Admiral Barnett is Co-Chair of Venable's Telecommunications Group and a partner in the firm's Cybersecurity Practice. He has a rare combination of experience in cybersecurity, national defense, homeland security, emergency communications, public safety communications and technology policy. This experience is invaluable to clients in the financial services, transportation, telecommunications and utilities industries as well as other critical infrastructures.
Admiral Barnett has had a distinguished career in the public and private sector. A surface warfare officer, he has over 30 years of experience in the United States Navy and Navy Reserve, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral and serving as Deputy Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and Director of Naval Education and Training in the Pentagon. Among other personal awards, he has received four Legion of Merit medals.
In addition to his military service, Admiral Barnett served as the Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission where he executed major cybersecurity initiatives. As Chief of the Bureau, Admiral Barnett also led major rulemakings and projects in public safety broadband, emergency alerting and Next Generation 9-1-1, working closely with industry and government stakeholders. He has also testified before Congress and is a noted speaker on cybersecurity.
For nearly 20 years, Admiral Barnett worked as an attorney in private practice. He represented cities, counties, school districts, law enforcement agencies and development authorities in the board room and in state and federal court advising on a range of topics including constitutional law, governmental liability, personnel and employment law, education and school law, policy development, legislation, procurement, and ethics.
Prior to joining Venable, Admiral Barnett served as Senior Vice President for National Security Policy at the Potomac Institute for Public Policy, a premier not-for-profit science and technology policy research institution in the Washington, DC area. He remains a Senior Fellow of Potomac Institute.