served as adjunct faculty at Hagerstown Community College. Appointed Boards include the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland Human Relations Commission as well as two terms on the Board of Trustees of Hagerstown Community College. Commissioner Cushwa co-founded Washington County’s Spouse Abuse Agency, CASA (Citizens’ Assisting and Sheltering the Abused). Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD.) appointed her as Chair of the Washington County Judicial Nominating Commission for Trial Court Judges and she served as Chair for eight years on that Commission. A twenty-three year member of the Association of Paroling Authorities International, Commissioner Cushwa received the President’s Award in 2002 for “significant contributions as a trainer for the National Institute of Corrections.” Her parole initiatives include development of a risk assessment instrument for the Maryland Parole Commission and evidence-based programs for Washington D.C. and federal parole violators. Patricia Cushwa earned a B.A. and an M.A. at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland and resides in Williamsport, Washington County, Maryland.