John Rizzo provides clients legal advice and policy counsel on national security matters. His work includes advising companies on business risks related to their international operations; counseling companies involved in international mergers and acquisitions on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) foreign investment review process; and advising clients on legal and policy aspects of working with the intelligence community.
Before joining Steptoe, John spent 34 years in the Office of General Counsel at the CIA, providing legal counsel, policy guidance, and leadership on the most difficult and time sensitive national security issues facing the United States. From 2001-2002 and 2004-2009, he served as the CIA’s Chief Legal Officer, dealing with some of the most challenging legal issues of the post 9/11 era. Earlier in his career, he served as the Deputy Director for the Office of Congressional Affairs and was the principal interlocutor with the House and Senate Congressional Committees investigating the Iran-Contra Affair. He also was the principal drafter of the CIA regulations for the conduct of intelligence activities in the United States – regulations which remain in effect today.
John is a frequent speaker and has served as a guest lecturer at law schools throughout the United States. John’s memoir Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA, was published by Scribner in 2014.
- District of Columbia
- J.D., The George Washington University Law School, with honors, Member of Law Review
- B.A., Brown University
News & Publications
June 9, 2015
- Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, Central Intelligence Agency (2009)
- Thomas C. Clark Award, Federal Bar Association (1996)
- Chief Legal Officer, Central Intelligence Agency (2001-2002, 2004-2009)
- Deputy General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency (1988-2001)
- Deputy Director, CIA Office of Congressional of Affairs (1986-1988)
- Associate General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency (1976-1986)