About Us


Publication: 2013-10-21



Name:Owen Ambur


Name:The Campaign Legal Center


The Campaign Legal Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works in the areas of campaign finance and elections, political communication and government ethics. The Campaign Legal Center offers nonpartisan analyses of issues and represents the public interest in administrative, legislative and legal proceedings. The Campaign Legal Center also participates in generating and shaping our nation's policy debates about money in politics, disclosure, political advertising and enforcement issues before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and state and local government bodies and agencies.


  • Campaign Legal Center StaffThe Campaign Legal Center's staff, guided by the board of directors, lead the Center in pursuit of its mission.

  • Trevor PotterPRESIDENT AND GENERAL COUNSEL -- Trevor Potter is the founding President and General Counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, and helped to successfully defend the McCain-Feingold law in the lower and Supreme Courts. He is one of the country's best-known and most experienced campaign and election lawyers, and a former Commissioner (1991-1995) and Chairman (1994) of the Federal Election Commission. Mr. Potter has been described by the American Bar Association Journal as "hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law and money." Mr. Potter has been listed as one of Washington's Best Lawyers by Washingtonian magazine and was recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine in 2008. He served as General Counsel to the John McCain 2008 campaign (while on leave of absence from the Legal Center) and also held that position with the McCain 2000 campaign. Mr. Potter has become more well known to a more general audience through his recurring appearances on The Colbert Report where he serves as host Stephen Colbert's campaign finance attorney. Mr. Potter is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has published several books and articles in the field, including: Political Activity, Lobbying Laws and Gift Rules Guide (West Publishing, Third Edition 2008, Second Edition 1999); The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook, Brookings Institution, 2005; and Federal Election Law and the Internet, Brookings Institution, 2000. He is a frequent guest speaker at a variety of professional meetings, has testified before Congress on federal election proposals and campaign finance regulation, and has taught campaign finance law at the University of Virginia School of Law and Oxford University. He Co-Chaired the American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on Lobbying Regulation and Co-Chairs the ABA's Administrative Law Section's Election Law Committee and Co-Chairs the Advisory Committee of the Standing Committee on Election Law. Mr. Potter is also a member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C. office, where he leads the firm's Political Activity Law Practice.

  • J. Gerald HebertEXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND DIRECTOR OF LITIGATION -- J. Gerald Hebert ("Gerry") is currently the Executive Director and Director of Litigation at the Campaign Legal Center, in Washington, DC. He joined the Legal Center in 2004. From 1973 to 1994, Gerry served in the Department of Justice, where he served in many supervisory capacities, including Acting Chief, Deputy Chief, and Special Litigation Counsel in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division. In these positions, Gerry served as the lead attorney in numerous voting rights and redistricting lawsuits, often supervising several less experienced attorneys in major voting rights litigation. He also has served as chief trial counsel in over 100 voting rights lawsuits, a number of which were ultimately decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. In his Justice Department career, Gerry also prepared and analyzed numerous statewide and local government redistricting plans for compliance with applicable legal standards, prepared budgets for litigation, analyzed proposed federal election legislation, and instructed newly hired attorneys on the conduct of litigation at the Department of Justice's training center. During his 20 year tenure with the Department of Justice, Gerry received numerous awards and commendations, including an award for his work in connection with the Boston school desegregation crisis of 1975. In 1994, Gerry left the Department of Justice and opened a solo law practice in Alexandria, Virginia, and specializes in election law and redistricting. Gerry's legal practice is national in scope, representing clients (including many local governments) in Texas, California, New York, South Carolina and Virginia, among other states. Over the last three decades, he has served as legal counsel for parties and amici curiae in numerous redistricting lawsuits, including several cases decided in the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to his private practice, Gerry has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington, D.C., where, from 1995 to 2007, he taught courses on voting rights, election law, and campaign finance regulation. In 1995, he also taught election law at the American University's Washington College of Law. In 1998, he co-taught a course on voting rights law at the University of Virginia School of Law with Professor Pamela Karlan. From 1994 to 1995, Gerry served as a part-time staff attorney for the national office of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in voting rights cases. From 1999 to 2002, Gerry served as General Counsel to IMPAC 2000, the National Redistricting Project for Congressional Democrats. Gerry has authored a number of law journal articles and other publications on redistricting and the Voting Rights Act. His most recent publications include "Bailout Under the Voting Rights Act" in "America Votes" (Published by the American Bar Association's Section of State and Local Government)(Ben Griffith Editor); An Assessment of the Bailout Provisions of the Voting Rights Act in "Voting Rights Act Reauthorization of 2006" (University of California, Berkeley Press); "Redistricting in the Post-2000 Era", in the George Mason University Law Review, and "The Realists' Guide to Redistricting", published by the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice (co-authored).

