Tracy Westen is a public interest attorney, law professor and Founder/CEO of the Center for Governmental Studies, which created media reforms and model campaign finance, election and ethics laws for state and local governments. He created the California Commission on Campaign Financing, California Citizens Budget Commission and California Citizens Commission on Higher Education. He also created and built new media models for civic engagement, including PolicyArchive.org, the nation’s largest free, open access source of public policy research; California Channel, the nation’s largest state CSPAN; Democracy Network, the nation’s first online system of candidate debate and information; VideoVoter, a video-on-demand voter information system for states and cities; and Digital Democracy, a prototype for citizen-to-elected-official dialogue. He authored, co-authored or edited over 75 books and reports on media, democracy and judicial reforms.
Tracy was Vice President of Winner & Associates, a Los Angeles strategic communications consulting firm; Chair of the Los Angeles Municipal Access Policy Board; and Chair of Grassroots.com. He created Public Communication, Inc., the nation’s first public interest advertising agency, which developed radio, TV and print messages on auto safety, nutrition, and social welfare. He was Deputy Director for Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission and helped launch the FTC Children’s Television Advertising Rule-Making Proceeding. He was an Attorney at Covington & Burling, Washington, DC.
Tracy taught Communications Law, First Amendment Law, Criminal Law and Appellate Litigation at the UCLA Law School and taught Communications Law and Policy at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
Tracy received his BA from Pomona College, MA from Oxford University and law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. He has received public service awards from Common Cause (“visionary architect for change”), National League of Women Voters (“innovative use of interactive media”) and Pomona College (“high achievement in community service”).