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Hon. Michael Chertoff

Senior Of Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP and Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, The Chertoff Group
Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff concentrates in the area of White Collar Defense and Investigations.  In recent years, he has handled a series of federal investigations, including complex criminal and civil regulatory matters.  He has advised major clients on SEC and Justice Department investigations and successfully served as the independent monitor of a major national healthcare company under criminal and civil investigation.

In addition to his legal work, Mr. Chertoff is Founder and Chairman of The Chertoff Group, a security and risk management firm, where he provides high-level strategic counsel to corporate and government leaders on a broad range of security issues, from risk identification and prevention to preparedness, response and recovery.

In April of 2012, Mr. Chertoff was elected as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of BAE Systems, Inc.  He also sits on the board of directors or board of advisors of a number of companies and nonprofits. 

Previously, Mr. Chertoff served as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  As Secretary, he led a 218,000 person department with a budget of $50 billion.  Mr. Chertoff developed and implemented border security and immigration policy; promulgated homeland security regulations; and spearheaded a national cyber security strategy.  He also served periodically on the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council, and on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Prior to his appointment to the Cabinet, Mr. Chertoff served from 2003 to 2005 on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Before becoming a federal judge, Mr. Chertoff was the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  In that position, he oversaw the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and formed the Enron Task Force, which produced more than 20 convictions, including those of CEOs Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay.

Mr. Chertoff’s career includes more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, including service as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Chertoff investigated and personally prosecuted significant cases of political corruption, organized crime, and corporate fraud.

From 1994-2001, Mr. Chertoff represented major corporations and individuals in numerous white collar investigations and trials.  Among other matters, he successfully represented the nation’s largest hospital company in a four year, multi-jurisdictional criminal and civil investigation, represented major corporations in corruption scandals, and obtained acquittals at trial for individual criminal defendants.

Mr. Chertoff has received numerous awards including the Department of Justice Henry E. Petersen Memorial Award (2006); the Department of Justice John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation (1987); NAACP Benjamin L. Hooks Award for Distinguished Service (2007); European Institute Transatlantic Leadership Award (2008); and two honorary doctorates.  His trial experiences have been featured in over half a dozen books and many news articles.

Education
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1978 magna cum laude
  • Harvard University, B.A., 1975 magna cum laude

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Publications and Multimedia
Metadata, Surveillance, and Intelligence Collection in the Trump Administration - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
January 05, 2017
Developing The International Response To The Paris Attacks - Podcast
International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
December 09, 2015
The War on Terror - Event Audio/Video
2015 Texas Chapters Conference
October 02, 2015
A Conversation on the NSA Surveillance Programs - Event Audio/Video
The NSA, Security, Privacy, and Intelligence Symposium
March 04, 2014
National Security After U.S. v. Jones - Event Audio/Video
2012 National Security Symposium
April 05, 2012
America as Hegemon and International Law - Event Audio/Video
2010 National Lawyers Convention
November 19, 2010
Address by Secretary Michael Chertoff - Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2008
Michael Chertoff Address - Event Audio
2006 National Lawyers Convention
November 17, 2006