Associate General Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Daniel Sutherland is the chief legal officer of the Department of Homeland Security organization responsible for cybersecurity, telecommunications, biometrics and infrastructure resilience, operating with a budget over $3 billion and a workforce of 3,500.
He leads a division of thirty attorneys who provide daily operational support to the government’s largest civilian cybersecurity operations center, negotiate complex technology agreements, advocate the agency’s positions in litigation, and respond to audits and investigations.
Mr. Sutherland supervised the drafting, negotiation, and implementation of three major pieces of cybersecurity legislation; provided legal advice during the OPM data breaches that compromised highly sensitive information; and engages with law firms, financial services institutions, oil and gas companies, and major retailers regarding cybersecurity practices. He is the Vice-Chair, Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection Committee, Public Contracting Law Section, American Bar Association and a member of The Sedona Conference Working Group 11, on Data Privacy and Security.
Mr. Sutherland’s position builds on a career focused on issues at the intersection of civil liberties and national security, with a particular focus on technology issues and solutions. Previously, Mr. Sutherland served in the Senior National Intelligence Service where he coordinated the government’s efforts to prevent violent extremism, focusing on both near and long-term efforts to deny terrorists the next generation of recruits. Wired referred to him as “one of the government’s point people on stemming the appeal of al-Qaida.”
In 2003, Mr. Sutherland was appointed by President Bush to serve as the first Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security. He provided advice to Secretaries Ridge and Chertoff on intelligence policy, law enforcement searches, disability law and policy, emergency preparedness and response, equal employment opportunity, and immigration law. He established the government’s leading Section 508 program, ensuring that technology purchased or deployed is accessible for people with disabilities.
He also co-chaired the Department’s Governing Board for a “one-stop redress” process for travelers wrongfully placed on watchlists. His speech on the need for the government to engage with American Arab and Muslim communities appeared in the publication Vital Speeches of the Day.