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Dakota Rudesill

Associate Professor of Law; Senior Faculty Fellow, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, The Ohio State University

Professor Rudesill is a scholar, practitioner, and teacher of legislation and national security law and policy. At Moritz, he teaches National Security Law & Process, Secrecy & Surveillance, Legislation and Regulation, and the Legislation Clinic. Other courses he has taught include Professional Responsibility (legal ethics) and Lawyers in Democracy's Defense.

His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, Georgetown Law Journal, Stanford Journal of International Law, Yale Journal of International Law, Harvard National Security Journal, Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the Washington University Law Review, among others. He has been quoted by dozens of publications worldwide and is regularly interviewed online, on cable TV, and radio. Professor Rudesill is a member of the editorial board of the peer-review Journal of National Security Law and Policy. He has served as Chair of the National Security Section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).

Particular areas of emphasis in Professor Rudesill’s work are intelligence and secrecy (including secret law), arms control and nuclear weapons, legislation, and the experiential “learning-by-doing” training of professionals. Professor Rudesill is the creator and director of The Ohio State National Security Simulation. This unique, immersive exercise places over 130 students from OSU and five other universities from law, policy, intelligence, military, communications, and business management backgrounds in their respective roles as they grapple with current national security challenges and advise top practitioners in real time over two days.

Professor Rudesill has advised senior leaders in all three branches of the federal government. He served the U.S. Congress for nine years, doing national security legislative work for the Senate Budget Committee and Sen. Kent Conrad. In the Executive Branch, as a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, Professor Rudesill advised the President-Elect’s nominees for Director of National Intelligence and CIA Director. He served in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and on the President’s Detention Policy Task Force at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the Judicial Branch, Professor Rudesill was a law clerk to James B. Loken, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Prior to coming to Ohio State, from 2010 to 2013, Professor Rudesill was Visiting Associate Professor at Georgetown Law Center, and directed the Federal Legislation & Administrative Clinic. Earlier in his career he was a law firm associate, a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, and was selected for the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship.

Professor Rudesill received his BA from St. Olaf College and JD from Yale Law School.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Law, The Ohio State University


Sidney D. Drell Academic Achievement Award, Yale Journal of International Law Young Scholars Award, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship (selected)