Kathy Boockvar

  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Kathy Boockvar is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Pitt Cyber and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Boockvar is also President of Athena Strategies LLC and works with a broad base of organizations, government officials, and academic institutions to fortify election security, strengthen democracy, and amplify understanding and civil discourse about elections in the United States.

Boockvar was formerly Vice President of Election Operations at the Center for Internet Security, where she led its election security initiatives, working closely with federal, state, and local government on election security and cybersecurity practices and systems.

Boockvar served as Pennsylvania Secretary of State and chief election official leading the Department of State to implement secure and resilient elections, protect the health and safety of the public through professional licensure, and support economic development from 2019 to 2021. Prior to serving as Secretary, Boockvar was Senior Advisor to the Governor on Election Modernization, where she worked closely with local, state, and federal officials to strengthen election security and technology.

During her tenure as Secretary of State, Boockvar co-chaired Pennsylvania’s Inter-Agency Election Security and Preparedness Workgroup, strengthened election security and voting rights measures across the state, and oversaw secure and accessible elections amidst a global pandemic.

Boockvar also served as co-chair of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Elections Committee from 2019-2020, and as co-chair of the NASS Business Services Committee from 2020-2021. She also served as NASS Representative on the Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Council (EIS-GCC), a collaboration among federal, state, and local officials to secure elections and ensure that election officials across the country receive timely threat information, support, and resources.

Prior to joining the Department of State, Boockvar was Executive Director of Lifecycle WomanCare, one of the oldest continually operating birth centers in the United States. She also previously served as Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Auditor General.

In prior years, Boockvar served as a poll worker and as a voting-rights attorney. She also worked for over a decade as a private practice attorney with a focus on employment law, and began her career as a nonprofit Legal Services attorney, representing low-income, disabled, and senior clients, and victims of domestic violence.

Boockvar is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1990) and the American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 1993). She received a GIAC GISF Certification in Cybersecurity Fundamentals in 2022, and a Performance Leadership Certificate from Cornell University in 2014. She is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, and Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington, D.C. courts.

Ms. Boockvar is a Senior Advisor to the Brennan Center for Justice and the Institute for Responsive Government, and an SNF Ithaca Initiative Fellow at the University of Delaware Biden School of Public Policy. She received a SmartCEO Brava Award recognizing high-impact female business leaders, was a Salute to Women Who Make a Difference Honoree, and has been a volunteer attorney with Wills for Heroes since 2012, providing essential legal documents free of charge to first responders.

Education & Training

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • American University, Washington College of Law

Affiliate Research Area