Alan D. Cohn


Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Principal, ADC/Strategy.Works, LLC, Adjunct Professor of Law

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

Professor Cohn is of counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and president and principal of ADC/Strategy.Works, LLC. Alan provides strategic advice and counsel to help...

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Professor Cohn is of counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and president and principal of ADC/Strategy.Works, LLC. Alan provides strategic advice and counsel to help companies navigate complex issues involving security, technology, innovation, and government. These challenges include cybersecurity, emerging technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, and national security issues.

From 2006 to 2015, Professor Cohn served in senior policy and management positions at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Most recently, Professor Cohn served as Assistant Secretary for Strategy, Planning, Analysis & Risk and second-in-charge overall of the DHS Office of Policy. Among other responsibilities, Professor Cohn established a cyber policy office in the DHS Office of Policy, and represented the Department at senior levels in National Security Council decisionmaking processes. Professor Cohn led a series of large-scale strategic reviews for DHS, including both the first and second Quadrennial Homeland Security Reviews as well as strategic assessments in areas such as cybersecurity, border security, aviation security, and global supply chain security. Professor Cohn also helped design and implement Secretary Jeh Johnson’s Unity of Effort initiative on cross-Departmental governance and management, and served as the Executive Agent for the Department’s most senior leadership councils.

Professor Cohn began teaching a seminar on Domestic Preparedness Law and Policy at Georgetown Law in 2006. He authored a legal casebook based on the materials developed for this seminar, Domestic Preparedness: Law, Policy, and National Security (Carolina Academic Press 2012). In 2012, Professor Cohn began co-teaching National Security Crisis Law with Professor Laura Donohue. National security crisis law teaches students interagency process, intelligence oversight, terrorism investigations, domestic incident management, cyber security, transborder security, and bioterrorism, and culminates in a multi-day simulation that tests students' ability to apply national security legal and policy principles during crisis. The National Security Crisis Law simulation has also twice been run as an interschool invitational. In 2016, Professor Cohn began co-teaching a seminar on National Security Regulation, focusing on giving students a practical grounding in the types of national security issues attorneys encounter in corporate legal practice.