Raj De serves on Mayer Brown’s global Management Committee. He was previously the Managing Partner of Mayer Brown's Washington DC office, which is comprised of more than two hundred lawyers. He leads the firm's global Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice, as well as the firm’s National Security practice, and serves as 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”), The 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. He advises clients, including management teams and boards of directors, in connection with crisis management, government and internal investigations, high-stakes litigation, regulatory enforcement matters, and congressional inquiries. Raj provides clients with strategic counseling and practical legal advice, drawing upon a wealth of experience in government service and private practice.
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 one hundred lawyers and staff that provides 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. 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 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.
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.
Today, Raj serves in various roles that build upon his Washington legal and policy experience, including the following:
- Board of Directors, Southern Center for Human Rights
- Central Intelligence Agency, General Counsel’s External Advisory Board
- Senior Advisor, Homeland Security & Defense Business Council
- Software.org Advisory Committee
- American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Law and National Security
- Third Way, Cyber Enforcement Initiative, Advisory Board
- 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
- Distinguished Fellow, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University
- National Security Institute, George Mason University School of Law, 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
Harvard College, AB, magna cum laude
Harvard Law School, JD, magna cum laude