Dan Sutherland Associate General Counsel, National Protection and Programs Directorate, U.S Department of Homeland Security

Dan Sutherland is the chief legal officer of the National Protection and Programs Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security, an organization responsible for cybersecurity, telecommunications, biometrics and infrastructure resilience, operating with a budget over $3 billion and a workforce of 3,500.  He leads a division of thirty attorneys who negotiate complex technology agreements, provide daily operational support to a cybersecurity operations center, advocate the agency’s positions in litigation, draft and negotiate legislation, and respond to audits and investigations.  Mr. Sutherland also currently chairs the Department’s Countering Foreign Influence Task Force, which Secretary Nielsen established earlier this year.

Mr. Sutherland’s position builds on a career focused on issues at the intersection of civil liberties and national security, with a particular focus on technology issues and solutions.  Previously, Mr. Sutherland served in the Senior National Intelligence Service at the National Counterterrorism Center where he coordinated the government’s efforts to prevent violent extremism, focusing on both near and long-term efforts to deny terrorists the next generation of recruits. Mr. Sutherland was referred to by Wired as “one of the government’s point people on stemming the appeal of al-Qaida.”

Prior to joining NCTC, Mr. Sutherland was appointed by President Bush to serve as the first Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security.  He provided advice to Secretaries Ridge and Chertoff on intelligence policy, disability law and policy, emergency preparedness and response, and immigration law.  His speech on the need for the government to engage with American Arab and Muslim communities appeared in the publication Vital Speeches of the Day.

Mr. Sutherland started his federal career as a civil rights attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, where for 14 years he litigated cases in courts across the country.  He is the author of two books and has recently written, “Thriving in the Online Environment: Creating Structures to Promote Technology and Civil Liberties,” 25 Catholic University Journal of Law & Technology 1 (2017).  Mr. Sutherland is a graduate of the University of Louisville and University of Virginia School of Law.