Stephen Preston Nominated Pentagon General Counsel

PentagonStephen Preston, general counsel at the CIA since 2009, has been appointed to the same position at the Defense Department.

Preston served as a partner at WilmerHale prior to joining the CIA and held the co-chairman role for the firm’s defense and national security practice, the White House said June 10.

CIA Director John Brennan informed agency employees of the appointment in an email obtained by Lawfare and said he helped lead organizational changes within the CIA general counsel office during his tenure there.

“Stephen was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal last year in recognition of his efforts during the run-up to the operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which Usama Bin Ladin was brought to justice,” Brennan said in the email.

Preston rejoined WilmerHale in 2001 after his two years at the Department of the Navy and served as the Pentagon’s acting general counsel during his stint as its principal deputy general counsel between 1993 and 1995.

He also served as deputy assistant attorney general from 1995 to 1998.

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