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Derek B. Santos is a member of Senior Executive Service and serves as the Deputy General Counsel (Contractor Responsibility and Conflict Resolution) of the U.S. Department of the Air Force at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. In this role, he provides oversight, guidance and direction for legal programs in acquisition integrity and procurement fraud remedies, and promotes negotiation skills and dispute resolution resources across the Air Force. He is also the Air Force Suspension and Debarment Official, with responsibility for evaluating corporate ethics and compliance programs and the business integrity of contractors and grantees.

Prior to his appointment as Air Force Deputy General Counsel, Mr. Santos served as Assistant Deputy General Counsel and as Associate General Counsel. His portfolio included major weapon systems acquisitions, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, and cyberwarfare and cyberspace acquisitions. Before joining the Air Force General Counsel’s Office, he was the senior managing counsel at the Army Transatlantic Programs Center, leading the delivery of legal services for Army construction, engineering and foreign assistance missions in the Middle East and Central Asia. Prior to that position, he served on multiple civilian deployments as Army legal counsel in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Baghdad, Iraq and Kabul, Afghanistan).

2001 B.A., Williams College
2004 J.D., University of Pennsylvania

2004 – 2007, U.S. Army (deployed civilian counsel), Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
2008 – 2010, Chief Center Counsel, Army Transatlantic Programs Center
2010 – 2015, Associate General Counsel (Acquisition), Department of the Air Force, Washington, D.C.
2015 – 2017, Assistant Deputy General Counsel (Contractor Responsibility & Conflict Resolution), Department of the Air Force, Arlington, Va.
2017 – 2018, Acting Deputy General Counsel for Contractor Responsibility and Conflict Resolution, Department of the Air Force, Arlington, Va.
2018 – present Deputy General Counsel for Contractor Responsibility and Conflict Resolution, Department of the Air Force, Arlington, Va.

Army Superior Civilian Service Awards (2)
Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Award
Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service
Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service


American Bar Association, Public Contract Law Section

(Current as of July 2018)


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