James M. Durant III

James M. Durant III, Esq.

Chief Counsel


James M. Durant III, Colonel, USAF Ret., joined DOE as Chief Counsel in 2013 after retiring from the USAF Judge Advocate General’s Department with over 26 years of service.  While in the Air Force, James was a Judge Advocate, Special Assistant US Attorney, International Commissioner for War Claims (Judge in Bosnia-Hertz Covina), Deputy Department Head and Professor of Law (US Air Force Academy), NATO LEGAD, for both OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and OPERATOIN NORTHERN WATCH, Strategic Initiatives Officer (US Department of State), Chief of Personnel Policy and JAG Accessions (HQ USAF Pentagon), Director of Legal Services and Acting Country Representative to Her Majesty’s Royal Government  (USAF Europe-United Kingdom), and Staff Judge Advocate (lead lawyer) for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (Wash DC) and Hill AFB (Utah).  James has prosecuted over 500 cases as a SAUSA and over 50 felony trials as JAG.  At Energy, he leads a 23 member staff serving a SC-4 including six Site Office Managers at U.S. National Labs; he also leads an Intellectual Property Law Division, serving 11/17 US National Labs.  James sits on the Chicago Federal Executive Board, Senior Executives Association Board, and the American Bar Association Board of Governors.  He hails from California, is married and they have two young men.  He is a double grad from Howard University and an avid snowboarder.

Chief Counsel

James Durant III.


Phone: 630-252-2034




Deputy Chief Counsel, General Law Division


As Deputy Chief Counsel, Ms. Donham leads 11 senior DOE lawyers and staff across the United States serving seven U.S. National Laboratory Site Offices (over 43,000 researchers and lab personnel), the Office of Science (SC), the SC Consolidated Service Center at the Argonne National Laboratory and the Office of the General Counsel in Washington, DC.  She has 26 years’ experience as a government contracts attorney.  Additionally, she has substantial experience in financial assistance instruments, labor law, environmental law, government claims, litigation, ethics, and real estate law.  Ms. Donham is currently responsible for advising on all major Management and Operating contract instruments and SC’s solicitation and award of significant research agreements.  She also oversees DOE’s Field Operations’ Center of Excellence for FOIA/Privacy and the Consolidated Service Center’s senior environmental attorney.  She served as Assistant Chief Counsel for several years prior to the Deputy Chief Counsel role and also served as the Acting Chief Counsel for the Chicago Office during the 2012‐2013, time frame.  Outside of law practice and law management, Ms. Donham has led the DOE Chicago Office’s Health and Wellness Committee, the Unity Council, and the Chicago Office federal employee’s recognition initiative.  She currently serves on the Chicago Federal Executives Board as an alternate, representing SC’s Consolidated Service Center before 45,000 federal employees in the Chicago Region.  She also is a member of the U.S. Senior Executives Association.  Ms. Donham received her undergraduate degree from Kenyon College and her law degree from the Washington University School of Law in St Louis, where she served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law.  She is licensed before the United States Supreme Court and the Illinois State Supreme Court. She is currently married with two children, living in the western suburbs of Chicago. 

Deputy Chief Counsel for General Law

Kimberly M. Donham


Phone: 630-252-2038


Assistant Chief Counsels for General Law

James Fuerstenberg


phone: 630-252-2043

John Cummins (West Coast)


phone: 510-486-5211

Michael McCann (East Coast)


phone: 631-344-3440


General Attorneys

Jennifer Harling


phone: 630-252-2021

Michelle McKown


phone: 630-252-5057

Steven Thiede


phone: 630-252-2014


FOIA/Privacy Officer and Paralegal

Miriam (Mimi) Bartos


phone: 630-252-2041


Legal Assistant

Michelle Galbert


phone: 630-252-2039



Intellectual Property Law (IPL)


Michael J. Dobbs, Esq.

Deputy Chief Counsel, Intellectual Property Law


As the Deputy Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property (IPL), Michael J. Dobbs leads intellectual support for over $1B in R&D efforts, including 11 of the 17 DOE Laboratories and a staggering yearly workload including over 1,700 inventions and patent reports, 2,000 award closeouts, 100 Cooperative Research and Development (CRADA) reviews and 250 Strategic Partnership Project (SPP) reviews.  Mike is the chairman of the IT Customer Advocacy Board (ITCAB) for SC representing hundreds of users across the SC complex.  Mike also chairs the Patent Counsel Data System Modernization Working Group (PCDSMWG), which not only has a lot of letters, but a lot of ambition to revolutionize intellectual property management with a $500k procurement funded by GC.  Mike takes prides in himself and his team of professionals in providing innovation, stakeholder management and “finding the yes” to accomplish SC’s mission.  Recently, Mike worked to move IPL to paperless operation while leading interagency efforts to modernize invention management (iEdison).  Mike also led the establishment of a streamlined SBIR/STTR SPP template allowing small businesses to more easily and quickly access DOE laboratories.  Mike and his team are frequent speakers at several meetings including DOE SBIR/STTR, DOE Patent Counsel, Technology Transfer Working Group (TTWG) and AUTM meetings.  Mike began his career at DOE in 2005 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Valparaiso University and a Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University Law School.  Mike has a passion for technology, including hosting websites, maintaining several of his Android and iPhone app creations, coaching soccer, and leading scouting activities.  Mike has six high-spirited children ages 3-12 and a patient wife, Katie. 

Deputy Chief Counsel, Intellectual Property Law

Michael J. Dobbs


Phone: 630-252-2164


Assistant Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property

Gary Drew

LBNL, Richland Office, Hanford, ORP, PNNL, SLAC


Phone: 514-486-6703

Karen Blouin

ANL, Ames Lab CSC Grants, OGCA pre-awards NREL (i) and  closeouts


Phone: 630-252-2166

Daniel Park



Phone: 630-252-2308


Patent Counsel

Felisa Leisinger

INL and NREL Patent Prosecution


Phone: 630-252-2304

Arron R. Keith

NETL (p), Fermi (p)


Tim Harney

LBN, BNL, and PPPL, Patent Prosecution, Confirmatory Licenses, OGCA final reports, closeouts, and MCLE Accreditation


Phone: 630-252-2137


Legal Instrument Examiners

Cynthia Ridge

ANL, BNL, CSC, LBNL, NREL-subs, Closeouts, iEdison Legacy Lead, Agency Entry of Inventions/Patents Confirmatory License Filing, GSC Review, and Chicago-IP Mailbox


Phone: 630-252-2175

Paula Leon

NETL, NE-ID, INL-subs, PPPL-subs, Fermi-subs, Closeouts, GFO Backup, Confirmatory License Review, GSC Review,  and Reassignment of Legacy Inventions


Phone: 630-252-2131


Management Analyst (iEdison Lead)

Maritza Rodriguez

iEdison Record Management, Incoming Inventions/Patents Incoming, iEdison Messages, Invention/Patent/Utilization, Reports, S-Number Assignment, Chicago-IP Mailbox Backup


Phone: 630-252-2165


Legal Assistants

Gina Bates

Reports, Patent Legal Action Tracking, Invention File Retirement, Attorney Reassignment

of Legacy Inventions, IPL Metric Reports


Phone: 630-252-2742

Laura Miranda

IPL Handbook, Procedures (ICI), Invention Closeout (AID), Travel, Invention Paper File

Management, Invention File Retirement


Phone: 630-252-2046


Contractor Employee

Barbara Teape

Initial contract entry Award Legal Action Tracking, Contract close-out support contract file management, Patent Filings


Phone: 630-252-2393