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Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson Rejoins Paul, Weiss

January 23, 2017 read the press release

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP announced today that former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is rejoining the firm as a partner in its Litigation Department. Secretary Johnson will be advising clients, including management teams and boards of directors, on crisis management, government and internal investigations, high-stakes litigation and regulatory matters, and legal aspects of cybersecurity and other security matters. He will be resident in both the New York and Washington, D.C. offices.

"As a senior Cabinet member responsible for the overall protection of our nation, including many of the most sensitive legal, regulatory and security issues facing our country, Jeh will offer our clients a unique perspective as they navigate their most complex issues and challenging crises," said Paul, Weiss chair Brad S. Karp. "We are honored that Jeh has returned to our firm."

"I am excited to bring my public service experience back to Paul, Weiss, my private practice home since 1984," said Secretary Johnson. "It's a privilege to return to practice at one of the best law firms in the country, where lawyers are encouraged to serve both their clients and the public, and give back to their communities."

This marks Secretary Johnson's fourth return to Paul, Weiss after stints in public service, including three Senate-confirmed presidential appointments. In his three years leading the Department of Homeland Security, he was responsible for counterterrorism; cybersecurity; border, port, aviation and maritime security; enforcement and administration of U.S. immigration laws; response to national disasters; detection and prevention of nuclear, chemical and biological threats; and the protection of critical infrastructure and the nation's leadership.

Secretary Johnson was credited with building a more effective, cohesive department and raising morale. He served as the public face of the government's homeland security mission, in press appearances and by testifying before Congress 26 times. Managing the federal government's third-largest department, he oversaw 22 components and agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Secret Service.

Between 2009-2012, Secretary Johnson served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, where he was a primary legal architect for the military's counterterrorism efforts in the Obama Administration, and was responsible for the prior legal approval for every military operation authorized by the President and the Secretary of Defense. In 2010, Secretary Johnson co-authored the Defense Department report that paved the way for the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law by Congress.

Secretary Johnson began his legal career at Paul, Weiss in 1984. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1989-1991, where he tried 12 cases before a jury and argued 11 appeals in those three years. He returned to Paul, Weiss in 1992, working on litigation and white collar matters for some of the firm's most important clients. In 1998, he was appointed General Counsel of the U.S. Air Force by President Clinton, and he rejoined Paul, Weiss once again in 2001.

Secretary Johnson has received numerous awards and acknowledgments, including three Department of Defense medals for distinguished public service and nine honorary degrees. He received a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. from Morehouse College.

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