About the topic: The General Counsel takes on the persistent misconception that the Agency operates outside the law
About the Speaker: Stephen W. Preston is General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was sworn in on July 1, 2009. By statute, the General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the Agency.
Mr. Preston was previously a partner at the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Washington, DC, where he was co-chair of the Defense and National Security Practice Group, as well as a member of the Regulatory and Litigation Departments. He joined the firm in 1986.
Between 1993 and 2000, Mr. Preston served as Principal Deputy and Acting General Counsel of the Department of Defense, and as General Counsel of the Department of the Navy.
A member of the District of Columbia Bar, Mr. Preston is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has been active with the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security Advisory Committee and, prior to his appointment, served on the board of directors of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Mr. Preston has received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service (with bronze palm in lieu of second award) and the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award. He is a two-time recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Director’s Award.
Mr. Preston received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard University.