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The Only Lawyer on DC's Homeland Security Commission

The Only Lawyer on DC's Homeland Security Commission

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When Mayor Vince Gray swore in the inaugural DC Homeland Security Commission this year, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy DC managing partner Glenn Gerstell was its only practicing lawyer. The seven-member commission will advise the DC government on the District's homeland security preparedness. In appointing Glenn, Mayor Gray may have taken a leaf out of President Obama's book: By presidential appointment, Glenn'salso the only private-practice lawyer on the 30-member National Infrastructure Advisory Council,whichadvises the President and DHS on the country's vulnerability to terrorist threats.

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Glenn tells us the first order of business for the commission is determining its best use. The task is broad: Cyber, physical federal infrastructure, schools and hospitals, and communications interoperability all fall within its purview. Its first annual report is due this year.Glenn's well-versed incounterterrorism and water system infrastructure: He heads the firm's global communications practice, formerlychaired the DC Water and Sewer Authority, is a Council on Foreign Relations life member, and holds a secret security clearance (a requirement for the DC Commission). Milbank's no stranger to national security activities either; past litigation headWilliam Webster formerly headed the FBI after he was a federal judge and before he led the CIA.

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The DC office--where Glenn was its first associate--is remodeling and adding space. It's looking to grow "modestly" in focus areas such as litigation and finance and would consider adding white-collar crime and antitrust practices.Glenn's been with Milbank since'76, joining after summering there in NY (though he initially told his wife, "I'll be here for 2-3 years at most").Since then he's moved around the globe, working in Singapore and Hong Kong as office managing partner.

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Though he's back in DC, Glenn can see the world from his desk; we snapped a few of his more than 30 maps. He calls collecting maps a combination of art, history, and politics. The largest one here--which used to be bound up in an atlas--is from the 1500s.

Related Topics: Foreign Relations