Michelle O. McClelland is the Assistant General Counsel for Administration and Transactions within the Office of General Counsel, currently performing the non-exclusive duties of the General Counsel. In this capacity she oversees the provision of legal advice to the Department’s senior leadership and bureau program officials concerning compliance with ethics rules, appropriations law, privacy issues, information security, federal advisory committees and records management. She is responsible for managing and providing legal guidance regarding Departmental transactions with third parties, including contracts, grants cooperative agreements, interagency agreements and interests in real property. These transactions cumulatively represent approximately 48% of the Department’s annual appropriation. She also supervises the representation of the Department in litigation related to these transactions.
Ms. McClelland has practiced law in the Department for over 22 years, counseling senior Commerce officials in a variety of contexts. She has served as the Assistant General Counsel for Finance & Litigation, Chief of the Federal Assistance Law Division, acting Chief Counsel of the Minority Business Development Agency and as senior counsel to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries assistance and disaster relief programs. She was recognized as the Department of Commerce Attorney of the Year in 2009 for her work on the Recovery Act programs and she has received the Department's Superior Environmental Stewardship Award for her work to resolve environmental compliance matters for the $4.7 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
Prior to her federal service, Ms. McClelland served as an assistant public defender in the Baltimore City Juvenile Division, District 1. Ms. McClelland holds a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is admitted to practice before the Maryland District, Circuit and Appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.