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James A. Baker

Lecturer on Law

Fall 2023

James A. Baker
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Mr. Baker has worked on numerous national security matters during his career. A former federal prosecutor, he worked on all aspects of national security investigations and prosecutions, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), during his long career at the U.S. Department of Justice. From 2001-2007, Mr. Baker served as Counsel for Intelligence Policy at the Justice Department, where he was head of the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review. In that position, he was responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing national security policy regarding intelligence and counterintelligence matters for the department. Mr. Baker provided the Attorney General, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and the White House with legal and policy advice on a range of national security issues for many years, and conducted oversight of the Intelligence Community, including the FBI, on behalf of the Attorney General. In 2007, Mr. Baker was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department from 2009-2011 responsible for national security and cybersecurity. From 2014-2018, he was the General Counsel of the FBI. In 2018, he was a Visiting Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Lawfare Institute. From 2019-2020 he was the Director of National Security and Cybersecurity at the R Street Institute and was a legal analyst at CNN. He has also worked in the private sector at Verizon, Bridgewater Associates, and Twitter. He is currently a consultant.


  • B.A. University of Notre Dame
  • M.A. University of Michigan
  • J.D. University of Michigan