The Department of Justice’s Role in Combatting Nation State Threats


NSI was honored to host Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, to discuss how DoJ views the new range of threats emanating from nation-state actors, including from China, Iran, and others. AAG Olsen kicked off the event with remarks, which were then followed by a fireside chat with John Lipsey, Director of Policy at NSI, to further discuss how to counter espionage, trade-secrets theft, and cybercrime cases – all of which pose significant dangers to U.S. economic and national security interests, as well as on American innovation.

This event was held on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 3 – 4 PM ET. You can rewatch via Livestream below.




Matt Olsen is the Assistant Attorney General for National Security.  In that capacity, he leads the Department of Justice’s mission to combat terrorism, espionage, cyber crime, and other threats to the national security.

From 2011 to 2014, Olsen served as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Prior to leading NCTC, Olsen was the General Counsel for the National Security Agency.

For 18 years, Olsen worked at the Department of Justice as a career attorney and in a number of leadership positions. He served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General for national security and was Special Counselor to the Attorney General. In 2006, Olsen helped establish the National Security Division and served as the first career Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security.

For over a decade, Olsen was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He also served as Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, supporting the post-9/11 transformation of the FBI. Olsen began his public service career as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

Olsen was a law clerk to the Honorable Norma Holloway Johnson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He graduated from Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia.


John C. Lipsey serves as Director of Policy at the National Security Institute and Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, overseeing the production of NSI’s policy publications and other contributions by NSI experts.

John served in the U.S. Senate from 2008-2015, most recently as Chief Counsel for Senator Bob Corker and as Deputy Chief Counsel for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he led the drafting of the first State Department Authorization legislation approved by the Committee in five years, which ultimately became the first such authorization to be enacted since 2002.

During his tenure, John worked on a range of significant foreign policy matters, including the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, AUMFs against ISIS and al Qaeda, and the 2013 AUMF against the Government of Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons. He also led consideration of International Human Rights Treaties. And in 2013, John led negotiations over the Corker-Hoeven Amendment to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

John holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and was formerly Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for S&P Global.