Ehsan Zaffar is an expert on civil rights, civil liberties and national security matters. He serves as a Senior Advisor at the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. where he advises the Secretary of Homeland Security and DHS components on the civil rights and civil liberties implications of existing and proposed national security policies, programs and procedures. Mr. Zaffar leads the Department's efforts to implement UNHRC Resolution 16/18 to combat intolerance and violence against persons on the basis of religion or belief.
He has previously served as a liaison to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Standing Committee on National Security Law and as Chair of the ABA’s Section of International Law (Asia/Pacific Committee).
Mr. Zaffar also serves as adjunct faculty at John Marshall Law School’s Center for Intellectual Property, Information and Privacy Law, George Mason University’s Department of Criminology Law & Society and George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. He teaches courses on homeland security policy, as well as privacy and surveillance law. Most recently, he has lectured to audiences on these issues in Spain, Greece, Indonesia, Norway and Pakistan - where he represented the U.S. government on civil rights and civil liberties issues in 2012.
Prior to government service, Mr. Zaffar worked on human rights and rule of law issues in post-disaster and post-conflict environments both domestically and abroad. Mr. Zaffar earned his JD in 2008 from Pepperdine University School of Law where he also completed his Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute. He is licensed to practice law in California and the District of Columbia and is a panel mediator on national security and civil rights matters with the Agency for Dispute Resolution.
Degrees & Universities
- J.D., Pepperdine University School of Law
- B.A., University of California at Los Angeles
- Ehsan Zaffar, Understanding Homeland Security: Foundations of Security Policy (Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier Press forthcoming).
- Ehsan Zaffar, What Are Your Rights at Screenings and Checkpoints?, 33 No. 3 ABA GP Solo Mag. (2013).
- Ehsan Zaffar, Self-Sustaining Mobile Legal Aid Clinics as a Model for Post-Disaster Legal Care, 3 J. Bus. Entrep. & L. 195 (2009).