James M. Durant III, Esq.
Mr. Durant is a Career Senior Executive Service member serving as Chief Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science–Chicago. In this capacity, he leads a staff of lawyers and administrative professionals providing legal services to seven of the ten US National Laboratories across the United States. Their focus is high physics energy research and technical commercial transfer through Management and Operation contracting. He also leads a DOE Intellectual Property Law (IPL) Division that is the DOE’s Center of Excellence for IPL as well as the DOE Field Center of Excellence for FOIA and Privacy law.
Prior to joining DOE, Mr. Durant served 26 years in the US Air Force as a Judge Advocate rising to the rank of Colonel (O-6). He served as a Military Trial Counsel, a Special Assistant US Attorney and as an International Commissioner for War Claims Trials in Bosnia. In the area of law practice management, he led nine legal offices across US and internationally--Italy, Bosnia, Croatia, and the UK. His last duty station was in the United Kingdom, where he served as the Director of Legal Services and on occasion, as Acting Representative to Her Majesty’s Government representing 30,00 US Forces stationed in the UK. Mr. Durant also served as the Deputy Department Head and Professor of Law at the United States Air Force Academy. He has deployed in service to OPERATION NORTHERN WATCH and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM as a senior NATO Officer. In 2009, he served in the US State Department, Verification Compliance and Implementation Bureau as the Strategic Issues Officer. Mr. Durant is on the Board of Directors for the Senior Executives Association (SEA) and he chairs the SEA’s Membership Board. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Federal Executive Board, and a Governor on the American Bar Association (ABA) Board of Governors. He previously served as a Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates for seven years and chaired both an ABA Division and an ABA Standing Committee; he is the recipient of nine ABA Presidential appointments. Further, Mr. Durant is on the Board of Directors for Easterseals-Joliet IL Region. In the UK, he served as the District Commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America’s Mayflower District. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Air Force Lawyer of the Year Award from the ABA Young Lawyers Division, the ABA Standing Committee on Armed Forces Law and the Judge Advocate’s Association. In 2019 he received the ABA’s Government and Public Sector Law Division’s Nelson Award. He is a Young Lawyers Division Fellow and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Mr. Durant is a graduate of Howard University where he earned his BA and JD. Mr. Durant is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.