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The Honorable Jeh C. Johnson

Cabinet officer and lawyer Jeh C. Johnson was born on September 11, 1957 in New York City to Norma Edelin and Jeh Vincent Johnson. He graduated from Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, New York in 1975. He then received his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979, and his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1982.

In 1982, Johnson was hired at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, and later joined the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in 1984 as an associate. From 1989 to 1991, Johnson served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. He subsequently became the first African American partner at Paul Weiss. In 1998, Johnson was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as general counsel of the U.S. Department of the Air Force until 2001, when he returned to Paul, Weiss. Johnson was later appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2009. In 2012, Johnson returned to private law practice. The following year, Johnson was nominated by President Obama as Secretary of Homeland Security and served until 2017. He then rejoined the law firm of Paul Weiss as partner.

Johnson has served as chairman of the New York City Bar’s Judiciary Committee and was elected as a fellow by the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2004. He has also served as special counsel to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, on the board of directors for Lockheed Martin, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Center for a New American Security. In 2008, Johnson was a delegate for the Democratic National Convention. He has also served as a non-resident senior fellow for the Harvard Kennedy School of Business and as a trustee for Adelphi University.

In 2017, Johnson was named Cyber Security and Data Privacy Trailblazer by the National Law Journal and was honored with the Anti-Defamation League’s Gorowitz Institute Service Award. He also received the Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award, the NYSBA Pioneer Award, John J. McCloy Award, and the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award. In 2018, Johnson was listed among Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers; and, in 2019, he received Columbia’s University’s Annual Black Alumni Council Heritage Award. He also has ten honorary degrees.

Jeh C. Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 9, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.027

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/8/2019

4/8/2019 |and| 9/18/2019

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

C

Schools

Columbia Law School

Morehouse College

P.S. 143 Louis Armstrong School

Poughkeepsie Day School

Sheafe Road Elementary School

Oak Grove Elementary School

Wappinger Falls Junior High School

Roy C. Ketcham High School

First Name

Jeh

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

JOH55

Favorite Season

Late October

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tuscany

Favorite Quote

No Man Can Be Justly Judged Unless You Have Seen The World Through His Eyes

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/11/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Veal Saltimbocca

Short Description

Cabinet officer and lawyer Jeh C. Johnson (1957 - ) was the first African American partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP before serving as general counsel of the Department of the Air Force, general counsel for the Department of Defense, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

Employment

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Defense

Department of the Air Force

Southern District of New York

Sullivan & Cromwell

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Favorite Color

Orange

Errol B. Taylor

Lawyer Errol B. Taylor was born on November 24, 1955 in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, received his B.A. degree in biology in 1977 from State University of New York at Oswego, and his J.D. degree in 1987 from New York Law School, in New York City.

Admitted to the New York State Bar in 1988, Taylor was also admitted to the bars of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He became a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1996, and a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 1997. He served as a patent litigation attorney, partner and member of the executive committee at the intellectual property law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, in New York City from 1987 to 2003. Taylor joined as partner of the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in 2003, where he led the firm’s biopharma patent litigation practice and served as chair of Milbank’s Diversity Committee.

Taylor represented biopharmaceutical companies in patent litigation regarding some of the world’s most prescribed medicines and was selected by The National Law Journal as one of the nation's top trial lawyers in 2003. He received an honorary Ph.D. degree (doctor of laws) from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2006. He was elected chairman of the board of trustees in 2004 for the Trenton, New Jersey-based Young Scholars’ Institute, a nonprofit learning center, which serves students in pre-K through 12th grade, and was President of the Princeton Chapin School Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2011. Taylor was named one of Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2015, which features the top partners from leading law firms and corporate counsels from Fortune 1000 companies. He was recognized in Lawdragon’s 2018 guide of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. The annual guide is the company’s highest distinction, recognizing top practitioners across various practice areas. He was the recipient of the New York Law School Alumni Award in 2018.

Included in his affiliations and memberships: American Intellectual Property Law Association and Federal Circuit Bar Association. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities. Taylor has served as trustee on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees of Clark Atlanta University and New York Law School, where co-chaired the advisory board for the Innovation Center for Law and Technology.

Errol B. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.086

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/27/2018

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Brooklyn Technical High School

State University of New York at Oswego

New York Law School

First Name

Errol

Birth City, State, Country

Kingston

HM ID

TAY18

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

An Empty Barrel Makes The Most Noise.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/24/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Jamaica

Favorite Food

Caribbean

Short Description

Lawyer Errol B. Taylor (1955- ) named partner at the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in 2003, previously served as a patent attorney and partner at the corporate and securities law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, in New York City from 1999 to 2003.

Employment

Squibb Corporation

Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper and Schinto

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy LLP

Favorite Color

Blue