Christopher Swift is a partner and litigator with Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of Foley’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice. Focusing on national security and international law, he represents clients in internal investigations and government enforcement actions involving anti-money laundering (AML), arms controls (ITAR), economic sanctions (OFAC), dual-use exports (EAR), and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Dr. Swift also represents clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and advises them on other national security issues involving Foreign Ownership, Control, and Influence (FOCI).

Dr. Swift’s experience includes counseling clients on the U.S. Patriot Act, government surveillance, and government investigations implicating terrorism or espionage. His practice also encompasses issues arising under the Geneva Conventions, Anti-Slavery legislation, and international human rights treaties. This includes an active pro bono practice serving refugees from contemporary conflict zones.

In addition to his national security practice, Dr. Swift counsels clients on a variety of trade-related issues, including U.S. Customs laws, Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs), Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes. His representations cover several sectors, including aerospace and defense, energy, financial services, higher education, manufacturing, maritime shipping, research and development, and technology.

Policy Experience

Prior to entering private practice, Dr. Swift served in U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, where he enforced sanctions targeting rogue states, terrorist syndicates, and weapons proliferators. While at OFAC, he managed a broad spectrum of civil and criminal cases in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Dr. Swift is an adjunct professor of national security studies at Georgetown University and a fellow at the University of Virginia’s Center for National Security Law. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and regularly advises policy makers on counter-terrorism, defense policy, and foreign affairs. His policy experience spans roles with Freedom House, the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and a White House internship in the Office of Vice President Gore.

Thought Leadership

Dr. Swift was previously a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on the council’s Russia Study Group and National Security Law Working Group. To add to his publications, Dr. Swift co-authored a piece in The Anti-Corruption Report titled, “Naming Bribe-Paying Third Parties Would Improve FCPA Compliance.” He regularly appears as a guest analyst for leading international media outlets, including ABC, Al-Jazeera, the BBC, Bloomberg News, CBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and National Public Radio.


In 2016, Dr. Swift was named a “Recognized Practitioner” in international trade by Chambers USA.  


Dr. Swift earned a Ph.D. in politics & international studies from the University of Cambridge, where he was a section editor for the Cambridge Review of International Affairs. He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude), his master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge (M.St.), and his undergraduate degree in history and government from Dartmouth College (A.B.). Dr. Swift is an Eagle Scout and graduate of the Derryfield School in Manchester, New Hampshire.


Dr. Swift is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, the State of New York, the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and before the Court of International Trade.


Dr. Swift is proficient in French and can understand Russian.