John Dermody


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John Dermody joined O’Melveny after a decade in government service, recently serving as a deputy legal advisor at the National Security Council (NSC). Previously, John served in the General Counsel’s offices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense.  Drawing on his experience in the highest levels of government, John advises clients on data security, privacy, cybersecurity, and national security issues, including economic sanctions and national security reviews of investments and technology transactions conducted by the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, the Treasury, State, and Commerce.

While at the NSC, John advised senior officials on cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, disaster response, border and transportation security, election security, biodefense, and other matters of US national security. His work included coordinating responses to and attribution of cyber incidents, revising US cyber operations policy, and helping to develop and implement the National Cyber Strategy. He also advised on US sanctions programs and matters and policies relating to supply chain security, 5G deployment, and spectrum allocation.


Government Experience

  • Deputy Legal Advisor, Office of the Legal Advisor, National Security Council
  • Attorney-Advisor, Intelligence Law Division, Office of the General Counsel, United States Department of Homeland Security
  • Associate Deputy General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, United States Department of Defense

Honors & Awards

  • Meritorious Unit Citation, Director of National Intelligence, 2018
  • Secretary’s Award for Excellence, Department of Homeland Security, 2017, 2014
  • Team of the Year, Intelligence Community Legal Award, 2017
  • Intelligence Integration Unit Citation, Director of National Intelligence, 2015
  • Intelligence Leadership Award, Department of Homeland Security, 2015


Bar Admissions

  • California

*Admitted only in California; supervised by principals of the firm.


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, Consulting Editor
  • Queen’s University, Belfast, M.A., International Politics, with merit
  • University of Dublin, Trinity College, M.Phil. 
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A.

Professional Activities


  • The Honorable Robert R. Rigsby, Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Frederick H. Weisberg, Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC

Alerts and Publications

In the News

CNET: Drone Swarms in 3 States Prompt FAA, FBI Investigation of Mystery

January 9, 2020

Inside Cybersecurity: The Federal Embrace of Tough Supply-Chain Regulation Seems Like a Done Deal

December 4, 2019

The Recorder: With Data as National Security Threat, Big Law's Appetite for Government Officials Grows

November 20, 2019

Bloomberg Television: Security Concerns Around TikTok

November 14, 2019

CPO Magazine: TikTok National Security Review Raises Concerns About Chinese Motives in Tech Sector

November 13, 2019

BuzzFeed News: Sen. Chuck Schumer Raises Security Concerns About The Army Using TikTok To Try To Recruit Young People

November 12, 2019

CIO Dive: Don’t Do the Obvious After a Ransomware Attack, Do Remain Paranoid

November 6, 2019

Silicon Republic: Why TikTok is Facing Mounting Pressure from the US Government

November 6, 2019

International Association of Privacy Professionals: People on the move- November 2019

October 29, 2019

Bloomberg Law: National Security Experience a Growing Draw for Big Law

September 25, 2019

The Washington Post: Washington-Area Appointments and Promotions

September 23, 2019

The National Law Journal: Washington Wrap

September 20, 2019

POLITICO Morning Cybersecurity: People on the Move

September 17, 2019

National Public Radio: As Bahamas Turn to Recovery, US Worries About China Stepping in to Help

September 6, 2019

Press Releases