Arif Alikhan, an advisor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, is returning to Los Angeles as Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety. He replaces Maurice Suh, who is returning to private practice. Alikhan has been an assistant U.S. Attorney and as vice chairman of DOJ's Intellectual Property Task Force. He previously was a prosecutor in the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's office, practiced at Irell and Manella and taught law at USC. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew and is a Loyola Law guy. Press release with bio follows.
LOS ANGELES * Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced the appointment of Arif Alikhan to the position of Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety. Mr. Alikhan is currently a senior official with the United States Department of Justice where he has served for more than nine years in Los Angeles and Washington DC. In his role as Deputy Mayor, he will oversee and advance all aspects of the Mayor’s criminal justice, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism policy, serve as the principal liaison to federal, state and local law enforcement, and administer federal and state criminal justice and homeland security grants awarded to the City of Los Angeles. He replaces departing Deputy Mayor Maurice Suh, who is returning to private practice.
“Arif Alikhan is a prosecutor with results. He brings to this critical role a breadth and depth of experience and intellect that will serve our City well as we put 1,000 new police officers on the street, better prepare for emergencies and expand our counterterrorism capabilities,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Arif has been on the forefront of criminal justice issues and I look forward to him joining our team.”
Commenting on Mr. Alikhan’s appointment, United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzales praised Arif’s accomplishments at the Department of Justice. "Arif Alikhan's appointment as Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety is outstanding news for the city of Los Angeles, though we will certainly miss having him as part of the Department of Justice team. Arif has served with distinction as both an Assistant U.S. Attorney and as Vice Chairman of the Intellectual Property Task Force. His leadership within the Department has dramatically increased the profile of intellectual property and cyber crime issues, and he has been highly effective in overseeing the national Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Program.
"Arif leaves behind a legacy of hard work, innovative thinking, and dedication to the rule of law. These are characteristics that he will bring to his new position, and the city of Los Angeles will be fortunate to have him."
Since the inception of the Villaraigosa administration in July 2005, significant strides have been made toward improving emergency response, prevention and preparedness efforts in Los Angeles. Mayor Villaraigosa signaled his commitment to a comprehensive security strategy early in the administration by reshaping the Mayor’s traditional public safety office into a newly designed Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety. Under Deputy Mayor Maurice M. Suh, this office has succeeded in rapidly advancing a comprehensive agenda of policy initiatives and managing more than $300 million in grant funding. “The City of Los Angeles owes a debt of gratitude to Maurice for his service to our City. He has led the development and advancement of a full range of public safety and homeland security initiatives including expanding our gang prevention and intervention programs and homeland security and disaster preparedness resources post 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina.”
Mr. Alikhan is currently a senior justice department official responsible for overseeing the national Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Program and is a key advisor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on intellectual property and cyber crime issues. He has worked as a federal prosecutor in the Los Angeles Office of the United States Attorney and has been recognized by the US Department of Justice for his superior management and supervisory performance.
"This is a fantastic appointment," commented Laurie Levenson, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, a teacher and then colleague of Alikhan. "Arif Alikhan will put the interest of the community first at all times. A natural leader, he is an excellent lawyer, well respected by judges, lawyers and community leaders alike, and he brings with him a wealth of law enforcement experience from Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Because he has been on the cutting edge of the fight against terrorism through his work in cyber-terrorism, he appreciates the complexities and dangers of the world we live in. He will serve the City of Los Angeles and the Villaraigosa administration very well."
Mr. Alikhan will officially begin his appointment in November.
BIOGRAPHY OF ARIF ALIKHAN
Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety
Mr. Alikhan has extensive experience in developing and managing federal law enforcement programs, working with local law enforcement agencies, and developing innovative strategies to combat crime and address public safety concerns.
Mr. Alikhan previously served as the first Section Chief of a new Cyber and Intellectual Property Crimes Section for the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, the largest judicial district in the nation. He designed a comprehensive program and successfully led a team of specially-trained federal prosecutors who aggressively prosecuted hundreds of computer hackers,
Internet thieves, and intellectual property offenders. In addition, he worked closely with local and federal law enforcement agencies to address local crime problems through innovative and creative strategies.
Mr. Alikhan is currently a senior official at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. where he is responsible for overseeing the national Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Program and is a key advisor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on intellectual property and cyber crime issues.
In 2004, Mr. Alikhan was appointed as the Chief Counsel of the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Intellectual Property. Mr. Alikhan supervised the creation of an extensive report containing several recommendations designed to improve the Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to protect intellectual property in the U.S. and abroad. In March 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales elevated Mr. Alikhan to the position of Vice Chairman and Executive Director where he became responsible for overseeing the full implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations.
Mr. Alikhan began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk to U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew in Los Angeles and then joined the Los Angeles law firm of Irell and Manella where he handled civil and white-collar criminal defense matters. In 1997, Mr. Alikhan joined the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles where he handled a wide variety of criminal matters as a federal prosecutor for over eight years. He received several awards from law enforcement agencies for his work and was recognized by the Department of Justice for his superior management and supervisory performance.
Mr. Alikhan was an adjunct professor of law at the University of Southern California Law School where he taught criminal procedure and has been a frequent lecturer at universities in the Southern California area.
Mr. Alikhan graduated with honors from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles in 1993 and was recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top California attorneys under the age of 40. He graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in 1990 where he earned a degree in Social Ecology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice, Criminology and Legal Studies.