Lisa Monaco, previously Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to former President Barack Obama and former Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Justice Department, is now a partner and co-chair of O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s data security and privacy group. Working with fellow practice group co-chair Steve Bunnell, Monaco will be based in the firm’s Washington and New York offices. She will also lend her experience to the firm’s white collar defense and corporate investigations group.
Monaco brings two decades of high-level national security and federal law enforcement experience to the firm. She was most recently one of the top officials responsible for managing the federal government’s handling of cybersecurity incidents and threats (as President Obama’s Homeland Security Advisor for the whole of his second term).
Regarding the cybersecurity challenges facing corporations, Monaco told Leadership Connect, “My time in government has given me significant insight into the issues facing companies and their lawyers today — at the top of that list is how to navigate the dynamic regulatory, enforcement and policy environment around data security, privacy and emerging technologies.” She continued: “Cybersecurity has consistently topped the list of threats identified by our intelligence and national security leaders and so I think corporate leaders and boards should consider it an enterprise issue and not simply an IT challenge. In my new role at O’Melveny, I plan to advise the firm’s clients on how they can best prepare for, respond to and mitigate the effects of cyber threats. This could include helping a company’s leadership think through the biggest risks to their business, putting in place smart plans to be prepared, and helping anticipate what might be coming next.”
Before arriving at the White House, Monaco worked in the Justice Department for 15 years, including as chief of staff at the FBI, assisting then-Director Robert S. Mueller III in post-9/11 counterterrorism efforts. Notably, she became the Justice Department’s highest-level national security attorney when the Senate confirmed her as Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and she was the first woman to hold that office. Among her accomplishments in this role was the creation of the nation’s first network of cybersecurity specialists focused on national security.