Careers In Intelligence And National Security – The Reiss Center for Law and Security, along with students at the National Security Law Association, is sponsoring a series of career talks with practitioners of national security law and policy in candid conversations about their paths after law school. Featured speakers come from a variety of backgrounds—including government, advocacy, the private sector, and/or academia—and address both the details of their work and a broader view of their career trajectory. The series is an integral part of fulfilling the Reiss Center’s mission to educate the next generation of national security leaders, demystifying and providing exposure to a diverse range of career experiences in the field.
On Monday, October 17, 2022, the Reiss Center for Law and Security and the Homeland Security Law Society welcomed our first speaker of the 2022-2023 season.
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Rita Siemion serves as Senior Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee under Chairman Durbin. She covers national security, human rights and environmental issues for the Committee. Previously, she was director of national security advocacy at Human Rights First, where she served as the organization’s international legal expert and advocated for US national security policies that respect human rights. Prior to joining Human Rights First, she worked on a variety of national security issues as a senior advisor at the Constitution Project, including surveillance, privacy, and constitutional rights in the digital age. She also previously served as an editor at Just Security, an online forum for rigorous analysis of US national security law and policy.
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Ms. Sieminalso teaches as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches courses on national security and human rights and has previously taught courses on foreign relations and covert activities. She has also taught national security courses at American University’s Washington College of Law and legal writing courses at George Washington University School of Law.
She has a master’s degree. in National Security Law, with a Certificate in International Human Rights Law, from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated with honors and served as Reviews Editor for the Journal of National Security Law and Policy. She received her J.D., with honors, from the George Washington University School of Law.
On Thursday, November 17, 2022, the Reiss Center for Law and Security and the Homeland Security Law Society welcomed our second speaker of the 2022-2023 season at
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: Arsalan Suleman, Attorney, International Litigation and Arbitration Practice, Foley Hoag LLP; Former: Acting Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, US Department of State.
Arsalan Suleman is of counsel in Folly Hogg’s international litigation and arbitration practice. His practice focuses on the representation of sovereign states in international disputes, including before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, UN treaty bodies, US courts and other tribunals and dispute settlement forums. He mainly advises sovereign states and state-owned companies in Africa, the Middle East and Central, South and South-East Asia.
Arsalan is a former US State Department special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s second largest international organization after the United Nations. He has engaged with the OIC and its member states on bilateral and multilateral foreign policy issues, including remarks before and participation in Heads of State summits and ministerial level meetings. Arsalan initiated the first annual US-MEC bilateral consultations, institutionalizing the US-MEC relationship through an annual dialogue process. He has engaged with the OIC, OIC member states and relevant civil society on a wide range of foreign policy issues, establishing partnerships in areas of common interest such as human rights, countering violent extremism, health, education, entrepreneurship and science and the technology. Prior to that, he served as an adviser on multilateral affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, where he drafted several UN resolutions, delivered remarks at various UN forums, and engaged with senior UN officials and policy-holders. mandates. of the special procedures.
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On Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the Reiss Center for Law and Security and the Homeland Security Law Society welcomed our first speaker of the 2021-2022 season at
Alex Abdo is the inaugural Director of Litigation for the Knight Institute on the First Amendment at Columbia University. He has been involved in devising and litigating nearly all of the institute’s legal challenges, including a lawsuit challenging the government’s “publication review” system, which requires millions of former intelligence agency employees to submit their manuscripts to government censors before publication. ; The Institute’s challenge to the constitutionality of President Trump’s blocking of critics from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account; and the Institute’s challenge to the widespread secrecy of official written opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel.
Before joining the Institute, Abdo worked for eight years at the ACLU, where he argued the appeal that resulted in the Second Circuit’s invalidation of the NSA’s wiretapping program.
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Abdo graduated from Yale College and Harvard Law School. After law school, he worked for the Hon. Barbara MG Lynn, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas and the Hon. Rosemary Barkett, United States District Judge for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
November 15: Akuna Cook, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Southern Africa and Economic and Regional Affairs, US Department of State
On Monday, November 15, 2021, the Reiss Center for Law and Security and the National Security Law Society welcomed Akuna Cook, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southern Africa and Economic and Regional Affairs at the US Department of State, as our second speaker for 2021 – The 2022 season of the A
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Akuna Cook serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Biden-Harris administration. In this role, Ms. Cook oversees the development of US foreign policy for southern Africa, as well as economic and regional issues, including trade, investment, climate, health, multilateral engagement, democracy and human rights. Previously, Ms. Cook was the founder and principal of Drake Road Strategies where he advised individuals and organizations on public policy strategy and advocacy. She was also the inaugural executive director of the Black Economic Alliance, a non-partisan organization focused on fostering economic progress in the black community through policy development, advocacy and support of candidates for office. Ms. Cook practiced law at a major international law firm, where she advised former Attorney General Eric Holder on political and legal strategy related to nationwide redistricting. She has also advised a variety of clients on public policy, government affairs and corporate governance. Ms. Cook was also a legal associate in the office of US Senator Chris Coons.
Miss. Cook began his State Department career more than 20 years ago as Pickering’s foreign affairs associate. She served nearly ten years as a career diplomat at the State Department, where she focused on economic and political development. Ms. Cook’s overseas assignments included overseas service in China, South Africa, and Iraq and several years in Washington, D.C., serving in the Africa Bureau in various roles. She graduated from Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also valedictorian and Phi Beta Kappa at Howard University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration. Ms. Cook is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Justice.
February 9: Ben Huebner, chief of the Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
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On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the Reiss Center for Law and Security and the Homeland Security Law Society extended our 2021-2022 season
Welcoming our third speaker: Ben Huebner, Chief of the Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Ben Hubner is head of ODNI’s Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency. In this role, he serves as an independent and key advisor to the Director of National Intelligence and other senior DNI officials to ensure that Intelligence Community missions, programs, activities, policies and technologies protect privacy and civil liberties. He serves as ODNI’s primary liaison to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), ODNI’s Designated Senior Agency Privacy Officer, and ODNI’s Information Sharing Environment Privacy Officer. He also leads efforts to implement the Intelligence Transparency Principles for the intelligence community. Mr. Hubner previously served at the CIA as the Agency’s first full-time privacy and civil liberties officer. Prior to the CIA, Mr. Hubner was the Intelligence Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for Homeland Security at the Department of Justice, where he advised the Department’s leaders on intelligence-related matters, including intelligence operations, litigation and surveillance. At the Department of Justice, he also developed and managed surveillance programs related to intelligence gathering conducted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He also worked on the hill and clerked for the Honorable David S. Tatell, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. Hubner is a graduate of Haverford College and New York University School of Law.
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On March 4, 2022, the Reiss Center for Law and Security and the National Security Law Society welcomed Ruchi Gill, of counsel at Latham & Watkins
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