LaShawn Warren is the chief policy officer for the Southern Poverty Law Center and its lobbying arm, the SPLC Action Fund. Warren oversees the policy agendas of the organizations, which have a presence in several Deep South states and Washington, D.C. Her work advances policy on a number of fronts, including voting rights, decarceration of Black and Brown people, eradicating poverty and the dismantling of white nationalism and supremacy.
Warren is a civil and human rights attorney with over 25 years of experience advocating progressive public policy at every level of government. She previously served as executive vice president for government affairs at The Leadership Conference Education Fund and its lobbying arm, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Warren played an integral role in shaping and driving the strategic direction of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ multi-issue policy agenda among elected officials, advocacy groups and other vital stakeholders.
Earlier, she served as vice president of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, where her work focused on the intersection of faith and public policy advocacy. She promoted progressive policies on religious liberty, social and criminal justice, economic inequality, anti-Muslim bigotry and related issues.
Warren served as vice president and general counsel for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, where she oversaw the legal, policy, communications and field programming for the organization’s criminal justice, economic development and civic engagement agendas.
As vice president of policy development and programming at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Warren supervised the creation and execution of the group’s national programming. On Capitol Hill, she worked as oversight counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, where she was lead counsel for the committee’s investigation into the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights enforcement record.
Before assuming her position with the committee, Warren was legislative counsel for civil rights at the Washington legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union. Her duties included serving as the lead legislative strategist for the civil rights community’s successful effort to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act in 2006. Her other duties supported ACLU positions on an array of issues, including education equity, racial profiling, employment, housing, domestic violence policy, welfare reform, privacy, international human rights, criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement.
Previously, she served as a legislative analyst for the Seattle City Council. In this role, she sought input from community and agency stakeholders on issues before the council and prepared draft legislation, written materials and policy recommendations for city lawmakers. Even earlier, she served as an assistant attorney general for Washington state.
Warren is a graduate of Yale Divinity School, Howard University School of Law and Savannah State University. She has nonprofit management certification from Georgetown University.