Spencer P. Boyer

Director, Washington Office

Spencer P. Boyer is the Director of the Washington Office of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. In this capacity, he represents the Brennan Center among policymakers and thought leaders throughout Washington; advances the Brennan Center’s federal advocacy strategy on major democracy, justice, national security, and civil liberties issues; and oversees the operations of the D.C. Office. 

He served in senior roles in both terms of the Obama administration. From 2014-17, he was the National Intelligence Officer for Europe in the National Intelligence Council — the center for long-range strategic thinking within the U.S. Intelligence Community. From 2009-11, he was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. In both roles, he was a key adviser to top government officials on challenges to Western democracy and the intersection of national security and civil liberties post-9/11.

Mr. Boyer has served as Executive Director and War Powers Initiative Director at the Constitution Project, based at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute. He has also been a senior analyst or visiting scholar with numerous think tanks, including the Center for American Progress, the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Brookings Institution.

He began his professional career as an Associate with the international law firm of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington. Subsequently, he worked in The Hague as a Law Clerk to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in Zurich as a Staff Attorney at the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland, and in Paris as Counsel at the International Court of Arbitration.

Mr. Boyer has been a guest analyst with numerous news outlets, including CNN, BBC, MSNBC, FOX, ABC, and Voice of America, and is frequently quoted in print and online media around the world. Among other professional distinctions, he is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy & Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also been a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School. 

He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and received his J.D. from NYU School of Law, where he specialized in public international law and the work of international organizations. While at NYU, he also obtained a master’s degree in French Studies, with a concentration in French politics, history, and economy. 

Selected Publications 

It's Time for the United States and Europe to Face the Politics of Cultural Displacement

The future of political warfare: Russia, the West, and the coming of age of global digital competition

Transatlantic Perspectives (from 'Our American Story: The Search for a Shared National Narrative')

Selected Media Appearances

Interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on President Trump's national emergency declaration - Feb. 15, 2019

Panel conversation at the CATO Institute about President Trump's national emergency declaration - March 25, 2019

Selected Events

Symposium on Digital Disinformation and the Threat to Democracy: Information Integrity in the 2020 Elections – Sept. 17, 2019