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 data-driven, evidence-based solutions to states’ most pressing criminal justice, public safety, and legal challenges. Since 2016, Lauren’s policy portfolio has included issues on state criminal justice reform (adult corrections, juvenile justice, community supervision, clemency); public safety (law enforcement, crisis communications, human trafficking, traffic safety); drug policy (opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine); and a range of other legal and policy issues (gubernatorial emergency authority, public health law, COVID-19 related legal issues).
At NGA, Lauren has supported state criminal justice reform efforts spanning across the system from pretrial to reentry. As part of NGA’s opioid work, she has supported nearly all states with public health and public safety strategic planning, policy development, and implementation practices. Lauren also manages NGA’s network of criminal justice policy advisors to Governors, providing technical assistance support on a variety of criminal justice and public safety issues.
Lauren also 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, general 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.
Lauren has written on gubernatorial emergency authorities, criminal justice reform, drug policy, and traffic safety issues and has published on the intersection of opioids and gubernatorial emergency powers in the Arizona State Law Journal at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Lauren has given featured 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 also currently serves on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Task Force and the American Correctional Association’s Staff Wellness Advisory Committee.
Prior to joining NGA, Lauren served as a policy advisor to 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.
Dedon 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. Dedon is licensed to practice law in the state of Minnesota.
She originally hails from both California and Nebraska.