Lauren Sarkesian is senior policy counsel at New America’s Open Technology Institute, focusing on electronic surveillance and tech privacy issues.
Before joining OTI, Sarkesian served for over six years in legislative roles within the White House, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives. Most recently, Sarkesian was counsel to Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), where she focused on science and technology, judiciary, and government oversight issues. Her work there included drafting legislation pertaining to government use of facial recognition technology. Previously, Sarkesian served in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, where she worked to advance President Obama’s nominees and legislative priorities in the Senate, especially criminal justice reform legislation. Sarkesian also served as a law clerk to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee oversight team under Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), contributing to investigations related to civil rights violations in our education systems.
Sarkesian is from the Detroit area and graduated from the University of Michigan (B.A.) and Loyola University Chicago School of Law (J.D.).