Faisal Gill

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Faisal Gill
Faisal gill 210970.jpg
Chair of the Vermont Democratic Party
Acting
In office
March 4, 2017 – November 18, 2017
Preceded by Dottie Deans
Succeeded by Terje Anderson
Personal details
Born 1972 (age 45–46)
Karachi, Pakistan
Political party Republican (Before 2007)
Democratic (2007–present)
Education American University (BA, JD)

Faisal Gill (Urdu: فیصل گل‎) is the current Chair of the Vermont Democratic Party. He is a Pakistani-born lawyer, administrator, government advisor, and one-time Democratic candidate for the Vermont State Senate in Chittenden County. In July 2014, it was revealed by Glenn Greenwald through the Edward Snowden leaks that Gill was one of five prominent Muslim United States citizens that were under NSA surveillance.

Biography[edit]

Faisal Gill was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1972 and emigrated to the United States in 1980. He has a BA and JD from American University in Washington, DC.

After graduation he was a labor and employment attorney at a firm in Washington, DC, and then was Deputy General Counsel for Policy at the Office of Personnel Management. He then received an appointment at the White House Office of Homeland Security and then later at the Homeland Security Council as associate counsel. He also served as principal counsel to the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board under Richard Clarke.

Faisal Gill served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security. As such, he was responsible for formulating and coordinating policy for the intelligence directorate. In this capacity, he advised the Under Secretary on policy issues ranging from intelligence policy, infrastructure protection, cyber-security and information sharing initiatives.

He also served in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps where he managed two legal offices. Later in his Navy career, he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in Greenbelt, Maryland. He currently is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve serving in the litigation division of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy.

Faisal Gill was a managing partner of Gill & Gallinger's Washington, DC office. The firm's partners included lobbyist Asim Ghafoor. Faisal resided with his wife and children in Lake Ridge, Virginia.

Faisal was the Republican nominee for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 51st district in 2007 and was defeated by Democrat Paul Nichols in the November 6, 2007 general election.

In 2012, Gill relocated to Vermont; he now lives in Winooksi, Vermont, and practices law. In 2016, he was a candidate in the Democratic Primary for one of six seats in the multi-member Chittenden Senate District of Vermont. On March 4, 2017, Gill was elected as Chair of the Vermont Democratic Party, becoming the first-ever Muslim to lead a state party.[1]

In 2017, he began teaching classes at the Community College of Vermont's Winooski location.

Homeland Security Career and Targeting[edit]

In 2003, Gill served as a spokesman for the American Muslim Council, an organization founded by Abdurahman Alamoudi to encourage Muslim political participation. al-Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for bringing over one million dollars in cash provided by the Libyan government into the U.S.

After being appointed by George W. Bush as a policy director for the Department of Homeland Security, Gill was investigated by officials in connection to al-Amoudi but was ultimately cleared by a polygraph test and allowed to resume work.[2] However, pundit Frank Gaffney led a public campaign to discredit Gill, highlighting the brief inquiry into Gill's AMC connections and soliciting letters from Congressional Republicans calling for an investigation.[3] In a 2004 statement defending Gill, a DHS spokesman said: "DHS is confident that our security clearance process is effective. Mr. Gill was thoroughly vetted at several levels. Mr. Gill did not withhold information on government forms required to initiate government security clearance processing and has been cooperative throughout the process." [4] Faisal Gill left the Department of Homeland Security in January, 2005.

In 2014, NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had been spying on Gill and several other prominent Muslim-Americans beginning in 2006.

Asked whether he believes he would have been monitored by the NSA if he were not Muslim, Gill is blunt. “Absolutely not,” he says. “Look, I’ve never made an appearance or been a lawyer for anyone who’s been [associated with terrorism]. But there are plenty of other lawyers who have made those appearances and actually represented those governments, and their name isn’t Faisal Gill and they weren’t born in Pakistan and they aren’t on this list.” [5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Dottie Deans
Chair of the Vermont Democratic Party
Acting

2017
Succeeded by
Terje Anderson