Having a Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression staffer come to your school to speak to students, faculty, and administrators is an excellent opportunity to bring positive change to the state of student rights on campus. Even if you have never planned a campus event before, FIRE Student Network staff is here to help along the way! Click “request a speaker” to get started!

Members of FIRE’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council are also available for speaking engagements. If you are interested in hosting a member of FIRE’s Board of Directors or Advisory Council for your event, please contact Elizabeth Stanley at elizabeth.stanley@thefire.org.

Speakers


Greg Lukianoff Staff Photo

Greg Lukianoff

Greg Lukianoff is an attorney and the president of FIRE. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe, in addition to dozens of other publications. He is a regular columnist for The Huffington Post and has frequently appeared on television, including the “CBS Evening News,” “Fox & Friends,” and “Stossel.” He received the 2008 Playboy Foundation Freedom of Expression Award and the 2010 Ford Hall Forum’s Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award on behalf of FIRE. He is a graduate of American University and Stanford Law School.

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Robert Shibley

Robert Shibley is FIRE’s executive director. A native of Toledo, Ohio, and a graduate of Duke University and Duke University School of Law, he is the author of Twisting Title IX, from Encounter Books. During his 15-year career at FIRE, Robert has aided students and faculty members at hundreds of colleges and universities and personally traveled to dozens of campuses to educate students, faculty, and administrators about First Amendment issues. A free-speech activist who himself faced campus censorship, Robert’s writing has appeared in many national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, and TIME. He has also represented FIRE on NPR, The O’Reilly Factor, CNN Tonight, Tucker Carlson Tonight, Stossel, Fox & Friends, and CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight, as well as many other national and international television and radio programs.

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Will Creeley

Since joining FIRE in 2006, Will has successfully defended expressive rights and core civil liberties nationwide. As Legal Director, Will coordinates FIRE’s legal advocacy and oversees FIRE’s Litigation, Legislative and Policy, Policy Reform, and Targeted Advocacy departments. He has appeared on national television and radio on FIRE’s behalf, and has spoken to thousands of students, faculty, administrators, and attorneys about First Amendment rights at events across the country.

A co-author of First Things First: A Modern Coursebook on Free Speech Fundamentals, Will’s writing has been published by The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other outlets. Will edited the second edition of FIRE’s Guide to Due Process and Campus Justice, co-edited the second edition of FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus, and has authored amicus curiae briefs submitted to courts nationwide, including the Supreme Court of the United States and multiple United States Courts of Appeals.

Barred in New York and Pennsylvania, Will is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and serves as co-chair of the Education Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.Will is a 2006 graduate of New York University School of Law, where he served as an associate executive editor for the New York University Law Review. Will graduated magna cum laude from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2003. A proud native of Buffalo, New York, Will now lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.

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Peter Bonilla

Peter Bonilla, a native of the Washington, D.C., area, joined FIRE in 2008. Previously at FIRE he for several years directed FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, advocating directly on behalf of wrongly censored students and faculty members nationwide. Peter comments frequently for radio, print, and television media, lectures on free speech and academic freedom issues to students and faculty around the country, and has written for multiple outside publications. Prior to joining FIRE, Peter was Literary Manager of Philadelphia’s InterAct Theatre Company, one of the country’s top theatres for the development and production of new politically and socially-themed plays. He is a past recipient of a fellowship in playwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and his first play was developed (with stage and film actor David Strathairn) at Philadelphia’s PlayPenn New Play Development Conference, and premiered to critical acclaim in Arizona in September 2011. In 2009, Peter was a contestant on the television game show Jeopardy! His undergraduate degree, with a double major in theater arts and economics, is from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Joe Cohn Staff Photo

Joe Cohn

Joe Cohn serves as director of FIRE’s Legislative and Policy department, overseeing a team of attorneys and staff tasked with monitoring and engaging on legislation and regulatory matters. Under his leadership, FIRE has secured numerous victories for free speech and due process at the state and federal level. 

Joe is a 2004 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Fels Institute of Government Administration, where he earned his Juris Doctor and master’s degree in Government Administration. In 2000, he graduated with distinction from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he co-founded the student chapter of the ACLU. A former staff attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and law clerk in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Joe joined FIRE in 2012 with a career-long dedication to advancing the cause of civil liberties, including through his service as a staff attorney at the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania where he provided legal services to underserved communities. His awards include accolades from The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly, who named him a 2007 “Lawyer on the Fast Track,” and from Super Lawyers magazine, who named him a “Rising Star” in 2008. 

Joe’s career also includes teaching at University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Gittis Civil Practice Clinic in 2010, where he lectured on good trial practices and supervised law students as they represented real clients in both state and federal courts. Just prior to joining FIRE, Joe served as the interim legal director for ACLU affiliates in Nevada and Utah. 

As legislative and policy director, Joe spearheads FIRE’s advocacy at all levels of government. He has testified before Congress and in state legislatures across the country and has drafted numerous bills that have been enacted into state law. He regularly comments on FIRE’s issues in the media.

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Nico Perrino Staff Photo

Nico Perrino

Nico Perrino is the Vice President of Communications, which oversees media relations, social media, web development, graphic design, audio and video production, advertising and marketing, FIRE’s award-winning Newsdesk, and additional public awareness programs for the organization. He is also the creator and host of FIRE’s So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast.

Nico began defending civil liberties on campus with FIRE in 2010 as a summer intern. He joined FIRE full time in 2012 as a Program Associate and Assistant to the President, later serving as a Communications Coordinator. In 2014, Nico went to work for the Institute for Justice before returning to FIRE in 2015 to manage its communications department. His writing has been featured in USA Today, Politico, and The Guardian, and he regularly travels the country to speak about student and faculty rights on campus.

Nico graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington (IU) with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history. While at IU, he was a member of the track & field team and served as editor-in-chief for the Indiana Standard and as a reporter and columnist for the Indiana Daily Student. Nico was inducted into FIRE’s Prometheus Society for his on-campus activism in defense of student and faculty rights. He was also a winner of the 2011 “Free to Tweet” contest sponsored by 1 for All and the Knight Foundation.

Originally from Chicago, Nico now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area.

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Tyler Coward Staff Photo

Tyler Coward

Tyler is an attorney and a 2010 graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, where he was an executive board member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and a director on the Indiana Memorial Union Board of Directors, IU’s largest student programing board. He is also a 2015 graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law, where he participated in the school’s First Amendment Clinic and served as president of MSU Law’s chapter of the Federalist Society. During law school, Tyler completed legal internships at the US Department of the Interior’s Departmental Ethics Office and later at the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Since joining FIRE, Tyler has testified in state legislatures across the country about campus free speech and due process issues. He has also spoken at nearly 50 colleges and universities nationwide, discussing First Amendment freedoms, common ways in which universities censor student expression, and how students can stand up for their right to free speech.

Tyler resides in Washington, DC, and is a member of the DC Bar. He is an avid supporter of Chelsea FC, the Indianapolis Colts, the Indiana Pacers, and all things Indiana Hoosiers.

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Laura Beltz

Laura Beltz

Laura Beltz is a Philadelphia-area native who graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. in English through the Schreyer Honors College. She is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is a member of the Pennsylvania state bar. While at Penn State, her interest in the role of free speech on college campuses developed through an English course on public expression that involved topics ranging from banned books to the constitutionality of Penn State’s speech codes. Laura wrote an honors thesis on law and literature and spent much of her four years competing with Penn State’s Mock Trial organization. At Penn Law, Laura was an associate editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law, and completed internships with FIRE and the National Constitution Center. 

In her free time, she enjoys hiking—especially when there’s an opportunity to visit a craft brewery afterwards.

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Zachary Greenberg

Zachary Greenberg

A native New Yorker, Zach graduated from Binghamton University in 2013 and Syracuse Law in 2016. He developed an appreciation for free speech while leading the College Libertarians and the Federalist Society: In these roles, he sought to bring those with divergent opinions together for debate and discussion. His experience as a founding father of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapter at Binghamton inspired his advocacy for student groups as a First Amendment attorney at FIRE.

