Natalie Tynan has served at AAU since May 2022. As the Associate Vice President for Immigration and International Issues, her portfolio includes all aspects of immigration law related to higher education, student, employment, and humanitarian issues. She has responsibility for export controls, science and security, and international issues such as the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine. She also leads AAU’s Counsel on Federal Relation’s Immigration Task Force.
Prior to joining AAU, Natalie was as Senior Attorney at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, where she spearheaded a new practice area on corporate compliance with immigration enforcement requirements, including the Immigration Reform and Control Act and export control and regulation. She counseled clients on risk management and strategic planning, I-9 compliance, and compliance in corporate governance. She also counseled clients on all aspects of immigration law, including student and employment visas, family-based immigrant petitions, and the green card process.
Prior to her work at Hunton, Natalie served in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in senior positions for more than eleven years. During her time with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) she was Unit Chief of Policy (GS/15) directing policy, legal, and operational planning. She was responsible for high profile policy decisions such as ICE enforcement priorities, treatment of pregnant women in detention facilities, and processing of unaccompanied minors. She helped shepherd ICE policy, including collective bargaining, on the use of Tasers and worked with directorate leadership to update the Use of Force policy throughout the agency. She also worked on ICE policy issues regarding the SEVIS system for international students, the admission of international students, and ICE’s involvement in the DACA program. Additionally, she devised an ICE-wide program from civil fines collection and worked with the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) office to develop compliance policies on issues like sexual harassment and accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Before serving at ICE, Natalie worked at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), beginning her federal career as a GS/15 attorney advising on matters such as the first H-1B cap lottery, immigrant visa allocation in 2007 (visa-gate), homeland security-focused processing delays and litigation, regulation drafting and review, and interagency cooperation. She worked with Department of Justice attorneys to draft litigation pleadings and responses and prepared Congressional testimony and Questions for the Record on behalf of USCIS leadership. Natalie moved on to adjudicate immigration petitions for the Administrative Appeals Office before moving to the USCIS Front Office, Service Center Operations SCOPS), and finally the Office of Policy & Strategy OP&S).
During her time with the USCIS front office and SCOPS, Natalie worked on two priority programs initiated by the White House – Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). EIR, the first program of its kind at DHS, involved recruiting entrepreneurs from the private sector to join a tiger team at USCIS to identify gaps in information, improvements in communication, training, and other efficiencies in processing visa petitions filed by small companies and entrepreneurs. As project manager, Natalie organized the tiger team that produced significant improvements to USCIS process and procedure, including new training modules and improved templates for adjudicators.
Natalie participated in senior leadership meetings to conceptualize DACA and develop a strategy for implementation. She then transferred to SCOPS where she helped implement DACA, including training adjudicators, developing forms and processing guidance, reviewing templates and other adjudicatory materials, and serving as a liaison with the Front Office. Natalie sat on the DACA working group which decided issues and policy throughout the DACA roll-out and implementation.
Natalie began her legal career at the prestigious law firm of Hogan & Hartson, LLP (now Hogan Lovells). She was a member of the International Trade Group where she practiced corporate immigration law.
Throughout her time with DHS, Natalie participated in numerous speaking engagements, within the government and at public events. She worked closely with communication teams to roll out programs and obtain appropriate permissions for issuance of policy guidance. She worked closely with the USCIS Chief Financial Officer on strategic planning and DHS-wide initiatives. She also received numerous awards and letters of commendation.
Natalie holds a Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude, from the Catholic University of America, where she also served as a Note and Comment Editor for Law Review. Her Comment, Genetic Information and Third-Party Access to Information: New Jersey’s Pioneering Legislation as a Model for Federal Protection of Genetic Information, was published in the law review (47 Cath. U. L. Rev. 1105 (1998)). She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Law, minor in English, Cum Laude, from Lafayette College. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association.