JOHN P. COFFEY
Special publications (one-offs)
JOHN P. “Sean” Coffey is the 24th general counsel of the United States Department of the Navy after his confirmation by the U.S. Senate on February 9, 2022. He was nominated by President Joe Biden in August of 2021. Coffey is the Department of the Navy’s (DON) chief legal officer and head of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). He leads more than 1,100 attorneys and professional support staff in 140 offices worldwide. DON OGC provides legal advice to the secretary of the Navy, the under secretary of the Navy, the assistant secretaries of the Navy and their staffs, and the multiple components of the department, to include the Navy and the Marine Corps. Coffey is an honors graduate of the United States Naval Academy and Georgetown University Law Center. After graduating from Annapolis, he completed naval flight officer training and served eight years on active duty, including assignments as a P-3C Orion mission commander hunting Soviet submarines during the Cold War, a junior officer intern to the Strategy Division in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the special military assistant (personal aide) to Vice President George H.W. Bush. Coffey attended Georgetown Law’s evening program while assigned to the Pentagon and White House. After graduating he transitioned to the Navy Reserve and returned to New York, where he practiced law for over 35 years, including several years as an assistant United States attorney in the Southern District of New York, and most recently as chair of Complex Litigation at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. After returning to New York, Coffey continued to serve in the Navy Reserve for 18 years. Among other things, he flew anti-submarine missions in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean, counter-narcotics missions in the Caribbean, and armed missions in support of the blockade of the former Yugoslavia. Coffey was selected to serve as commanding officer both of a reserve P-3C squadron (VP-92) and the reserve component of the Enterprise carrier battle group staff (CCDG-12), and served as a staff officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Reserve Affairs). Coffey retired at the rank of captain in 2004. Married with three children, Coffey grew up on Long Island as the oldest of seven. His father John was a union carpenter from Co. Kerry; his mother Mary was from Courtmacsherry, Co. Cork. He is a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.