Mark S. Zaid
Mark S. Zaid is a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in crisis management and innovatively handling simple and complex administrative and litigation matters relating to national security, international law, foreign sovereign and diplomatic immunity, and the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts.
Through his practice Mr. Zaid often represents former/current federal employees, particularly intelligence and military officers, defense contractors, Whistleblowers and others who have grievances, have been wronged or are being investigated by agencies of the United States Government or foreign governments, as well as members of the media.
Since 2009, he has been named a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer every year (including being profiled) and he is repeatedly named a “Best Lawyer” in Washingtonian Magazine’s bi-annual designation for his national security or whistleblower work. The Magazine also named him one of D.C.’s Most Influential People in 2021. In 2020, the Washington Metropolitan Employment Lawyer’s Association named him “Attorney of the Year” for his work on the Intelligence Community Whistleblower’s case. As the National Law Journal once wrote, “if Agent Mulder ever needed a lawyer, Zaid would be his man.”
Mr. Zaid is also the Executive Director and founder of the James Madison Project, a Washington, D.C.-based organization with the primary purpose of educating the public on issues relating to intelligence gathering and operations, secrecy policies, national security and government wrongdoing. In 2017, Mr. Zaid co-founded Whistleblower Aid, a non-profit law firm that provides pro bono legal representation to whistleblowers, particularly in the national security arena.
In connection with his legal practice, Mr. Zaid has testified before numerous governmental bodies in the Legislative and Executive Branches. From 2014-2016, he served as an appointed Member by the Archivist of the United States to the Freedom of Information Act Advisory Committee. “Curiously for this town,” once wrote the American Bar Association Journal, “Zaid is an equal opportunity thorn out to pierce the sides of suit jackets bearing both elephants and donkeys on the lapels.”
A 1992 graduate and Associate Editor of the Law Review of Albany Law School of Union University in New York, he completed his undergraduate education (cum laude) in 1989 at the University of Rochester, New York with honors in Political Science and high honors in History. Mr. Zaid is a member of the Bars of New York State, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland and numerous federal courts.