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

November 29, 2017

Hello ABA SIL NSC members!

Our next committee call will be on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 3 pm WDC time. Call-in information is posted at the bottom of this email.

We will follow the same format established last year, with a guest speaker initially making a presentation and taking questions for approximately one half hour. We will then finish the call with an abbreviated format of our standard announcements and steering committee discussion on programming etc.

This month the presentation will be by Jonathan M Winer, former US Special Envoy for Libya.

The topic is:

“Just Words: Core Principles for Countering Civil War – Lessons from Libya, Syria, and Yemen”

The presentation will address:

What role has competition among foreign sponsors played in Libya, Syria and Yemen’s civil wars?

What are the necessary conditions for transforming competition into cooperation?
What are the roles for, and limits of diplomacy, sanctions and the use of force in responding to instability in the Middle East?

Bio: from MEI website:

Jonathan M. Winer, currently a scholar at the Middle East Institute, has been the United States Special Envoy for Libya, the deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement, and counsel to United States Senator John Kerry. He has written and lectured widely on U.S. Middle East policy, counter-terrorism, international money laundering, illicit networks, corruption, and U.S.-Russia issues.

In 2016, Winer received the highest award granted by the Secretary of State, for “extraordinary service to the U.S. government” in avoiding the massacre of over 3,000 members of an Iranian dissident group in Iraq, and for leading U.S. policy in Libya “from a major foreign policy embarrassment to a fragile but democratic, internationally recognized government.” In 1999, he received the Department’s second highest award, for having “created the capacity of the Department and the U.S. government to deal with international crime and criminal justice as important foreign policy functions." The award stated that "the scope and significance of his achievements are virtually unprecedented for any single official."
Please join us on the call and let others know about it!

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

    NAFTA Renegotiated - Agriculture


    This is the first of a series of three monthly programs -- one each in the US, Canada, and Mexico focused on the industry perspective of how NAFTA renegotiation may affect that industry. Join this outstanding panel to learn: Perspectives on impact of current agricultural negotiations and anticipated ...

    Employment Law World Tour: Employment Law in the Andean Region (Columbia, Peru & Ecuador)


    The SIL Employment Committee is embarking on a World Tour of employment law! Our members have volunteered to share their expertise on employment law in their jurisdictions through quick, focused teleconferences that will occur on a regular basis during the 2017/18 season. The teleconferences will follow ...

    Meeting the Challenges of Regulatory Compliance and Investigations in China


    The event will be held on 02/13/2018. The format is Web. The event sponsor(s) are Center for Professional Development,Criminal Justice Section,Section of International Law. The event has 1.50 CLE Credits .

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 November 17, 2017

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