Former top State Department and National Security Council legal adviser to speak

January 26, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — John Bellinger, the former legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State and the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, will speak at Penn State at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Sutliff Auditorium of the Lewis Katz Building at University Park.

Bellinger, a guest of Penn State’s Center for Security Research and Education, will deliver a talk titled “International Law Under President Trump: A One-Year Assessment.”

The talk is free and open to the public; however, attendees are asked to register online on the CSRE website.

Bellinger, now a partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, has held several senior presidential appointments in the U.S. government, including as the legal adviser to the State Department from 2005 to 2009 under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and as senior associate counsel to the president and legal adviser to the National Security Council at the White House from 2001 to 2005.

As the State Department legal adviser — a Senate-confirmed position and the most senior international lawyer in the U.S. government — Bellinger directed more than 170 lawyers on domestic and international law matters affecting U.S. foreign relations. As legal adviser to the National Security Council, Bellinger advised the president, Cabinet officials, the national security adviser, and council staff on a wide variety of national security and international law issues. He was present in the White House during the 9/11 attacks and later represented the White House in dealings with the 9/11 Commission; he was one of the principal drafters of the legislation that created the director of national intelligence.

Prior to his service in the Bush administration, Bellinger served as counsel for national security matters in the Criminal Division at the Justice Department (1997-2001); of counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1996); general counsel of the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community (1995-1996); and special assistant to Director of Central Intelligence William Webster (1988-1991).

A globally known authority on public international law, Bellinger currently represents individuals, corporations and sovereign governments in litigation in U.S. courts and before international institutions.

He is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and he holds a master of arts degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a juris doctor from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard International Law Journal.

  • John Bellinger

    John Bellinger

    IMAGE: Courtesy John Bellinger
Last Updated January 31, 2018