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April 12, 2018

Paul L. Oostburg Sanz Named General Counsel at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

Paul L. Oostburg Sanz

Paul L. Oostburg Sanz

Credit: APL

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, has named Paul L. Oostburg Sanz as general counsel.

Oostburg Sanz will also oversee APL’s Office of Technology Transfer and remain a strategic advisor to the APL director for commercialization, a role that he has held since joining the Lab in 2017.

“Paul is a legal expert who has ably led and advised senior personnel across the government on highly complex and strategic issues,” said APL Director Ralph Semmel. “We look forward to his leadership of our legal, technology transfer and commercialization functions.”

Before coming to APL, Oostburg Sanz was the general counsel of the U.S. Department of the Navy. As the longest-serving presidential appointee in that position, he was the department’s chief legal officer and advised the secretary of the Navy, the service chiefs, and other senior Navy and Marine Corps officials in the annual obligation of more than $160 billion and the management of nearly 900,000 service members and civilians. He led 24 Senior Executive Service members and nearly 1,000 attorneys and professional support staff in 140 offices across seven countries on four continents. Additionally, by appointment of the secretary of the Navy, Oostburg Sanz for over three years performed the duties of the undersecretary of the Navy with respect to intelligence, classified programs, and the oversight of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and compliance organizations.

Prior to his Navy post, he served as general counsel and Democratic deputy chief counsel for the U.S. House Armed Services and International Relations committees, respectively.

A native of Puerto Rico, Oostburg Sanz has a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from the Walsh School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, a master’s degree in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He was twice awarded the Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award and received the Secretary of Defense’s Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Media contact: Michael Buckley, 240-228-7536,

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit