Michael Leiter represents clients in matters involving U.S. national security and cybersecurity, cross-border transactions and government investigations, with a focus on the defense, intelligence and technology sectors.
Most recently, Mr. Leiter was 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 Leidos in 2014 as 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 — an approximately $5 billion transaction.
Immediately after leaving the government in 2011, he served as head of global government and cyber solutions and senior counselor to the chief executive officer at Palantir Technologies, based in Palo Alto.
Mr. Leiter has served in a number of senior national security positions in the federal government. He was the director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) from 2007 until 2011 for both Presidents Bush and Obama, where he led the primary organization in the U.S. government for analysis and integration of all terrorism intelligence, both domestically and overseas.
In addition, he reported directly to the president for strategic operational planning of all U.S. counterterrorism activities, to include the integration of military, intelligence, cyber, diplomatic, financial and homeland security programs and operations.
In this role and in his private sector capacities, he worked extensively with senior government officials and corporations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australasia and Africa, and also coordinated global intelligence and law enforcement investigations involving the U.S. and allies around the world.
Before NCTC, Mr. Leiter helped establish the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, serving as its deputy chief of staff responsible for oversight of the U.S. intelligence community, including the CFIUS process and all legislative affairs.
He also served as the deputy general counsel and assistant director of the President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Prior to his work in national security positions, he was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he investigated and brought to trial a wide range of federal crimes to include racketeering, capital murder and money laundering.
Immediately after graduating from law school, Mr. Leiter was a law clerk to Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States and Chief Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Before attending law school, Mr. Leiter served as a naval flight officer aboard EA-6B Prowlers, an electronic warfare and signals intelligence carrier-based jet, during which time he participated in combat and peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq.
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 2000 (magna cum laude; President (Editor-in-Chief) Harvard Law Review)
- A.B., Columbia University, 1991
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- Director, National Counterterrorism Center (2007-2011)
- Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (2005-2007)
- Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Director, President’s Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004-2005)
- Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (2002-2005)
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