Yale University

David LaBahn, J.D.

  • President/CEO, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
  • Member, Community Research and Implementation Core, CIRA
(202) 861-2481


Mr. David LaBahn is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of
Prosecuting Attorneys (APA), a national association representing elected and deputy or
assistant prosecutors, and city attorneys. The association acts as a global forum for the
exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners,
and conducts timely and effective training and technical assistance to improve the
prosecutorial function. In addition, APA serves as an advocate for prosecutors on
emerging issues related to the administration of justice, development of partnerships and implementation of problem-solving strategies.

Prior to forming APA, Mr. LaBahn was the Director of the American Prosecutors
Research Institute (APRI) and the Director of Research and Development for the
National District Attorneys Association (NDAA). In this dual capacity, he directed
APRI’s Projects including editing and teaching in the areas of child and adult sexual
assault and gang violence. He worked with other national organizations to lobby for the
increase the funding to assist in the investigation and prosecution of child abuse as well
as coordinate the efforts of these federally funded programs. He attended and spoke at
numerous national conferences on NDAA’s behalf and applied for and received
numerous federal grants to continue the Association’s efforts to support the nation’s
district attorneys.

Before joining NDAA, Mr. LaBahn was the Executive Director of the California District
Attorneys Association (CDAA). Appointed to this position in 2003, he had
responsibility for all of the Association’s efforts and became the primary policy strategist
and spokesperson for the organization. Much of his initial efforts involved working
through a very difficult budget for the state and then the historic recall of Governor Davis caused a mid-term transition on the Governor’s Office. Throughout this tumultuous time, he managed to maintain and expand CDAA’s staff of approximately 50 full-time employees and annual budget of over $5 million. In 2006 he received the largest grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Association history.

During this time, he was involved in creating CDAA’s first Violence against Women
Project, the Circuit Environmental Prosecution Project and the High Technology
Prosecution Project.  CDAA expanded its committee structure to include over 30
standing committees as new trends emerged like Community Prosecution, High
Technology, Stalking, and Elder Abuse. He also lectured at state-wide MCLE programs
on sexual assault and gang crime as well as edited the Legislative Digest to make certain that all prosecutors were aware of changes in the law. He personally staffed the Rural County Committee and taught at the Annual Rural Counties Conference in California.

Mr. LaBahn joined CDAA as the Deputy Executive Director in 1996 and at that time was
responsible for the training and publications department, applying for and received state
and federal grants, and lobbing the California State Legislature on criminal justice and
budget matters. 

Mr. LaBahn was a former deputy district attorney in Orange and Humboldt counties in
California (1987-96). He received numerous awards including being recognized with
community service awards for his work with victims and the reduction of gang violence
in the City of Westminster, CA.