Caroline Krass Receives Executive Mosaic’s Top General Counsel Executives Award

caroline-krass-emCAROLINE DIANE KRASS

GENERAL COUNSEL

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

Caroline Krass was confirmed by the Senate on March 13, 2014, to serve as the General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency.  Immediately prior to that, Ms. Krass served as Acting Assistant Attorney General and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice.  She also served as President Obama’s Special Counsel for National Security Affairs and Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council.  Ms. Krass’s service in the Executive Branch includes legal positions in the National Security Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Office of the Legal Adviser at the Department of State, and the Office of General Counsel at the Department of the Treasury.  Ms. Krass clerked for the Honorable Patricia M. Wald on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  She received a B.A. from Stanford University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

ExecutiveBiz: What legal barriers do you see as ones that can be changed to facilitate more public-private collaborations?

Caroline Diane Krass: I believe intelligence agencies can and do benefit from public-private collaboration as a way to leverage private investment and know-how.

One area in which public-private partnerships are frustrated is the lack of consensus about legal safeguards to protect privacy and civil liberties.  Continued constructive dialogue will help industry and the Intelligence Community (IC) to resolve this issue.  It is important for the IC both to develop a more nuanced understanding of the legal pressures industry is feeling from private customers and to more effectively communicate the significant legal protections already in place throughout the IC that are designed to protect civil liberties while advancing national security.

In addition, startups and other small businesses are engaging in a great deal of technical innovation, but the federal procurement system was not designed with them in mind.  Government agencies need to think creatively and take advantage of whatever flexibility exists within existing procurement authorities.  Where necessary, agencies should work to revise procurement laws to enable the Government to take advantage of innovation in real time by companies that want to make a deal but are not fluent in the language of procurement and that lack the robust compliance bureaucracies we have come to expect from our traditional contractors.

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