Founder & Chair

Norm Eisen, short black hair with glasses

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 TimesThe Washington PostPoliticoUSA Today, and CNN. He has been named to the Washingtonian’s Most Influential PeoplePolitico 50, and the Forward 50. Eisen was the inspiration for the crusading attorney Deputy Kovacs in Wes Anderson’s movie, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”