Joe Onek's clients include Change to Win, Service Employees International Union and the Center for National Security Studies.
With experience working in all three branches of the federal government as well as in the private and non-profit sectors, Joe Onek offers unique insight into how decisions are made in Washington.
Joe was most recently senior counsel to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, though his distinguished record of public service spans many generations of Washington politics. In the Carter Administration, he served on the White House Domestic Policy Staff as associate director of health and human resources and later as deputy counsel to the President. In the Clinton Administration, Joe was the senior coordinator for rule of law at the State Department and principal deputy associate attorney general at the Department of Justice.
Joe also worked for Senator Ted Kennedy on the Senate’s Administrative Practice and Procedure Subcommittee and on the Labor and Public Welfare Committee.
For more than fifteen years Joe was a partner in private law practice, first at Onek Klein & Farr and subsequently at Crowell & Moring. In the non-profit world, he worked as an attorney and then director of the Center for Law & Social Policy (CLASP) and, more recently, as senior counsel and director of the Liberty and Security Initiative at the Constitution Project and as a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Institute.
A graduate of Harvard College, the London School of Economics and Yale Law School, Joe began his legal career as a law clerk to Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice William J. Brennan in the 1968-69 term.
Joe is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as chair of the board of CLASP. He is also on the boards of Youth Venture and the International Senior Lawyers Project.