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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 U.S. 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, Defense Production Act and other supply chain issues, Trade Agreements Act and Buy America advice, suspension and debarment defense, CFIUS and global foreign investment review advice, and advice on compliance with U.S. government cybersecurity and supply chain requirements. He also counsels life sciences and other companies that engage in U.S. Government-funded research and development, including OTAs and other agreements with BARDA and the DoD.

Prior to joining the firm, Charles served as General Counsel for the U.S. Air Force (20092013). 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 U.S. Department of the Army (19992001). Charles' other government experience includes serving as Chief Counsel to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (19971999), 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. Charles 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 was awarded the Fay Diploma for graduating first in his class and served as an Articles Editor for the Harvard Law Review, Charles served as a law clerk for D.C. Circuit Judge Harry Edwards (1985–1986) as well as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (1986–1987). Charles 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 U.S. 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.


The Legal 500 US
International Trade (2018-2019, 2022)
Government Contracts (2015-2019, 2022)



  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1985, magna cum laude
  • M.P.P., Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, 1985
  • B.S., 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, U.S. Department of the Army
  • General Counsel, U.S. 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
  • Member, Board of Trustees, The Aerospace Corporation (2014–2022)
  • Chairman, Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Legal Roundtable (2022-2023)
  • 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
  • President and Founding Board Member, Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project (1991–1997, 2001–2009)