Ali Mayorkas

Alejandro N. Mayorkas

Alejandro Mayorkas represents clients in civil litigation and internal investigations, and augments the firm's formidable strengths in strategic counseling, crisis management and national security, with a particular focus on cybersecurity.

Before joining WilmerHale, Mr. Mayorkas served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, where he managed some of the most complex and critical responsibilities of government, including preventing and responding to terrorist attacks on US soil, enhancing both the government's and the private sector's cybersecurity, enforcing the nation's immigration laws, facilitating lawful trade and travel, and helping stricken communities recover from disasters. For his service as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, Mr. Mayorkas received the Department's Distinguished Service Award, its highest civilian honor; the US Coast Guard's Distinguished Service Award; a special commendation from the National Security Agency for his achievements in national security and, specifically, cybersecurity; and numerous additional awards and commendations.

As Deputy Secretary, Mr. Mayorkas was the Obama Administration's highest ranking Cuban American and was named to Latino Leaders' list of the nation's most influential Latinos. In 2008, The National Law Journal recognized him as one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.”

Prior to becoming Deputy Secretary, Mr. Mayorkas served as Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency that administers the largest legal immigration system in the world. There, he realigned the agency's organizational structure, including the creation of the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate to more effectively prioritize the agency's national security responsibilities. He also implemented a series of transformative initiatives, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), the Citizenship Awareness Initiative, and the Entrepreneurs in Residence program. Prior to leading the agency, Mr. Mayorkas led the US Department of Justice Criminal Division's Transition Team for President-Elect Barack Obama. 

From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Mayorkas served as the US Attorney for the Central District of California, where he oversaw prosecutions of national significance, including the investigation and prosecution of financial fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), public corruption, cybercrime, international money laundering, and immigration fraud. He was promoted to the Senate-confirmed position of US Attorney after having served for nearly nine years as an Assistant US Attorney specializing in the prosecution of financial fraud.

After leaving the US Attorney's Office, Mr. Mayorkas developed a civil litigation and internal investigations practice representing a wide range of corporate clients across the country. 

Professional Activities

Mr. Mayorkas serves as Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce's Cyber Leadership Council. The Cyber Leadership Council serves as a forum for businesses to openly discuss cybersecurity policy and practices, direct Chamber advocacy and education efforts, and serve as a key voice of industry for dialogue with policymakers. 

Mr. Mayorkas' civic activities include his service as a Member of the Board of Directors of Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a Los Angeles-based organization that provides legal services for the underprivileged, and his service as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Tenement Museum in New York City.

Recognition

  • Named as one of Lawdragon Magazine’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America,” 2017
  • Distinguished Service Medal, US Department of Homeland Security, 2016 (Highest Civilian Honor)
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, US Coast Guard, 2016 (Highest Civilian Honor)
  • Special Commendation, National Security Agency, 2016 (Contributions to National Security, Advancement of the Cybersecurity Mission)
  • Resolution of Commendation, Major City Chiefs of Police, 2016
  • Recognized in Latino Leaders as one of the 101 most influential Latino leaders in the nation, 2011-2015
  • Award Recipient, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, 2015
  • Award Recipient, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, 2014
  • Award Recipient, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles, 2013
  • Recognized as one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America,” National Law Journal, 2008
  • US Postal Inspection Service Award, 2000 (Successful Prosecution of Buford O. Furrow, Jr.)
  • Special Commendation, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1995 (Successful Prosecution of Operation Polarcap)

Insights & News

Credentials

  • Education

    • JD, Loyola Law School, 1985

    • BA, University of California, Berkeley, 1981

      with distinction

  • Admissions

    • California

  • Government Experience

    • Department of Homeland Security

      Deputy Secretary
    • Department of Homeland Security

      Director, US Citizenship and Immigration Services
    • Department of Justice

      United States Attorneys' Offices

      US Attorney, Central District of California
    • Department of Justice

      United States Attorneys' Offices

      Assistant US Attorney, Chief, General Crimes Section, Central District of California
    • Department of Justice

      United States Attorneys' Offices

      Assistant US Attorney, Major Frauds Section, Central District of California

* Admitted to practice only in California. Supervision by members of the firm who are members of the District of Columbia Bar.

Credentials

* Admitted to practice only in California. Supervision by members of the firm who are members of the District of Columbia Bar.