  • Palak GosarRESEARCH AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT -- Palak Gosar serves as the Research and Administrative Assistant for the Campaign Legal Center. Prior to joining the Campaign Legal Center, Mr. Gosar worked on many political campaigns in his home state of Texas, and in the DC area. He graduated from American University in 2013 with a BA in Political Science. While at American University, Mr. Gosar spent many years working with organizations at the University as well as around the city advocating for various causes. He spent his final year as Vice-President of the American University Student Government.

  • Beverly G. HudnutSPECIAL COUNSEL -- Beverly G. Hudnut serves as Special Counsel, Secretary, Treasurer, Grants Administrator, and Office Manager for the Campaign Legal Center. Ms. Hudnut began work for the Legal Center in May 2009 as a part-time consultant to work for the Committee to Modernize Voter Registration ("CMVR") as lead staff for CMVR Co-Chair Trevor Potter. Ms. Hudnut joined the Legal Center full-time as Special Counsel in January 2010 to work on a bipartisan approach to voter registration reform. Ms. Hudnut served as Special Counsel for the John McCain 2008 Legal team where she worked under the direction of campaign General Counsel Trevor Potter to organize and staff the campaign's Honest and Open Election Committee. From September 2005 through April 2008, Hudnut led strategic communications as a senior staff member of the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves, an independent bipartisan congressional commission created by the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to analyze and recommend changes to the reserve component of the U.S. military in order to best meet U.S. national security interests. Ms. Hudnut is a graduate of The American University's Washington College of Law (2003) and is admitted to practice law in the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

  • Tara MalloySENIOR COUNSEL -- Ms. Malloy joined the Campaign Legal Center in November 2006. She litigates a wide range of campaign finance and election law cases in state and federal court, and has expertise in campaign finance, lobbying, and congressional ethics issues. Ms. Malloy has spoken at conferences and events nationwide on election law and has appeared as a legal expert on various news programs, including on MSNBC, PBS and NPR. She has written articles on campaign finance and ethics issues for various publications, including the Politico and The Legal Times, and is frequently quoted in national news publications, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Time and Roll Call. Recent publications include A New Transparency: How to Ensure Disclosure from "Mixed Purpose" Groups after Citizens United, 46 U.S.F. L. Rev. 425 (2011). Ms. Malloy also has extensive experience in practical campaign finance enforcement, having served as an associate counsel at the New York City Campaign Finance Board prior to joining the Legal Center. There, she advised the Board regarding the administration of New York City's public financing system, represented the Board counsel in state and federal courts on various campaign finance matters, and drafted legislation and implementing rules. Previously, Ms. Malloy worked in the litigation practice at the New York law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. A former Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Malloy is a graduate of Yale Law School and Emory University. Ms. Malloy is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, the State of New York, the Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

  • Megan McAllenASSOCIATE COUNSEL -- Megan McAllen has expertise in campaign finance, voting rights and government transparency issues. She litigates a broad range of election and campaign finance cases before state and federal courts across the country, and recently served as co-counsel in a voting rights lawsuit brought by the Campaign Legal Center and other groups. With J. Gerald Hebert, she co-authored "Redistricting in the Post-2010 Cycle: Lessons Learned?," which appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Human Rights Magazine (published by the American Bar Association's Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities). Ms. McAllen served as the inaugural Campaign Legal Center Rapoport Legal Fellow from 2012 to 2013, after joining the Legal Center in 2011 through a grant from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law (2011) and Princeton University (2007), and is licensed to practice law in the State of California.

  • Meredith McGeheePOLICY DIRECTOR -- Meredith McGehee serves as Policy Director at the Campaign Legal Center where she directs the legislative and media policy efforts. In addition, she is the principal of McGehee Strategies, which specializes in public interest advocacy campaigns. McGehee has been named six times by The Hill as one of the top nonprofit/grassroots lobbyists in Washington. She speaks at universities and organizations around the country, has testified before Congress, and is frequently quoted in national newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Village Voice, Salon, Broadcasting & Cable, The Washington Timesand the Des Moines Register. She also has appeared on national news shows, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Bloomberg TV, C-Span and MSNBC. Prior to joining the Campaign Legal Center, McGehee served as President of the Alliance for Better Campaigns and Senior Vice President and Chief Lobbyist for Common Cause. She was Legislative Director for U.S. Representative Lane Evans of Illinois and a legislative aide to U.S. Representative Dante Fascell of Florida. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa and is a Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of Pomona College in California.

