Lisa Graves
Executive Director, True North Research; Partner, Court Accountability; President of the Board, Center for Media and Democracy
2024 Speaker

Lisa Graves is executive director of True North Research, a national investigative watchdog group that works with journalists and other researchers to shine a bright light on the dark money fueling regressive agendas targeting vital institutions in our republic, such as our courts and public schools. 

Graves is one of the nation’s foremost experts in exposing how special interests distort public policy and try to thwart the public’s interest in a thriving and inclusive democracy.

She served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Policy Development/Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. She also worked as the senior legislative strategist for the ACLU on national security and civil liberties, and held other posts.

Graves has given testimony before several congressional committees, and she has helped shape the national debate about the culture of corruption on the U.S. Supreme Court, GOP efforts to undermine the U.S. Postal Service, and the role of right-wing operatives and funders like Leonard Leo, Barre Seid, Harlan Crow, Charles Koch, Dick Uihlein, Rob Arkley. Graves also launched the award-winning investigation, KochDocs and other projects.

Her op-eds have been published by the New York Times, the Guardian, TIME, Slate and others.She has been a frequent guest on MSNBC and has also appeared on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, the BBC and other networks.

From 2009-2017, she led the Center for Media and Democracy, and she is the president of its board of directors. She also serves on the board of trustees of the Park Foundation and on the board of directors of the Public Concern Foundation and U.S. Right to Know.

Graves earned a JD from Cornell Law School and a BS in political science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.