Lisa Graves

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Lisa Graves
Lisa Graves (cropped).jpg
Graves in 2021
EducationHastings College
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (BA)
Cornell University (JD)
OccupationNonprofit executive, political activist
Known forFormer executive director of Center for Media and Democracy

Lisa Graves is a progressive activist who is senior fellow and former executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. She served in this role from 2009 to 2017, when she became president of True North Research and co-director of[1][2][3] Graves also serves on the advisory board of UnKoch.[4]


Graves received her J.D. degree from Cornell Law School.[5] She previously served as the Chief Counsel for Nominations on the United States Senate Judiciary Committee under Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice during the Clinton Administration.[6] Graves also worked as the Senior Legislative Strategist on national security issues for the American Civil Liberties Union,[5][7] and as an adjunct law professor at the George Washington University Law School.[8]

Graves joined the progressive watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy in 2009 as executive director.[9][10] Graves has investigated and reported on the Koch Brothers, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the State Policy Network. In 2020, she published a report titled "The Billionaire Behind Efforts to Kill The U.S. Postal Service", which alleged that Charles Koch had been trying to privatize the U.S. Postal Service since the 1970s.[11]

Graves has received awards from the Milwaukee Press Club,[12] the Sidney Award,[13] the Park Center for Independent Media,[14] the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication,[15] and Cornell Law School.[16]


  1. ^ "Liberal Research Group May Settle Open Records Case". Wisconsin Public Radio. December 4, 2013. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  2. ^ Overby, Peter (February 2, 2013). "Liberal Watchdog Group: 'Fix The Debt' Movement More Astroturf Than Grassroots". National Public Radio. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  3. ^ Craver, Jack (December 7, 2013). "Progressive watchdog group gets two big anonymous donations". Capital Times. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "Unclear Funding for UnKoch: Campus Activists Create a Boogeyman". Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  5. ^ a b Interviewed Chris Martell (1 March 2012). "Know Your Madisonian: Lisa Graves helps raise awareness of public-opinion manipulation".
  6. ^ Savage, Charlie (2013-08-20). "Newest Spy Court Pick Is a Democrat but Not a Liberal". New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Lisa Graves, Author at EXPOSEDbyCMD". EXPOSEDbyCMD. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  8. ^ "Lisa Graves - TopWonks". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  9. ^ "Exposing ALEC: The Center for Media and Democracy goes after the right-wing powerhouse". Isthmus. May 10, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  10. ^ "Exposing ALEC: How Conservative-Backed State Laws Are All Connected". The Atlantic. April 4, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  11. ^ Moyers, Bill, Bill Moyers Talks with Lisa Graves about the Ongoing Threat to the US Postal Service, Moyers on Democracy, August 19, 2020
  12. ^ "2011 Excellence in Journalism Awardees | Milwaukee Press Club". 5 August 2014. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  13. ^ Mary Bottari and Lisa Graves Win September Sidney Award for ALEC:Exposed, Sidney Hillman Foundation, September 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2019.
  14. ^ Curran, Jack. "Izzy Award recipients honored | The Ithacan". Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  15. ^ "Sunlight Wins AEJMC Journalism Award". Sunlight Foundation. 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  16. ^ "Cornell Law School Public Service Awards". Instructional and Web Services, Cornell Information Technologies. Retrieved 2017-03-02.

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