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KL

Karen Lash

American University's School of Public Affairs Justice Programs Office
Director of the Justice in Government Project
Washington D.C., DC
As a political appointee in the Obama Administration, Karen A. Lash served in leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Access to Justice (ATJ) and as the first Executive Director of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable (LAIR). Karen conceptualized, implemented, and led LAIR, a first-of-its-kind executive branch policymaking model for civil legal aid, that brought together 22 federal agencies to identify programs, policies, and initiatives that could work more effectively and efficiently by incorporating legal aid. After leaving the Justice Department, Karen joined American University's School of Public Affairs Justice Programs Office as a Practitioner-in-Residence and Director of The Justice in Government Project. With funding from the Open Society Foundations, Public Welfare Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation, Karen is applying the lessons learned from LAIR to state agencies to similarly ensure that scarce resources are most effectively used to achieve state goals regarding low income and other underserved populations by adding legal aid partners.