Joe Mazel serves as the Chief of the FBI’s Operational Technology Law Unit, and in that position, leads the development of legal and policy advice to senior executive managers and agents in the FBI concerning the use and worldwide deployment of applied scientific and technological investigative capabilities to support the collection of evidence and intelligence in criminal and national security investigations. Joe has supported the integration and deployment of unmanned aircraft within the FBI and the Department of Justice for a number of years as a member of the Department of Justice’s Unmanned Aircraft Working Group, and was a principal contributor to the Department’s Policy on the Use of UAS. Joe is also one of the leaders of efforts within the US government on counter-UAS legal/policy issues, and is the FBI’s lead on legal/policy efforts with respect to counter-UAS. Joe is a member of the National Security Council’s Policy Coordinating Committees on Counter-Drone and Aviation Security, and was a key leader in drafting and obtaining the passage of the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018, which provided both the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security with counter-UAS authority. Joe continues as a key leader in writing and implementing the Administration’s C-UAS and aviation security policies. Joe serves as the chair of the Interagency Legal Working Group on Countering Unmanned Aerial Systems, which includes representatives of DOJ, DOD and DHS, where he has drafted requirements documents for industry and the FAA to facilitate C-UAS operations, and consulted with the FAA on UAS public safety and national security concerns.
Prior to the FBI, Joe was a civilian legal advisor to the Department of Defense’s Office of Military Commissions, served on active duty with the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he deployed in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, and served as an assistant district attorney with the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office in New York, NY.
Joe is a licensed private pilot, and has received the Bronze Star Medal, the Federal Bar Association’s Younger Federal Lawyer Award in 2005, and the United States Army’s General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award in 2001. He received his Juris Doctor from the Pace University School of Law in White Plains, NY, and his Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ. He is admitted to practice law in the States of New York and New Jersey, the District of Columbia, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.