Paul Rosenzweig






National defense attorney and author

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

Paul Rosenzweig is an American lawyer, academic, and former national security official. He held a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security under former President George W. Bush during his second term in office. Immediately after leaving federal government service, Rosenzweig founded Red Branch Consulting, a homeland security policy consulting firm, and he has held various adjunct and research positions at a number of higher educational institutions, including the National Defense University and George Washington University. Rosenzweig has also worked for the Heritage Foundation, a leading right-of-center think tank, and the Chertoff Group, a consulting firm which government watchdogs have described as part of the “revolving door” relationship between the Department of Defense, lobbyists, and contracting companies. 1 2

Education and Career

Early Career and Government Service

Paul Rosenzweig attended Haverford College and received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He completed his law doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1983. He spent six years as a trial counsel with the Department of Justice and two years as an investigator for the House of Representatives, where he contributed to the investigation of former President Bill Clinton over his alleged misconduct in the Whitewater affair. 3 4

In 2001, Rosenzweig joined the Heritage Foundation as a senior legal research fellow, and the same year, he joined the legal ethics committee of the Washington, D.C. bar association. In 2005, the George W. Bush Administration selected Rosenzweig for the position of deputy assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, where he would remain until President Bush left office in 2009. After leaving the federal government, he briefly joined the National Defense University as an adjunct professor before accepting a lecturer position at George Washington University, where he has remained since then. 5 6

Chertoff Group

In 2012, Rosenzweig took an advisory role at the Chertoff Group, a consulting and lobbying firm founded by former Department of Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff in 2009. The firm represents clients seeking to win contracts with the United States military, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. The Project on Government Oversight, a left-of-center watchdog organization, considers the Chertoff Group a beneficiary of an allegedly unethical reciprocal relationship between the Pentagon and the defense industry due to its track record of employing recent high-level federal employees. Chertoff Capital, a subsidiary of the firm, also provided advisory services to a company which collected data for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. 7 8

R Street Institute

In 2017, Rosenzweig accepted a fellowship with the R Street Institute, a right-leaning think tank based in Washington, D.C. He would go on to spend nearly four years with the organization, working on legal and policy topics related to national security and digital privacy. 9 10 R Street primarily promotes more cautious government spending and a more responsible federal budget. The institute has also supported relaxed immigration policies, describing efforts to combat illegal border crossings as “futile” and “useless.” Instead, the think tank pushes for removing restrictions on immigration and granting legal status to younger illegals present in the country. 11 R Street president Eli Lehrer has endorsed expanding voting by mail: In the lead-up to the 2020 election, he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Times in which he claimed that “democracy depends on it.” Lehrer co-authored the article with Michael Steele, a notable opponent of former President Donald Trump who went on to participate in the controversial Transition Integrity Project and has worked with the anti-Trump, pro-Democratic Party Lincoln Project. 12

Published Works

Rosenzweig has written, co-authored, and edited several books on the implications of cyberwarfare for the United States and the world, the ethics of government surveillance, the ways that the actions of government whistleblowers relate to freedom of speech and national security, and other topics. 13

Views and Statements

Paul Rosenzweig has argued for increased censorship of social media and content hosting platforms online. In an article for the blog Lawfare, a partner of the left-leaning Brookings Institution, he proposed that restrictions on certain information – which he referred to as “content moderation” – be implemented at all levels of the internet: internet and cloud service providers, social media platforms and search engines, as well as payment processors. 14

Rosenzweig has rejected the possibility that significant ballot fraud occurred during the 2020 presidential election, and in an interview with PBS blamed former President Donald Trump for the protests and rioting at the Capitol building in January 2021. 15


  1. Paul Rosenzweig. LinkedIn. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  2. “The Chertoff Group.” Project on Government Oversight. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  3. Paul Rosenzweig. LinkedIn. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  4. “Paul Rosenzweig.” R Street Institute. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  5. Paul Rosenzweig. LinkedIn. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  6. “Paul Rosenzweig.” R Street Institute. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  7. Paul Rosenzweig. LinkedIn. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  8. “The Chertoff Group.” Project on Government Oversight. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  9. Paul Rosenzweig. LinkedIn. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  10. “Paul Rosenzweig.” R Street Institute. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  11. Steven Greenhut. “Immigration Politics Are Killing the Debate Over Immigration Policy.” R Street Institute. April 12, 2021. Accessed 14, 2022.
  12. Michael Steele and Eli Lehrer. “Conservatives need to get behind vote-by-mail options in 2020 election.” The Washington Times. March 24, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  13. “Paul Rosenzweig.” R Street Institute. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  14. Paul Rosenzweig. “Countering Harmful Content: A Research Agenda.” Lawfare. March 11, 2022. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  15. “Paul Rosenzweig Reacts To Riot at US Capitol.” Public Broadcasting Service. January 6, 2021. Accessed May 14, 2022.
  See an error? Let us know!