Praveen Fernandes

Principal
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Between work with law firms, nonprofits, and the federal government, Praveen has almost twenty years of experience in the federal policy arena. He has deployed this experience to help guide clients through their strategic decisions and to lead diverse coalitions to victories. His work spans the gamut of issues, including health, LGBT, judicial nominations, economic opportunity, digital equity, and broadband privacy issues.

Before joining the Raben Group, Praveen served as a political appointee within the Obama Administration, where he was Senior Counsel and Advisor to the General Counsel at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). At OPM, he focused on LGBT issues, particularly the federal government’s implementation of U.S. v Windsor, the Supreme Court case that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the federal government’s policies relating to transgender employees. Additionally, he worked on issues relating to workforce diversity, parental leave, contracting, national security, and workplace discrimination.

In his first year at the Raben Group, Praveen helped coordinate and manage a coalition of digital equity, consumer, and civil rights groups that successfully advocated for modernizing the Lifeline program (a program that provides a modest discount to low-income households in order to connect them to critical communications tools) to include broadband internet access. In addition, he coordinated and managed a coalition of consumer, technology, and privacy groups that helped spur the Federal Communications Commission to issue a landmark broadband internet privacy rule. In helping both coalitions achieve their goals, Praveen called upon his strong relationships with a wide array of stakeholders in the policy and social justice arena. This work also deployed Praveen’s diplomatic skills, and his ability to help coalitions negotiate and harness difference in the service of a common goal.

Praveen is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) School of Law, has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) School of Public Health, and graduated with honors from Brown University, where his undergraduate concentration was in Biomedical Ethics. He feels fortunate that in his first job out of college, he had the chance to work for Senator Edward M. Kennedy, serving on his Labor Committee staff. In 2010, the National LGBT Bar Association named Praveen to its 2010 “Top 40 Under 40” list, which recognizes LGBT lawyers under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves through their work for LGBT equality.

Career Highlights

  • Senior Counsel and Advisor to the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Personnel Management
  • Director of Federal Affairs and Diversity Initiatives at Justice at Stake
  • Director of Programs for National Security, Technology, Labor, and the Environment at the American Constitution Society