Hon. Jonathan Thomas Skrmetti

Chief Legal Counsel, Office of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee

Jonathan Skrmetti serves as general counsel to Governor Bill Lee. In this role, he provides counsel to the Governor regarding legal issues that arise in the day-to-day operation of the executive branch. He serves as the executive branch's Chief Ethics Officer, assists with the appointments of judges and district attorneys general, analyzes clemency requests, works with Tennessee's departments and agencies and their general counsels, and sits on the teams advising the Governor on the state budget and legislation.

Jonathan began his career in Tennessee state government as chief deputy attorney general. He worked as a negotiator in the multibillion dollar national opioid settlements, coordinated with other state attorney general offices to launch multistate antitrust suits against Google and Facebook, and managed 160 attorneys through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. His clients included the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government and numerous agencies therein.

Prior to joining the Attorney General's Office, Jonathan spent nearly a decade as a federal prosecutor and five years in private practice. At the Department of Justice, Jonathan prosecuted high profile cases involving child sex traffickers, violent racists, and corrupt public officials. His docket included successes against neo-Nazi conspirators plotting to assassinate Barack Obama, the white supremacist murderer of a Memphis law enforcement officer, and the arsonist leaders of the Aryan Alliance. 

As a partner at Butler Snow, Jonathan focused on complex litigation, commercial litigation, government investigations, and data security and privacy. Jonathan also taught cyberlaw as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis.

Jonathan earned honors degrees from George Washington University, the University of Oxford, and Harvard Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Steven Colloton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.


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