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Denise Vanison, Chief, Office of Policy and Strategy

Background Experience/Significant Achievements:

Ms. Vanison was an associate and partner for over 18 years in the Washington, DC office of the law firm Patton Boggs LLP where she practiced immigration law.  She advised multi-national and domestic corporate clients on employment of foreign nationals in the United States, I-9 employment verification and procurement of passports, visas, green cards and U.S. citizenship.

Additionally, Ms. Vanison has served on Patton Boggs’ Management and Executive Committees and was chair of the Pro Bono Committee.  An advocate for pro bono work and community service for over 18 years, she was a volunteer for Human Rights First, Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, and the Whitman Walker Clinic Legal Services.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Justice and Accountability and as Co chair of the Board of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and was the recipient of the 2003 Washington Lawyers’ Committee Outstanding Achievement Award in the field of Immigration and Refugee Rights.  Ms. Vanison has also served as a volunteer at Francis Junior High School in Washington, DC, for almost 15 years.


Ms. Vanison received her Bachelors degree from the University of Virginia, and her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Vanison was an Adjunct Professor for a course on immigration law at American University Washington College of Law and has been a Guest Lecturer for a seminar course, International Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons.  She is also a frequent speaker on immigration and employment verification issues.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/17/2010