Andrew P. Bakaj

Andrew Bakaj, Managing Attorney

Andrew P. Bakaj, Esq.

Founding & Managing Partner

A highly respected and professionally recognized attorney, Andrew Bakaj is a former intelligence officer and criminal investigator who brings a history of distinguished service to the firm. This experience enables the firm to represent individuals in adverse security clearance actions, whistleblower activities, employment matters (to include appearing the Merit Systems Protection Board), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) matters, and individuals, corporations, and organizations who are facing investigation. Notably, his background as a subject-matter expert in whistleblower reprisal investigations makes him uniquely qualified to represent individuals who have experienced retaliatory action as a result of lawfully engaging in protected activity—whistleblower reprisal—particularly when the action involves a security clearance. Moreover, he is a leading expert in security clearance matters. In his professional capacities, Andrew has advised and counseled numerous senior U.S. Government officials in a variety of legal and investigative areas.

Andrew has been lauded by colleagues and professional organizations alike. Notably, he was named “Lawyer of the Year” by his peers at the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, and Washingtonian Magazine named him among Washington, DC’s top attorneys. Perhaps most unique is that Washingtonian named Andrew among “Washington’s 250 Most Influential People”, identifying him among “the 250 experts and advocatesoutside the governmentwho’ll be shaping the policy debates of the years to come.”

In naming Washington’s Most Influential People, Washingtonian wrote:

“Policymaking changes as governments come in and out of power. But the bedrock underlying it—expertise that enables public service and good-faith debate and explains why idealists still come to Washington—remains. Here’s a look at who’s wielding that influence right now.”

This distinction directly corresponds with many of Andrew’s cases and his publicly-stated personal mission: that his work be timely, relevant, and have impact.

To that end, you have certainly seen his work as he has successfully represented clients in some of the nation’s highest profile matters. Andrew also lends his voice to addressing specific legal and policy issues when appropriate. As such, he has written numerous articles on security clearance issues, federal investigations, and whistleblower matters.

Secure (encrypted) communication is facilitated as necessary.


Professional Experience

Central Intelligence Agency

Andrew is a former intelligence officer assigned with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Office of Inspector General. In that capacity, Andrew conducted criminal and administrative investigations involving alleged fraud, waste, abuse or violations of law, rule, or regulation. At the direction of the Inspector General, Andrew developed a whistleblower reprisal investigation program to comply with Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19). As a subject matter expert in whistleblower reprisal investigations, he led CIA, the Intelligence Community, and the Federal Government in drafting regulations and guidance creating a whistleblower reprisal investigation program within CIA. In doing so, Andrew worked with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice.

Previously at the Department of Defense, Andrew created the legal and investigative framework for the Federal Government’s first national security reprisal investigation program involving security clearance actions as a pretext for reprisal. As a result, he was tasked to brief the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community’s PPD-19 working group on lessons learned and proposed ways forward in standing-up reprisal investigation programs throughout the Federal Government. Specific elements of his framework were utilized as a model by numerous federal agencies in developing their policies and procedures. Subsequent to the establishment of the program, Congress passed and the President signed into law making it a violation of law to reprise against Intelligence Community whistleblowers.

Department of Defense

Andrew was the civilian whistleblower reprisal investigation’s Senior Investigator. As such, he led a team of investigators conducting inquiries into alleged retaliatory actions/reprisals taken against civilian employees within the Department of Defense. As Senior Investigator, Andrew led investigations involving the Intelligence Community, to include the National Security Agency (NSA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). He conducted oversight of NSA and DIA-led investigations and provided advice and counsel to the Defense Intelligence Community. Andrew regularly briefed senior leadership and the DoD Inspector General Office of General Counsel on the status and results of investigations and, as required, provided legal analysis and advice for the directorate and senior leadership.

Significantly, Andrew developed a legal and investigative framework in conducting the Federal Government’s first investigations involving security clearance actions as a pretext for reprisal. This framework was used as the basis for the White House issuing PPD-19. Accordingly, at the request of the Assistant and Deputy Inspectors General, Andrew briefed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) concerning the Intelligence Community reprisal investigation program.

Noteworthy and high-profile investigations involved disclosures concerning media access to a service member’s funeral, disclosures concerning chemical weapons storage, and security clearance decisions alleged to be a pretext for reprisal. Many of Andrew’s investigations involved highly sensitive issues and have impacted numerous senior U.S. Government officials as well has having a positive impact on various DoD policies.

Other Federal Service and Private Practice

Prior to joining the Department of Defense, Andrew was a private practice attorney in Washington, DC and clerked with the Department of Justice. Furthermore, he has Capitol Hill experience having served three United States Senators: Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Charles E. Schumer, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Andrew has also served overseas for the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. While traveling on official business in L’viv, Ukraine, he was called upon to act as the American Official “on scene” and assist in the U.S. Government’s response to one of the world’s deadliest air show disasters, which resulted in substantial American aid.

Prior to practicing law and while at Syracuse University, Andrew was a founding member of the Student Association on Terrorism and Security Analysis (SATSA). SATSA is an interdisciplinary graduate and law student association dedicated to the critical analysis of terrorism, counterterrorism policy, and national and international security issues

High Profile Cases

Andrew has been involved in a number of high-profile cases. Notably, he was the lead counsel representing the Intelligence Community Whistleblower whose disclosure led to the 2019 Impeachment Inquiry and subsequent Impeachment of the President of the United States. Andrew has also been involved in representing State Department officials who have been impacted by what is commonly referred to as the “Havana Syndrome“.

Understanding the historic significance of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower matter, documents associated it can be found by clicking here.

To watch a video of Anderson Cooper on CNN discussing Andrew’s work in a high-profile matter, click here.

To watch a video of Rachel Maddow describing Andrew and his work in a high-profile matter, click here.


In addition to being the Founding & Managing Attorney of Compass Rose Legal Group, Andrew is also Special Of Counsel attorney with the Law Office of Mark S. Zaid, PC.  For more information, please visit Mr. Zaid’s website.

Professional Memberships

  • The American Bar Association
    • Standing Committee on National Security Law
  • Security Clearance Lawyers Association
  • The Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association

Professional Honors and Recognition


Syracuse University College of Law

  • Juris Doctor
    • National Security & Counterterrorism Law Certificate
    • Global Law and Practice Certificate

The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs

  • Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs, Cum Laude
    • Conflict and Security Policy Concentration
    • Honors:  Elliott School of International Affairs Special Honors, Dean’s List


Media References

Andrew has appeared in or consulted on numerous media articles and on television in a variety of capacities, both as a subject-matter expert and a subject of reporting.

References to his work have been reported by or publish in ABC News, The Associated Press, BBC, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Foreign Policy, Fox News, Government Executive, Law and Crime (formerly LawNewz), the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, McClatchy, The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC News, ProPublica, and The Washington Post, among others.

To watch a video of Andrew appearing on CNN’s “Smerconish” discussing marijuana use and security clearances, click here.

To watch a video of Anderson Cooper on CNN discussing Andrew’s work in a high-profile matter, click here.

To watch a video of Rachel Maddow describing Andrew and his work in a high-profile matter, click here.


  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Professional Development

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Department of Homeland Security

  • Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP)

LSI Laboratory for Scientific Interrogation

  • Scientific Content Analysis (SCANS)

The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, Department of the Army (Charlottesville, VA)

  • Intelligence Law

United States Office of Personnel Management, Western Management Development Center

  • The Leadership Challenge

National Defense University, Joint Forces Staff College

  • Joint Operations Overview for Department of Defense Office of Inspector General

John E. Reid and Associates

  • The Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation
  • Advanced Course on the Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation
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