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Colin Costello

CFIUS and National Security Advisor

Antitrust and competition |

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About Colin Costello

Colin is a CFIUS client advisor in our national security practice, based in Washington, DC. Colin has been at the forefront of U.S. government deliberations over threats associated with foreign investment for nearly a decade.  Colin calls on his deep understanding of U.S. national security policy, foreign threats, and process knowledge to advise clients on navigating national security reviews of foreign investments conducted by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Team Telecom, and other national security regulatory processes.

Prior to joining Freshfields, Colin served as the Acting Director of the National Intelligence Council, Investment Security Group within the Office of Director of National Intelligence. Colin led the Intelligence Community’s analytic support to CFIUS and served as the Intelligence Community’s primary representative to CFIUS, participating in every CFIUS review since March 2013.  He also led the Intelligence Community’s support for the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the U.S. Telecommunications Services Sector (known as Team Telecom) and other foreign investment regulatory processes.

Recent work

Colin’s experience in government includes:

  • Coordinating National Security Threat Assessments (NSTAs), Basic Threat Information memoranda, and strategic intelligence products in support of CFIUS and other foreign investment regulatory processes;
  • Coordinating the production of NSTAs and participating in over 1,600 CFIUS reviews of transactions with an aggregate value exceeding $1tn.;
  • Developing the threat analysis methodology used by the Intelligence Community to analyze CFIUS transactions and other foreign investment-related regulatory filings (received National Intelligence Professional Award);
  • Assisting in developing the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) and corresponding regulations; and
  • Leading the Intelligence Community’s implementation of FIRRMA and developing analytic support process for the CFIUS Critical Technology Pilot Program and the CFIUS declarations process.



  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2021
  • M.B.A., Johns Hopkins University, Carey School of Business, 2014
  • M.A., Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, with distinction, 2008
  • B.A., San Diego State University, summa cum laude, 2005

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted to practice in the District of Columbia 

Awards and recognitions

  • International Trade: CFIUS Experts, Chambers USA, 2024
  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence Exceptional Service Award, 2020
  • National Intelligence Professional Award, 2016