FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Stephen R. Heifetz

Stephen R. Heifetz

Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Washington, DC, USA


Stephen Heifetz is a partner in Steptoe’s Washington office, where he helps clients navigate laws and policies at the nexus of international business and security.  He has worked in senior levels of the federal government and uses that experience to provide counseling regarding legal compliance and political risk, conduct internal investigations, and defend against government investigations and enforcement actions.  He is particularly experienced in the following areas:

  • Foreign investment reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
  • The Defense Department’s National Industrial Security Program (NISPOM) and its Foreign Ownership and Influence (FOCI) rules
  • Anti-money laundering laws administered by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), bank regulatory agencies, and other financial regulators
  • Economic sanctions administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and by the United Nations Security Council
  • Cargo and passenger screening rules administered by DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agencies
  • Anti-corruption laws (e.g., the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) enforced by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Security rules related to visa processing, administered by the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs in conjunction with an array of US security agencies
  • Private sector interface with the US intelligence and security establishments

Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Heifetz served in the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as the Central Intelligence Agency.  In his most recent government position, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy Development at DHS.  Mr. Heifetz shaped DHS’s role in CFIUS, conducted hundreds of CFIUS reviews, and negotiated many “risk mitigation agreements” that CFIUS deemed necessary to approve foreign investments.  He also worked with DHS’s agencies – including the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – to develop policy on a range of issues. 

Mr. Heifetz has served on the Board of Directors of the International Stability Operations Association and as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He also has served as an adjunct professor at Georgetown law school and has published extensively in trade journals, law reviews, and newspapers, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. 

Select Speaking Engagements & Publications

CFIUS and Chinese Investment, US-China Business Council, March 18, 2015

CFIUS Reviews, Canadian Bar Association, June 10, 2014

CFIUS 2013 Annual Report: Sustained Increase in Investigations
March 12, 2015

Navigating Joint CFIUS and DSS Jurisdiction
March 3, 2015

Ralls May Give Foreign Investors More Leverage With CFIUS
December 11, 2014, Law360

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