Senior Legal Policy Advisor
Lauren Dedon serves as a Senior Legal Policy Advisor for the NGA Center for Best Practices’ Public Safety and Legal Counsel Program. NGA’s Public Safety and Legal Counsel Program supports Governors and their staff in developing solutions to states’ most pressing criminal justice, public safety, and legal challenges. For nearly a decade, Lauren’s policy portfolio has included matters related to state criminal justice reform, public safety, opioid/drug policy, gubernatorial emergency authority, COVID-19 related legal issues, and a range of other legal and policy topics.
Lauren manages and supports a network of legal counsel to Governors, where counsel have the unique opportunity to share best practices and lessons learned with peers across the nation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lauren produced legal research on a variety of issues including gubernatorial executive authority during emergencies, public health law, and other novel legal issues related to the pandemic. Lauren also created and managed national policy trackers on Governor-involved COVID-19 litigation, state emergency declarations, and mask/cloth face covering requirements.
At NGA, Lauren has also provided technical assistance support on a variety of state criminal justice and public safety issues spanning across the system from pretrial to reentry. As part of NGA’s opioid work, she supported states with public health and public safety strategic planning, policy development, and implementation practices.
Lauren has written on gubernatorial emergency authorities, criminal justice reform, drug policy, and traffic safety issues and has published in the Journal of Emergency Management and the Arizona State Law Journal. Lauren has given remarks at conferences hosted by the National Criminal Justice Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Georgetown University Law Center, and the Correctional Leadership Association, and has testified in front of legislative bodies in Maryland and Oregon. Lauren has served on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Incident-Based Reporting System Task Force, the American Correctional Association’s Staff Wellness Advisory Committee, and as an observer on the Uniform Law Commission’s Public Health Emergency Authority Committee.
Prior to joining NGA, Lauren served as a policy advisor to former Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. In this role, she served under the Governor’s general counsel, and advised the Governor on policy matters related to criminal justice and public safety, among other areas. While in this role, Lauren helped shepherd the passage of landmark state criminal justice reform legislation, working closely with the department of correctional services and state legislators from drafting to implementation. She also supported the Nebraska Board of Pardons, which is uniquely comprised of the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State. Lauren also served as a liaison for the Governor to state and federal agencies, legislative and judicial branches of state government, local political subdivisions, constituents, and other public or private entities.
Lauren holds a J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where she was the recipient of the John R. Roach Fellowship for Public Interest Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the same institution. Lauren is licensed to practice law in the state of Minnesota.
She originally hails from both California and Nebraska.