In May 2007, the State Department reorganized the Office of the Rule of Law Coordinator (RoLC) for the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad to consolidate all U.S. Government civilian and law enforcement efforts to support the rule of law in Iraq, under a single authority. The current RoLC is a senior Justice Department official who oversees the work of more than 200 personnel under Chief of Mission authority and serves as the primary advisor to the Ambassador on justice-related issues.
The RoLC is responsible for coordinating these efforts with the activities of the United States Forces - Iraq to ensure a unified approach to achieving the goals of the U.S. Mission in Iraq. In addition, the RoLC works closely with members of the Iraqi judiciary and the relevant law enforcement institutions (the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice), to ensure collaboration and cooperation in the reconstitution of essential law enforcement and security institutions throughout the Republic of Iraq.
Michael J. Gunnison is a career prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice (1987 to present). He began working as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, and is currently the First Assistant U.S. Attorney and Anti-Terrorism Coordinator in the District of New Hampshire. He has served in a variety of capacities including Criminal Chief, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney and Acting United States Attorney for the District New Hampshire (March-August 2009).
Mr. Gunnison graduated from George Washington University with a degree in International Affairs. He is a graduate of the St. Johnís University School of Law, where he served as Executive Notes and Comments Editor of the St. Johnís Law Review and President of the Society of Comparative and International Law. For two years he clerked at the United States Court of International Trade for Judge Dominick L. DiCarlo, former Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters (now INL).
In 2004 Mr. Gunnison served as a Legal Advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq through the Criminal Divisionís Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training Program (OPDAT). From May 2006 to June 2008 Mr. Gunnison served with OPDAT as the Department of Justice Resident Legal Advisor in Embassy Abu Dhabi, focusing on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing issues in UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Gunnison is a recipient of numerous awards for his work in the Middle East and his work prosecuting sophisticated criminal enterprises in the United States.
Updated: June 2013