Liz Kennedy

Category: Illiberal Democracy: the European rise of authoritarianism


Liz Kennedy is the Director of Democracy and Government Reform at American Progress. Previously, she served as counsel and campaign strategist at Demos, working on voting rights, money in politics, and corporate accountability. She worked to expand political participation by eliminating barriers to voting and empowering voters; to increase transparency and accountability for money in politics to fight corruption of democratic government; and to fulfill America’s promise of political equality. Kennedy has authored or co-authored numerous papers, such as “Automatic Voter Registration: Finding American’s Missing Voters,” “Top 5 Ways Citizens United Harms Democracy & Top 5 Ways We’re Fighting to Take Democracy Back,” “Millions to the Polls: Practical Policies to Fulfill the Freedom to Vote for All Americans,” “The Racial Equity Impact of Secret Corporate Political Spending by Government Contractors,” “Bullies at the Ballot Box: Protecting the Freedom to Vote Against Wrongful Challenges and Intimidation,” “Stop the Next Citizens United: McCutcheon v. FEC and the Crisis of Confidence in American Democracy,” “Democracy at Stake: Protecting Democracy in the Super PAC Era,” and “Citizens Actually United: The Bi-Partisan Opposition to Corporate Political Spending and Support for Common Sense Reform.”

Prior to joining Demos, Kennedy was an attorney in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, working on issues of money in politics and democratic accountability. Kennedy was deputy director of voter protection for President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign in Ohio; has represented unions in industrial bankruptcy cases; and was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Before law school, she spent several years running campaigns as a student organizer and canvass director with the Public Interest Research Group.

Kennedy frequently speaks on panels and at conferences, testifies in legislatures, and appears on radio and television, including “All In with Chris Hayes,” “Melissa Harris-Perry,” and “Up” with Steve Kornacki on MSNBC; Al Jazeera; Arise News; and Regional News Network. Her writing and commentary has appeared in The American Prospect, Salon, U.S. News & World Report, Guernica magazine,, The Huffington Post, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Human Rights magazine, the Boston Herald, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Los Angeles Daily News, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Hill’s Congress Blog, and the National Civic Review. Kennedy is a native of Brooklyn, New York, graduated with a B.A. in Government from Smith College, and received her J.D. from the New York University School of Law, graduating cum laude

Other speakers in this session

Suzanne Kröger

Suzanne Kröger (born 1976) is a Dutch politician and activist from Amsterdam.

Jens Siegert

Jens Siegert is a publicist and special advisor to the Memorial Society Currently he leads the EU funded project „Public Diplomacy. EU and Russia“ at the Goethe-Institut in Moscow.

Adam Ostolski

Adam Ostolski is a sociologist, columnist and activist. He works at the University of Warsaw. He is a member of the Krytyka Polityczna.

Reinhard Bütikofer

REINHARD BÜTIKOFER is a Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) and the Co-Chair of the European Green Party (EGP).

Congress organisers


Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool
Kings Dock, Liverpool L3 4FP, United Kingdom

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30 March - 2 April 2017

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