Deborah Curtis, former Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Investigations at the CIA, is a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations practice. She focuses on national security investigations and defense, as well as other litigation and enforcement matters. An accomplished trial lawyer, Deborah has chaired 17 jury trials and over 50 bench trials as both prosecutor and defense counsel.
As an adviser to senior CIA leadership, Deborah oversaw all litigation and investigations implicating sensitive CIA interests, congressional inquests, incident response, criminal inquiries, and the invocation of state secrets and diplomatic privileges and immunities. She also advised on counterintelligence issues and major international policy initiatives that impact national security, including the U.S.-EU transatlantic data privacy framework and the interface with the International Criminal Court.
Prior to joining the CIA, Deborah served as Chief Counsel for Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she advised executive leadership and the National Security Council on legal enforcement and policy decisions related to the expansion of export controls and enforcement mechanisms, including the Entity List, emerging technologies, and the foreign direct product rule.
Deborah previously spent more than a decade in various roles at the U.S. Department of Justice. She worked as a Trial Attorney and Deputy Chief in the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section prosecuting Espionage Act and other national security-related cases, as well as overseeing criminal sanctions, export control investigations, and prosecutions nationwide. Deborah also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief in the National Security Section for the District of Columbia, where she investigated, prosecuted, and supervised a broad spectrum of cases, including nation-state sponsored espionage and malign cyber activities; illegal foreign agents; economic espionage; export control and sanctions violations; and related criminal matters involving fraud, terrorism, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Speech or Debate Clause, and other constitutional issues.
Deborah began her career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California’s Criminal Division. Following that, she served ten years with the U.S. Department of the Air Force as an active duty and reserve Judge Advocate, attaining the grade of Major. During this time, Deborah was the Cadet Counsel at the U.S. Air Force Academy and served as Associate Deputy General Counsel for National Security and Military Affairs at the Pentagon.
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1994, cum laude
- B.S., University of Southern California, 1991, cum laude, Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society, Dean's List
- District of Columbia
- Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Investigations, Central Intelligence Agency (2020-2023)
- Chief Counsel for Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce (2019-2020)
- Deputy Chief for National Security; Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice (2015-2019)
- Deputy Chief for Export Control and Sanctions; Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice (2007-2015)
- Associate Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Department of the Air Force (2005-2007)
- Judge Advocate, U.S. Department of the Air Force (1997-2005)
- Assistant U.S. Attorney (adjunct), U.S. Department of Justice (1995-1997)
- Senior Lecturer (Public Policy), University of Virginia, "National Security in the Age of New Technology"