Michael Dougherty

Principal, Deep Water Point, LLC

Mr. Michael Dougherty is a senior legal leader with almost 35 years of experience including homeland security, immigration, commerce, and trade policy. He has served through five administrations supporting multiple federal agencies including the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DoJ), Department of State, and the US Senate. Mr. Dougherty’s extensive expertise and experience in border security, biometrics, trade, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) provides Deep Water Point clients with immeasurable support.

Prior to joining Deep Water Point, Mr. Dougherty was Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman within DHS, his second appointment to that position. A member of the DHS Senior Leadership Group, he led 40 professional staff and oversaw an $8.2 million budget to assist individuals and employers seeking immigration benefits and services. His portfolio included humanitarian, business, investor, student and STEM visas. He engaged in significant public and private sector outreach to thousands of stakeholders. Mr. Dougherty’s office provided direct case assistance annually to 8,000 individuals. He formally reported to Congress on customer-service issues at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Previously, Mr. Dougherty served as the DHS Assistant Secretary for Border, Immigration, and Trade Policy, leading a large team of professional headquarters staff and representing the department in high-level diplomatic exchanges with foreign government officials and in senior engagements with the White House, the National Security Council, the Domestic Policy Council, and interagency teams to advance priorities for border security, immigration reform, commerce, and trade objectives. He managed hundreds of CFIUS cases and actively engaged trade and industry on e-commerce and customs challenges. Mr. Dougherty testified in multiple Congressional hearings on visa and border security issues, and he provided classified briefings to Members of Congress on DHS strategy.

Mr. Dougherty supported homeland security efforts in the private sector, first as Director of Law Enforcement Solutions for the Raytheon Company, then as CEO of the Identification Technology Association (IdTA). His role at Raytheon involved leading corporate business development in cyber exploits, facial recognition, unmanned aerial systems, and modeling and simulation of complex social problems. At the IdTA, Mr. Dougherty led and grew the non-profit trade association made up of biometrics companies, creating substantive engagements with federal agency leaders on identity management solutions to improve security, travel, law enforcement, and customer service.

Earlier, Mr. Dougherty was Legislative Counsel to US Senator Jon Kyl as a personal staff member housed on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security. He came to that position after serving as DHS Acting Director of Immigration Policy and Senior Policy Advisor for Immigration. In that role, he advised DHS headquarters leaders on policy, legal, and operational border security issues. Mr. Dougherty also held multiple positions at DoJ, including Trial Attorney in the Office of Immigration Litigation.

Mr. Dougherty facilitated consular affairs coordination with the White House and DHS as Advisor to the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. A part of the Presidential Transition Team in late 2016 and early 2017, he led the DHS Landing Team, coordinating with DHS senior leaders to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of operations (COO).

Mr. Dougherty earned his BA from the Catholic University of America and his JD from Catholic University’s Columbia School of Law. He is admitted to the bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and he is eligible for TSI/SCI Security Clearance.