Joanna Lydgate is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the States United Democracy Center. Prior to launching States United, she served as the Chief Deputy Attorney General of Massachusetts, where she spent several years leading the state’s most prominent litigation against some of the worst corporate actors in U.S. history, working with a bipartisan team of colleagues from across the country. Joanna also oversaw criminal enforcement for the Attorney General’s Office, which serves as the chief law enforcement office in Massachusetts, coordinating daily with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. Joanna has also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, a law clerk to Judge Norman H. Stahl on the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked in non-profit legal services in New York City. Named one of the 2021 Top Women of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Joanna is a graduate of Yale University and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Ambassador Norman L. Eisen (ret.) is the Co-Founder and Executive Chair of the States United Democracy Center. An attorney and author who has served in a broad array of government roles, he was special counsel and special assistant to President Barack Obama for ethics and government reform from 2009-11. In that role, the press dubbed him “Mr. No” and the “Ethics Czar” for his tough anti-corruption approach. Following his service in the White House, he was our ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2011-14, where he was noted for his rule of law and other initiatives. His books about the Czech Republic are The Last Palace (Crown 2018) and Democracy’s Defenders (Brookings 2020). He served as special counsel to the House Judiciary Committee for the impeachment and trial of President Donald J Trump from 2019-20. His memoir of the impeachment is A Case for the American People (Crown 2020). Eisen is currently a senior fellow at a D.C. think tank and a legal analyst for a cable television network in addition to his duties at States United. His writing has frequently appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, USA Today, and CNN. He has been named to the Washingtonian’s Most Influential People, Politico 50, and the Forward 50. Eisen was the inspiration for the crusading attorney Deputy Kovacs in Wes Anderson’s movie, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Christine Todd Whitman is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the States United Democracy Center and the former Governor of New Jersey. After her two terms as New Jersey’s first female Governor, she served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Governor Whitman is the co-chair of the Meridian Institute Board and Chairman of the American Security Project. Previously she served as co-chair of the Commission on the Rule of Law and Democracy at the Brennan Center at New York University.  Additionally she is Vice-Chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships Board of Trustees and co-chair of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. She is the author of the New York Times best seller, It’s My Party Too.

Advisory Board

The States United Advisory Board brings together former administration officials, law enforcement leaders, and former state and local leaders from both parties who are committed to engaging and empowering pro-democracy leadership.

Steve Bullock is the former two-term Governor of Montana. During his second term in office, he served as chairperson for the National Governors Association. Prior to being elected governor, Bullock served one term as Attorney General of the state. He worked as an attorney in Montana’s secretary of state’s office and attorney general’s office and in private practice before assuming either office. 

Tom Ridge is the former Governor of Pennsylvania. Following the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, Governor Ridge became the first Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security and, on January 24, 2003, he became the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Prior to these roles, Governor Ridge served for twelve years as a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Bill Weld is the former two-term Governor of Massachusetts. Before serving as Governor, he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts under President Ronald Reagan. Governor Weld then assumed the position of Assistant U.S. Attorney General at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.

Michael Steele is the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. Steele made history as the first African American elected to statewide office. During his tenure, Steele prioritized strengthening education for disadvantaged students and reforming the state’s Minority Business Enterprise program to expand economic development. Following his time in office, Steele was chosen as the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). He is currently a political analyst for MSNBC and a Senior Fellow at Brown University Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs. 

Michael Chertoff is the former United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush. Before leading the Department of Homeland Security, he served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Earlier, during more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, he investigated and prosecuted cases of political corruption, organized crime, corporate fraud and terrorism – including the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Secretary Chertoff is currently the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Chertoff Group, and senior of counsel at Covington & Burling LLP.

Janet Napolitano is a former two-term Governor of Arizona, a former Attorney General of Arizona, and a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. From 2009 to 2013, she served as United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama. Following her tenure as Secretary, Napolitano become the twentieth president of the University of California and published her book, How Safe Are We? Homeland Security Since 9/11. She is currently a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. 

Jack Conway is the former two-term Attorney General of Kentucky and served in various leadership positions among his colleagues. He is a trial attorney and current partner at Dolt Thompson Shepherd & Conway, where his practice also allows him to continue to advocate for issues with state attorneys general. He is a former board member of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage and also spent six years as legal counsel to former Kentucky Governor Paul Patton.

Frankie Sue Del Papa is a former three-term Attorney General of Nevada. General Del Papa also served as Nevada Secretary of State and as an elected member of the Board of Regents for the Nevada System of Higher  Education. A member of the State Bar of Nevada since 1974, she resides in Reno, where she is active in civic and community organizations.

