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Acting Legal Adviser of the Department of State

Organization: United States Department of State

Profession: Legal Adviser


Marik String serves as Acting Legal Adviser of the Department of State.  In this capacity, he advises the Department and Secretary of State on all legal issues arising in connection with U.S. foreign policy and the work of the Department.

Mr. String has 15 years of legal, policy, and military experience at the Department of State, Department of Defense, United States Senate, think tanks in the United States and overseas, and in private legal practice.

Previously, Mr. String served in the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, where he performed the duties of the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs; Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary; and Deputy Assistant Secretary.  He managed more than 400 officers and the U.S. government’s $200 billion annual arms transfer portfolio, including the compliance and enforcement functions under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  Previously, Mr. String served as Senior Advisor to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Before joining the State Department, Mr. String practiced international and national security law at the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Washington, DC. He provided legal counsel to global clients in international dispute resolution proceedings and on complex regulatory matters involving economic sanctions, export controls, classified government contracting, national security investigations, and foreign investments and mergers requiring approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Prior to private law practice, Mr. String served on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where he held responsibilities as Deputy Chief Counsel and Senior Professional Staff Member. In addition to providing counsel to the Committee on legislation, treaties, and nominations, he served as the Committee’s lead policy advisor for NATO, European and Russian affairs, as well as regional arms control and non-proliferation issues. He also worked as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council and at the Aspen Institute Berlin.

Mr. String is an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Mr. String was educated at Georgetown University (J.D., Global Law Scholar), where he was an editor for The Georgetown Law Journal; the University of Vienna (M.A., Fulbright Scholar); and the University of Notre Dame (B.A.). He speaks fluent German.

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