Nora Benavidez

Nora Benavidez (@attorneynora) is the Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights Free Press. She leads the organization’s democracy and digital civil rights initiatives, including its policy and campaign efforts to blunt disinformation, hate, and other manipulation online while protecting digital civil rights, privacy, and free speech. She has testified before Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and other regulatory bodies. She was the lead author of Free Press’ original research report Empty Promises, examining the role social media platforms play in elections.

Previously, she served as Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs at PEN America, guiding its national advocacy agenda on First Amendment and free expression issues. She led the organization’s victorious and groundbreaking First Amendment lawsuit, PEN America v. Donald Trump, to hold the former president accountable for his retaliation and censorship of speech he disliked. She also launched and led PEN America’s media literacy and disinformation defense program and was the lead author of several original PEN America reports on fundamental rights, including Arresting Dissent and Closing Ranks.

Her writing and commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN, Rolling Stone, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and elsewhere. She previously also worked in private practice and at the ACLU of Georgia, litigating significant cases representing victims of voting rights violations, unconstitutional police practices, and other First Amendment infringements. She is also on LinkedIn.

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