Meet the Chief

Peter A. Winn, Acting Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer

Peter A. Winn is the Director of the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL), and currently serves as the Acting Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer (CPCLO) of the United States Department of Justice.

The CPCLO is responsible for ensuring the Department’s compliance with the laws, regulations and established policies designed to protect the privacy of individuals, as well as ensuring that concerns about privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the development and implementation of laws, regulations and policies related the Department’s mission. The mission of the OPCL is to help the CPCLO carry out the responsibilities of the office. Peter Winn has been the Director of OPCL since June 2016, and since January 2017, has served as the Acting CPCLO of the Department.

Prior to becoming the Director of OPCL, Mr. Winn served for nearly 20 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the Western District of Washington and the Northern District of Texas. In 2014, he served a detail to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board where he was its Acting General Counsel during its review of the National Security Agency programs that were the subject of the Edward Snowden disclosures. From 2010 to 2012, he served a detail to the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel, where he was an attorney-advisor. Before joining the Department of Justice as an AUSA, he was a Special Assistant Attorney General for the Attorney General of Texas, and an associate at Carrington, Coleman in Dallas, and Patterson, Belknap in New York. He clerked for James B. McMillan, in the Western District of North Carolina.

He has taught as an adjunct professor at the school of law at University of Washington, at Southern Methodist University, and at the University of Melbourne. He has published articles on the Fourth Amendment, computer security, health privacy, and the right of access to public court records. He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1986, an MPhil in Philosophy from the University of London where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a B.A. magna cum laude from Williams College. As a young child, he grew up in Myanmar (then known as Burma), where his parents were Christian missionaries. 

Updated February 21, 2018