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Ron Lee advises clients in national security, cybersecurity, privacy, and data strategy, and government contracts matters. A former General Counsel of the U.S. National Security Agency and Associate Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice, he helps companies structure and protect their relationships with key national security and cybersecurity government agencies and customers. Ron also represents clients in compulsory process and voluntary requests for information related to government access to digital information; Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) matters including the assessment of corporate and real estate transactions for CFIUS implications and representing clients in CFIUS inquiries and proceedings, ransomware, data breach, and computer crime events, risk management and corporate governance, and security clearance and foreign ownership, control, and influence matters.

In 2022, BTI Consulting Group named Ron a Client Service All-Star, citing his "great expertise and knowledge," and client feedback that "Ron is particularly good at explaining complex regulations to non-lawyers." He has also been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in the area of Privacy & Data Security for more than 15 years.

Ron was Chief of Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1996. He served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens, Supreme Court of the United States and Judge Abner J. Mikva of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.


  • Life sciences industry companies in preparation for and compliance with federal legislation (BIOSECURE) relating to products and services from designated entities in foreign adversary countries.
  • Public companies in diverse industry sectors in advising on compulsory legal process and voluntary requests for information and assistance received from the National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state law enforcement agencies 
  • Real estate companies, diversified defense and intelligence contractor, and information technology companies on CFIUS jurisdiction, inquiries, and formal proceedings.
  • Information technology companies on national security aspects of civil litigation, including the state secrets privilege, protection of classified and sensitive information, and mechanisms to address the interests of litigants and the United States government.
  • Semiconductor company on national security, cybersecurity, and supply chain aspects of the CHIPS Act funding opportunity.
  • Information technology and telecommunications government contractors in matters relating to the prohibitions in section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act on the sale and use of covered telecommunications equipment and services.
  • Public information technology company in structuring advanced Research & Development efforts funded in part by U.S. government funds to enhance protection of company's existing intellectual property  and to maximize commercialization potential of new intellectual property.
  • Government contractors on information security and supply chain security requirements of the U.S. Government.
  • Companies and individuals in advising on facility security clearance and personnel security clearance and anti-discrimination matters, including compliance with NISPOM requirements; assessment and mitigation of Foreign Ownership, Control, and Influence; reporting of adverse information; United States citizen requirements; and background investigation and adjudication requirements, processes, and means of appeal.
  • Computer hardware company and non-governmental organization in compliance and risk management matters relating to national security regulatory actions under International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Global Magnitsky Act, and Export Administration Regulations.
  • Defense and intelligence contractors in counseling on export control compliance matters relating to the performance of classified contracts.
  • Public information technology and professional services companies and nonprofit organization in advising on board governance structure, processes, and personnel for oversight of classified and sensitive business activities.
  • Public companies in counseling on risk management of formation, performance, oversight, and potential liability of government contracts relating to hazardous, sensitive, and classified activities.
  • Diversified energy company in advising on the protection of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information, restricted data, Department of Defense classified information, and Department of Defense Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information in connection with discovery proceedings in an environmental litigation case.
  • Private citizens in administrative and administrative appeal proceedings under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain government documents on matters relating to public policy, scientific research, and academic integrity.
  • Law firms in Freedom of Information Act requests, administrative appeals, and related lawsuits filed against the Department of Defense, Department of State, and other federal agencies to provide disciplinary records, medical records, images, and policy documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act relating to clients of those law firms detained at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.


Chambers Global
Privacy & Data Security — USA (2010-2024)
Chambers USA
Privacy & Data Security — Nationwide (2008-2023)
Washingtonian Magazine
“Top Lawyers Hall of Fame” (2022)
"Top Lawyers" Cybersecurity (2015, 2017, 2018)
"Top Lawyers" National Security (2011, 2013, 2015)



  • J.D., Yale Law School, 1985
  • M.Phil., International Relations, Oxford University, 1982, Rhodes Scholar
  • A.B., Princeton University, 1980, with highest honors


  • District of Columbia
  • California
  • New York

Government & Military Service

  • Associate Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • General Counsel, National Security Agency
  • Chief of Staff to the Director of Central Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency


  • United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, The Honorable Abner Mikva
  • Supreme Court of the United States, The Honorable John Paul Stevens


  • Member, Law360's 2024 Aerospace & Defense Editorial Advisory Board
  • Elected Member, American Law Institute

  • Adviser to American Law Institute on Projects Principles for a Data Economy, Government Ethics and on Restatement of the Law Third--Information Privacy Principles

  • Member of Advisory Council to Center on Information Technology Policy, a Joint Center of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

  • Member, Advisory Council, Asian American Arts Alliance