CIA's top lawyer to speak with Penn State Law students

November 15, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- One of the top lawyers of the Obama Administration Stephen W. Preston, general counsel of the CIA, will discuss "Security Challenges and the Law" at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 3, in Room 116 in the Lewis Katz Building.

Preston is intimately involved with the most difficult national security legal and policy issues facing our country. In a speech earlier this year, he described how the CIA applies the law to specific covert actions that may include the use of lethal force and the legal decision-making behind the Osama Bin Laden operation. After brief remarks, Preston will open the floor to questions. To promote an open exchange, the session will not be recorded or simulcast.

“Penn State Law students are extremely privileged to have an opportunity to talk directly with the general counsel to the Central Intelligence Agency," said professor James W. Houck, who was instrumental in bringing Preston to the Law School. "This is a rare opportunity for Penn State students to gain insight into the real world challenges of ensuring that our government strikes the right balance between security and liberty.”

In addition to his CIA experience, Preston's previous positions include appointments in the Civil Division at the Department of Justice, principal deputy general counsel of the Department of Defense, general counsel of the Navy and partner at WilmerHale. He received his bachelor of arts from Yale and his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.

The Law School will make transportation available to Carlisle students who would like to attend this event. Please contact Holly Parrish to confirm interest in attending.

Student organizations sponsoring this event include: "Journal of Law and International Affairs," American Association for Justice, Speakers Trust Fund, Federalist Society and the Military Law Caucus.

Lunch will be provided. Please register here for this event.


  • Stephen W. Preston is general counsel to the CIA.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015