Spencer Overton

George Washington University Law School — Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor
GW Multiracial Democracy Project — Director

Spencer Overton is the Patricia Roberts Harris Research Professor at GW Law School and has published and taught extensively on democracy and race. He is the author of “Overcoming Racial Harms to Democracy from Artificial Intelligence,” and has testified before Congress (June 2020, October 2020, March 2023, and November 2023) on policies to stop online disinformation and harmful deepfakes. He also directs GW’s Multiracial Democracy Project, which is currently researching: 1) potential harms and opportunities to racially-inclusive democracy posed by artificial intelligence; and 2) the racial implications of alternative voting systems in the event future U.S. Supreme Court decisions unleash ruthless gerrymanders that significantly diminish representation for communities of color.

Professor Overton served in senior democracy policy positions on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, transition team, and in the Obama Administration. He also served for nine years as president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies—America’s Black think tank. His work on national election reform commissions resulted in Iowa restoring voting rights to over 80,000 returning citizens and Democrats moving diverse states like South Carolina and Nevada to the beginning of their presidential primary process. Overton practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton, clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith, and graduated with honors from both Hampton University and Harvard Law School.

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