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Jonathan E. Rackoff

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Click to Email: rackoff@martenlaw.com

Jonathan E. Rackoff is a partner in the Seattle office of Marten Law PLLC, and chair of the Firm's nationwide Regulatory and Government Investigations practice.

An experienced litigator, veteran crisis manager, and former senior government lawyer at the White House and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C., Mr. Rackoff brings a 20-year track record of results developing and implementing solutions - whether by litigation, negotiation, or policy-setting - for novel, cross-cutting, and high-stakes regulatory challenges. He advises clients of all sizes, from prominent executives, to pre-IPO startups, to Fortune 100 companies, on how to mitigate risk and maximize competitive advantage by influencing, repositioning with, and navigating our rapidly evolving and increasingly global compliance and enforcement landscape. Mr. Rackoff's broad practice focuses on cutting-edge energy and environmental matters, as well as transportation law and policy, retail and consumer products, privacy and data security, blockchain regulation, intellectual property strategy and enforcement, ag-biotech, government ethics, congressional oversight and hearings, as well as emerging issues in the pharma and biotech sectors.

From 2010 to 2017, Mr. Rackoff held a succession of senior legal positions at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and U.S. EPA. Most recently, as Senior Counsel on EPA's legal leadership team from 2014 to 2017, Mr. Rackoff served as the 15,000-person cabinet agency's chief oversight and incident response lawyer nationwide. Over his tenure, he successfully defended the Agency in 97 high-stakes government investigations, represented current and former senior officials in 62 public oversight hearings, led dozens of sensitive internal compliance and misconduct investigations declined by or outside the jurisdiction of the EPA IG, and oversaw crisis management and strategic communications efforts for an array of high-profile environmental controversies in the national news, from the Keystone XL Pipeline EIS, to the drinking water crisis in Flint, MI, to the Gold King Mine waste-water spill in CO.

Previously, Mr. Rackoff served at the White House as lead counsel to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), where he was responsible for overseeing legal implementation of the President's regulatory agenda government-wide. From 2010-2015, he vetted 2,465 nationally significant rules promulgated by 32 federal agencies. These included actions related to toxic substances, coal combustion residuals, energy-efficiency requirements, greenhouse gas pollution and climate-change resilience, corporate fuel economy standards, NEPA and infrastructure, steam electric effluent guidelines, Clean Water Act jurisdiction, solar incentives, health reform implementation, ESA and cooling water intake structures, mine safety, pipeline safety and hazardous materials transport, restaurant menu labeling, autonomous vehicles, integration of drones into the national airspace, pharmaceutical manufacturing and product quality, and many more. Mr. Rackoff also counseled extensively on federal information policy, including privacy and cybersecurity; intellectual property enforcement, including policies to combat the global trade in counterfeit products and related consumer protection and supply chain integrity challenges; federal procurement rules; and policies to promote international regulatory cooperation with key trading partners.

Concurrently, Mr. Rackoff served as the top ethics official for White House-OMB, where he successfully managed compliance for 500 high-profile White House officials under intense media scrutiny across three federal election cycles.

Since departing public service, Mr. Rackoff has served as Chief Legal Officer of two early-stage biopharmaceutical incubators, counseling on all aspects of their legal operations and deal structures, negotiating and drafting complex product license and commercialization agreements with international rights holders, and formulating domestic regulatory strategies.

Mr. Rackoff earned his BA from Oberlin College, and his JD from Stanford Law School, where he served as an Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review. He clerked both on the Ninth Circuit Court of the Appeals and in the Central District of California.

History

  • Marten Law PLLC, Seattle, WA (2018 - present)
  • General Counsel, Tegalux Biosciences LLC (May 2017-2018)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Immediate Office of the General Counsel Washington, D.C. Senior Counsel & Head of Oversight and Investigations (11/2014-1/2017)
  • White House Office of Management and Budget, Office of General Counsel Washington, D.C. Assistant General Counsel, Regulatory Policy (4/2010-11/2014)
  • White House Office of Management and Budget, Washington, D.C. Chief Ethics Officer (8/2010-11/2014)
  • Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, D.C. Supreme Court and Appellate Practice, Senior Associate (11/2007-4/2010)
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles, CA – Senior Law Clerk (9/2006-9/2007)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Reno, NV – Law Clerk (8/2005-8/2006)
  • Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Washington, D.C. Litigation Practice, Associate (9/2003-7/2005)

Education

  • J.D., Stanford Law School (2003)
    • Articles Editor, Stanford Law Review
    • Editor, Stanford Environmental Law Journal
  • B.A., with honors, Oberlin College, Philosophy and Biology (1997)

Bar Admissions

  • The District of Columbia Bar
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Washington (pending)