Lisa O. Monaco currently serves as Distinguished Senior Fellow at New York University Law School and as a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has spent more than two decades in public service and the past decade in senior management and advisory positions in national security. As the President’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, she spent the last four years in the White House coordinating the federal government’s crisis management and response to a wide array of risks and challenges – from cyber threats and pandemics to terrorist threats. She served as the Chair of the Cabinet-level Homeland Security Council Principals Committee, where she was responsible for bringing together the heads of key Executive Branch Cabinet departments to advise the President on homeland security issues and crises. She was personally responsible for advising the President on all aspects of counterterrorism and cyber policy and strategy and coordinating homeland security-related activities throughout the Executive Branch.
Ms. Monaco has extensive management experience at the senior most levels of national security and law enforcement. Prior to the White House, Ms. Monaco spent 15 years at the Department of Justice, the majority of that time serving as a career federal prosecutor, and in senior management positions in the Justice Department and the FBI. She served as counsel to and then Chief of Staff at the FBI, helping then Director Robert S. Mueller, III, execute a change management strategy to transform the FBI after 9/11 into a national security organization focused on preventing terrorist attacks on the United States. In 2009, she returned to the Department of Justice to serve in the senior leadership of the Deputy Attorney General’s office, responsible for management of the Justice Department and its more than 100,000 employees and $30 billion budget. She was responsible for assisting the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General in overall management and supervision of the Department and its components, including the nation’s 94 United States Attorney Offices. In 2011, she was nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate to serve as Assistant Attorney General for National Security, the first woman to serve in that position. In this role, she led the Justice Department’s National Security Division (NSD) which was created after the attacks of September 11, 2001, in order to integrate intelligence and law enforcement functions across the Justice Department. At NSD, she oversaw all federal terrorism and national security prosecutions nationwide and led a division of more than 350 lawyers and professional staff. Ms. Monaco made investigating and prosecuting national security cyber threats a top priority during her tenure and under her leadership, a nationwide network of national security cyber prosecutors was created.
Ms. Monaco began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Jane R. Roth on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She later served as Counsel to the Attorney General and then as a Federal prosecutor. She served for six years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia prosecuting a range of crimes from violent crime to fraud and public corruption cases. Her career as a Federal prosecutor includes service on the Enron Task Force, a group of federal prosecutors drawn from around the country to investigate and prosecute the fraud at the Enron Corporation.
Ms. Monaco is a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Justice Department’s highest award, for her work on the Enron Task Force, as well as the Edmund J. Randolph Award, which is awarded by the Attorney General in recognition of outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the Department of Justice’s mission. Ms. Monaco is a recipient of numerous awards for public service and has been recognized internationally for her work with key allies and foreign governments. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Strategy Group. She also serves on the Board of Advisors of Cognosante, LLC, a healthcare information technology company.
She is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School.