Iris Lan is the General Counsel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In this capacity, she serves as NASA’s chief legal officer and oversees its team of attorneys responsible for all aspects of NASA’s legal affairs.
Before this appointment, Lan was an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, with responsibilities over the nation’s 93 U.S. Attorneys and the Department’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. As a senior career official for over a decade, she advised the Deputy Attorney General and the Attorney General on some of the most significant legal and enforcement issues across the country.
Lan is a graduate of Harvard University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physics, master’s degree in history of science, and Law dgree. Thereafter, Lan clerked for Judge William C. Bryson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and served as a litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.
Lan joined the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she prosecuted many of the nation's most complex counterterrorism, counterintelligence, export control, cyber intrusion, and corporate fraud cases. Later, she was also Deputy Chief of the appellate section, supervising attorneys in briefing and arguing cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Lan also previously served in the U.S. Department of Justice on the National Security Division’s leadership team and in the Office of Legal Counsel, where she provided advice to other cabinet-level agencies on statutory interpretation issues.
As a member of ALI, Lan also serves as an adviser for ALI’s project on the law of compliance and enforcement for organizations. She is admitted to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office and a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.