All Profiles

Honorable Charles B. McKenna

Chief Counsel to the Governor


State House, P.O. Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
ph: (609) 777-2455
fax: (609) 777-0393

Charles McKenna currently serves as Chief Counsel to Governor Chris Christie, having previously served as the Director of the New Jersey State Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness since January 2010.

Mr. McKenna came to this position from the United States Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey, where he had served for 18 years. At the time of his appointment, he was the Chief of the Criminal Division, a position in which he directed attorneys responsible with prosecuting federal criminal violations since 2008. He also supervised investigations and interacted with heads of law enforcement-including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Defense and was responsible for establishing and administering policy for the Criminal Division, the largest in the US Attorney's Office.

From 2002 until 2008, Mr. McKenna served as Executive Assistant US Attorney under then US Attorney Chris Christie. Here, he had executive oversight for all Criminal and Civil Division investigations as well as administrative responsibilities to ensure efficient operations in the office. He also represented the office on many occasions to law enforcement and private industry groups, lecturing on various aspects of criminal law.

As an Assistant US Attorney, Mr. McKenna successfully prosecuted many cases involving violations of federal criminal laws. He was involved in the investigation into the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, the Southeast Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, and he successfully prosecuted animal rights extremists. In 2002, he was a recipient of a Director's Award for Superior Performance from the US Department of Justice.

From 1999 to 2002, Mr. McKenna was the US Attorney's Office Liaison to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. From 2002 until leaving the US Attorney's Office, he was the Crisis Management Coordinator for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. McKenna received a J.D. in 1986 from St. John's University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in 1982 from Fordham University.

A New York City native, Mr. McKenna resides in Essex County.