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. He represents companies throughout the world in their most challenging and high-stakes matters.

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 the youngest US Attorney in the nation, and he was promoted to the Senate-confirmed position after having served for nearly nine years as an Assistant US Attorney.

From 1989 to 1998, Mr. Mayorkas served as an Assistant US Attorney specializing in the prosecution of white collar crime. He tried numerous criminal and civil cases to a jury, including Operation Polarcap, which was then the largest money laundering case in the nation. From 1996 to his appointment as US Attorney in 1998, he served as the Chief of the General Crimes Section, where he trained all incoming Assistant US Attorneys in the investigation and trial of criminal cases.

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. 

He has defended Fortune 100 companies in complex federal investigations, including those that have involved parallel civil and congressional proceedings. He has tried sensitive and high-stakes civil cases, and he has counseled corporations through their most significant crises.

Mr. Mayorkas practices from WilmerHale’s Los Angeles and Washington DC offices.

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

    • District of Columbia

  • 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

Credentials