Beth George is a partner in the San Francisco office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where her practice focuses on the representation of companies preparing for and facing major crises. She also leads the firm’s cybersecurity team, including providing advice on legal challenges faced by companies when preparing for and responding to cybersecurity breaches. In 2021, Beth briefly left the firm to serve as the Acting General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense during the beginning of the Biden-Harris administration.
Beth advises clients on internal, government, and congressional investigations and responding to law enforcement requests for data. She regularly advises boards of both private and public companies on cybersecurity governance and preparing companies for security incidents, including through hosting table-top exercises. Her practice has included representing a large company facing high-profile congressional investigations and litigation regarding its data security practices, as well as another public company in a high-profile breach, which resulted in an FBI investigation and criminal charges.
Beth has lectured at the UC Berkeley School of Law on surveillance law and technology, at Stanford University's law and international policy schools on cyber law and policy, and at Stanford Business School on cybersecurity for executives. She serves as a senior adjunct fellow for the New York University School of Law's Center for Law and Security and as an affiliate at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).
With deep and wide-ranging expertise from her background working at senior levels across the U.S. federal government, Beth has provided legal advice on some of the largest and highest-profile cybersecurity breaches and data collection efforts in the last several years. Previously, Beth served as Deputy General Counsel to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), where she advised senior leadership on legislative, policy, and oversight matters. During her time at the DoD, she supervised a team of attorneys and support staff that provided department-wide strategic and legal guidance regarding all interactions with Congress. In this role, she directed the department's legislative authorization process, resulting in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which addresses a wide range of technical and policy issues, from counterterrorism authorities to healthcare for uniformed members. She also led the DoD's responses to congressional oversight and investigations and provided advice regarding sensitive litigation matters.
From 2011 to 2016, Beth served in various roles for the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, Counsel to the Office of Law & Policy, and as an Honors Attorney and Attorney-Adviser in the Office of Intelligence. In these roles, she advised the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and Assistant Attorney General for National Security on sensitive national security and policy matters. She also practiced before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on a variety of classified matters and represented the DOJ in high-level meetings led by the National Security Council staff. In addition, she provided counsel on national security aspects of foreign investment and conducted oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other intelligence components regarding compliance with privacy and other policies.
On detail from the DOJ from 2015 to 2016, Beth served in the White House as Associate Counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel, where she provided legal and strategic advice to senior White House officials regarding high-profile oversight, investigation, and litigation matters. She also led responses for the office on cybersecurity and national security matters, including the response to the largest U.S. government data breach at the Office of Personnel Management. Before serving as Associate Counsel at the White House, Beth was a Professional Staff Member and Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 2014 to 2015, also on detail from the DOJ. In this role, she was the sole attorney serving on the committee's bipartisan, end-to-end review of intelligence collection activities for all components of the U.S. intelligence community.
Following law school, Beth served as a law clerk at the DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel, and then to Chief Justice Theodore A. McKee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.