Suhail Khan, a former legal counsel and transportation adviser in the Bush administration, has joined Microsoft’s new Washington office as the software giant’s director of external affairs.

Khan served as a policy adviser for transit, aviation and disaster response in the Transportation Department before joining the Institute for Global Engagement, a nonprofit that promotes religious freedom, as a senior fellow.

Khan was also a staffer for former Rep. Tom Campbell, advising the California Republican on issues including intellectual property, civil liberties, privacy and trade.

“Suhail’s rich background in public policy and foreign relations will help build Microsoft’s relationships in order to raise the awareness about important technology issues,” said Fred Humphries, Microsoft’s vice president of U.S. government affairs.

Khan said protecting consumer privacy, fighting piracy and preserving competition in the technology industry are among the company’s top policy priorities.

“The idea is to work with the vast spectrum of nonprofits, think tanks and universities engaged on the issues,” he said. “My main interest is to further those relationships to see how we can partner with folks interested in many issues.”

Video game association hires new counsel

The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group representing U.S. computer and video game publishers, has named Christian Genetski its general counsel.

Genetski, a founding partner at the Internet law boutique firm Zwillinger Genetski LLP, specializes in defending and advising Internet and software clients in matters involving privacy, security and intellectual property. He was previously a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, where he was vice chairman of the firm’s Internet, data protection and communications practice group in Washington. Genetski is a former federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s computer crime and intellectual property section.

Genetski, slated to start with the ESA on July 11, will replace former general counsel and vice president Kenneth Doroshow, who left the trade group in January after representing the industry in a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case involving a California law restricting sales of violent video games to minors.