James P. Benoit
Professorial Lecturer in Law
Mr. Benoit currently serves as the Counsel (OGC Operations), where he is responsible for the executive management of General Counsel and Senior Executive Service initiatives within OGC, advises on organizational operations, and manages the OGC Information Technology (IT) programs and personnel.He has received DON Meritorious and Superior Civilian Service Awards.
Prior to joining DON OGC, Mr. Benoit served for 20 years in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, where he attained the rank of Commander. His final assignment on active duty was as the International Law Advisor in the Office of the Chief Prosecutor, Military Commissions. Immediately before that, he served as the Legal Advisor to the 3-star US Military Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, Belgium. Other assignments included teaching international law at the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia, and serving as both a prosecutor and appellate defense attorney. His operational assignments include serving: as the Command Judge Advocate (legal advisor) aboard USS Frank Cable (AS 40), which was homeported in Guam but deployed regularly throughout the Pacific; as the Staff Judge Advocate for Joint Interagency Task Force West, which detected and monitored international drug trafficking; and as the first Staff Judge Advocate of the newly formed Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) Three, which deployed aboard the USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3), and cross-decked underway in the Arabian Gulf to the USS Essex (LHD 2) in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. Mr. Benoit's personal military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards).
Mr. Benoit has earned: a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law, with Highest Honors from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC; a Juris Doctor, with Distinction from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA; a Master of Business Administration, with Distinction from the Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management in Ithaca, NY; and a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. He has published “A Practical Guide to the Law of the Sea,” as well as a few law review articles, and has taught Law of the Sea at George Washington University Law School since 2014.
Mr. Benoit is a member of the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, California Supreme Court, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.