Mark S. Zaid specializes in litigation and lobbying on matters relating to international transactions, torts and crimes, national security, foreign sovereign and diplomatic immunity, defamation (plaintiff) and the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOI/PA).
Through his practice Zaid often represents former/current federal employees, intelligence and military officers, Whistleblowers and others who have grievances or have been wronged by agencies of the United States Government or foreign governments, as well as members of the media. Zaid teaches D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education classes on “Defending Security Clearances” and “The Basics of Filing and Litigating Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Requests”. He has been named as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer every year since he was profiled in 2009, as well as a “Best Lawyer” by Washingtonian Magazine in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 (issued bi-annually), for his national security work. As the National Law Journal once wrote, “if Agent Mulder ever needed a lawyer, Zaid would be his man.”
Zaid is also the Executive Director and founder of the James Madison Project, a Washington, D.C.-based organization with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing. Starting in January 2014, Zaid also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University teaching in the Global Studies/National Security Certificate programs.
In connection with his legal practice on international and national security matters, Zaid has testified before, or provided testimony to, a variety of governmental bodies including the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, the House Government Operations Committee, the Department of Energy, the Public Interest Declassification Board and the Assassination Records Review Board. “Curiously for this town,” wrote the American Bar Association Journal, “Zaid is an equal opportunity thorn out to pierce the sides of suit jackets bearing both elephants and donkeys on the lapels.”
A 1992 graduate of Albany Law School of Union University in New York, where he served as an Associate Editor of the Albany Law Review, he completed his undergraduate education (cum laude) in 1989 at the University of Rochester, New York with honors in Political Science and high honors in History. Zaid is a member of the Bars of New York State, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland and several federal courts. He currently possesses TS/SCI eligibility and has had Q level access.
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