Theresa Amato

Fall 2002
Resident Fellow

Theresa Amato is the president of Citizen Works, a Washington, D.C.-based, Ralph Nader-founded, nonprofit organization that advances justice by strengthening public participation in power. Amato is also the founder and president of the Citizen Advocacy Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to building democracy in the western suburbs of Chicago.

From 1991-1993, Amato was a litigator at Public Citizen in Washington, D.C., a Ralph Nader founded, nonprofit, public-interest, health, safety, consumer, and environmental advocacy organization. She was also the Director of the Freedom of Information Clearinghouse and a frequent lecturer on U.S. information policies and open government laws. She started the Global Access to Information Project, spoke around the world about open government laws and democracy, and has published several pieces on information policy, labor rights and human rights.

In March 2000, Amato was hired as the national campaign manager for Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign, and ran what David Broder of the Washington Post called "the best campaign" and what Mike Wallace termed "the only campaign with a pulse." She has appeared on numerous radio and television programs and continues to speak and publish on effecting change, progressive issues and third-party politics.

A native of Itasca, Illinois, Amato is licensed to practice law in New York, Washington, D.C., and Illinois. In January of 1997, The American Lawyer recognized Amato as one of the future leaders of the legal profession by naming her among the country's 45 young lawyers (under 45) outside the private sector, whose vision and commitment are changing lives, and in October 2000, The New York Times profiled Amato in their Public Lives section entitled, "An Experienced Hand Leads Nader's Youthful Legions." In 2001, Amato married Todd Main and they live in Washington, DC.

Amato was graduated with honors from Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges in 1986 and the New York University School of Law in 1989.

Disclaimer: This information is accurate for the time period that this person was affiliated with the Institute of Politics.