John B. Bellinger III is a partner at Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC, and head of the firm’s public international law practice. He is also Adjunct Senior Fellow in International and National Security Law at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mr. Bellinger served as The Legal Adviser for the U.S. Department of State under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from April 2005 to January 2009. He previously managed Secretary Rice’s Senate confirmation and co-directed her State Department transition team. Mr. Bellinger represented the United States before the International Court of Justice in Mexico v. United States (Medellin) and the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal and negotiated a number of treaties and international agreements, including the Third Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. He received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009.
Mr. Bellinger served from 2001 to 2005 as Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council at the White House, where he was the principal lawyer for the National Security Adviser and the NSC staff. He previously served as Counsel for National Security Matters in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department (1997-2001), as Special Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1996), and as Special Assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William Webster (1988-1991).
He is a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law; one of four U.S. Members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague; and a member of the U.S. “National Group,” which nominates judges to the International Court of Justice. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Executive Council of the American Law Institute, and the Boards of Directors of the Stimson Center and the American Ditchley Foundation. Mr. Bellinger testifies regularly before Congress, has lectured at numerous U.S. and foreign universities and law schools, and is the author of many articles and op-eds on international law issues. He is a senior contributor to the Lawfare blog.
Mr. Bellinger received his A.B. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, his J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.