Former Assistant Secretary, Department of Homeland Security; General Counsel of the National Security Agency
Stewart Baker is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., one of the nation’s premier technology law practices. Described by The Washington Post as “one of the most techno-literate lawyers around,” Baker’s practice covers national security, electronic surveillance, law enforcement, export control encryption and related technology issues. He has been a key advisor on U.S. export controls and on foreign import controls on technology. He has also advised companies on the requirements imposed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). In addition, he was responsible for spearheading the government-private sector coalition that permitted major telecommunications equipment manufacturers and carriers to break the decade-long deadlock with law enforcement on wiretapping of modern technology, permitting successful implementation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). From 2005 to 2009, he was the first assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security. While at DHS, Baker led successful negotiations with European and Middle Eastern governments over travel data, privacy, visa waiver and related issues. He devised a new approach to visa-free travel, forged a congressional and interagency consensus on the plan and negotiated acceptance with key governments. He also managed the passage and implementation of the SAFE Ports Act, led the department’s policy effort to reform federal immigration laws and transformed the department’s role in the helping to drive the first rewrite of the CFIUS law and regulations in a generation. As an intelligence lawyer, Baker has been general counsel of the National Security Agency and of the commission that investigated weapons of mass destruction intelligence failures prior to the Iraq war. He is the author of “Skating on Stilts,” a book on terrorism, cybersecurity and other technology issues, and he blogs about such topics on www.skatingonstilts.com.