John J. Farmer, Jr. is a former Assistant US Attorney, New Jersey Attorney General and Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission. He is currently the Director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Jim Hood is the former four-term Attorney General of Mississippi. Prior to taking office, General Hood served as the Third Judicial District Attorney of North Mississippi. General Hood continues to work with state attorneys general on their multi-state investigations.

Jahna Lindemuth is the former Attorney General for the state of Alaska. During her tenure as Attorney General, Lindemuth served on the National Association of Attorneys General executive board and the Conference of  Western States Attorneys General executive board. Before serving as Attorney General, General Lindemuth was in private practice for eighteen years at an international law firm, representing clients in complex commercial disputes and serving as the Anchorage office’s managing partner for eight years.

Patricia Madrid is the former two-term Attorney General of New Mexico. In addition to being the first woman elected attorney general in New Mexico, General Madrid was also the first Hispanic woman elected to the office in the United States. In 2005, General Madrid served as chairperson of the Conference of Western Attorneys General. She also was the Chairman of the Board of  MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund), the premier legal organization representing Latino rights in the country. 

Tom Rath served as Attorney General of New Hampshire and is the former Director of the Legal Services Corporation under President George W. Bush. General Rath has been named senior national advisor to the presidential campaigns of Howard Baker, Robert Dole, Lamar Alexander, Mitt Romney and George W. Bush. He has been a delegate to nine Republican National Conventions and was the Republican Party National Committeeman for New Hampshire for seven years.

Trey Grayson is the former two-term Secretary of State in Kentucky. During his time in office, he served as chair of the Republican Association of Secretaries of States and as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, the first Kentuckian to hold either position. From 2011-2014, Secretary Grayson served as the director of the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Tom Coleman is a former eight-term member of Congress from Missouri. Prior to his congressional service he was an assistant attorney general of Missouri and twice elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. He has served as an adjunct professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and as an adjunct professor at American University teaching courses on the intersection of business and government and the congress, respectively. He is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and is Trustee Emeritus of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Donald Ayer is the former Deputy Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush and Principal Deputy Solicitor General under Solicitor General Charles Fried. Prior to these roles, he served as U.S. Attorney in Sacramento and Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco. Ayer has been an appellate lawyer for forty years, and has taught a course in Supreme Court Advocacy at several law schools, including Duke, Stanford, NYU, and Georgetown, where he is presently teaching. 

Greg Brower is a former Assistant Director and Deputy General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He has also served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In addition to his federal experience, Brower previously has served as an elected member of the Nevada Legislature, including as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian is the current Sheriff of Middlesex County,  Massachusetts and a former member of the Massachusetts House of  Representatives. In January 2020, Sheriff Koutoujian began his first term as  President of the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA), representing sheriffs  from the most populous counties in the nation.

The Honorable Sarah R. Saldaña is the former Director of Immigration &  Customs Enforcement under President Barack Obama. Prior to her role at ICE,  Director Saldaña served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Director Saldaña is on the board of Every Texan, the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, and the Texas Business Immigration Coalition.

Joyce Vance is the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and the first female U.S. Attorney nominated by President Barack Obama. In 2017, Vance joined the University of Alabama School of Law as a  Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Law.

Kathleen O’Toole is a partner at 21CP Solutions. She is an attorney and career police officer who served as Chief of the Seattle Police Department, Commissioner of the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety. She also served as Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána, the Irish national police service.

Chuck Ramsey is a founder and partner at 21CP Solutions. He rose through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department and then served as Chief of Police in Washington, D.C. and Police Commissioner in Philadelphia. He was President of the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. He co-chaired President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a leading expert on troubled democracies facing serious violence, polarization, corruption, and problems of poor governance. In 2010, Time magazine named Rachel one of the top 40 political leaders under 40 in America for her decade as the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, which assisted campaigns, advocated for legislation, and fostered a new generation of military veterans and national security leaders to enhance global security, democracy, and human dignity. In 2011, Hillary Clinton appointed Rachel to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advised the Secretary of State quarterly, a role she served through 2014.

In Memoriam

Grant Woods
Grant Woods

Grant Woods served as the Attorney General of Arizona from 1991 to 1999. He was a founding member of the bipartisan advisory board at States United Democracy Center and played a pivotal role in protecting the vote and the will of the American people in the 2020 election. General Woods was President of the Conference of Western Attorneys General and chaired the Civil Rights and Supreme Court committees for the National Association of Attorneys General. Prior to his long legal career, General Woods served as the first Chief of Staff for the late Senator John McCain of Arizona.

General Woods died unexpectedly at the age of 67 in October 2021. At his funeral, General Woods’s wife, Marlene Galan Woods, said, “His last fight, the [most] important, the most dire, [was] stopping voter suppression in the United States of America. Grant felt that protecting an American’s right to vote is imperative in our fragile democracy.”