Outside of FIRE, Zach serves on the board of directors of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and the Philadelphia Area Disc Alliance. He enjoys learning new board and card games, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and extolling the many virtues of the greatest city on earth—Philadelphia.

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Adam Steinbaugh

Adam Steinbaugh

A Colorado native, in 2001 Adam moved westward to Los Angeles, where he attended Whittier College and graduated cum laude from Loyola Law School. Before attending law school, Adam worked for MySpace.com’s online security team. During law school, he served as an assistant to professor Aaron Caplan, researching the First Amendment issues involved in the use of restraining orders to enjoin civil harassment.

In 2016, Adam joined FIRE, working on the Individual Rights Defense Program to defend the rights of students and faculty members. After leading this team from 2018-2022, he became part of FIRE’s litigation team.

Adam is a member of the California and Pennsylvania state bars, admitted to the Federal District Courts for the Central District of California, Northern District of California, Southern District of California, Eastern District of California, and District of Colorado. Adam is also a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association.

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Sarah McLaughlin

Sarah McLaughlin

Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Drexel University in 2014 with a B.S. in political science and a minor in history. In 2012, Sarah began working with FIRE as a Program Assistant through Drexel’s cooperative education program and remained on FIRE’s staff for through the rest of her undergraduate career. After graduation, Sarah defended students and faculty facing censorship in FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, where she worked for five years. She is now Director of FIRE’s Targeted Advocacy program, where she focuses on U.S. universities’ relationship with international threats to free speech and art censorship. Her writing about free speech issues, including protest and blasphemy laws, has been featured in publications including Foreign Policy, Artsy, The Huffington Post, and New York Daily News.

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Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder

Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder

Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder is an educator with over 20 years of experience in a variety of roles in different institutions, including teacher, counselor, administrator and professor in both public and private schools. A New Jersey native, Bonnie is an honors graduate of Harvard University with a master’s degree in counseling from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in higher education from Penn State. She is the author of The New College Reality, The Unemployed College Graduate’s Survival Guide, Finding Your Voice: A Free Speech Comic, and Undoctrinate: How Politicized Classrooms Harm Kids and Ruin Our Schools—And What We Can Do About It

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Alex Morey

Alex Morey

Alex is an attorney and a journalist whose approach to defending student and faculty rights blends the best of legal strategy and public interest reporting. She leads FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program, a team of attorneys and advocates who help people of all political and ideological persuasions facing civil liberties threats on American college campuses. 

Alex is a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association. She has a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and has trained at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She attended the University of Arizona in her hometown of Tucson, majoring in journalism and French and graduating with honors. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar, where she taught English in rural, underserved schools.

Alex is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, New York, and Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband and their three children.

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Daniel Burnett

Daniel Burnett

Daniel graduated from the University of Georgia in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Before joining FIRE, he worked at a global development non-profit and as the director of communications at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, where he defended strong liberal arts curricula and advocated for increased transparency and accountability on campus. In his spare time, Daniel likes studying American history, brunching, and playing kickball. Daniel knows for a fact that Dolly Parton is the best human on Earth, but he believes in your right to disagree.

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Lindsie Rank

Lindsie Rank

Lindsie Rank is FIRE’s student press counsel, and a member of the Pennsylvania, Virginia, and District of Columbia bars. She is also a 2018 graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Law, Media & Communication dual-degree program, through which she earned a J.D. and a master’s in mass communication with a focus on First Amendment law. At UNC, Lindsie was the symposium editor for the First Amendment Law Review and president of the Media Law Society. Previous to joining FIRE, Lindsie served as a legal fellow for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. She is an attorney, advocate, and social scientist.

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Mary Griffin

Mary Griffin

Mary Griffin (née Zoeller), attorney and Philadelphia native, is a graduate of Furman University with a degree in political science and religion, and of Villanova University School of Law. While at Villanova Law, Mary served as a managing editor of student works for the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal and as the chapter president of the Federalist Society. A former FIRE legal intern, Mary is a member of FIRE’s policy reform team that works collaboratively to educate the public, students, faculty, and administrators about written policies that comply with the First Amendment—and to revise them when they do not.

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