Lisa Graves created True North Research and is its Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief. She has spearheaded several major breakthrough investigations into those distorting American democracy and public policy. True North has several research projects, including KochDocs.org and iwfexposed.org, which shine a light on these issues.
She served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Clinton Administration, Chief Counsel for Nominations for Senator Patrick Leahy on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and as an adjunct law professor at George Washington University Law School. She also served as the Senior Legislative Strategist for the ACLU on national security and testified as an expert before committees in both houses of Congress. In 2018, she helped shape the national conversation on the Brett Kavanaugh nomination.
One of the nation’s foremost experts on how special interests distort our political system, Lisa has been a frequent guest on MSNBC and has also appeared on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, the BBC, the CBC, Democracy NOW, C-Span, and NPR. Her op-eds have been published by the New York Times, the Guardian, TIME, Slate, and The Hill. She has also written for the Nation, In These Times, the Progressive, and the Huffington Post. Her articles have been published by DeSmog, Yes!, PR Watch, Common Dreams, TruthOut, and Alternet, among others. Her analysis has been cited in the Atlantic, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Politico, Rolling Stone, Pod Save America, Vice, Business Week, Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly, Newsday, National Journal, Legal Times, and Wired, among others. She has been quoted as an expert in the New York Times, the Guardian, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Toronto Star, and Agence France-Presse, among others.
Lisa was featured in Ava DuVernay’s documentary the “13th,” which was nominated for an Oscar in 2017, appeared in Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” with America Ferrera, in Paramount’s “Rest in Power: the Trayvon Martin Story,” and in a PBS documentary entitled “The United States of ALEC.”
Her research was also cited in critically acclaimed books including Dark Money by Jane Mayer, Give Us the Ballot by Ari Berman, Corporate Citizen by Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, The Fall of Wisconsin by Dan Kaufman, and several more.
She has been a featured guest on major radio programs, including NPR’s Fresh Air, Morning Edition, and Marketplace Report, on the BBC, CBC, Deutschlandfunk, and FAIR. She has done many interviews on Background Briefing with Ian Masters, Duncan Campbell’s Living Dialogues, the Zero Hour with R.J. Eskow, the Nicole Sanders Show, the Thom Hartmann Show, and the Matthew Filipowicz Show, among others.
From 2009-2017, she led the Center for Media and Democracy and is the President of its Board of Directors. She has served on the Board of Directors of U.S. Right to Know and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and advised UnKoch My Campus. She also does some volunteering in her free time, and she is an artist who does some graphic design work and abstract paintings.
Lisa earned a J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School and a B.S., with highest honors, in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Her more detailed biography is available here.
(Image from the “13th,” directed by Ava Du Vernay and Spencer Averil.)
Lisa’s research and analysis was featured in this 2016 documentary film distributed by Netflix. It won a BAFTA and four Emmy Awards and was nominated for an Oscar in 2017 for Best Documentary Film.
(Image from Years of Living Dangerously with America Ferrera.)
Lisa’s research and analysis was featured in an episode of the Showtime series “Years of Living Dangerously” about climate change deniers like the Heartland Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and more.