On October 18, the Latham & Watkins Forum at NYU Law presented discussion on “National Security: The Role of Senior Advisers in the White House.” Just Security Co-Editor-in-Chief Ryan Goodman moderated the talk.


  • John B. Bellinger, IIIPartner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer; Legal Adviser to Department of State (2005-2009); Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council (2001-2005)
  • Ryan Goodman — Professor, NYU Law; Special Counsel to the General Counsel, Department of Defense (2015-16);
  • Lisa Monaco – Distinguished Senior Fellow and adjunct professor, NYU Law; Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (2013-2017); Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Department of Justice (2011-2013);
  • Kathryn Ruemmler, Partner and global Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice, Latham & Watkins; White House Counsel (2011-2014); Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice (2009-2011)

Listen to the full discussion (1 hour, 14 minutes) below:

Event description:

“To formulate national security policy—or respond to a crisis—presidents can turn to White House-based intelligence officers, military leaders, and foreign policy specialists. They also look to lawyers, both from the Office of White House Counsel and others serving as special advisers. For this Forum, Professor Ryan Goodman will moderate a discussion among three such lawyers with experience in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Among the questions to be explored: What sort of role do lawyers play in this setting? What do the panelists think White House lawyers and senior advisers are and should be wrestling with currently in areas such as counter-terrorism, North Korea, and the Russia investigation? How does a White House think about the legal and policy constraints it leaves for future administrations? Come hear the discussion, and bring questions of your own.”

Image: ©Olivo: Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau