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Nora works at the intersection of law, tech and democracy, elevating interdisciplinary solutions to complex threats facing our society. Benavidez leads Free Press’ democracy and tech initiatives, including its policy, legal and campaign efforts to curb disinformation, hate and other manipulation online while protecting digital civil rights, privacy and free expression. Benavidez has appeared before the U.S. Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, the Canadian House of Commons and other regulatory bodies. She is the lead author of the Free Press research reports Big Tech Backslide (2023), which examines how tech companies’ retreat from platform integrity harms democracy, and Empty Promises (2022), which analyzes the role social-media platform policies play in elections.

Previously, Benavidez served as director of U.S. Free Expression Programs at PEN America, guiding the organization’s national agenda on First Amendment and free expression issues. She led PEN’s victorious and groundbreaking First Amendment lawsuit, PEN America v. Donald Trump, to hold the former president accountable for his retaliation against and censorship of speech he disliked. Benavidez launched and led PEN America’s media-literacy and disinformation-defense program. She was the lead author of several PEN America reports on constitutional rights, including Arresting Dissent (2020) and Closing Ranks (2021).

Benavidez is the founder of Build the Bench, a network for Latina women entering law and public service. She sits on Issue One’s Council for Responsible Social Media, serves on the Georgia First Amendment Foundation board and chairs the Georgia State Bar Section 1983 Litigation conference.

Her writing and commentary appear regularly in The Atlantic, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, Rolling Stone and The Washington Post. She previously worked in private practice and at the ACLU of Georgia, where she litigated significant voting rights, First Amendment and appellate cases.

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