General Counsel of the Department of the Army

image of Ms. Alissa Starzak

Ms. Alissa M. Starzak was appointed as the 21st General Counsel of the Department of the Army by President Obama on December 23, 2015, after confirmation by the Senate. As General Counsel of the Army, she is the primary legal counsel to the Secretary of the Army and the Army’s chief legal officer. In addition, she serves as the Army’s designated agency ethics official and is responsible for management and oversight of the worldwide Army Ethics Program.

Ms. Starzak graduated from Amherst College (magna cum laude) and the University of Chicago Law School (with honors). In law school, she served as a Comment Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. Upon graduation, she clerked for The Honorable E. Grady Jolly, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

After her clerkship, Ms. Starzak joined the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. While at O’Melveny, she handled internal investigations relating to compliance with laws and regulations on money laundering, bribery, and export control, as well as litigation on a diverse array of subjects.

In 2005, Ms. Starzak joined the CIA as an Assistant General Counsel in the Litigation Division of the Office of General Counsel. In 2007, Ms. Starzak accepted a position as Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence under Chairman John D. Rockefeller, IV. After Senator Dianne Feinstein assumed the Chairmanship of the Committee in 2009, Ms. Starzak remained as Counsel to the Committee until May 2011. During her time at the Committee, Ms. Starzak conducted oversight of all elements of the Intelligence Community, focusing on legal issues relating to intelligence collection and covert action.

From May 2011 until her appointment as General Counsel of the Army, Ms. Starzak served as the Deputy General Counsel (Legislation) of the U.S. Department of Defense. In this position, Ms. Starzak advised the General Counsel of the Department of Defense on legal issues with a legislative or congressional component. She also provided legal advice to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, managing an office of attorneys responsible for developing the Department of Defense legislative program.

Ms. Starzak is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the California Bar, and the bars of various Courts of Appeals.