DOJ Announces National Security Team

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September 29, 2009 9:14 a.m.

The Department of Justice issued the following press release Tuesday regarding the National Security Division Leadership Team. Here’s the full text.WASHINGTON — David Kris, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, today announced the National Security Division’s (NSD) leadership team.

Among others, Kris announced the appointment of Brad Wiegmann to be the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Donald Vieira to be the Chief of Staff; Todd Hinnen as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Law and Policy; Tashina Gauhar as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Intelligence; and George Toscas as the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Counterterrorism and Counterespionage.

“We are very fortunate to have these talented, committed and experienced individuals leading the National Security Division,” said Kris. “I am confident that their service will meet the highest standards of the division and will help safeguard the nation against continuing terrorism and espionage threats.”

Brad Wiegmann is the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and is currently serving as Co-Chair of the President’s Detention Policy Task Force. When he completes his work with the Task Force, he will return full-time to the Division to help oversee and manage the full spectrum of the NSD’s work. Mr. Wiegmann joins the NSD from the Department of State, where he served as an Assistant Legal Advisor in the Office of the Legal Advisor. Previously, he worked at the National Security Council as a Deputy Legal Advisor and Acting Legal Advisor, at the Department of Defense as Special Counsel, and in private practice.

Donald Vieira is the Chief of Staff. Mr. Vieira previously served in the NSD as an attorney in the Counterespionage Section and as a member of the Division’s staff for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. He returned to the NSD from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he served as Deputy Chief Counsel and as Subcommittee Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Prior to entering government service, Mr. Vieira began his legal career as an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP.

Todd Hinnen is the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Law and Policy. Mr. Hinnen joins the Division from the U.S. Senate, where he served as Chief Counsel to then-Senator Joe Biden. Previously, Mr. Hinnen was a Director at the National Security Council’s Combating Terrorism Directorate and a Trial Attorney in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Tashina Gauhar is the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Intelligence. Ms. Gauhar has extensive experience working with the U.S. Intelligence Community and has held a variety of national security positions within the Department since 2001, including serving as an Assistant Counsel in the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review and later as the Deputy Chief of Operations in the Office of Intelligence, and recently the Chief of Operations. Prior to joining the Justice Department, Ms. Gauhar was an associate at the law firm of DLA Piper (then Piper Marbury Rudnick and Wolfe, LLP).

George Toscas is currently serving as the Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Counterterrorism and Counterespionage. Having entered the Department through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, Mr. Toscas is a career prosecutor with 16 years of prosecutorial experience. During his tenure, he has worked on some of the most sensitive and significant national security matters in the Department. Mr. Toscas previously served in the Counterterrorism Section and its predecessor, the Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, at the Justice Department.

This leadership team is assisted by Sheryl L. Walter, who will remain the Division’s Executive Officer. Ms. Walter previously served in the Justice Department as Chief of Staff in the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, as Acting Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, and as an attorney-advisor in the Office of Legislative Affairs. Prior to joining the Department she worked at the United States Senate. Ms. Walter also has worked in the private sector as general counsel for a nonprofit research institute and as an associate at the law firm formerly known as Mayer, Brown and Platt. She clerked for the Honorable Donald P. Lay, Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

The work of the Division’s leadership team is also aided by experienced counsels and counselors:

Leonard Bailey is Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General. Mr. Bailey and is spearheading the NSD’s new cyber efforts. Mr. Bailey comes to the NSD from the Criminal Division’s Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section. He has been with the Justice Department since 1991 and is widely respected within the Justice Department and the Intelligence Community for his knowledge of cyber issues.

Carrie Cordero is Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. Ms. Cordero recently returned to the NSD from a joint duty assignment at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where she served as a senior associate general counsel in the General Counsel’s office. Previously, Ms. Cordero was an attorney in the Justice Department’s Office of Intelligence and its predecessor, the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, having joined DOJ through the Honor Program. She has also been a Special Assistant United States Attorney.

Brian Nelson is Special Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General. Mr. Nelson recently served in private practice as an associate with the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C. Earlier in his career, Mr. Nelson served as a Law Clerk to Judge Louis H. Pollak on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and to William A. Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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