Charles “Cully” D. Stimson is a leading expert in criminal law, military law, military commissions and detention policy at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.
Before joining Heritage in 2007 as a Senior Legal Fellow, Stimson served as the Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Detainee Affairs, where he advised the Secretary of Defense on detainee issues worldwide, including at Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In that capacity, he coordinated the department’s detention policy and operations with his senior counterparts at the National Security Council, the Justice and State departments, the military services and the intelligence community. He also chaired the Pentagon’s Joint Detainee Coordinating Committee, which was responsible for all matters related to detainees. And he co-chaired the Defense Senior Leadership Oversight Committee, which was responsible for tracking and executing all 492 recommendations from the 12 major investigations into the Defense Department’s detention policy and practices in the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
At the Pentagon, Stimson represented the U.S. before the United Nations, and has briefed and testified before Congress. He led three high-level European delegations on official trips to Guantanamo Bay, including the United Kingdom’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Trans Atlantic Policy Network. Additionally, he traveled to Guantanamo Bay dozens of times to escort members of the House, Senate, media, policymakers, academics and other influential thinkers.
He has conducted hundreds of media interviews and appearances on TV and radio, appearing on C-SPAN, MSNBC’s “Hardball,” BBC, CNN, FOX, NPR, CBC and Voice of America, among others. He has been quoted by many of the world’s largest newspapers, including The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and London Times.
An accomplished trial lawyer who has tried more than 100 jury trials, Stimson spent the past 13 years as a criminal prosecutor, defense attorney and law professor. Stimson served four years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia where he concentrated on violent crimes and domestic violence cases. Before that, he was a homicide prosecutor in Maryland, and a domestic violence prosecutor in San Diego.
Stimson is a decorated military veteran and continues to serve as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) reservist in the Navy. He is currently a Commander and serves as a military judge.
In addition to his military teaching assignment, Stimson was an Adjunct Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law from 2000-2005, and has taught for The National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA), the National Child Advocacy Center, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Departments of the Army and Navy, and other organizations.
In his three active-duty tours in the Navy, Stimson has served as a military prosecutor in San Diego, and a military defense attorney while stationed in London and Jacksonville, Fla. Additionally, Stimson deployed to East Africa in 2000 for Operation Natural Fire as the Force Judge Advocate, and deployed with Navy SEALS as the Joint Special Operations JAG in 2001.
In addition to his law jobs, Stimson worked in business as a Vice President for Marsh McLennan, where he headed up the Washington branch of the Private Equity Mergers & Acquisitions division. He continues his business interests as the Vice Chairman of his family real estate company in Seattle.
A graduate of Kenyon College, Stimson also has attended Harvard University, Exeter University in England, and has a law degree from the George Mason University School of Law.