Jennifer Gillian Newstead to be @StateDept’s Legal Adviser

Posted: 1:42 am ET
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On September 2, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Jennifer Gillian Newstead to be Legal Adviser at the State Department. The WH released the following brief bio:

Jennifer Gillian Newstead of New York to be Legal Adviser at the Department of State.Ms. Newstead is a partner in the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell LLP, where she has a global practice representing clients in cross-border regulatory, enforcement and litigation matters. Ms. Newstead previously served in several senior government positions, including as General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy, and Associate Counsel to the President. Ms. Newstead previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C and earlier in her career clerked for Justice Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court and for Judge Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She is a 1994 graduate of Yale Law School, and a 1991 graduate magna cum laude of Harvard University.

Her law firm has a more detailed bio:

Ms. Newstead is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department. She has a global practice representing leading international corporations, financial institutions and Boards of Directors in white collar criminal defense, regulatory and securities enforcement matters, internal investigations and related civil litigation. She advises clients in high-profile, cross-border investigations involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, U.S. economic sanctions and anti-money laundering laws, securities and accounting laws, and other financial regulations. She represents clients before regulatory and law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, the Federal Reserve Board, Treasury/OFAC, the NY Department of Financial Services, and other authorities. She has conducted investigations related to business in numerous countries in Asia, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin and South America. Ms. Newstead frequently advises clients on the design and implementation of global compliance programs to mitigate risk.

Ms. Newstead joined Davis Polk after a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship. She left the firm in 2001 to serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service. She served as an Associate White House Counsel from 2002 to 2003 and as General Counsel of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2003 to 2005. She rejoined the firm in 2005.

Back in June, BuzzFeed reported that Ms. Newstead, a former George W. Bush administration official and architect of the Patriot Act was slated be the top lawyer at the State Department. See A Lawyer Who Helped Write The Patriot Act Is Trump’s Pick For A Top State Department Job.

The White House sent her nomination to the Senate on September 5, and it has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As of this writing, the SFRC has yet to schedule this nomination for a hearing.

Former Legal Adviser John B. Bellinger III (2005–2009) notes that if confirmed, Ms. Newstead would be the first woman to serve as Legal Adviser of the State Department. He writes that this position was created by statute in 1931, replacing the Solicitor, which had been the chief legal officer of the State Department since 1891.