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  • J.D., 1994
    Cornell University Law School
    (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif)
  • B.A., 1991
    Colgate University

    Mr. Coldebella, formerly president of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation, the organization that represents Colgate’s 32,000 alumni, is now a member of Colgate’s Board of Trustees, and serves on its legal affairs, audit, and academic and faculty affairs committees.

Blog Contributor

Gus Coldebella
901 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Exchange Place
53 State Street
Boston, MA 02109

Gus P. Coldebella is a litigation partner in the Boston and Washington, D.C. offices. He specializes in complex civil litigation, governmental and internal investigations and crisis management. He also provides advice on the national and homeland security laws and policies of the United States.

Mr. Coldebella served as the Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from October 2005 to February 2007, and was its Acting General Counsel from February 2007 to January 2009. He was nominated to be DHS’s General Counsel by President George W. Bush in July 2008. As the department’s top lawyer for two years, he reported directly to Secretary Michael Chertoff, oversaw DHS’s responses to congressional oversight, spearheaded development of regulations, interacted with members of Congress and their staffs, worked on security-related issues with the White House and other executive branch agencies, managed the department’s varied litigation portfolio, supervised the over 1,700 lawyers at DHS and its components (including the Coast Guard, USCIS, CBP, FEMA, ICE, the Secret Service, and TSA), and restructured the legal function to better meet the Department’s needs. He held a TS/SCI clearance.

In 1997, Mr. Coldebella served as a prosecutor in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts District Attorney's office, where he conducted numerous jury trials.


Mr. Coldebella represents clients in litigation alleging violations of the securities laws and breaches of fiduciary duties, partnership and post-closing disputes and other complex litigation. Mr. Coldebella conducts internal investigations and counsels companies and their boards of directors on fiduciary duties, compliance, disclosure and crisis management, including preparing for and managing cyber security incidents. He assists companies and individuals in managing congressional oversight and other governmental investigations, and defends agency enforcement actions. He provides advice on national security-related issues, including privacy, intelligence, critical infrastructure protection, liability protection and foreign trade regulation, and advises clients on how homeland security laws and regulations affect day-to-day business operations, how to comply with them, and how to, where applicable, use agency rules to limit exposure or gain efficiencies.


Mr. Coldebella is on the advisory board of the NYU Law School’s Center on Law and Security. He is a senior fellow at the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) and serves on its Counterterrorism Intelligence Task Force. Mr. Coldebella is a member of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), the Federalist Society and the American Bar Association.


Recent presentations include “Federal Cybersecurity Standards” at the Fordham-FBI International Conference on Cybersecurity (August 2013); “Cybersecurity for the Private Sector: What Companies and Their Lawyers Need to Know” at the ABA Homeland Security Law Institute (June 2013); and a Federalist Society podcast entitled “Cybersecurity—Information Sharing, Privacy, Regulation, and Reason” (May 2013). Mr. Coldebella has made numerous other presentations to the ABA, the Heritage Foundation, the University of Virginia National Security Law program, the U.S. Naval War College, NORAD/NORTHCOM and others.

Mr. Coldebella co-wrote "Securities Litigation" in the ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation 2005.


Mr. Coldebella is admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.


Mr. Coldebella was awarded the Secretary’s Outstanding Service Medal and the United States Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award for his work at the Department of Homeland Security.

In 2013, he was recognized as a “D.C. Super Lawyer,” and was selected as a Massachusetts Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in the May 2005 issue of Boston magazine.