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United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

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Robert S. Taylor

Acting General Counsel of the Department of Defense
9-11 Memorial

Robert S.  Taylor

Robert S. Taylor has served as the Acting General Counsel for the Department of Defense since July 1, 2015.  Mr. Taylor previously served as Acting General Counsel from January 2013 until October 2013. 

On April 13, 2009, Mr. Taylor was appointed Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Defense.  He provides oversight, guidance, and direction regarding legal advice on all matters within the Department of Defense, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense.   

Mr. Taylor’s prior federal service includes his appointment in 1995 as the Deputy General Counsel (Environment and Installations) for the Department of Defense.  In this position, he worked closely with the Military Departments and with other federal agencies, and provided guidance to the Department’s leadership on all major environmental and installations-related matters, including implementation of base closure and realignment matters.  Mr. Taylor continued in this position through the end of 2001.

In 2002, Mr. Taylor returned to the private practice of law, most recently with the firm of Bingham, McCutchen.  His practice dealt with such important issues as global climate change, and the siting of energy facilities.  Mr. Taylor served as a member of a Defense Science Board group on an energy strategy for the Department of Defense during 2006-2007.

Mr. Taylor graduated from Harvard Law School in 1975, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review.  Following graduation from law school, Mr. Taylor clerked for Judge Francis Van Dusen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  He then began his career in private practice with the firm of Leva, Hawes, Symington, Martin & Oppenheimer, in Washington, D.C.  That firm was led by Marx Leva, the first General Counsel of the Department of Defense.  Mr. Taylor was a founding lawyer with the firm of Swidler, Berlin and Strelow in 1982, where he specialized in environmental law.

In addition to Harvard Law School, Mr. Taylor is a graduate of Harvard College.  He is a member in good standing of the District of Columbia Bar, and the bars of various Courts of Appeals and of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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