Don R. Willett
On January 9, 2003, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that new staff members included "Don R. Willett, an assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, [who was] appointed Deputy Attorney General for General Counsel ... As General Counsel, Willet, who will begin work in early February, will serve as a key legal advisor to the Attorney General on a wide variety of constitutional and statutory issues. The General Counsel also enforces open government and open meetings laws, and advises the Attorney General on formal legal opinions on questions of law requested by state officials. cache file
"Prior to his appointment by Attorney General Abbott, Willett served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. There, Willett helped develop, implement and oversee an array of civil and criminal justice initiatives, including assisting with President George W. Bush's judicial nominations and confirmations. cache file
"From 1996 to 2000, Willett served as Research/Special Projects Director for then-Governor Bush in Texas, advising him on a mix of legal and domestic policy issues. Willett earned his BBA in 1988 from Baylor University, and in 1992 received his law degree with honors and an AM in Political Science from Duke University." cache file
Don R. Willett was appointed by President Bush as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Policy in February 2002.
According to his DoJ biography,  "At the Department, Willett helps develop, implement, and oversee an array of civil and criminal justice initiatives and other special projects, including assisting with the President's judicial nominations and confirmations.
"Willett most recently served as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Law and Policy for the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives.
"From 1996-2000, Willett served as Research/Special Projects Director for then-Governor Bush in Texas, advising him on a diverse mix of legal, economic, education, social welfare, cultural, and criminal and civil justice issues. He was then Domestic Policy & Special Projects Advisor on the Bush-Cheney 2000 Presidential Campaign, and later the Presidential Transition Team.
"Prior to government service, Willett practiced labor and employment law from 1993-1996 in the Austin office of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He also handled significant, cutting-edge pro bono matters for various public interest legal foundations such as the Institute for Justice, and was Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a nonpartisan and nonprofit policy research institute. After graduating from law and graduate school, Willett served a judicial clerkship with the late Honorable Jerre S. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
"A native Texan, Willett triple-majored and earned his BBA in 1988 from Baylor University. In 1992, he received his JD with honors and also an AM (Political Science) from Duke University, where he was Senior Editor of Law & Contemporary Problems and Staff Editor of the Duke International and Comparative Law Annual.
"Willett will help oversee an array of civil and criminal justice initiatives and other special projects, including assisting with the President's judicial nominations." DoJ, February 19, 2002.