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Ex-Obama Official Lisa Monaco Joins O'Melveny as Data Security and Privacy Co-Chair

Lisa Monaco of O'Melveny & Myers. (Courtesy photo)

Lisa Monaco, a veteran official of Washington's highest levels, is joining O’Melveny & Myers as partner and co-chair of the firm’s data security and privacy group.

Monaco's government career spanned the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Obama White House. She served 15 years at the DOJ, including as assistant attorney general for national security, spent three years at the FBI, including as counsel and chief of staff to then-director Robert Mueller, and was homeland security adviser for the duration of President Barack Obama’s second term, after John Brennan left the position to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

At O’Melveny, she’s reuniting with several former Obama administration colleagues, including her practice group co-chair Steve Bunnell, former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and senior of counsel Tom Donilon, who rejoined O’Melveny after serving as Obama’s national security adviser.

Monaco said she was “exceptionally honored” to be part of O’Melveny’s long tradition of welcoming lawyers from public service. She said she was attracted by the firm’s culture, commitment to excellence, and commitment to civic responsibility.

In government, Monaco said, her work involved anticipating, preparing and responding to challenges and she expects to do the same at O’Melveny, where she will be based in Washington, D.C., and New York.

“The best lawyers and the best advisers really help their clients see around corners and that’s what I hope to do at O’Melveny,” Monaco said.

Monaco would not discuss clients or specific matters she expects to handle at the firm. Since leaving government she has worked as an adviser to ride-sharing company Lyft. She said her practice involves helping clients navigate the dynamic environment surrounding issues of cybersecurity and privacy.

“Having operated at the most senior levels of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the White House, Lisa is uniquely equipped to guide our clients on their most pressing challenges, including corporate investigations, cross-border litigation, and regulatory compliance,” said Bradley Butwin, O’Melveny's chair, in a statement. “She will also be enormously helpful to our clients in addressing complex legal issues at the nexus of technology, national security, and privacy. And she will strengthen our ability to advise clients on large, cross-border enforcement actions related to terrorism and national security issues.”

In addition to her role in the data security and privacy group at the firm, Monaco will also be a member of O’Melveny’s white-collar defense and corporate investigations practice group.

Since the end of the Obama administration, Monaco has also joined CNN as a national security analyst, co-chairs the Aspen Institute’s cybersecurity group, and is a distinguished senior fellow at the Reiss Center on Law and Security at New York University Law School.