Raj De is a partner in Mayer Brown's Washington DC office and leads the firm's global Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice. He is also co-leader of the firm’s National Security practice group, and a member of the firm’s Congressional Investigations & Crisis Management team. After nearly two decades in private practice and public service across all three branches of the United States government, Raj is one of the most trusted voices in Washington. He has held senior appointments in the White House, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Raj returned to Mayer Brown in 2015 after serving as General Counsel at the United States National Security Agency (NSA). Since returning to the firm, Raj has received numerous recognitions, including by American Lawyer (“Lateral All-Star”), Washingtonian magazine (“Top Lawyer”), National Law Journal (“Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Trailblazer”), and Cybersecurity Docket (“Incident Response 30”).
Raj focuses his practice on cutting-edge legal and policy issues at the nexus of technology, national security, law enforcement and privacy, including strategic cybersecurity counseling and related representation. Specifically, Raj advises companies as they anticipate threats, assists them as they comply with data security and privacy requirements, and represents them as they address cyber vulnerabilities and breaches, as well as associated regulatory, litigation and reputational consequences. Under his leadership, the firm’s global and multidisciplinary Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice addresses the full array of issues facing multinational businesses, including the following:
- Security breach preparation and response
- Data privacy and security litigation
- Strategic counseling and board governance
- Supply chain and vendor management, including in government contracting
- Legislative advocacy
- Regulatory and compliance
As General Counsel of the NSA, Raj served as the agency’s chief legal officer and senior advisor to the NSA Director. He supervised an office of approximately 100 lawyers and staff that handled litigation and provided legal advice across a range of issue areas, including foreign intelligence, cybersecurity, government contracts, intellectual property, research and technology, administrative law, government ethics and pending legislation. As a member of the NSA’s senior leadership team, Raj represented the agency regularly with senior officials across the executive branch, as well as before the United States Congress, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and European and other foreign governments.
Prior to his service at the NSA, Raj served in the White House as Staff Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States. In that capacity, he was responsible for managing all written material provided to the President. Prior to his White House role, Raj served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice. In that capacity, he worked closely with the Attorney General and senior DOJ leadership, litigating components and enforcement agencies on policy development and implementation across subject areas that included civil rights, criminal justice, national security and civil litigation. Raj started his career at DOJ, where he was a trial lawyer in the Antitrust Division under the Attorney General’s Honors Program.
Raj has also had significant congressional experience over the course of his career. He served as Counsel to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”), conducting scores of interviews with United States government and foreign officials and drafting sections of the 9/11 Commission’s widely recognized final public report. After his service to the 9/11 Commission, he served as Counsel to a special bipartisan staff of the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, where he was a primary drafter and negotiator of the intelligence reform legislation that implemented the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for the appointment of a Director of National Intelligence and the establishment of a National Counterterrorism Center. During his earlier time as a partner at Mayer Brown, Raj served on a pro bono basis as General Counsel to the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, a bipartisan blue-ribbon panel charged with making recommendations to the President and Congress.
Today, Raj serves in various roles that build upon his Washington legal and policy experience, including the following:
- Member, Aspen Homeland Security Group
- Board of Directors, The Constitution Project
- Board of Advisors, NYU School of Law Center on Law and Security
- Distinguished Senior Fellow, Cyber Governance, NYU School of Law Center on Law and Security
- Member, Central Intelligence Agency General Counsel’s External Advisory Board
Raj has received a number of honors for his public service, including the following:
- US Attorney General’s John Marshall Award (Outstanding Legal Achievement for Preparing or Handling Legislation)
- Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, awarded by the Secretary of Defense
- National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, awarded by the Director of National Intelligence
- National Security Agency Director’s Distinguished Service Medal
- National Security Agency Intelligence Under Law Award
Earlier in his career, Raj clerked for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California. He graduated magna cum laude from both Harvard Law School and Harvard College.