Robert S. Taylor

Robert S. Taylor

Guest Author

Robert S. Taylor is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School, Spring and Fall Semesters 2017, and he is General Counsel (pro bono) for a 501(c)(3) with a mission to raise capital for micro finance institutions and small and growing businesses in approximately 35 countries across the developing world [www.mcesocap.org].   Up to January 20, 2017, he served as Principal Deputy General Counsel, Department of Defense.  He was appointed to that position in April 2009 by Secretary Gates, to serve under then-General Counsel Jeh Johnson, and he continued to serve under Stephen Preston and Jennifer O’Connor.  In that position, subject to the overall direction of the General Counsel, Mr. Taylor provided oversight, guidance, and direction regarding legal advice on all matters within or affecting the Department of Defense, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, and the Defense Agencies.   Legal issues within his purview included questions concerning the use of force, intelligence collection, cyber security and operations, acquisition, personnel, military justice, fiscal matters, and environmental compliance. In addition to his service as Principal Deputy, Mr. Taylor served as the Acting General Counsel of DoD for two extended periods, totaling almost two years.  During those periods, he was the chief legal officer of the Department of Defense.