Ann Ravel

Fellow, New America CA

Ann M. Ravel was nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President Barack Obama on June 21, 2013. After her appointment received the unanimous consent of the United States Senate, Ravel joined the Commission on October 25, 2013. She served as vice chair of the commission in 2014, and chair in 2015 before leaving in 2017.

From March 2011 until her appointment to the commission, Ravel served as chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), to which Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. appointed her. At the FPPC, Ravel oversaw the regulation of campaign finance, lobbyist registration and reporting, and ethics and conflicts of interest related to officeholders and public employees. During her tenure at the FPPC, Ravel was instrumental in the creation of the States' Unified Network (SUN) Center, a web-based center for sharing information on campaign finance.

Before joining the FPPC, Ravel served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Torts and Consumer Litigation in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice. Ravel also worked as an attorney in the Santa Clara County Counsel's Office, ultimately serving as the appointed County Counsel from 1998 until 2009. Ravel represented the county and its elected officials, provided advice on the state Political Reform Act, and initiated groundbreaking programs in elder abuse litigation, educational rights, and consumer litigation on behalf of the Santa Clara County government and the community.

Ravel has served as an elected governor on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, a member of the Judicial Council of the State of California, and chair of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. In 2014, she was named a California Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer magazine for her work in government law, and in 2007, the State Bar of California named Ravel Public Attorney of the Year for her contributions to public service.

Ravel received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and her JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Ravel is the daughter of a Latin American immigrant mother and an American father. She was raised in Latin America before her family settled in the San Francisco Bay area, which she considers home.

All Work

Legal experts to brief sexual harassment panel at California Capitol

California fellow Ann Ravel will testify today at the State Legislature’s joint committee on sexual harassment prevention.

Wednesday Q+A With Ann Ravel

The former FEC member discusses Congress’s push to regulate online political ads—and why it might not be enough to prevent foreign meddling.

Why a more trustworthy government is part of the answer to California’s upward mobility problem

Anger and polarization in our country has also seriously impacted our lives and our sense of community.

Meet the Woman Who Warned About Russian Election Meddling Years Ago—and Got Death Threats

Ann Ravel was quoted in an article on Quartz about Russia using Facebook to skew elections.

How the FEC Turned a Blind Eye to Foreign Meddling

For years, my fellow FEC commissioners refused to apply campaign finance rules to the internet. Now Russia is running amok on Facebook.

Puerto Rico's Lessons on Civic Engagement

An observation of Puerto Rico's recent statehood referendum shines a light on what true voter access might look like.

Zach Galifianakis and Ann Ravel Discuss Dark Money's Influence on Politics

Ann Ravel and Zach Galifianakis discuss "dark money," money that isn't disclosed in the campaign finance system.