Lawfare News

The Week That Will Be

Cody M. Poplin
Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:45 AM

Event Announcements (More details on the Events Calendar)

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Event Announcements (More details on the Events Calendar)

Monday, November 23rd at 2:30 pm: The Brookings Institution will host an event exploring France and Europe After the Terrorist Attacks. Speakers will include Phillippe Le Corre and Kemal Kirişci of the Center on the United States and Europe, Joseph Bahout of the Carnegie Endowment, and Laure Mandeville of Le Figuro. Brookings Fellow Jeremy Shapiro will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. RSVP.

Thursday, November 26th: Happy Thanksgiving!

Employment Announcements (More details on the Job Board)

Chief, Policy-Office of Law and Policy, Department Of Justice

Application deadline: December 21, 2015

Grade: ES-0905-00

Clearance: Top Secret/SCI

Job Summary: The incumbent of this position serves as the Chief for Policy in the Office of Law & Policy in the National Security Division (NSD). The Chief exercises full responsibility for managing and coordinating all policy work on behalf of NSD. The Office of Law & Policy's mission is to develop lawful, effective national security policy, including by shaping through litigation and appeals the body of law that governs national security practice in the United States.


  • Provides legal counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security and the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Law & Policy; provides guidance to senior Department leadership on national security policy issues.
  • Responsible for carrying out the crucial policy responsibilities of the Division; develops and implements national security policy responsibilities for NSD's litigating and intelligence collection components.
  • Provides guidance to members of the Intelligence Community in developing and implementing policies relating to intelligence collection, information sharing and litigation.

For more on this position, please visit the employment announcement.

Chief, Foreign Investment Review Staff (FIRS), Department of Justice

Application deadline: December 21, 2015

Grade: ES-0905-00

Clearance: Top Secret

Job Summary: This position serves as the Chief for the Foreign Investment Review Staff (FIRS) of the National Security Division (NSD) of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Chief exercises full responsibility for carrying out all policy, programmatic, and managerial matters assigned or required to assure effective and efficient operations of FIRS. FIRS serves as the Department's operational arm for reviewing certain transactions involving acquisitions of U.S. companies by foreign companies for national security concerns, and the Department's principal representative on an interagency group that provides opinions to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regarding the granting of particular licenses to foreign owned or controlled entities that pose potential national security risks.

Duties: The Chief is responsible for the function of, and the personnel assigned to, FIRS. This includes the supervision and review of attorneys (GS-15 level), para-professionals (GS-11 to GS-15 level), and clerical support staff to ensure that a uniformly high level of performance is reflected in the work of FIRS.

The Chief is the principal legal advisor responsible for providing expert advice and guidance to the NSD's senior leadership on reviews of foreign acquisitions of domestic entities that might affect national security; tracking and monitoring of transactions that have been approved and identifying unreported transactions that might merit review; responding to FCC requests for the Department's views relating to the national security implications of certain transactions relating to FCC licenses; and identifying policy and legal gaps that must be addressed to further national security.

For more on this position, please visit the employment announcement.

Director of Risk Management and Senior Counsel, Department of Justice

Application deadline: December 21, 2015

Grade: ES-0905-00

Clearance: Top Secret/SCI

Job Summary: The mission of the National Security Division (NSD) is to coordinate the Department (DOJ's) efforts in carrying out its core mission of combating terrorism and protecting national security. NSD is responsible for supervising the enforcement of all federal criminal laws related to counterterrorism and counterespionage, except those specifically assigned to other divisions. NSD also serves as the Department of Justice's liaison to the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and represents the government and the USIC before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. NSD advises the Attorney General regarding all matters of national security policy.

Duties: Director of Risk Management and Senior Counsel (Director) performs all duties assigned or required to execute the senior NSD leadership's, programmatic, legal, management and administrative agenda including but not limited to the following:

Serves as the Division's principal lawyer for internal risk minimization and oversight. Identifies potential areas of legal risk or vulnerability within NSD internal operations and provides guidance regarding the best method of mitigating or eliminating such risk.

Provides supervisory and management oversight of a staff of senior lawyers and non-lawyers that handle extremely sensitive legal matters of significance to NSD, including, but not limited to: compliance; responses to national security oversight and related requests; legal ethics and professional responsibility; national security and intelligence legal risk; administrative law; and other legal areas related to internal risk mitigation.

Oversees the development and execution of NSD's long-term executive management strategy and ensures that NSD's strategy informs and comports with the Department's strategy. Advances the strategy management system and ensures organizational alignment, building capacity through strategy training and facilitation, and providing strategic performance analysis to the AAG and other executive decision makers.

For more on this position, please visit the employment announcement.

Researcher on National Security, Surveillance, and Domestic Law Enforcement, Human Rights Watch

Description: The US Program of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking a highly qualified Researcher on National Security, Surveillance, and Domestic Law Enforcement to investigate, analyze, and advocate against human rights abuses related to the rights abuses occurring at the intersection between national security policies, US mass surveillance, and domestic law enforcement policies and practices. The role of the Researcher may include documenting and assessing the rights implications of involving domestic law enforcement in national security operations, prosecutors’ use of information derived from US mass surveillance in preparing criminal cases, or the rights implications of the use of new tools of surveillance by local police or immigration enforcement agencies. The position reports to the Director of the US Program. The position will be preferably based in Washington DC, but other locations may be considered.

Qualifications: Education: A US law degree (J.D.) or an advanced degree in US national security, criminal law/policy, journalism, or a related field is required.

Experience: Minimum four years of relevant experience is required. Relevant experience may include among other things, work as an investigative reporter or attorney on issues related to privacy, surveillance, national security and domestic law enforcement; analysis and advocacy on for nonprofit advocacy or impact litigation organizations; or work in government on policies relating to national security, privacy, surveillance, and/or criminal law.

Related Skills and Knowledge: 1. Extensive knowledge of national security, privacy, surveillance, and criminal law in the US is required; 2. Deep commitment to human rights is required; 3. Proven track record of producing timely first-rate written products and editing experience is required. 4. Exceptionally strong research, analytical, writing, and editing skills are required. 5. Experience conducting challenging investigative research inside the United States is highly desirable. 6. Expertise or familiarity with relevant technology is highly desirable. 7. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, and strong public speaking skills, are required; proficiency in other languages, such as Spanish or Arabic, is highly desirable; experience with TV, radio, print, and social media is highly desirable. 8. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW and in a diverse environment, as well as with partners, are required. 9. Capacity to appropriately plan and prioritize and to manage multiple, sometimes competing demands efficiently in a challenging, fast-paced environment are required.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. HRW will pay reasonable relocation expenses and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply. Other: Applicants for this position must be willing to travel frequently and be prepared to spend extensive time outside the office doing research or advocacy.

Contact: Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, salary requirements, a brief non-legal writing sample (no briefs or legal memos and unedited by others) and three references to Please use “National Security Researcher Application Ref: USP-15- 1078” as the subject of your email.

Cody Poplin is a student at Yale Law School. Prior to law school, Cody worked at the Brookings Institution and served as an editor of Lawfare. He graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012 with degrees in Political Science & Peace, War, and Defense.

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