Lara Flint is Director of the Governance Program at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Lara leads the Governance Program, which promotes the principled leadership and strong institutions our governing system needs to act in the interests of the American people in all of their diversity. The Governance Program bolsters Congress’ capacity to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, strengthens our system of checks and balances, and fosters more constructive political engagement.
Lara is a skilled advocate with more than 15 years of legal, public policy and government experience, including a decade on Capitol Hill. Most recently she served as chief counsel for national security to then-Chairman Patrick Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she led the committee’s work on national security, privacy, and technology, and was instrumental to enactment of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 — the first major surveillance reform legislation in decades. Previously, Lara served as senior counsel on the Judiciary Committee to Senator Russ Feingold. Her expertise included national security, privacy, immigration, and criminal justice.
Between her Senate positions, Lara joined the State Department Office of the Legal Adviser, where she advised senior State Department officials on cutting-edge counterterrorism, law of war, and use of force issues. In that role she also provided international law expertise to counterparts in the White House, Defense Department, Justice Department, and Intelligence Community. Prior to her government service, Lara worked on policy at the intersection of technology and national security at the Center for Democracy & Technology. She also conducted a broad range of litigation at the law firm of Jenner & Block, and clerked for The Honorable Milton I. Shadur of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Lara is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and Harvard Law School.