James A. Baker Appointed as FBI’s General Counsel

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  • FBI National Press Office

Director James B. Comey has selected James A. Baker as the FBI's general counsel. Most recently, Mr. Baker was an associate general counsel for Bridgewater Associates, LP.

After clerking for the Honorable Bernard A. Friedman in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Mr. Baker joined the Department of Justice (DOJ) with the Criminal Division through the Attorney General’s Honors Program in 1990 and worked as a federal prosecutor with the division’s Fraud Section.

In 1996, Mr. Baker joined the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), which later became part of DOJ’s National Security Division. From 2001 to 2007, Mr. Baker served as counsel for intelligence policy and head of OIPR. In this position, he developed, coordinated, and implemented national security policy with regard to intelligence and counterintelligence matters for the department. Moreover, he provided the attorney general, the U.S. intelligence community, and the White House with legal and policy advice on a range of national security issues and conducted oversight of the intelligence community, including the FBI, on behalf of the attorney general.

In 2006, Mr. Baker received the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in counterterrorism—the CIA’s highest counterterrorism award. A year later, he received the NSA’s Intelligence Under Law Award; the NSA Director’s Distinguished Service Medal; and DOJ’s highest award— the Edmund J. Randolph Award. That same year, he became a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a lecturer at Harvard Law School. From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Baker was assistant general counsel for national security at Verizon Business. He then returned to DOJ, and from 2009 to 2011, served as an associate deputy attorney general working on a range of national security issues, including cyber security.

“Jim’s experience as a career prosecutor and as a national security official, as well his experience in the private sector, make him an excellent fit for his new position here at the FBI,” said Director Comey.

Mr. Baker holds a juris doctorate and master’s degree from the University of Michigan and is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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