As Chair of the global risk and crisis management practice, Mr. Carlin regularly advises leading U.S. and overseas companies across numerous industries—including in the technology, healthcare, fashion, media, pharmaceutical and telecommunications sector—regarding crisis management, cyber incident response and preparedness, regulatory strategy, and CFIUS. Clients appreciate Mr. Carlin’s inside perspective and ability to quickly engage the appropriate government actors in the event of a cyber or other national security incident impacting their business. Mr. Carlin also provides training and table-top exercises to the board, executive, and broader workforce.
Selected Significant Representations
Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Carlin has served as a top-level official in both Republican and Democratic administrations, most recently as Assistant Attorney General for National Security, the DOJ’s highest-ranking national security lawyer. In this capacity, for which Mr. Carlin was nominated by the President and overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis, he oversaw nearly 400 employees responsible for protecting the nation against terrorism, espionage, and cyber and other national security threats. Under his leadership, the NSD:
Prior to assuming his role in the NSD, Mr. Carlin served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to Robert S. Mueller, III, former director of the FBI, where he helped lead the FBI’s evolution to meet growing and changing national security threats, including cyber threats. Mr. Carlin also held positions as National Coordinator of the DOJ’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program and Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he prosecuted cyber, fraud, and public corruption matters, among others, trying more than 40 cases to verdict.
Mr. Carlin is an inaugural Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Homeland Security Project, focused on the unique challenges and choices around protecting the American homeland. He also chairs the Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity and Technology policy program, which provides a cross-disciplinary forum for industry, government, and media to address the rapidly developing landscape of digital threats and craft appropriate policy solutions.
Mr. Carlin, who joined DOJ through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, is a five-time recipient of the Department of Justice Award for Special Achievement and has drawn bipartisan praise, with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling him “a trusted and tireless leader” and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey calling him “a superb civil servant.” He earned his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he received the Samuel J. Heyman Fellowship for Federal Government Service and served as Articles editor for the Harvard Journal on Legislation, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Williams College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Legal 500 US 2018 Recommended for Cyber Law (including Data Protection and Privacy) Recommended for Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense
Cybersecurity Docket: Global Cybersecurity and Incident Response ReportSelected as one of the Top 30 Data Breach Response Lawyers
John Carlin at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival; Deep Dive: Cybersecurity and the Broad Geopolitical Risk of Digital Life (6/26/2018)
John Carlin interview with CNBC; CFIUS decision assures markets that foreign investment will continue (6/27/2018)
John Carlin interview with PBS; How will the FBI adjust after the Clinton email probe report? (6/14/2018)
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