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DoD General Counsel Stephen Preston to Leave Post; Ashton Carter Comments

Stephen Preston
Stephen Preston

Stephen Preston, general counsel and chief legal officer of the Defense Department, will leave the public sector by the end of June after serving six years under the current administration.

DoD said Wednesday Preston will rejoin the private sector and teach at Yale Law School as an adjunct professor.

“Over the past six years, Stephen has … [helped] confront some of the most difficult challenges to our national security,” said Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Preston is an advocate of transparency in national security and worked to ensure U.S. compliance with domestic and international law in its use of military force, DoD said.

Before his appointment as the department’s general counsel in October 2013, Preston was general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency beginning July 2009.

He also served as general counsel of the U.S. Navy and held other roles at DoD and the Justice Department.

Preston’s previous work with the private sector was with the Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr law firm in Washington, where he was a partner and co-chair of the defense and national security practice.

He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Preston is also a recipient of multiple awards, including the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and CIA Director’s Award for Distinguished Service.

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