Government Experience

  • Associate Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Justice

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

  • J.D., magna cum laude, American University, Washington College of Law, 2002
    American University Law Review
  • B.S., magna cum laude, University of Maryland, College Park, 1997
T +1 202.344.4146
F +1 202.344.8300
 

Alicia C. O'Brien

Partner

Alicia O'Brien is a partner in Venable's Government Division, focusing on the firm's Congressional Investigations Practice and working closely with the Investigations and White Collar Defense, Legislative and Government Affairs, and Regulatory practices. She represents companies, institutions, executives, public officials, and other individuals in all aspects of congressional, federal, and state government investigations. Alicia uses her extensive government and private sector experience to provide strategic counsel to clients navigating these complex, high-stakes matters, which routinely involve public policy and media challenges. She leads internal investigations and crisis management for clients and provides guidance on both proactive and remedial compliance measures, as well as mitigation of reputational damage and business disruption. She also successfully engages with federal and state public officials on policy and regulatory issues in a variety of fields.

Throughout her career in private practice and the public sector, Alicia has represented Fortune 100 companies and their executives, cabinet-level officials, and other appointees and individuals facing high-profile investigations and enforcement actions by Congress, the Department of Justice and other executive branch agencies, state attorneys general, and federal inspectors general. She has been a key strategist and managed all stages of these matters, from wide-scale subpoena responses and witness preparation to hearing testimony and public messaging. Alicia has developed credibility and relationships with public officials on both sides of the aisle throughout the course of her extensive advocacy for her clients.

Most recently, Alicia served as a key senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice through her roles as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) under Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, as well as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA). In these capacities, she routinely advised the Department’s leadership on high-profile, sensitive matters, and managed all aspects of the Department’s responses to an exceptional volume of congressional oversight inquiries and investigations, as well as parallel inquiries by inspectors general, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and other federal agencies. In addition, Alicia regularly prepared DOJ’s most senior officials, including the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, Associate Attorney General, and United States Attorneys, for numerous congressional hearings, member briefings, and other congressional engagement on a wide range of oversight and policy issues. In the 114th Congress, Department witnesses testified in more than 110 hearings, and one committee alone sent over 200 oversight letters to the Department, containing nearly 2,000 separate requests for documents, briefings, and information. Alicia also managed the Senate confirmation process for presidentially appointed Department nominees, including serving as a leading adviser to Attorney General Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Yates, among others.

Prior to DOJ, Alicia spent a decade in private practice at a nationally recognized Washington, DC law firm, representing companies and individuals in a wide array of congressional, federal, and state government investigations, as well as targeted internal investigations.

Significant Matters and Representative Clients

  • Major healthcare company in multiple DOJ investigations and a related internal investigation regarding Medicare reimbursement and potential FCA issues
  • Leading pharmaceutical company in an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee into off-label usage and direct-to-consumer advertising
  • Significant hedge fund and its manager in an investigation and hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee related to the financial crisis
  • Foreign bank in an investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into the use and regulation of offshore tax havens
  • Major software security company in an investigation and hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee into the role of U.S. companies that sell security software to foreign countries
  • Defense contractors in several investigations by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into reconstruction efforts in Iraq and related defense contracts
  • Several for-profit colleges in an investigation and hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee examining recruitment practices and federal investment in these schools
  • Fortune 50 global pharmaceutical company in investigations by multiple state AGs regarding clinical trials, drug safety and efficacy, pharmaceutical pricing, and importation issues
  • Leading international aid organization responding to multiple DOJ/FBI inquiries and related internal investigation regarding losses suffered as the result of a widespread fraudulent investment scheme
  • Active nonprofit voter registration organization in negotiations and settlement with a state AG related to political robocalls

Activities

Alicia's community, civic, and charitable activities include her service on the Advisory Board of the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan national education nonprofit that works with educators and journalists to teach middle and high school students how to become smart, active consumers of news and engaged, informed citizens in the digital age.