Former Counterterrorism Official and Defense Industry Executive Michael Leiter Joins Skadden as a Partner in Its DC Office

Michael E. Leiter

Skadden announced today that former U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) director and defense technology executive Michael Leiter has joined the firm's national security practice as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office. He will concentrate on cross-border transactions, cyber and data security preparedness, and investigations, with a focus on the defense, intelligence and technology sectors.

Mr. Leiter, who served as NCTC director in both the Bush and Obama administrations, reported directly to the president regarding planning and strategy related to all counterterrorism activities. Most recently, he held the role of president of Leidos Defense, a $2.5 billion business unit of Leidos, which provides technology and solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense and allied nations globally. He joined the company in 2014 as its chief strategy officer and executive vice president for business development and negotiated, among other deals, its acquisition of Lockheed Martin's Information Systems and Global Solutions business. Immediately after leaving the NCTC in 2011, Mr. Leiter served as head of Global Government and Cyber Solutions and senior counselor to the chief executive officer at Palantir Technologies.

In 2005, Mr. Leiter helped establish the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, also known as the ODNI, serving as its deputy chief of staff responsible for oversight of the intelligence community, including the CFIUS process and legislative affairs. He previously served as deputy general counsel and assistant director of the President's Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, focusing on U.S. Intelligence Community reforms. He also previously was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, where he prosecuted federal crimes.

"Mike's exceptional service to our country in the national security sector and unique knowledge of the interplay between business imperatives and national security will be of tremendous value to our clients," said Ivan Schlager, head of Skadden's national security practice, which also includes CFIUS capabilities.

"Skadden's national security capabilities and understanding of complex multijurisdictional transactions and investigations are unparalleled. I look forward to working with such highly skilled attorneys and taking advantage of the firm's unmatched global platform," said Mr. Leiter.

A graduate of Columbia University, Mr. Leiter was a Naval flight officer aboard EA-6B Prowler, an electronic warfare and signals intelligence carrier-based jet. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude and served as president (editor-in-chief) of the Harvard Law Review. After law school, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Mr. Leiter continues to serve as an adviser to multiple organizations, including as a member of the RAND Corporation’s board of trustees, the American Law Institute’s Consultative Group for Data Privacy, the Department of Defense’s Threat Reduction Advisory Committee, the NCTC Director’s Advisory Board, the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Advisory Group, and the Columbia University Data and Society Council.