George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School Announces Creation of National Security Institute


February 14, 2017
Contact: Mike Burita

George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School Announces Creation of National Security Institute

Arlington, VA – The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University today announced the creation of a National Security Institute (NSI) to bring national security experts together with policymakers to find practical answers to hard national security law and policy questions.

“The new National Security Institute will strive to provide much needed balance to the public discourse on the most difficult national security challenges facing the United States and its allies,” said Scalia Law Dean Henry N. Butler.  “Drawing on our location next door to the Nation’s capital, NSI will bring together a set of top-notch faculty members and experts with decades of combined experience tackling national security challenges in all three branches of the U.S. government, in order to educate students and help shape the policy debate on these critically important issues.”

NSI will serve as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities.

The new institute will draw on the experience of its faculty members and experts to produce research and policy materials that are highly relevant to current questions of national security law and policy and that are immediately useful to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as on Capitol Hill.

The founder of the new NSI is Adjunct Professor of Law Jamil N. Jaffer, who also serves as head of the Scalia Law School’s National Security Law & Policy Program, a signature educational program dedicated to creating the next generation of lawyers and leaders in the national security field.

Professor Jaffer is an expert in national security and cybersecurity law and policy, counterterrorism, surveillance, and international relations.  He most recently served in government as Chief Counsel and Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and previously served at the House Intelligence Committee, at the White House, and in the front office of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.  Professor Jaffer is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and served as a law clerk to current Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil M. Gorsuch and Judge Edith H. Jones.  Jaffer’s full bio is available here.

“Our goal is to contribute practical solutions to complex national security questions, from maintaining highly effective and fully lawful foreign intelligence surveillance capabilities to securing our computer networks and systems,” Jaffer said.  “We will bring our faculty and other experts together with policymakers from across the political spectrum to identify thoughtful and balanced answers to these often polarizing questions.  Scalia Law students will benefit from the Institute’s high level of engagement—learning first hand from experts in the field and contributing to some of most important policy discussions of our time.”

About George Mason

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

About the Scalia Law School

The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead).