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NSA general counsel Rajesh De joins Mayer Brown as partner in Washington DC

17 March 2015

Mr. De to lead firm’s global Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice in growing DC office

Mayer Brown announced today that Rajesh De is rejoining the firm as a partner in Washington DC, where he will lead the firm’s global Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice. Most recently, Mr. De served as the general counsel for the United States National Security Agency (NSA) after holding a series of notable positions in the federal government. Prior to that, he was a partner at Mayer Brown.

“We are thrilled to welcome Raj back to the firm,” said Mike Lackey, leader of Mayer Brown’s global Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. “Cybersecurity is an area of increasing strategic importance to many of our clients, as it is for the firm. Through his experiences at the NSA, White House, DOJ, various roles in Congress, and in the private sector, he has emerged as one of the foremost leaders in national security policy and law. His unparalleled knowledge of the complex regulatory landscape, combined with his enforcement experience, brings a new dimension to our global data protection, cybersecurity, crisis management and privacy practices. Our clients have needs in these areas that are growing every day, and Raj will be a tremendous help to them.”

Mr. De joined the NSA as general counsel in 2012, where he served as the chief legal officer and as the principal legal advisor to the NSA Director. As a member of the NSA’s senior leadership team, he supervised an office of approximately 100 lawyers and staff, and represented the NSA regularly with senior executive branch officials at the White House, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and from across the intelligence community, as well as with relevant congressional committees and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Prior to his service at the NSA, Mr. De served in the White House as Staff Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President. From January 2009 to August 2010, when he joined the White House, Mr. De served in the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Legal Policy, first as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. He worked closely with DOJ leadership, litigating components and enforcement agencies on policy development and implementation across various subject areas including civil rights, criminal justice, national security, and civil litigation.

“With the rapid evolution of the cybersecurity landscape, it’s an exciting time to return to private practice,” said Mr. De. “Mayer Brown’s highly regarded reputation in handling complex, high-stakes privacy and cybersecurity matters, coupled with the firm’s impressive global platform and multidisciplinary team of privacy/cybersecurity lawyers, is especially appealing to me. I look forward to reuniting with this talented group of lawyers to help our clients navigate increasingly strategic cybersecurity issues affecting multi-national organizations.”

Mr. De started his career in the public sector at the DOJ, where he was a trial attorney under the Attorney General’s Honor Program. Mr. De has also had significant congressional experience. From 2003-2004, he served as counsel to the “9/11 Commission” on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. After the 9/11 Commission, he served as counsel to a special bipartisan staff of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs from 2004-2005, where he was a primary drafter and negotiator for the intelligence reform legislation that implemented the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations for a Director of National Intelligence and a National Counterterrorism Center. From 2008-2009, while at Mayer Brown, he served on a pro bono basis as general counsel to the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

Earlier in his career, Mr. De clerked for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California. He received his JD, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his AB, magna cum laude, from Harvard College.

“Raj is the latest in a number of lawyers to join our Washington DC office from the federal government and other prominent law firms,” said Dan Masur, partner-in-charge of Mayer Brown’s Washington DC office. “In the past year, our DC office has grown by nearly 20%, adding 30 first-rate new colleagues, including a former congressman, former DOJ and SEC officials and preeminent IP, FCPA and employment mobility lawyers.”

Mayer Brown’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice is comprised of experienced lawyers from a range of disciplines, including regulatory, government and global trade, intellectual property, litigation, financial services regulation and enforcement, employment and business & technology sourcing. Lawyers in the practice work with financial institutions as well as insurance, health care, IT, retail and manufacturing clients to help them contend with the full range of domestic, international and cross-border data privacy and security obligations, including privacy and data security programs, breach response plans, notification policies, strategies for minimizing adverse consequences that may arise from litigation or governmental actions following a breach incident, privacy regulatory compliance, global data transfers in transactions and management of third parties with access to data.

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