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 representing several companies in bid protest matters, advising companies on the unique issues raised in acquiring companies that do highly classified work for the government, bid protests, 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.

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.
  • Foreign investors on CFIUS issues arising in several proposed transactions.
  • Coordinated foreign investment filings in a global merger involving assets in more than 80 countries.

  • Major software company on the Trade Agreements Act.
  • Major defense contractor in a data rights dispute with the government.
  • FedBid in connection with an adverse Veterans Administration Inspector General report, including conducting an internal investigation, advising on improvements to compliance program, and advice on approach to suspension and debarment authorities.
  • Several companies on FAA regulation of the commercial use of unmanned aircraft (drones), including preparation of a section 333 waiver application for a Fortune 100 company.
  • Intelligence community contractor on issues arising in classified contracts.


Contractors Facing Sanctions Shouldn't Rush to Fire Workers (pdf)
Bloomberg BNA's Federal Contracts Report
Pursuing Self-Interest While Achieving Oversight GAO Protest Reform Should Look to Process, Not Politics - Part 1 (pdf)
The Government Contracting Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 5
Arnold & Porter Discusses How CLOUD Act Revamps Government Access to Data
The CLS Blue Sky Blog
Data Access After The CLOUD Act Enacted in Omnibus Spending Bill
CFIUS Scrutiny Of Foreign Acquisitions Intensifies
Aerospace & Defense Law360, Banking Law360, Competition Law360, International Trade Law360, Mergers & Acquisitions Law360, Public Policy Law360


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


  • 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 and 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 of delegation to Kabul Afghanistan, Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan (2015)

  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Vice President, Friends of the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan
  • Member, Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Cyber Council

  • 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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