Finally Fixing FARA?

In an era of heightened foreign influence in the U.S. political process, the Quincy Institute will host a public webinar about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the U.S.’s oldest law on the books for regulating foreign influence in America — the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Panelists from the legal, media, and think tank sectors will provide critical insights about the law, its ability to promote transparency of foreign influence in America, and the various proposals that have been introduced to overhaul this 85 year old law. The discussion will feature Matt Duss, Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Hailey Fuchs, reporter at Politico; and David Laufman, partner at Wiggin & Dana. Ben Freeman, Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute, will moderate.


Matt Duss

Matt Duss is a visiting scholar in the American Statecraft program at the Carnegie Endowment. From 2017–2022, Matt served as foreign policy advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). He also served as foreign policy director for the Sanders 2020 presidential campaign. From 2014–2016, he served as president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. From 2008–2014, he was a policy analyst and national security editor at the Center for American Progress, where he directed the Center’s Middle East Progress program. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the New Republic, the Nation, the American Prospect, and many other publications. Publicly, Matt has opined on the need for FARA reform and privately, while working on foreign policy issues in the Senate, Matt was regularly contacted by foreign agents on behalf of their foreign clients.

Hailey Fuchs

Hailey Fuchs is an award winning reporter at Politico where she covers the intersection of politics, money and influence. With colleagues at Politico she recently published a behind the scenes look at TikTok’s lobbying apparatus, which brought “the company closer to institutions of government, including European lawmakers, leaders of both American political parties and even the White House.” She was also part of a reporting team at Politico that was recently awarded the Toner Prize for Excellence in National Political Reporting and a George Polk award. She has previously reported for The New York Times and The Washington Post. Of paramount importance for this discussion, Hailey is one of the leading reporters in D.C. covering FARA. She has, for example, done exemplary work investigating Ukrainian and Russian lobbying and influence efforts following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

David Laufman

David Laufman is a Partner at the law firm Wiggin & Dana. His defense and compliance practice at the firm, including advising clients on FARA, draws heavily on his extensive experience in government enforcement and national security affairs, most recently as Chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section (CES) in the National Security Division at the Department of Justice (DOJ), where he oversaw the Foreign Agents Registration Unit. David served as co-chair of the award-winning American Bar Association’s FARA Task Force, which offered recommendations for improving FARA. He is also the author of numerous publications and has provided expert commentary, often related to FARA, to prominent news organizations and programs, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, BBC World News America, MSNBC, and CNN.

Ben Freeman (Moderator)

Ben Freeman is a Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. His work focuses on how foreign governments seek to influence American government and politics. This work builds upon his book, The Foreign Policy Auction, which was the first book to systematically analyze the foreign influence industry in the U.S. Previously, he was Director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy. Before launching the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative, Freeman was the Deputy Director of the National Security program at Third Way. Prior to joining Third Way, he served as the National Security Fellow at the Project On Government Oversight from 2011 to 2013, where he spear-headed creation of the “Foreign Influence Database,” a repository of propaganda distributed by foreign agents that was previously unavailable online.