Asa Hutchinson, Under Secretary for Dept. of Homeland Security, Joins Venable as New Chair of Firm's Homeland Security Practice
Former Arkansas Congressman, U.S. Attorney and head of Drug Enforcement Agency
completes two-year term as leader of nation's border and transportation
controls; Will lead Venable's multi-disciplinary Homeland Security Practice
WASHINGTON, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the leading homeland security law firm practices will now be headed by one of the founding members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Asa Hutchinson, the nation's first Under Secretary of Border and Transportation Security, is joining Washington-based Venable LLP. He will serve as chair of the firm's established Homeland Security practice. Mr. Hutchinson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary of Homeland Security in January 2003, shortly after the department was created. As one of the nation's top-ranking homeland security officials after Secretary Tom Ridge, he was responsible for more than 110,000 federal employees housed in such agencies as the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Mr. Hutchinson was in charge of managing the overall security of U.S. borders and transportation systems. He also set immigration enforcement policies and developed and implemented visa security measures. "We are extraordinarily fortunate to be gaining a respected lawmaker and government leader in Asa Hutchinson," said Benjamin Civiletti, former U.S. Attorney General and Chair of Venable. "America's domestic security apparatus has undergone a complete overhaul since September 11. Asa was not only present at the creation of this vast new security infrastructure, he was one of its chief architects and implementers." Outgoing Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge echoed that view, calling Mr. Hutchinson "an excellent choice to lead Venable's Homeland Security practice. His dedication to fostering the public-private partnership will be a tremendous asset to the firm's work in this vital area." Venable's Homeland Security practice, one of the first of its kind, was formed in 2002 shortly after the adoption of legislation creating the DHS. With its deep bench of former government officials, experienced legislative practitioners and top-tier Washington attorneys working across a broad spectrum of practice areas, Venable has proven to be particularly well suited for making its mark in the homeland security arena. The firm's Homeland Security practice advises corporations, government institutions, government contractors, and an emerging segment of start-up companies born of the new security regulatory system. In September 2004, the firm authored Homeland Security Deskbook: Private Sector Impacts of the Defense Against Terrorism, the first legal treatise examining all aspects of the nation's new homeland security regime. The 17-chapter deskbook is published by LexisNexis Matthew Bender. "Although I may be leaving the DHS, I remain fully committed to strengthening domestic security on behalf of U.S. business, industry, and state and local governments. I sought to partner with a law firm that had not only shown a dedication to homeland issues, but also one that understands how homeland security impacts business and industry," said Mr. Hutchinson. "Venable exceeded those expectations. It was one of the first firms in the country to create a full-fledged homeland security practice. Additionally, it has tremendous all-around practice strengths, and is an indisputable D.C. institution." Mr. Hutchinson will split his time between Venable's Washington office and Little Rock, Arkansas, where he will pursue additional personal and business interests. Among the many initiatives led by Mr. Hutchinson during his tenure as Under Secretary are: modernizing border inspections through the successful reorganization of Customs and Border Protection; advancing new border technology, including development of the US-VISIT program . a historic biometric entry-exit system for foreign visitors to the United States; enhancing the security of transportation systems through new federal security requirements for the aviation, rail and transit sectors; innovative technology pilot programs for passenger and baggage screening; and more effective cargo inspections, as well as increased information sharing among formerly fragmented agencies. Prior to serving in DHS, Mr. Hutchinson led the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for two years. He served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was a prominent member of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. In 1982, President Reagan appointed Mr. Hutchinson U.S. Attorney for Western Arkansas, making him the youngest U.S. Attorney in the country. While in that post, he prosecuted the violent white supremacist group The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of the Lord. Mr. Hutchinson helped negotiate the surrender of Covenant leader James Ellison and prosecuted 13 of the group's members. In moving to Venable, Mr. Hutchinson joins a formidable list of former high-ranking elected and appointed officials. In addition to Mr. Civiletti, the firm's partnership includes the former U.S. Secretary of Transportation; the former head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; several former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, ex-SEC enforcement lawyers, and former FCC staff members; senior bank regulators and Coast Guard officials; as well as elected officials from both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Mr. Hutchinson earned his J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law, Fayetteville, and his B.S. from Bob Jones University. As one of America's top 100 law firms, Venable LLP has lawyers practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients from its base of operations in and around Washington, D.C. For more, visit http://www.venable.com. Contact: Allan Ripp /Joshua Spivak 212-721-7468 or 510-849-1663 email@example.com Sarah Gudsnuk 202-344-8523 firstname.lastname@example.org Jill Grabowski 202-344-8060 email@example.com
SOURCE Venable LLP
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