Carrie F. Cordero


The Law Office of Carrie Cordero, PLLC, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.A., Barnard College, Columbia; J.D., American University

Carrie F. Cordero owns a legal and advisory practice focusing on national security law, homeland security law, and related privacy, cybersecurity and data protection issues....

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Carrie F. Cordero owns a legal and advisory practice focusing on national security law, homeland security law, and related privacy, cybersecurity and data protection issues. Ms. Cordero has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law since August 2010, and served as the Law Center's Director of National Security Studies from November 2011-June 2015.

Previously, Professor Cordero served in national security related policy and operational positions with the Department of Justice from 2000-2010,most recently as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In that capacity, she provided counsel on the National Security Act, the USA Patriot Act, and other relevant laws and executive orders, while serving as co-chair of an interagency group established by the Director of National Intelligence to improve processes related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Prior to that assignment, Professor Cordero served in a joint duty capacity as a Senior Associate General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where she worked on the legislation, implementation and oversight of significant amendments to FISA. At the ODNI, she also served as the legal advisor to the National Counterproliferation Center, as an advisor to senior leadership on civil liberties law and policy, and as an interagency coordinator of sensitive national security prosecutions. Previously, Professor Cordero was an Attorney Advisor in the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Department of Justice, where she worked with the FBI and other Intelligence Community agencies on critical counterterrorism and counterintelligence investigations, and appeared frequently before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. She also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Texas.

Professor Cordero is a frequent speaker on national security and homeland security issues, including for local and national bar associations, and at the Brookings Institution, the American College of Trial Lawyers, Stanford Law School, University of Texas, New York University, and American University. She has been featured in various media outlets, including TV, print and public radio. She has had op-eds published in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and is a Contributing Editor of Lawfare. In 2013, Ms. Cordero completed training for corporate board service provided by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), and was elected Director, Bar Association of the District of Columbia in June 2015. Ms. Cordero earned her J.D., cum laude, from the Washington College of Law, American University, and B.A., magna cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University. She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/U.S.) and is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Recent Scholarship

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Carrie F. Cordero, Breaking the Mexican Cartels: A Key Homeland Security Challenge for the Next Four Years, 81 UMKC L. Rev. 289-312 (2012).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
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All Scholarship 2012 - Present

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Carrie F. Cordero, Breaking the Mexican Cartels: A Key Homeland Security Challenge for the Next Four Years, 81 UMKC L. Rev. 289-312 (2012).    [HEIN] [W] [SSRN] [Gtown Law]

Congressional Testimony

  • Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on the Judiciary, 113th Cong., Dec. 11, 2013 (Statement of Carrie F. Cordero) (CIS-No.: Pending).    [Gtown Law]
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Charging Russia’s Spies Behind the Yahoo Hack Could Deter More Cyberattacks," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Corrie Cordero, in Fortune, March 21, 2017.

"What Cybersecurity Experts Tell their Moms about Computer Security," a Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast with Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, March 14, 2017.

"When Trump Takes Control of the Justice Department, Be Afraid," coverage in Foreign Policy, November 10, 2016, quoting Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero.

"The Challenge for the Generation That Experienced 9/11," a blog by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, on Lawfare, September 10, 2016.

"Act now to prevent election cyberattack," a piece by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, in Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 13, 2016.

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All News

"Charging Russia’s Spies Behind the Yahoo Hack Could Deter More Cyberattacks," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Corrie Cordero, in Fortune, March 21, 2017.

"What Cybersecurity Experts Tell their Moms about Computer Security," a Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast with Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, March 14, 2017.

"When Trump Takes Control of the Justice Department, Be Afraid," coverage in Foreign Policy, November 10, 2016, quoting Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero.

"The Challenge for the Generation That Experienced 9/11," a blog by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, on Lawfare, September 10, 2016.

"Act now to prevent election cyberattack," a piece by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, in Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 13, 2016.

Here’s Why the Feds and Tech Companies Can't Compromise Over Your Phone,” coverage in MotherJones, March 18, 2016, quoting Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero.

"Fourteen Years Ago This Weekend," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, in Lawfare, September 1, 2015.

