Prof. Chris Jenks receives Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service as Special Counsel


Chris Jenks


Professor Chris Jenks


Director of  the Criminal Clinic and Associate
Professsor of Law

The Secretary of Defense Medal for the United States of America awarded "The Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service" to Professor Chris Jenks who was recognized for his exceptional public service as Special Counsel to the Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense from August 2017 to August 2018.  According to the Citation that accompanied the award, "Jenks provided truly expert advice on a wide variety of international law matters and was instrumental in shaping the Department of Defense's approach to sensitive legal issues associated with the International Criminal Court.  A remarkably knowledgeable and insightful national security law expert, Mr. Jenks meticulously crafted speeches and comments for the Acting General Counsel, including a pivotal speech before the New York City Bar Association defending the criticality of the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, which provide domestic legal authority for global operations against Al Qaida, the Taliban and associated forces, including ISIS.  Mr. Jenks directed a team of experts on a matter of enormous sensitivity for the Department.  He also was absolutely instrumental in advising both the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice during ongoing and often contentious military commissions and detainee litigation.  The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Jenks reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense."