John H. Gountanis
John H. Gountanis
Professorial Lecturer in Law
Mr. Gountanis is a career member of the Senior Executive Service with over two decades of legal and policy federal government experience. He has served in multiple senior leadership positions within DHS, including Acting Chief of Staff, Counselor to the Secretary, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security.
Currently serving as the Executive Director for International Engagement, Mr. Gountanis manages DHS’s implementation of its International Engagement Strategy, Security Sector Assistance Program Office, and oversees DHS’s activities in the Middle East and Africa. Mr. Gountanis represents the Department in a variety of DHS missions and works closely with foreign partners to achieve key mutual security objectives on a wide range of issues.
Previously, Mr. Gountanis served as the Principal Deputy Chief Counsel at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of the Chief Counsel in Chicago, where he managed four regional offices covering a six-state area of responsibility. Mr. Gountanis began his federal service under the auspices of the U.S. Attorney General’s Honors Program as the Judicial Law Clerk for the Chicago Immigration Court. One week after the 9/11 tragedy, he joined Chicago’s Office of the District Counsel within the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, handling cases involving terrorists and others who provided material support to terrorist organizations.
Mr. Gountanis was awarded the DHS Secretary’s Distinguished Service Medal and Outstanding Service Medal in recognition of exceptionally distinguished and transformational service to strengthen homeland security. The Distinguished Service Medal is the highest form of recognition bestowed by the Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. Gountanis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University of Chicago and a law degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.