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Jonathan E. Rackoff

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Click to Email: rackoff@martenlaw.com

With 16 years of private sector and high-level government experience, including senior roles in the Obama White House and U.S. EPA, Jonathan offers an insider’s perspective on how to negotiate with and influence regulatory agencies, investigate and manage compliance risks, defend high-stakes federal and state enforcement actions, and coordinate incident response and strategic communications for enterprise-threatening crises unfolding in the national news.

Jonathan Rackoff is a partner in Marten’s Seattle office, where he chairs the Firm’s growing Regulatory and Government Investigations practice. A trial and appellate litigator by training with multi-faceted regulatory, enforcement, and crisis-management experience – spanning in-house, the Am Law 50, and the senior ranks of government – Jonathan helps clients in a range of industries navigate our evolving and increasingly global compliance landscape. His subject-matter background is diverse, including: privacy law and policy; data security and breach response; IP enforcement policy; cloud computing policy; healthcare reform and implementation; antitrust, complex commercial, and patent litigation, including before the U.S. Supreme Court; innovation policy, oversight, and regulation in the biopharma and med-tech sectors; as well as energy and environmental regulation, climate, and corporate sustainability issues.

Notable representations:

  • a former Regional Administrator of U.S. EPA Region 5 in a congressional investigation and public hearings before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform regarding the Flint, Michigan water crisis;
  • a Fortune 500 transportation company as appellate counsel at trial, defending claims arising from a fatal railway collision and toxic chemical release;
  • a biopharmaceutical startup as outside general counsel;
  • a large e-commerce company in an internal investigation of EPA allegations of Clean Air Act noncompliance;
  • a software and consumer electronics manufacturer in advice regarding California’s Proposition 65 and compliance management best practices;
  • an e-waste recycler in connection with TSCA compliance assurance monitoring by U.S. EPA;
  • a food and agribusiness company in defense of long-standing minerals processing enforcement by U.S. EPA and DOJ-ENRD;
  • 11 prospective political appointees requiring Senate confirmation through the vetting process and congressional hearings;
  • an international medical device company in its appeal from an adverse verdict of patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents;
  • three national trade associations as amici curiae in support of a specialty chemicals company’s certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court (environmental criminal issues);
  • a telecommunications company in its Federal Circuit appeal from an ITC determination of no Section 337 violation by competitor’s importation and sale of certain mobile telephone handsets;
  • a franchisee of an international hotel chain on certiorari petition to the U.S. Supreme Court (standing under Title III of the ADA);
  • a Fortune 500 manufacturer in antitrust litigation over claims that its market share-based wholesale incentive program violated the Robinson-Patman Act, where damages sought exceeded $250 million.

Professional and academic background:

Immediately before joining Marten, Jonathan served as General Counsel of a successful biopharmaceutical startup.

Previously, Jonathan held a number of senior regulatory, compliance, and investigative positions in the Obama Administration:

  • As principal regulatory and information policy counsel to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Executive Office of the President (EOP), Jonathan oversaw legal implementation of the President’s rulemaking and information/IT agendas government-wide – including privacy law and policy.
  • As White House-OMB’s chief ethics and political-law compliance official, or “DAEO,” Jonathan managed program integrity, enforcement, media affairs, and related congressional issues on behalf of 500 senior officials and staff in the EOP.
  • Later, as part of the senior leadership team in EPA’s Office of General Counsel – recognized by The Legal 500 during his tenure as “Best In-House Team for Environment, 2014 and 2015” – Jonathan led the 15,000-person Cabinet Agency’s cross-functional oversight and incident response team nationwide.

Earlier in his career, Jonathan trained as a trial and appellate litigator at two Am Law 50 global law firms; clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Proctor Hug Jr., as well as District Judge Marianna R. Pfaelzer in the Central District of California; and served at the National Institutes of Health as legal faculty in bioethics and clinical research regulation.

Jonathan graduated from Stanford Law School, where he was an Articles Editor on the Stanford Law Review; he received his B.A. with honors in philosophy and biology from Oberlin College; and his academic work on health policy topics has been published in such major journals as PediatricsIRB: Ethics & Human Research, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Professional History

  • Marten Law LLP, Partner  – Seattle, WA (2018-Present)
  • Tegalux Biosciences LLC, General Counsel – Washington, D.C. (2017-2018)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Immediate Office of the General Counsel, Senior Counsel  – Washington, D.C. (2014-2017)
  • White House, Office of Management and Budget, Office of General Counsel, AGC & Lead Counsel, Regulatory – Washington, D.C. (2010-2014)
  • White House, Office of Management and Budget, Chief Ethics Officer (DAEO) – Washington, D.C. (2010-2014)
  • Sidley Austin LLP, Supreme Court and Appellate Associate – Washington, D.C. (2007-2010)
  • National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, Department of Bioethics, Visiting Faculty – Bethesda, MD (Fall Term 2007)
  • Hon. Mariana R. Pfaelzer, District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Law Clerk – Los Angeles, CA (2006-2007)
  • Hon. Proctor Hug, Jr., Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Law Clerk – Reno, NV (2005-2006)
  • Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Litigation Associate  – Washington, D.C. (2003-2005)
  • National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center, Department of Bioethics, Fellow – Bethesda, MD (1998-2000)
  • The Lewin Group, Medical Technology Practice, Management Consultant – Fairfax, VA (1997-1998)


  • J.D., Stanford Law School – Stanford, CA (2003)
    • Articles Editor, Stanford Law Review
    • Editor, Stanford Technology Law Review
    • Editor, Stanford Environmental Law Journal
  • B.A., with honors, Oberlin College – Oberlin, OH (1997)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia Bar (Active)
  • State Bar of California (Active)