Stephen Preston ’83 has been nominated to be the Central Intelligence Agency’s next general counsel. He is currently a partner and co-chair of the Defense, National Security, and Government Contracts Practice Group at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, DC.

As the CIA’s top legal adviser, Preston will provide legal advice and guidance to the Agency and to the director of the CIA.

Preston joined WilmerHale in 1986 before departing to serve at the Pentagon and in the Justice Department. He was the principal deputy general counsel of the Department of Defense from 1993 to 1995, and also served as acting general counsel during that time.

From 1998 to 2000, Preston served as general counsel to the Department of the Navy. In that role, he was responsible for the full range of legal matters confronting the Defense Department and the national security establishment. Preston was actively involved in criminal, inspector general and congressional investigations, and civil fraud and contract claims litigation.

Preston served as deputy assistant attorney general at DOJ from 1995 to 1998, responsible for civil litigation in the courts of appeals on behalf of the U.S. He argued several significant appeals involving constitutional law, statutory interpretation, federal court jurisdiction, and testimonial privileges.

In addition to his J.D. from HLS, Preston holds a B.A. from Yale University.