Alan Cohn counsels clients on a range of blockchain-related issues, from anti-money laundering and know-your-customer best practices for cryptocurrency companies to legal issues associated with novel uses of blockchain technology.
He also advises clients on national security and emerging technology issues. Drawing on his experience at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alan brings a unique perspective focusing on the intersection of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology with cybersecurity and cybercrime. He co-founded and now co-chairs Steptoe’s Blockchain and Digital Currency practice.
Alan serves as counsel to the Blockchain Alliance, a public-private forum established by a broad coalition of companies and organizations to help combat criminal activity on the blockchain, and advises companies and investors concerning a range of issues associated with the adoption and use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
He also coordinates the Coalition for Responsible Cybersecurity, which was formed by leading cybersecurity companies to prevent dual-use export control rules from harming defensive cybersecurity products, services, and technologies.
Before joining Steptoe, Alan served in senior policy positions at DHS for almost a decade, most recently as the Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Planning, Analysis & Risk and second-in-charge overall of the DHS Office of Policy.
While there, Alan established the cyber policy office within the DHS Office of Policy, represented DHS on the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) and related national security review processes for foreign investments, and architected and helped implement DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Unity of Effort Initiative, a major corporate-level DHS management reform effort.
- Co-Chair, Global Future Council on Cybersecurity and Member, Cybercrime Experts Network, World Economic Forum
- Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center; Fellow, Georgetown Law Center on National Security and the Law; and Advisory Board Member, Georgetown Cyber Security Law Institute
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1997, cum laude
- A.B., Columbia University, 1993, History and Political Science
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