  • Paul S. RyanSENIOR COUNSEL -- Paul S. Ryan joined the Campaign Legal Center in October 2004. He has specialized in campaign finance, ethics, and election law for more than a decade and is former Political Reform Project Director at the Center for Governmental Studies (1999-2004) in Los Angeles. Mr. Ryan litigates campaign finance issues before federal and state courts throughout the United States and has published extensively on the subject of election law in journals including the Stanford Law and Policy Review and the Harvard Journal on Legislation. Mr. Ryan has testified as an expert on election law before Congress, regularly represents the Campaign Legal Center before the Federal Election Commission and has testified before state and municipal legislative bodies and ethics agencies around the nation. He has appeared as a campaign finance law expert on news programs of CNN, NBC, C-SPAN, NPR and other media outlets, and is quoted regularly by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Roll Call and other news publications. Mr. Ryan is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law's Program in Public Interest Law and Policy (2001) and the University of Montana (1998), and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, the State of California, the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

  • Emma SimsonLEGAL FELLOW -- Emma Simson joined the Campaign Legal Center as a Legal Fellow in September 2013. In this role, she will litigate numerous voting rights and election law matters in state and federal court. Ms. Simson is a 2013 graduate of Yale Law School. She holds an M.Sc. in Evidence-Based Social Interventions from the University of Oxford (2010) and a B.A. in Government from the University of Maryland, College Park (2007).

  • David VanceDIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND RESEARCH -- David Vance oversees public and media outreach efforts and research projects for the Campaign Legal Center. Mr. Vance has an extensive background in public relations and in both broadcast and print journalism. Prior to joining the Campaign Legal Center, Mr. Vance served as Public Affairs Director for an international trade association and worked for two public relations firms in Washington, DC where he handled public affairs, public relations and crisis issues both nationally and internationally for a broad range of corporate, association and non-profit clients. Before entering the public relations field, Mr. Vance worked for several news bureaus in Washington, DC, WCAX-TV in Burlington, Vermont as well as The Washington Post. At various points in his journalism career Mr. Vance covered national, state, and local politics, the courts, crime and business. Mr. Vance has researched and written series on numerous political candidates, a variety of industries and the long and short-term effects of state and national legislation. Mr. Vance is a native of Washington, DC and holds an M.S.J. from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from George Mason University.

  • Campaign Legal Center Board of Directors

  • Guy-Uriel CharlesProfessor of Law, Duke University School of Law

  • Anthony CorradoProfessor of Government at Colby College

  • Heather GerkenProfessor of Law, Yale Law School

  • Thomas MannBrookings Institution Senior Scholar

  • Clay MulfordNational Science and Math Initiative, Inc.

  • Norman OrnsteinAmerican Enterprise Institute Senior Scholar

  • Timothy E. WirthVice Chair United Nations Foundation's Board of Directors. Former U.S. Senator from Colorado

  • Campaign Legal Center DonorsThe Campaign Legal Center discloses all donors over $200 on its Web site. For individual donors, we do not disclose address information or any other details. We also do not share this data with other organizations (except that we report all information as required by law on our federal tax returns). Current and past funders include: James H. Andrews; Benton Foundation; Brennan Center for Justice; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Center for Governmental Studies; Mr. Steve Cohen; Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund; The Betsy and Jesse Fink Fund at Fairfield Community Foundation; Ford Foundation; The Foundation to Promote Open Society; Fund for the Republic at Essex Community Foundation; The Ham Rove Memorial Fund of Coastal Community Foundation of SC; Mrs. Francis W. Hatch Jr.; Hon. William H. and Beverly G. Hudnut; JEHT Foundation; Joyce Foundation; Justice Through Music Project; The Paul H. Klingenstein and Kathleen R. Bole Family Fund; Peter Linde; Ann Luther; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Kate Masur; Media Democracy Fund; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Nonprofit Finance Fund; Open Society Institute; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Trevor Potter; Public Interest Projects; Project Vote; Proteus Fund; Bernard & Audre Rapoport Foundation; Richard Register; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Rockefeller Family Fund; San Francisco Foundation; Robert H. Snyder III; The Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation; Stuart Family Foundation; Scott E. Thomas; Elizabeth Van Dyke; and Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program.

  • Congress

  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

  • Federal Election Commission (FEC)

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)State Local Government Bodies Agencies