John W. Heath
John W. Heath helps MLA's government contractor clients meet their unique business challenges by providing creative solutions that utilize both law and public policy. These solutions incorporate traditional legal services and counseling, representation before Congress and Executive Branch agencies and procurement advocacy/business development. In particular, Mr. Heath focuses his practice on providing the full spectrum of national security-related legal and government relations services necessary to support small and mid-size companies currently doing (or seeking to do) business with the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community or the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Heath’s practice includes:
- Compliance: counseling on the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS), and other agency supplements;
- Export Controls: advising on matters related to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and sanctions-related regulations enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC);
- Security Clearances: assisting individuals or companies participating in the National Industrial Security Program (NISP) regain or maintain their security clearances; and
- Small Business: advising clients on the requirements of small business programs listed in FAR Part 19 and representing them before the Small Business Administration.
Some examples of Mr. Heath’s work include successfully helping a client gain the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s approval for a proposed sale to a foreign government, successfully representing a client in his appeal of a decision by the White House Communications Agency to disqualify him for the Presidential Support Program (YANKEE WHITE), and advising a client working on a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program whether to file a Commodity Jurisdiction request with the State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.
Mr. Heath joined the firm from the minority staff of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee. While on the Armed Services Committee staff, Mr. Heath had oversight responsibilities related to major defense acquisition programs. He also helped to prepare Senator John McCain, the ranking Republican member, for Committee markup, Senate floor action and conference on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Mr. Heath served as the minority staff lead for all Department of Defense intelligence programs and non-waived special access programs. Additionally, Mr. Heath served as Senator McCain’s designee to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. For the fiscal year 2011 defense authorization cycle, he also served as the minority staff lead for a $31.6 billion portfolio of unclassified Army Procurement and Research, Development, Test and Evaluation programs. Mr. Heath also performed a variety of investigative and legislative counsel work. He helped conduct the Committee’s investigation into certain private security contractors in Afghanistan.
Previously, Mr. Heath worked as a counsel on the Republican staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. While on the Intelligence Committee staff, Mr. Heath helped conduct investigations into various classified programs of the Intelligence Community. He also had oversight responsibility for the classified programs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other elements of the Intelligence Community.
Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Mr. Heath served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. While on active duty, Mr. Heath tried over 30 courts-martial as either a prosecutor or defense counsel in Korea, Iraq or Ft. Bragg, NC. While deployed to Iraq in 2004, Mr. Heath served as the military defense counsel to one of the original seven military policemen accused of abusing detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison.
Prior to serving in the Army, Mr. Heath clerked for the Honorable Eugene R. Sullivan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.
- Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., cum laude, May 2000
- Harvard University, A.B., magna cum laude, June 1997
- National Defense Intelligence College, Defense Intelligence Agency, M.S. (Strategic Intelligence), July 2008, National Military Intelligence Association Award
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
- “The Practical Realities of Export Control Reform for Government Contractors,” Bloomberg BNA: Federal Contracts Report (May 28, 2013).
- "Salazar V. Ramah — A Victory For Government Contractors," co-authored by John Heath and Larry Ebner, Law360 (June 28, 2012).
- Note, Journey Over ‘Strange Ground’: From Demjanjuk to the International Criminal Court Regime, 13 GEO IMMIGR. L. J. 383 (1999).
Seminars and Presentations:
- Presenter, “Sequestration and the Fiscal Year 2014 Army Budget,” Embassy of Canada Defense Industry Forum, October 23, 2013.
- Presenter, “Federal Defense Budget Outlook,” California Governor’s Military Council, San Diego, September 25, 2013.
- Moderator, “Panel Discussion with Committee Professional Staff Members on Congress and the Intelligence Community,” AFCEA EPIC Speakers Series, April 23, 2013.
- Presenter, “Sequestration and the FY14 Navy-Marine Corps Budget,” Sea Air Space Exposition, April 5, 2013.
- Presenter: “Congress and Intelligence Reform” AFCEA Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee, January 15, 2013.
- Presenter: "What Could Sequestration Mean to the GeoInt Community?" United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, August 23, 2012.