HomeTRAILBLAZERS 23Matthew G. Olsen

Matthew G. Olsen

Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Department of Justice

This has been a trailblazing year at the Department of Justice with new initiatives to put cyber and supply chain threats front and center – led by Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matt Olsen. In February, DOJ and the Department of Commerce launched the Disruptive Technology Strike Force to target illicit actors, strengthen supply chains and protect critical technological assets from being acquired or used by nation-state adversaries, with Olsen leading the DOJ’s role in the multi-agency effort. In June, NatSec Cyber was born: the new National Security Cyber Section within the DOJ’s National Security Division to increase the Justice Department’s capacity to disrupt and respond to malicious cyber activity, while promoting Department-wide and intragovernmental partnerships in tackling increasingly sophisticated and aggressive cyber threats by hostile nation-state adversaries. “Responding to highly technical cyber threats often requires significant time and resources,” Olsen noted. “NatSec Cyber will serve as an incubator, able to invest in the time-intensive and complex investigative work for early-stage cases.” As AAG, Olsen leads the DOJ’s mission to combat terrorism, espionage, cyber crime, and other threats to the national security. From 2011 to 2014, Olsen served as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Prior to leading NCTC, Olsen was the General Counsel for the National Security Agency. For 18 years, Olsen worked at the Department of Justice as a career attorney and in a number of leadership positions. He served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General for national security and was Special Counselor to the Attorney General. In 2006, Olsen helped establish the National Security Division and served as the first career Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security. For over a decade, Olsen was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He also served as Special Counsel to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, supporting the post-9/11 transformation of the FBI. Olsen began his public service career as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

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