Ian Bassin

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Ian Bassin is co-founder and Executive Director of Protect Democracy. He previously served as Associate White House Counsel, where in addition to counseling the President and senior White House staff on administrative and constitutional law, his responsibilities included ensuring that White House and executive branch officials complied with the laws, rules and norms that protect the fundamentally democratic nature of our government. His writing on democracy, authoritarianism, and American law and politics has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, SalonThe New York Review of Books and other publications. He is a recipient of a 2023 MacArthur Fellowship, the Skoll Award for Social Innovation, and has repeatedly been named among the 500 most influential people in Washington by Washingtonian Magazine. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

In November 2023, Ian delivered a TED Talk called “How to spot authoritarianism — and choose democracy.” You can watch it below:

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