Benjamin Powell is a partner at the WilmerHale law firm. He previously served as the General Counsel to the first three directors of National Intelligence. He handles matters related to cybersecurity, investigations, data breach response, national security, privacy and international investment and mergers -- including matters involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Powell’s background includes serving as Special Assistant to the President and associate White House Counsel, Air Force officer, work at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, corporate counsel at a software company in Silicon Valley, and part of the trial team that obtained the largest antitrust jury verdict in U.S. history.
Powell was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in 2006. His work involved designing and implementing legal compliance and oversight mechanisms, litigation, international law, foreign investment, crisis management, congressional inquiries and investigations, privacy, legislation, cybersecurity and foreign affairs. He worked closely with Congress to modernize the laws governing electronic surveillance activities and private sector assistance to the government in national security matters. This effort resulted in passage of a landmark comprehensive bipartisan bill in 2008.
As an Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to the President, Mr. Powell’s responsibilities included numerous investigation matters, national security issues and policy and legal work with the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of Justice and Department of Commerce. Immediately prior to his service at the White House, Powell was Corporate Counsel for Vitria Technology, an enterprise integration software company. As a litigator, Powell was part of the trial team that won the largest antitrust verdict in history.
Powell served in the United States Air Force from 1989 to 1993 and worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1988 and 1989.
Powell received the Edmund J. Randolph award from the Attorney General in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding service to the Department of Justice. He also received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 2009 from the Director of National Intelligence for enduring and invaluable contributions to the safety and security of the Nation. In May 2009, he received the National Security Agency’s Intelligence Under Law Award for his commitment to the conduct of intelligence activities under the rule of law. He is also the recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency Seal Medallion and the National Security Agency Bronze Medallion.
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