American Bar Association
Section of International Law: National Security Committee

Section of International Law:
National Security Committee

About the Committee

National Security Committee members examine political, military, economic, social, legal and naturally occurring events throughout the world and evaluate how they affect the security interests of the United States and other nations. Members analyze these events, and responses of decision-makers, in the context of the rule of law. Members are active in the areas of intelligence, immigration, cybersecurity, asymmetrical warfare, supply chain security, nuclear non-proliferation, space weaponization, international governing bodies such as the UN and NATO, and in various geographic regions worldwide. Members produce programs for regular ABA International Section meetings and other venues, including the United Nations and Capitol Hill, publish articles and promulgate policy proposals regarding national security topics.

Committee Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

National Security Committee Monthly Teleconference

September 27, 2017

The speaker at this month's call will be David Asher, who will address how network analysis of publicly available data can reveal massive illicit finance and sanctions busting schemes involving North Korea, Iran, Hezbollah, Mex drug cartels, etc.

Dr. Asher is currently a senior fellow with CNAS. He is well known as one of the most experienced subject matter experts to the U.S. Government on countering money laundering, terrorism financing and sanctions evasion schemes. Over the last 25 years he has played a senior role in numerous economic and financial pressure campaigns involving defiant states, terrorist organizations, drug cartels, and weapons proliferation networks. Among other activities, from 2001 to 2005, Dr. Asher was the special coordinator of the State Department’s North Korea Working Group (under the Secretary of State), co-chair of the North Korea Activities Group policy coordinating committee for the National Security Council, and U.S. delegation adviser to the Six Party Talks. During the Bush administration, Dr. Asher developed and oversaw the global targeting and disruption of the Kim Jong Il regime’s financial, illicit trading and WMD networks. From 2011-2014, he served as a senior advisor to the US Special Operations Command for counter threat finance and counter network operations. From October 2014-August 2015 Dr. Asher returned to the Department of State where he led the development of the USG and coalition economic Warfare Campaign Strategy against the Islamic State under the Presidential Special Envoy, General (ret.) John Allen

National Security Committee Co-Chair Philip O'Neill will open the call and facilitate the discussion.

US DIAL-IN NUMBER: 515.604.9050

When you are dialing into the US number, if you receive a message saying “All circuits are busy”, try dialing in again. If that doesn’t work, call the backup number 781-838-3391 and enter the original phone number when prompted, before entering the Access Code.

When USG Leases High-Security Space from Foreign Owners

May 18, 2017

Section of International Law

National Security Committee

Reed Smith LLP
1301 K Street, N.W.
Suite 1000, East Tower
Washington, DC 20005-3317

On January 31st, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) of the U.S. Government (USG) released a report examining the beneficial ownership of buildings leased through the General Services Administration (GSA). It found that found that GSA is leasing high-security space from foreign owners in 20 buildings. The 26 tenant agencies occupy about 3.3 million square feet and use the space, in some cases, for classified operations and to store law enforcement evidence and sensitive data. GAO was unable to identify ownership information for about one-third of the high-security leases because ownership information was not readily available.

GAO will discuss the findings and recommendations in its report (found here). Their team members will be joined by colleagues who are engaged in follow-up actions, triggered by these findings.


Michael J. Lowell, Co-Chair, International Trade and National Security Group, Reed Smith LLP
Toni Gillich, Assistant Director, Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, GAO


Keith Cunningham, Assistant Director, Physical Infrastructure, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Cam Flores, Attorney, General Counsel, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Jaclyn Cahan, Counsel, Office of Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08)
Eryn Schornick, Counsel, Policy Advisor, Global Witness
Kurt Stout, EVP, Colliers International

Section Events

    Doing Business in the Caribbean: A Primer


    Due to the level of damage caused in particular by Hurricane Maria to the overall infrastructure of the island as well as to our conference facilities and other alternative venues, we are not able proceed with the San Juan module at this time. We are not abandoning it but will postpone it to a future ...

    Dinner Cruise at the 2017 Fall Conference


    The event will be held on 10/24/2017. The format is In-Person. The event sponsor(s) are Section of International Law. The event has 0.00 CLE Credits .

    2017 Section of International Law Fall Conference

    JW Marriott Marquis

    Online registration is now closed. Registration will be available onsite at the JW Marriott Marquis starting Tuesday, October 25th at 12:00 noon on the 3rd floor **Our Friday Reception venue has changed to Ball & Chain - this Cuban restaurant feautres live music and salsa dancers in the heart of ...

Past Committee Programs

A collection of materials from past Committee-sponsored events.



Lindholm, Danielle
O'Neill, Philip
Trujillo, Maximiliano


Atwood, Tristan
Christensen, Larry
Goodale, Geoffrey
Liebman, Todd
Linney, Barbara
McGlynn, Daniel
McHugh, Robert
Meyer, Jonathan
Murphy, Brian
Neylan, Shawn
Petty, Keith
Prestia, Joseph
Provvidera, Marco
Quinlan, Guy
Vallandingham, Christopher
Weinstein, Bonnie


Buckley, Gabrielle
Golden, Jeffrey
Granoff, Jonathan
Mooney, Lelia
Reider-Gordon, Mikhail

Committee Roster  

Modified by Christopher Vallandingham on September 25, 2017

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