Joel Brenner

Joel F. Brenner specializes in data protection and privacy, network security, and the regulation of sensitive cross-border transactions. He has represented companies and individuals in a wide variety of transactions and proceedings including sensitive foreign acquisitions and overseas operations, the liability of foreign governments, export controls, and internal corporate investigations. He has years of experience inside and outside government involving national and homeland security and enjoys working with companies of all sizes.

Before joining Cooley, Mr. Brenner was Senior Counsel at the National Security Agency, advising Agency leadership on the public-private effort to create better security for the Internet. From 2006 until mid-2009, he was the head of U.S. counterintelligence under the Director of National Intelligence and was responsible for integrating the counterintelligence activities of the 17 departments and agencies with intelligence authorities, including the FBI and CIA and elements of the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security. From 2002 – 2006, Mr. Brenner was NSA’s Inspector General, responsible for that agency’s top-secret internal audits and investigations. He has also served as a prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and has extensive trial and arbitration experience in private practice.

Mr. Brenner holds a JD from the Harvard Law School, a PhD from the London School of Economics, and a BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

He is a member of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law & National Security. He has written about intelligence oversight and Presidential authority to suspend or prohibit foreign takeovers of U.S. firms, and is often quoted in the national media on data security, privacy, and intelligence issues. Mr. Brenner was awarded the Intelligence Community Achievement Medal in July 2009.

Link to full bio