Paul Lewis was appointed by President Obama as the Department of Defense Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure in October 2013. He was the first to hold this newly created position, and worked directly for the Secretary of Defense. Lewis and State Department Special Envoy, Lee Wolosky, were tasked with Obama’s final push in closing Guantanamo Bay. They were successful in reducing the number of detainees remaining at the prison to 41, when Obama left office. Lewis resigned his position on February 2, 2017, a week after Obama left office.
Before his appointment as Special Envoy, Lewis worked for Rep. Adam Smith, the ranking member at the Armed Services Committee, focusing on Guantánamo issues. He also served as a Marine Corps JAG officer, an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, an anti-racketeering prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, and was counsel for several Congressional Representatives and Congressional committees.