Michael German is a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty & National Security Program, which seeks to ensure that the U.S. government respects human rights and fundamental freedoms in conducting the fight against terrorism. A former special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, his work focuses on law enforcement and intelligence oversight and reform. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, German served as the policy counsel for national security and privacy for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office.
German is the author of Disrupt, Discredit, and Divide: How the New FBI Damages Democracy. The book chronicles how the FBI transformed itself after the 9/11 attacks from a law enforcement agency famous for prosecuting organized crime and corruption to arguably the most secretive domestic intelligence agency the country has ever seen. A 16-year veteran of federal law enforcement, German served as an FBI special agent, where he specialized in domestic terrorism and covert operations. He left the FBI in 2004 after reporting continuing deficiencies in FBI counterterrorism operations to Congress. German served as an adjunct professor of law enforcement and terrorism at National Defense University. He joined the ACLU’s Washington legislative office in 2006 and the Brennan Center in 2014. His first book, Thinking Like a Terrorist: Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent, was published in 2007.