Dave Jonas



Dave Jonas most recently served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, after Mr. Jonas' nomination by the President to be the General Counsel of the Department of Energy. He withdrew his nomination, after being favorably voted out of committee, to focus on his practice due to the lengthy wait for a full Senate vote. During the presidential transition, Mr. Jonas served on the Defense and Energy Transition Teams and was also appointed to the Energy Landing Team.

His major practice areas are Department of Energy matters (government contracts, laboratory issues, regulatory matters, fines, and export control issues under 10 CFR 810), other government contracts, appellate practice, litigation, employment law (including proposed terminations, administrative leave, whistleblower, EEO issues, and security clearance matters), international and national security law, administrative/regulatory law, ethics, legislation, compliance, internal investigations, military law, and Presidential Pardon petitions.

Mr. Jonas has extensive experience in national security issues and is recognized as one of a handful of experts worldwide in nuclear nonproliferation law (he has been published regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, more commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, served as a negotiator for the India Civil Nuclear Agreement, and is an expert on sanctions. He teaches a course in Nuclear Nonproliferation Law and Policy and frequently speaks and writes on this topic.).

Mr. Jonas is an accomplished senior executive with diverse legal, business, government relations, strategic planning, and leadership experience. He served as general counsel of two federal agencies following his distinguished Marine Corps service that included arguing the case of Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452 (1994) at the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the first judge advocate in the history of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force to do so. He received the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Award for Excellence in Legal Writing and was selected as the Outstanding Career Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps.

Mr. Jonas is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University Law School and taught at the U.S. Naval War College. He has spoken at Penn and Baltimore Law Schools, the ABA National Security Law Conference, Daemen College, and ESPN radio. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Young Marines, Naval War College Foundation, and the Marine Executive Association. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Representative Matters

Representative Matters
  • Served as general counsel of two federal agencies.
  • Experience in source selections for multi-billion-dollar government contracts including Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Nevada National Security Site.
  • Briefed and argued the landmark case of Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452 (1994) at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Internationally recognized expert in the national security area of nuclear nonproliferation law and policy. Frequent speaker and widely published in this area.
  • Key negotiator of the U.S. - India Civil Nuclear Agreement.
  • Conducted strategic planning for the Secretary of Energy and the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • Success representing clients in trust litigation matters. 
  • Advised senior officials such as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Energy, Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration, Commanding General, 3d Marine Division, and others.
  • Represented clients in over a dozen contested jury trials, over 150 trials before a judge, and over 200 administrative proceedings. 
  • Participated in representation of hundreds of clients in appellate defense litigation.
  • Represented clients in over 200 administrative proceedings.
  • Drafted legislation at the request of clients or Congressional staff.
  • Extensive litigation and litigation management experience.


  • Vice President, PenFed Credit Union
  • General Counsel, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
  • Director, Legal Strategy and Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel
  • General Counsel, National Nuclear Security Administration
  • U.S. Marine Corps

Education, Certifications + Licenses

  • LL.M., Georgetown Law Center, International and Comparative Law, With Distinction
  • LL.M., Military Law, The Judge Advocate General’s School, U.S. Army
  • M.A., Naval War College, National Security and Strategic Studies, Highest Distinction 
  • J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law 
  • B.A., Denison University, Political Science

Certifications + Licenses
  • Virginia Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Pennsylvania Bar
  • U.S. Supreme Court Bar
  • Court of Federal Claims
  • Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • Navy-Marine Corps of Criminal Appeals

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