Washington, D.C. — Kicking off 2020, Democracy Forward welcomes Sean Lev as its new Legal Director. Sean brings over 25 years of experience litigating administrative agency actions. A Harvard Law graduate, he previously served as General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, Acting General Counsel at the Department of Energy, and an attorney on the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division at the Department of Justice. In all those positions, Sean litigated numerous complex regulatory and administrative issues.

Anne Harkavy, Democracy Forward Executive Director
“We’re excited to have Sean Lev join our team. Since the summer of 2017, Democracy Forward has brought more than 100 lawsuits to hold the Trump administration accountable and expose corruption, and with the wealth of experience and fresh insights Sean Lev brings, we will keep the lawsuits coming.”

Sean Lev, Democracy Forward Legal Director
“I am honored to join the dynamic leadership team at Democracy Forward, an organization working to defend the rule of law and fight back for people harmed by the Trump administration’s unlawful actions.”

Sean has spent more than 25 years in the practice of law, including nearly a decade in public service. From June 2012 through December 2013, he served as FCC General Counsel where he was responsible for all legal advice provided to the Commission. Before joining the FCC, Sean served as DOE Deputy General Counsel for Environment and Nuclear Programs from June 2009 to February 2011 and DOE Acting General Counsel from March through December 2011. During his time at DOE, Sean provided strategic legal and policy advice on issues ranging from energy efficiency and renewable energy to environmental remediation and national security.

Immediately prior to joining Democracy Forward, Sean was a partner at the DC-based law firm Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick where he led regulatory, administrative and appellate litigation. Sean replaces Democracy Forward’s founding legal director, Javier Guzman.

Sean received his JD magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and his BA magna cum laude from Williams College. He started his career as a clerk to the Honorable Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and then worked for three years as an attorney on the Civil Division, Appellate Staff at DOJ.

Since its founding in 2017, Democracy Forward has filed over 100 lawsuits and secured major victories on behalf of people hurt by unlawful Trump administration actions including:

  • Forcing the Trump administration to collect pay data from employers based on race, gender and ethnicity — a win that will lead to better pay transparency for 63 million American workers.
  • Protecting the $100 million, evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program from abstinence-only ideologues within the administration who illegally diverted the grant funds as part of the administration’s push for a radical anti-science, abstinence-only agenda. In the cases brought by Democracy Forward, and in separate cases brought on behalf of other TPP program grantees, four federal judges ruled five consecutive times that the grant terminations were unlawful.
  • Preventing the administration from using any recommendations issued by the Department of Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee — an unlawful advisory group stacked with industry insiders and campaign donors dedicated to selling off public lands to oil and gas interests.

Democracy Forward maintains a full docket for 2020, including a challenge to President Trump’s unconstitutional sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, a case seeking to void unlawful asylum policies and Ken Cuccinelli’s unlawful appointment as Acting USCIS Director, and a suit challenging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s failure to recover interpreter notes President Trump illegally seized after his July 2017 Hamburg meeting with Vladimir Putin.


Press Contact
Charisma Troiano
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