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Kenneth Wainstein Nominated to Lead DHS Intelligence and Analysis

He was the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Department of Justice and Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush.

President Biden announced Friday that he will nominate Kenneth L. Wainstein to be Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security.

Wainstein is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. During his time in private practice, Wainstein also served as a law school adjunct professor teaching national security law for twelve years, as a commissioner on the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, as a member of the Public Interest Declassification Board, and in a number of other national security organizations.

“President Biden has nominated a dedicated public servant, Kenneth L. Wainstein, to lead DHS’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Ken has decades of government experience at the highest levels,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. “His deep expertise in national security, counterterrorism, and intelligence matters will benefit our Department and our Nation if he is confirmed. I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Ken to this critical leadership role.”

Wainstein previously spent over 20 years in a number of law enforcement and national security positions in the federal government. Between 1989 and 2001, Wainstein served as a federal prosecutor in both the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia, where he handled criminal prosecutions ranging from public corruption to violent gang cases and held a variety of supervisory positions, including Acting United States Attorney. In 2001, he was appointed Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys where he provided oversight and support to the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices. Between 2002 and 2004, Wainstein served as General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and then as Chief of Staff to Director Robert S. Mueller, III.

Wainstein was then nominated and confirmed as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he led the largest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country, and in 2006 he was again confirmed as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Department of Justice. In that position, Wainstein established and led the new National Security Division, which consolidated the Justice Department’s law enforcement and intelligence operations on all national security matters.

In 2008, Wainstein was named Homeland Security Advisor by President George W. Bush. In that capacity, he advised the President, convened and chaired meetings of the Cabinet Officers on the Homeland Security Council, and oversaw the inter-agency process coordinating the nation’s counterterrorism, homeland security, infrastructure protection, and disaster response and recovery efforts.

Wainstein graduated from the University of Virginia and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and their four daughters.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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