Alex Wagner

Chief of Staff to the Secretary, United States Army, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.A., Brown; J.D., Georgetown

B.A., with honors, Brown University; J.D., cum laude, GeorgetownSince 2015, Professor Wagner has served as Chief of the Staff to the Secretary of the U.S....

Continue Reading

B.A., with honors, Brown University; J.D., cum laude, Georgetown

Since 2015, Professor Wagner has served as Chief of the Staff to the Secretary of the U.S. Army. In that role, he led the Secretary’s confirmation and transition efforts and built his leadership team, including hiring of all military, civilian, and political staff. He currently oversees all public engagements and media activities and focuses the Department of the Army actions to advance the Secretary’s priorities. In addition, he ensures effective U.S. Army coordination with the White House, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the other military departments. Prior to his appointment, Professor Wagner helped lead Uber’s Policy development efforts, managing a team that developed a narrative demonstrating the impact of Uber’s technology for communities of color, women, urban planning, and the environment.

Previously, Professor Wagner was the Senior Advisor for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense. In that role, he served as the deputy head of the U.S. Delegation to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Review Conference at the UN in Geneva and supported the DOD's efforts to advance a political and legislative strategy to guide the development of a principled, credible law of war detention framework for operations in Guantanamo Bay and Afghanistan. At the beginning of the Obama administration, he served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, working on the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and as an advisor on the U.S. delegation to the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.

Prior to working at the Pentagon, Professor Wagner practiced law at Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle (now K&L Gates) focused on intellectual property enforcement, civil rights law, and public policy. As counsel to Washington State Democratic Party, he was the lead associate directing the Party's U.S. Supreme Court argument and briefing strategy in Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party, et al.,—a First Amendment challenge to the State's "Top Two" primary. He also served in the Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs Office on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and--during the 2008 presidential campaign--was Obama for America's National LGBT Vote Research Coordinator and managed the LGBT policy committee.  In 2012, he was selected as one of the best LGBT lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association, and in 2014 named a Fellow of Truman National Security Project.