Charles B. McKenna is General Counsel and Managing Director of Investigations, Compliance and Crisis Management who works out of the New Jersey and New York City offices. In the General Counsel role, Mr. McKenna provides leadership for all legal, compliance, regulatory and business risks encountered by the Firm in the course of our worldwide business. In his client engagement responsibilities, Mr. McKenna brings to bear his considerable experience to direct and oversee complex investigations, responses to both physical and cyber incidents, as well as executive oversight for monitorship responsibilities as assigned by courts and government agencies.
Mr. McKenna has nearly 30 years of government and management experience where he was responsible for legal, investigative, and prosecutorial oversight in critical roles for the Department of Justice and the State of New Jersey. From 2014 until his move to Renaissance, Mr. McKenna was the Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey’s Schools Development Authority (SDA), serving under both Governors Christie and Murphy, where he was responsible for strategy, planning, policy direction and coordination with the SDA Board of Directors for all design and construction of K thru 12 schools in 31 of the State’s most fiscally-challenged school districts. Successfully leading this organization, Mr. McKenna managed a staff of 240, a budget of $36 million, and a building portfolio valued at over $2 billion.
From 2012 to 2014, Mr. McKenna served as Chief Counsel to Governor Christie of New Jersey where he provided daily counsel on legislative and legal matters and managed a staff of 11 attorneys. He provided legal counsel to government offices including strategizing with the Office of the Attorney General for New Jersey on major legal matters involving the State. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. McKenna was a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, holding the title of Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness where he led an organization of 120 individuals responsible for coordinating all aspects of the State of New Jersey’s disaster preparedness, homeland security and terrorism-deterrence efforts. In that role, he interacted with law enforcement, emergency management, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. While in office, Mr. McKenna implemented procedures that were instrumental to the responses to Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
In 1991, Mr. McKenna began his career in public service as Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, where he served with distinction for more than eighteen years. As an AUSA, Mr. McKenna investigated and prosecuted violations of federal law including white-collar crimes, insurance fraud, R.I.C.O., tax-related crimes, money laundering, terrorism and narcotics. He litigated numerous cases to verdict and oversaw many high profile investigations. While an AUSA, Mr. McKenna was the recipient of the Director’s Award for Superior Performance.
Mr. McKenna earned progressively broader responsibilities and leadership roles rising to the title of Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney (EAUSA). As EAUSA, Mr. McKenna provided counsel on all Criminal and Civil Division matters including advising on managing monitorships for deferred prosecution agreements. Additionally, Mr. McKenna held the position of Chief of the Criminal Division, where he was responsible for the progression of criminal case strategies from investigation to indictment and disposition or trial.
Mr. McKenna received a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Fordham University. He also holds a Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security from Pennsylvania State University.
Mr. McKenna has been an instructor at New Jersey Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute and the National Advocacy Center and is a frequent lecturer for US Department of Defense, Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, around the world.