Joseph E. Schmitz served as a foreign policy/national security advisor to Donald J. Trump from March 2016 through the November election. He served as the fifth Senate-confirmed Inspector General of the Department of Defense from April 2002 to September 2005. As such, he was agency head of the most expansive Inspector General organization in the world, with statutory policy oversight responsibility for roughly 60,000 auditors, investigators, inspectors, law enforcement officers, and oversight professionals throughout the Department of Defense. For his service as Inspector General, he was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the highest honorary award presented by the Secretary of Defense to non-career federal employees.
Prior to his service as Inspector General of the Department of Defense, Mr. Schmitz was a Partner in the international law firm of Patton Boggs LLP, serving as head of the Aviation Practice Group, and at the same time a Captain in the United States Naval Reserves, serving as Inspector General of the Naval Reserve Intelligence Command. He has extensive experience in overseeing compliance with various international and security-related laws, including but not limited to the Inspector General Act, Intelligence Oversight laws, the Posse Comitatus Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and laws administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Mr. Schmitz co-founded the law firm of Schmitz & Socarras LLP in October 2014. Before that, he served as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of the Prince Group in McLean, Virginia, and as Managing Director in the Washington D.C. Office of Freeh Group International. His pre-Inspector General public service included: twenty-seven years of naval service, first on active duty and then as a reserve officer; law clerk to the Honorable James L. Buckley, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; and Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, the Honorable Edwin Meese III.
Mr. Schmitz has published numerous articles and has testified as a constitutional expert before U.S. Senate committees, and before various state legislature committees. From 1995 until 2002, he was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he developed and taught a seminar on advanced Constitutional Law. He is an alumnus of the American Council on Germany Young Leaders Program, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, and the International Association of Independent Private Sector Inspectors General.
In May 2013, the Center for Security Policy Press published Mr. Schmitz' latest book, "The Inspector General Handbook: Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Other Constitutional 'Enemies, Foreign and Domestic'," as the first-ever practical handbook that answers the questions, "By what authority?" and "For what purpose?" American Inspectors General do what they do. This new Inspector General Handbook is designed to be useful both to IG professionals and to other military, civilian government, and corporate leaders, including general counsel, who sooner or later will need to work intelligently with an Inspector General.
Mr. Schmitz graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978, and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Stanford University in 1986. He is a Senior Fellow for the Center for Security Policy, and a regular Newsmax "Insider" on constitutional issues under the banner, "Support and Defend." In 2010, he was selected by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition as one of 28 Community Leadership Awardees, and in 2013 he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Virginia Chapter) as an "Outstanding American." Joe and his wife of 38 years, Mollie, have raised six sons and two daughters.