Zachary Stern has been named the 2021 recipient of the NNSA Office of the General Counsel Legal Excellence Award, which recognizes the highest standards of legal acumen and scholarship, integrity, ethics, and achievement that support the accomplishment of NNSA missions.
Stern earned the award through exemplary legal support to NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs (DP) and Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation (CTCP).
He was nominated by DP’s Office of International Programs for expert legal advice related to the United States/United Kingdom Mutual Defense Agreement. In particular, Stern provided crucial legal guidance during program negotiations to support broad and extensive cooperation under the agreement. He reviewed and analyzed decades of archived classified files and, in doing so, identified precedent he then leveraged to further underpin the legal foundation supporting cooperation under the agreement. Furthermore, Stern was an integral player in the creation of the U.S./U.K. Joint Development Environment, a customized electronic environment accessible to both countries with the potential to transform the art of possible when it comes to future collaborative activities.
Zach analyzes issues thoroughly and tries to anticipate any legal or ethical hurdles members of the NNSA team may encounter. It’s a pleasure to recognize him for his efforts, which I and his colleagues count on every day.
CTCP nominated Stern for his research and legal consultation in support of a National Security Council-led interagency process to overhaul presidential policy concerning the U.S. Government response to terrorist threats and incidents. His legal recommendations played a significant role in the rewrite of this critical national security policy. Additionally, Stern coordinated review of a document that underpins new initiatives with international partners regarding the legal status of NNSA’s Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) responders.
“Zach analyzes issues thoroughly and tries to anticipate any legal or ethical hurdles members of the NNSA team may encounter,” said Tim Fischer, NNSA General Counsel. “It’s a pleasure to recognize him for his efforts, which I and his colleagues count on every day.”
He was presented the award at the NNSA General Counsel’s annual meeting, which was held virtually.