Kenneth Wainstein

Mr. Wainstein is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department, practicing in the Washington DC office. His practice focuses on corporate internal investigations and civil and criminal enforcement proceedings. With experience in significant positions in the U.S. government in the areas of criminal enforcement and national security, he brings clients a deep understanding of the substantive and procedural issues involved in white collar defense. His 20 years of public service garnered him an intimate knowledge of federal enforcement practice and policy, crisis management skills, credibility among prosecutors and regulators, and strong relationships with Congress, the bench and bar and U.S. Attorneys around the country.

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

Prior to his White House service, Ken was twice nominated and confirmed for leadership positions in the Justice Department. In 2006, the U.S. Senate confirmed Ken as the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In that position, Ken established and led the new National Security Division, which consolidated DOJ’s law enforcement and intelligence activities on counterterrorism and counterintelligence matters, and also oversaw the Department’s role in regulatory mechanisms such as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS). Ken led several national security initiatives, including the launch of the national, inter-agency Export Control Enforcement Initiative targeting illegal exports of sensitive technology and weapons components.

In 2004, he was appointed, and later confirmed as, the United States Attorney in Washington, DC, where he managed the largest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country and oversaw a number of high-profile white-collar and public corruption cases.  Prior to that, Ken served as General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and then as Chief of Staff to Director Robert Mueller. At the FBI, Ken was involved in myriad sensitive national security and criminal enforcement matters, as well as a variety of civil litigation, managerial, and Congressional oversight issues. In 2001, Ken served a stint as Acting U.S. Attorney in Washington DC and was then appointed Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, where he provided oversight and support to the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices.

From 1989 to 2001, Ken served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in both the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia, where he handled numerous criminal trials and appellate arguments.