Such issues may soon land on the desk of Stephen Preston, who was tapped by President Barack Obama on April 14 to be the CIA’s new general counsel. Preston, 51, declined to be interviewed pending Senate confirmation. He is currently a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where he and Jamie Gorelick cochair the defense, national security, and government contracts practice group.

Gorelick, who worked with Preston through much of the Clinton administration, says her colleague is “very smart and extremely thoughtful, careful, inclusive, transparent.” While Gorelick was general counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, she hired Preston as her principal deputy general counsel. When Gorelick headed to the U.S. Department of Justice as deputy attorney general, Preston followed as a deputy assistant attorney general.

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