Goodwin Procter LLP has announced that Gus P. Coldebella, former acting general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security, has rejoined the firm as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office.
Mr. Coldebella will practice in the firm's Litigation Department, and will specialize in complex litigation; securities litigation; congressional oversight; governmental and internal investigations; and advice regarding the national security laws of the United States. He is a member of various firm practice groups including Securities Litigation & SEC Enforcement; White Collar Crime & Government Investigations; Business Litigation; Privacy & Data Security; and National Security & Foreign Trade Relations.
In October 2005, Coldebella, a partner in Goodwin's Boston office, was appointed deputy general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.He was nominated to be the general counsel of DHS by President George W. Bush in July 2008, and served as its acting general counsel from February 2007 to January 2009.
As the department's top lawyer, Mr. Coldebella helped DHS navigate complex issues ranging from cyber security and privacy to private-sector liability protection and international trade and investment. He advised the secretary on significant legal, policy, intelligence, law enforcement, and operational issues and oversaw DHS's responses to major congressional investigations, including representing the secretary, the deputy secretary, and other senior officials in their appearances before Congress. Mr. Coldebella also spearheaded the development of DHS regulations, and managed the department's varied litigation portfolio.
Mr. Coldebella managed the more than 1,700 lawyers in the department and its components, including the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Since his time at DHS, Coldebella has spoken, written and consulted on homeland security issues. He is a senior fellow at George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute, where he serves on its Counterterrorism Intelligence Task Force and has served on the faculty of the ABA's Homeland Security Law Institute Conference, speaking on cyber security and other issues.