A District, Maryland, Virginia (“DMV”) lifer, Neil Noronha, a rising national security professional, grew up in Bowie, Maryland, completed ten years of education in Washington, . (Gonzaga College High School and Georgetown University), and has worked in Arlington, Virginia. Neil recently left Federal government service, having worked since August 2014 in the Obama Administration. From December 2015 to January 2017, Neil was the Special Assistant to the Senior Director for Response Policy on the National Security Council (NSC) staff at the White House. He oversaw the presidential approval process for declaring severe domestic incidents as major disasters or emergencies under the Robert T. Stafford Act. Additionally, he served as a duty officer within the Response Policy Directorate, working with the White House Situation Room to inform senior NSC staff and White House principals, including the President, about severe domestic incidents, their impact on local populations, and the . government response. Before joining the NSC staff, Neil was at the Department of Defense as one of its youngest political appointees hired under the Obama Administration. Under the Defense Fellows Program, Neil served as the Special Assistant to Michael Lumpkin, the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, where he was Mr. Lumpkin’s principal speechwriter and handled special projects related to counterterrorism, humanitarian affairs, and counternarcotics. Additionally, Neil was an Action Officer within the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, where he covered issues related to defense cover and human intelligence activities. Obtaining his Bachelors of Science in Foreign Service and recently his Masters of Arts in Security Studies, both from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Neil interned at various Federal agencies and departments, a think tank, and a financial services company. He is passionate about solving transnational threats, such as terrorism, organized crime, climate change, and natural disasters, through economic policy and instruments. Neil is an avid basketball and football fan, consistently rooting for the Baltimore Ravens and Georgetown Hoyas.
Note: This essay originally appeared under the same title in Bible Review (, pp. 20-30, 46) in October 1997. It is reprinted here with permission of the author and permission of the Biblical Archaeology Society. Schwartz has long been engaged in the source-critical study of the Pentateuchal accounts of the giving of the law. The brief and popular essay reprinted here, one of his first to appear on the topic, reflects his thinking at the time in broad, general terms, avoiding too much detail. Schwartz’s subsequent work and scholarly publications show that on a few points in the analysis his opinion has evolved over the years.
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