Headshot of Lydia Brown, young East Asian person, with short black hair, wearing glasses, a plaid shirt, and black jacket. They are looking in the distance, posed against a stylized blue dramatic background. Photo by Adam Glanzman.

Lydia X. Z. Brown

Policy Counsel, Privacy and Data Project

Lydia X. Z. Brown is a Policy Counsel with CDT’s Privacy and Data Project, focused on disability rights and algorithmic fairness and justice.

Outside of their work at CDT, Lydia is an adjunct lecturer in disability studies at Georgetown University’s Department of English, and the founding director of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment. They serve on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights, and co-chair the Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice’s Disability Rights and Elder Affairs Committee. They are also lead editor of All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism, a groundbreaking anthology on autism and race published by the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network. Lydia is a founding board member of the Alliance for Citizen-Directed Supports, and serves on several advisory committees, including for the Mozilla Foundation project on the Law and Politics of Digital Mental Health Technology, the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University, and the Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy, and Innovation at Loyola Law School.

Before joining CDT, Lydia worked on disability rights and algorithmic fairness at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Tech Law and Policy. Prior to that, Lydia was Justice Catalyst Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where they advocated for disabled students’ civil rights in schools, and an adjunct professor of disability policy and social movements at Tufts University. Lydia has spoken internationally and throughout the U.S. on a range of topics related to disability rights and disability justice, especially at the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and has published in numerous scholarly and community publications. Among others, they have received honors from the Obama White House, the Society for Disability Studies, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the National Disability Mentoring Coalition, and the Disability Policy Consortium. In 2015, Pacific Standard named Lydia to its list of Top 30 Thinkers in the Social Sciences Under 30, and Mic named Lydia to its inaugural list of 50 impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and breakthrough innovators for the next generation. In 2018, NBC named Lydia to its list of Asian Pacific American breakthrough leaders, and Amplifier featured them in the We The Future campaign honoring youth activism. Most recently, Gold House Foundation named Lydia to its A100 list of America’s most impactful Asians for 2020.

Lydia holds a bachelor’s degree in Arabic from Georgetown University, and a J.D. with joint concentrations in Criminal Law and Justice and in International Law and Human Rights from Northeastern University School of Law.