Office of the Chief Counsel

Our Mission

Adhering to the highest standards of professional conduct and integrity, CISA’s Office of the Chief Counsel provides quality, timely, relevant, and solutions-oriented legal counsel and support to CISA officials and program offices charged with leading the National effort to understand and manage cyber and physical risks to our critical infrastructure. 

Leadership

Spencer Fisher

Spencer Fisher, Chief Counsel

Spencer R. Fisher is the Chief Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Prior to joining CISA, Mr. Fisher served as a Chief Counsel with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of General Counsel. In this position, he managed a team that supports the Directorate of Mission Integration including the Deputy DNI for Mission Integration, the DNI’s principal advisor on all aspects of intelligence, the President’s Daily Brief staff, the National Intelligence Council and the National Intelligence Managers including the Cyber, Economic Security/Financial Intelligence, Election Threats/Foreign Malign Influence, and Space Executives. He provided legal counsel to senior Intelligence Community (IC) leadership on key intelligence and surveillance legal issues including intelligence activities, analysis, and production under applicable Executive Orders, Presidential directives, and other laws and policies.

In 2019 and 2020, he served on a Joint Duty Assignment as a Deputy Legal Advisor at the National Security Council, Legal Affairs Directorate (NSC Legal). At NSC Legal, he provided legal counsel on national security and foreign relations issues to the Cybersecurity, International Organizations and Alliances, African Affairs, International Trade and Economic Affairs, and Strategic Planning Directorates. From 2017 to 2019, Mr. Fisher was assigned as Chief Counsel for the National Counterintelligence and Security Center where he provided legal advice and analysis on key counterintelligence and security issues, including critical infrastructure security, to the Director of National Counterintelligence and Security. Mr. Fisher’s work in the Intelligence Community began in September 2015, initially serving as legislative counsel at ODNI where he was responsible for coordinating the development of the IC’s legislative program.

Prior to joining the IC, Mr. Fisher served as a Trial Attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). While at DOJ, he litigated several major federal voting rights cases on behalf of the United States, including Texas v. Holder (2012) and United States v. North Carolina (2015). Mr. Fisher has served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve for over 22 years (currently a Chief Warrant Officer 4). He is assigned to the Marine Innovation Unit in New York and is also a distance education student at the Marine Corps University Command and Staff College. He has held numerous leadership positions in the Marine Corps Reserve including as a Ground Combat Element Project Officer at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia and as an Executive Officer and Platoon Commander in the 6th Engineer Support Battalion in Wilmington, Delaware.

Mr. Fisher has also worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School and clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Mr. Fisher received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Overview

OCC is CISA’s legal team. We provide advice, training, and support to ensure that CISA operates in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and according to the highest standards of ethical conduct. 

OCC includes a Front Office, Business Management Operations, and six legal divisions: Cybersecurity; Ethics; General Law; Infrastructure Security and Regulatory Programs; Operations, Engagement, and Risk; and Litigation & Investigations.

Legal Divisions

  • Cybersecurity Law Division

The Cybersecurity Law Division advises on intellectual property and emergency communications issues, as well as a breadth of cybersecurity-related matters. 

  • Ethics Law Division

The Ethics Division advises on the Executive Branch Standards of Conduct, criminal conflict of interest statutes, and ethics-related aspects of other laws, and more. 

  • General Law Division

The General Law Division advises on fiscal, procurement, and grants matters, as well as information law, administrative law, and other general law subjects.

  • Infrastructure Security and Regulatory Programs Division

The Infrastructure Security and Regulatory Programs Division advises on a wide range of infrastructure and physical security matters, as well as on regulatory and administrative law.

  • Operations, Engagement, and Risk Division

The Operations, Engagement, and Risk Division advises on topics including international cooperation, private sector and general public engagement and collaboration, and a variety of other matters. 

  • Litigation and Investigations Division 

The Litigation and Investigations Division advises on matters including labor and employment law; litigation; legislation; and strategy, policy, and planning.

Careers

Separate from the Headquarters Office of General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, CISA OCC conducts its own recruitment processes for attorney hiring. For positions within CISA OCC, attorneys can apply to specific vacancy announcements on USAJOBS or submit a resume and cover letter to cisaoccstaffing@cisa.dhs.gov describing their interest and highlighting any relevant experience within CISA OCC's practice areas.

Current Openings

CISA OCC Vacancy announcement

CISA OCC Detail announcement

 

Vacancy Announcement: Labor and Employment Law Attorney

Detail Announcements (Current Feds Only)

Senior Counsel Detail

Infrastructure Security and Regulated Industry Programs Law Attorney Detail

USAJobs: CISA OCC Senior Counsel Detail (Secret Clearance Level)

USAJobs: CISA OCC Senior Counsel Detail (TS/SCI Level)

 

Click here to learn about the DHS Honors Attorney Program.

Resources for Lawyers

Click here for information about CISA-relevant legislation, regulations, executive orders, and other source law and legal resources.

Contact

For general communications: cisa.occ@cisa.dhs.gov

For staffing communications: cisaoccstaffing@cisa.dhs.gov

Service of Process

Notice

Effective immediately and until further notice, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Office of the Chief Counsel is not accepting personal service of process for actions against the agency or for its personnel in their official capacity. The following procedures do not modify the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(i)(3) regarding service on an officer or employee sued in his or her individual capacity and should not be used in any action to attempt to perfect service upon any agency officer or employee sued in his or her individual capacity. 

Service of Process of Summons and Complaint*

Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4(i)(2) and 6 C.F.R. § 5.42, send hard copy summons and legal complaints against the agency or its personnel in their official capacity only by registered or certified mail, to:

Office of the Chief Counsel

CISA – NGR STOP 0645

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

1110 N. Glebe Rd.

Arlington, VA 20598-0645 

To aid in prompt handling of any summons and complaint, parties are also encouraged to email a copy to cisa.occ@cisa.dhs.gov.

Service of Process for Subpoenas, Court Orders, and Other Demands or Requests for Official Information or Action

In accordance with 6 C.F.R. § 5.43, email subpoenas against the agency or its personnel in their official capacity only to cisa.occ@cisa.dhs.gov. You may also send a courtesy copy by registered or certified mail to the address above.

*This does not apply to a request to commence administrative adjudication proceedings pursuant to 6 CFR 27.310(b) or appealing an initial decision pursuant to 6 CFR 27.345(b) of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS).