President Donald Trump speaks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's office, where he signed new executive directives on tax regulations.

Gabriella Demczuk / The New York Times

November 7, 2017

Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Cornell Alumnus as Inspector General

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After last week’s announcement that a Cornell alumnus was nominated to lead NASA, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) MBA ’09 may soon have a fellow Cornellian in the administration.

President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Michael K. Atkinson J.D. ’91 to become the next Inspector General of the United States Intelligence Community, according to a press release from the President’s Press Secretary on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The current Inspector General of the Intelligence Community is Wayne A. Stone. In this position, Atkinson will be responsible for the oversight of the federation’s 16 government agencies’ programs and operations.

The Intelligence Community, established in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, includes the the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and various other military intelligence programs. The Intelligence Community maintains sensitive information used in support of military leaders, policymakers and members of Congress.

The Office of the Inspector General works in cooperation with the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Joint Intelligence Community Council and the Office of Management of Budget.

According to the White House release, Atkinson had previously been involved with the U.S. Attorney’s office as Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General since 2016.

He began working in the public sector as a trial attorney for the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the Department of Justice from 2002 until 2006. As Assistant U.S. Attorney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Atkinson became the Fraud Section’s acting chief from 2015 until 2016.

Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and his law degree from Cornell, Atkinson became a partner at the D.C. branch of the Chicago-based international law firm Winston & Strawn LLP, the release said.

The Inspector General’s office, a position established by the Obama Administration, falls under the office of the Director of National Intelligence.