Vanessa J. LeOf Counsel
Vanessa comes to DLA Piper after serving for almost a decade in the Executive Branch and in Congress, where she developed substantive national security experience, honed a keen ability to manage sensitive oversight issues, and provided time-sensitive and critical legal advice to senior leaders across the US government.
Vanessa served as Special Advisor to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Special Counsel to the General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). In this role, Vanessa provided support to the General Counsel on Privacy Shield negotiations, led the Intelligence Community’s interagency effort to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and advanced other key initiatives for Director Haines. During her time at ODNI, Vanessa also completed a detail as Associate Counsel in the Office of White House Counsel, where she worked on sensitive oversight matters.
From 2017 to 2021, Vanessa served as lead investigative counsel for the Majority at the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). As part of the SSCI’s Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Elections, Vanessa participated in over 180 transcribed interviews, drafted and served all Committee subpoenas, and co-authored and edited the Committee’s 1000+ page report with the investigative staff. In addition to her work on the investigation, Vanessa provided ongoing legal advice to Committee leadership on issues ranging from oversight of intelligence activities to the Committee’s Constitutional authorities to whistle-blower matters. During her time at SSCI, Vanessa also held non-legal roles; including as the designee to Chairman Richard Burr, and as the Counterintelligence and FBI budget monitor for the Majority.
Vanessa began her legal career as an Honors Attorney at the National Security Agency.
- J.D., George Washington University, cum laude
- B.A., Harvard University, cum laude, with highest honors in History & Literature (America)