Allison Bender is an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching a seminar on national security regulation, bringing to bear her experience in government and private practice in this area.

In private practice, Professor Bender counsels Fortune 50 companies and startups in a range of industries on cybersecurity and privacy matters in the U.S. and internationally. Drawing from her roots in government, national security, and R&D, she helps clients navigate legal issues associated with emerging technologies and aids clients in strategically managing legal, financial, and reputational cybersecurity risks. Her cybersecurity and national security preparedness counseling is informed by hundreds of incident response efforts across incidents involving personal data, intellectual property, payment card information, export controlled technical data, and other regulated information. Her experience also extends to counseling on cybersecurity and national security due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, vendor management, and transactions.

Before entering private practice, Professor Bender served as a cybersecurity attorney at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where she advised the Office of Cybersecurity & Communications on cybersecurity and privacy laws, regulations, and policies. In that role at DHS, Professor Bender worked on incident response as well as cybersecurity policy, information sharing, liability, and incentives issues. She was the primary operational legal counsel for the federal response to the Heartbleed vulnerability, the USIS-KeyPoint data breach, and the data breach. She served as Chair of the Automated Indicator Sharing Privacy & Compliance Working Group, provided primary legal advice for the implementation of Executive Order 13691 regarding Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs) and private sector clearances, advised the DHS Cyber Information Sharing and Collaboration Program (CISCP); and advised the Interagency Task Force implementing Executive Order 13636, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,” Presidential Policy Directive 21, “Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience,” focusing on the “NIST Cybersecurity Framework,” development of the Section 9 list, classified and unclassified information sharing, liability, and incentives. Professor Bender was also principally involved in DHS policy efforts related to cybersecurity export controls, particularly Wassenaar implementation.

Before focusing on cybersecurity, Professor Bender spent six years at DHS negotiating complex international and domestic multimillion dollar research and development agreements in a variety of emerging science and technology areas. She served as Chief Negotiator for the United States Government on nine legally binding international agreements. She led the oversight of over $1 billion in DHS activities, leading compliance programs for export controls and treaty and regulatory compliance. Professor Bender also spent four years as primary counsel for the SAFETY Act, providing legal advice on legislation that protects companies with antiterrorism technologies, laying the groundwork for many of the policies and procedures for its current operation and reviewing over 500 applications.

Professor Bender received her LL.M. in National Security Law, with distinction, from Georgetown University in 2012, a J.D. from Washington & Lee University in 2006, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia in 2003. She is also a Certified Information Security Systems Professional and Certified Information Privacy Professional in both US Private Sector and Government Privacy Practices.