The Honorable Stephen W. Preston was elected to the Board of Trustees of The Aerospace Corporation on June 8, 2022. He is a partner at WilmerHale and chair of the firm’s Defense, National Security, and Government Contracts practice. His work includes investigations, litigation, federal procurement, civil fraud, foreign investment in the United States, cybersecurity, strategic counseling, and crisis management.
Previously, Preston was general counsel of the Department of Defense (DOD) and, prior to that, general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)—the first person to have held both of these Senate-confirmed positions.
Preston also served as general counsel at the United States Navy and in other positions at the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of Justice. In recognition of his contributions while in office, Preston received the highest awards presented to civilians by the DOD and the CIA, as well as the Department of State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of the Navy.
When not working in government, Preston has practiced law at WilmerHale, initially from 1986 to 1993, 2001 to 2009, and from 2015 to present. He has written and spoken widely on topics relating to law and national security, and he has testified before Congress on several occasions. In 2015, Preston received an adjunct faculty appointment to teach at Yale Law School as the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in International Conflict and Security Law.
Preston serves on the Board of Directors of the National Defense Industrial Association, as counselor on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, on the Board of Directors of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, and as counsel to the Board of Trustees of In-Q-Tel, Inc. Preston was appointed to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board in 2016. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he has been active with the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security and with the Intelligence and National Security Alliance’s Legal Affairs Roundtable.
Preston earned a bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) from Yale University, and a JD (magna cum laude) from Harvard University.