Charles Blanchard, who previously served as the General Counsel of the Air Force and the Army, works with clients in the contracting and national security communities, drawing upon his experience in government and private practice, providing unique insights into doing business with the federal government. He represents major US and foreign defense and aerospace companies on a wide range of national security and government contracts issues, including bid protests, transactions, internal investigations, cybersecurity and sensitive national security issues. This has included advising companies on the unique issues raised in acquiring companies that do highly classified work for the government, data rights disputes, Trade Agreements Act and Buy America advice, suspension and debarment defense, CFIUS and global foreign investment review advice, and advice on compliance with US government cybersecurity and supply chain requirements. He also counsels life sciences and other companies that engage in US Government-funded research and development, including OTAs and other agreements with BARDA and the DoD.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Blanchard served as General Counsel and Chief Ethics Officer for the US Air Force (2009-2013). In this role, he provided oversight and guidance for legal advice provided by more than 2,600 Air Force military and civilian lawyers worldwide. In addition, he served as General Counsel  at the US Department of the Army (1999-2001). Mr. Blanchard's other government experience includes serving as Chief Counsel to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (1997-1999), and as a two-term member of the Arizona State Senate. In 2003, he served as Interim Homeland Security Director for former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. Mr. Blanchard was also formerly a partner in private practice where he focused on complex commercial litigation, antitrust, state constitutional law and election law.

Upon graduating from Harvard Law School, where he graduated first in his class and served as an Articles Editor for the Harvard Law Review, Mr. Blanchard served as a law clerk for DC Circuit Judge Harry Edwards (1985-1986) as well as US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (1986-1987). Mr. Blanchard also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.


  • European aerospace company on Foreign Ownership and Control issues at the Department of Defense.
  • Defense contractors on compliance with US government cybersecurity and supply chain security requirements, including Department of Defense Rule on Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting.
  • SAIC on national security issues arising from its proposed acquisition of Scitor.
  • Belgian state-owned aerospace company Sonaca Group in successfully obtaining CFIUS approval for its acquisition of LMI Aerospace.
  • Canadian manufacturer Celestica, Inc. in successfully obtaining CFIUS approval for its acquisition of Atrenne Integrated Solutions.
  • Israeli firms on a variety of national security issues involving their work in the United States.
  • Frontier Holdings in successfully obtaining CFIUS approval by its acquisition by Chinese textile company Shandong Ruyi.
  • Counsel for General Electric Company in securing foreign regulatory approvals for GE's $17 billion acquisition of Alstom's power business.
  • Major software company on the Trade Agreements Act.
  • Major defense contractor in a data rights dispute with the government.
  • Intelligence community contractor on issues arising in classified contracts.


FAR Council Takes Moderate Approach To Buy American
Aerospace & Defense Law360, Compliance Law360, Construction Law360, Corporate Law360, Government Contracts Law360, International Trade Law360, Project Finance Law360, Public Policy Law360, Technology Law360
FAR Council Releases Proposed Buy American Amendments
Space Law! What Is It, and What Might the Future Hold?
Presenter, The Bar Association of San Francisco
When CFIUS Comes Knocking: National Security Review of “Non-Notified” Transactions
Arnold & Porter, Ankura and Sard Verbinnen Webinar
How $15 Minimum Wage Order May Affect Gov't Contractors
Aerospace & Defense Law360, Commercial Contracts Law360, Compliance Law360, Government Contracts Law360, Public Policy Law360


The Legal 500 US
Government Contracts (2015-2019, 2021)
International Trade (2018-2019)


  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1985, magna cum laude
  • MPP, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, 1985
  • BS, Chemistry, Lewis & Clark College, 1981, with honors
  • District of Columbia
  • Arizona
Government & Military Service
  • Chief Legal Counsel, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • General Counsel, US Department of the Army
  • General Counsel, US Air Force
  • Associate Independent Counsel, Office of the Independent Counsel
  • Senator, Arizona State Senate

  • United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, The Honorable Harry T. Edwards
  • Supreme Court of the United States, The Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor
  • Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Selected as Young Leader, American Council of Young Political Leaders delegation to China, 1992
  • Selected as Member, American Council of Young Political Leaders delegation to Conference in Saltillo, Mexico, 1994
  • Member, Board of Trustees, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Member, Finance and Administration Committee, Episcopal Relief and Development
  • Member of delegation to Kabul Afghanistan, Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (2015)
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Chairman, Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Legal Roundtable
  • President and Founding Board Member, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, 1991-1997, 2001-2009
  • Board Member, Children's Action Alliance, 2004-2009
  • Member of Vestry (2009-2013, 2016-present) and Senior Warden (2016-present), St. Albans Episcopal Church, Annandale, VA

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