Strauss Center Events

Join us!

By Program

The statue of justice Themis or Justitia, the blindfolded goddess of justice against a flag of the United States of America, as a legal concept

National Security Legal Careers, at Home and Abroad

April 13, 2021 |  12:15 - 1:15 pm  |  Zoom

On April 13, the Strauss Center, in partnership with the National Security Law Program at Columbia Law School, welcomed Scott Anderson, Senior Fellow with the National Security Law Program and Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution for a Zoom talk on “National Security Legal Careers, at Home and Abroad.” Before becoming a fellow at the Brookings Institution and Columbia Law School, Lawfare senior editor Scott R. Anderson spent several years as a State Department attorney advising policy-makers on all manner of legal issues relating to Middle East policy, both from Washington, D.C., and as the legal advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. In this Zoom meeting, he spoke about his own career path and the different roles lawyers can play in national security, both at home in the United States and overseas. A Q&A followed.


Scott R. Anderson is a Senior Fellow with the National Security Law Program as well as a Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also senior editor and counsel for Lawfare, an online publication committed to the analysis of hard national security choices.

A former U.S. diplomat and experienced international lawyer, Mr. Anderson previously served as an attorney-adviser for the U.S. Department of State and as the legal adviser for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. In these capacities, he advised policymakers on domestic and international legal issues relating to U.S. foreign and national security policy, particularly as they relate to the Middle East and North Africa. Among other issues, his portfolio included bilateral relations with Iraq, counter-ISIS efforts in Iraq and Syria, select Israeli-Palestinian issues, terrorism-related civil litigation, U.S. and international economic sanctions, and the Yemen conflict. He also helped to represent the Department in a number of litigation and international arbitration matters, including Zivotofsky v. Kerry and other matters before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Anderson was previously an International Affairs Fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, during which time he was affiliated with Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School. He was also a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School, he and his wife Elizabeth live in Washington, D.C.

Add to My Calendar