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Press Release September 17, 2021

Mary McCord, Former Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Joins the Atlantic Council as Nonresident Senior Fellow

By Atlantic Council

McCord will contribute extensive senior government experience to the Council’s leading work on counterterrorism, national security, the rule of law, and litigation

Washington, DC—September 17, 2021—The Atlantic Council announced today that Mary McCord, Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, will serve as a nonresident senior fellow. McCord previously served as Acting US Assistant Attorney General for National Security from 2016 to 2017 and as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security from 2014 to 2016. She will play a leading role in advancing the Atlantic Council’s work on countering domestic violent extremism, terrorism, national security, and litigation.  

“Mary McCord has unparalleled experience in national security law and practice, and she will make an immediate impact advancing the Atlantic Council’s leading work on counterterrorism at home and abroad,” said Thomas Warrick, Atlantic Council nonresident senior fellow and director of the Council’s Future of DHS Project. “The Atlantic Council’s growing body of work on this issue sharply examines the role of partnerships between governments and within the United States, including with all levels of government and the private sector—each of which plays vital roles in addressing today’s terrorism threats.”

In her role at the US Department of Justice, McCord oversaw nearly 400 employees responsible for protecting the country against international and domestic terrorism, espionage, cyber, and other national security threats. McCord is a statutorily designated amicus curiae for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. McCord also served as legal counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force 1-6 Capitol Security Review appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.  

Previously, McCord was  the Criminal Division Chief at the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where she served for nearly 20 years, supervising the prosecution of all criminal matters in federal district court. In her current role at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, McCord leads a team that brings constitutional impact litigation at all levels of the federal and state courts across a wide variety of areas.

“It’s an honor to join the bipartisan team of national security and foreign policy experts at the Atlantic Council,” said McCord. “The deep experience at the Council is well suited to address the ever-evolving threats to our security and our democracy, and I look forward to contributing to its mission.”

The Atlantic Council’s Future of Counterterrorism work seeks to overhaul the United States’ efforts against today’s and tomorrow’s terrorist threats. Much has changed since September 11, 2001. The United States needs urgently to re-set many of its fundamental assumptions and to refresh its laws, priorities, and approaches.

For inquiries or to request an interview, please contact

Counterterrorism Study Group

The Counterterrorism Study Group is a forum for former counterterrorism officials to review the latest threats, to understand emerging trends and future predictions, and to explore creative new proposals for improving the effectiveness of current policies and operations.

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