"Privacy or Terrorism? A Question of Risk," coverage in U.S. News & World Report, June 12, 2015, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie F. Cordero, director of national security studies.

"Praising the Patriot Act," coverage in The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 7, 2015, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero.

"Are You Being Swept Up in US Intelligence Surveillance?" coverage in Voice of America, May 14, 2015, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies.

Should Law Enforcement Have the Ability to Access Encrypted Communications?,” coverage in the Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2015, contributing discussion by Adjunct Professor Carrie F. Cordero, director of the Law Center’s National Security Studies.

U.S. NSA sued by Wikimedia, rights groups over mass surveillance,” coverage by Reuters, March 10, 2015, quoting Adjunct Professor Carrie F. Cordero, director of national security studies.

"Congress Still Has No Idea How Much the NSA Spies on Americans," coverage in The Atlantic, October 30, 2014, mentioning Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies.

"Meet the D.C. Circuit Judges Who Will Decide NSA Case," coverage in The Legal Times, October 6, 2014, quoting Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies.

"When does politics as usual cross the line into crime?," coverage by Al Jazeera America's "Inside Story," August 21, 2014, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies. 

"Inside the Informant Industry," coverage on Al-Jazeera's "The Stream," July 24, 2014, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of National Security Studies. 

"Project Eavesdrop: An Experiment At Monitoring My Home Office," coverage by NPR's All Things Considered, June 10, 2014, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies.

"NSA employees say they knew of agency's reach before Snowden's revelations," coverage by Channel NewsAsia, June 5, 2014, quoting Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies. 

"The Third-Party Metadata Idea Is Fourth-Rate,"  an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2014, co-authored by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies.

"Analysis - U.S. Surveillance Case: Tech May Clash with 18th Century Right," Reuters, December 18, 2013, quotes Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, the director of National Security Studies at Georgetown University Law Center.

"The NSA and The State of Surveillance In America," coverage in MintPress News, December 3, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, Director of National Security Studies.

"Post 9/11, NSA Spying Virtually Unchecked - Experts," GMA News Online, October 26, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero.

Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, Director of National Security Studies, and Professor Laura K. Donohue, Director of Georgetown's Center on National Security and the Law testified at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FISA oversight, October 2, 2013. The hearing was broadcast live on C-SPAN.

"Obama Pledges Greater Transparency in Surveillance Programs," coverage in Reuters, August 9, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, Director of National Security Studies.

Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero was interviewed on KCRW Radio about the NSA Spying Program, August 22, 2013 and on Federal News Radio about Homeland Security leadership, August 5, 2013. 

"‘Special’ assistant U.S. attorneys work for free," coverage in the Washington Post, July 18, 2013, featuring Professor Carrie Cordero, Director of National Security Studies.

"Work-For-Free Program Does New Lawyers An Injustice," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies, in the Connecticut Law Tribune, June 20, 2013. 

"Experts Doubt NSA Leaker's Claims about Wiretap," a segment on NPR's "Morning Edition," June 12, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies

"NSA Snooping: Googles Seeks OK to Reveal More -- as Do Yahoo, Facebook," coverage in USA Today, June 12, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies

"Injustice in a Main Justice Program," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies, in the National Law Journal, June 10, 2013.

"U.S. Attorney General Under Pressure to Open More Leak Inquiries," coverage by Reuters, June 8, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies.

"Leaked Order Offers Insight on Secret Surveillance Powers," coverage in USA Today, June 6, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies

"'Chilling' Parallels with Boston Bombing Case," coverage in the Daily Report, May 9, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of National Security Studies

"Woulda. Coulda. Shoulda.," coverage in the New York Post, May 2, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of National Security Studies

"Balancing Security, Risk: What the Boston Marathon Bombings Teach Us," a segment on NPR's "On Point," April 17, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of National Security Studies.

"Wiretapping Law Gets Extension," a segment on KQED's "Forum," January 2, 2013, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies.

"Lawmakers Tangle Over Renewing Surveillance Law," coverage on NPR's All Things Considered, July 30, 2012, featuring Adjunct Professor Carrie Cordero, director of National Security Studies.

Recent News