Expert Security Clearance Lawyers


Andrew P. Bakaj, Esq.

Managing Attorney

Andrew Bakaj is a former federal attorney 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, and individuals, corporations, and organizations who are facing criminal and/or administrative investigations. 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 written numerous articles on security clearance matters, federal investigations, and whistleblower representation. He also provides legal commentary and analysis to various media outlets.

Andrew can be reached at

Secure (encrypted) communication via ProtonMail 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


In addition to being the 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 Honors and Recognition

  • Joint Duty Pin (2014)
    • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Career Achievement Award (2012)
    • Department of Defense Office of Inspector General
  • Investigator of the Year, Whistleblower Reprisal Investigations (2012)
    • Department of Defense Office of Inspector General
  • Investigation of the Year, Chemical Weapons Storage Investigation, Whistleblower Reprisal Investigations (2012)
    • Department of Defense Office of Inspector General
  • Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Award in National Security and International Affairs (2011)
    • The Civilian Reprisal Investigations Team, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, was named as a finalist.


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


  • Eric B. Kempen and Andrew P. Bakaj, Marshalling Whistleblower Protection, The Journal of Public Inquiry, Spring/Summer 2009, at 6.
    • The Journal of Public Inquiry article was cited in an Amicus Curiae brief to the Supreme Court of the United States. Ultimately, the whistleblower prevailed. See Lane v. Franks, No. 13-483 (June 19, 2014).
  • Andrew P. Bakaj, Yesterday it was American Business, Today It’s the American Military: Oversight and Outsourcing of U.S. Military Functions, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, Syracuse University, Spring 2006.


  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • District of New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of the United States

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