Justice Department’s national security lead to step down

The Justice Department’s top national security lawyer, who served as the lead for many cybersecurity cases, will be stepping down as of Oct. 15

The Justice Department’s top national security lawyer, who served as the lead for a slew of terrorism and cybersecurity cases, will be stepping down on Oct. 15.

John Carlin, the assistant attorney general who lead the department’s National Security Division, has served in his position since 2009. He is both the youngest and longest serving person to head the office.

Carlin oversaw a number of high-profile cases during his tenure, including the prosecution of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the men responsible for Boston Marathon bombing. He also led the investigation into the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, which saw the studio’s infrastructure destroyed as retaliation for a movie depicting the death of North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-Un.

A number of top government officials praised Carlin’s work Tuesday.

John Carlin's last day is Oct. 15. (

John Carlin’s last day is Oct. 15. (

“For the better part of two decades at the Department of Justice, John distinguished himself as a leader who skillfully used all the tools at his disposal to enhance our public safety and uphold our national security,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “I have come to rely heavily on his sound judgment and clear vision as he handled some of the most challenging issues the department faced.  He exemplifies the highest standards of excellence, integrity, and professionalism in public service.”

“Having worked with John as a prosecutor, together at the FBI and most recently at the National Security Division, John has always been focused on government’s highest priority, combatting terrorism and threats to our national security,” said Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco. “John has also emerged as a key cyber thought-leader as our nation restructured the way national security cyber threat actors are pursued and held accountable. Today, our citizens are safer and our businesses more secure thanks to John’s persistent, effective efforts on America’s behalf.”

Carlin joined the department’s National Security Division after serving as chief of staff for former FBI Director Robert Mueller. He also previously served as the national coordinator of Justice’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program and as a assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.

The Justice Department did not divulge where Carlin is headed for his next venture.

Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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