DeVan Hankerson Madrigal ’06 

Company / School: Center for Democracy & Technology

Position / Degree: Research Manager


  • BA, Psychology, Vassar College
  • MPP, Trade Policy & Arabic, Middlebury Institute of International Studies

DeVan Hankerson Madrigal (she/her) is the Research Manager at Center for Democracy & Technology, a leading, DC-based, non-partisan advocacy organization focused on digital rights, governance and equity in technology policy. DeVan has over 10 years of experience as a public interest advocate on digital rights issues, specifically on regulatory and legislative issues before the Federal Communications Commission and Congress. In any given week, DeVan’s work can include coordinating research participants for a study that brings real-world insights to the work of policy formulation and advocacy to conducting outreach to leading academic researchers asking questions about the social impacts of online behavioral advertising. Recently, DeVan co-authored a report on how, among political candidates, disinformation and online abuse disproportionately target women of color candidates and the implications for the quality of U.S. democracy. DeVan has built a career aligned with her values, one that privileges voices often sidelined by the political process, research/knowledge-based policy making, and inclusive advocacy.

Advice to Students:

First, the quality of your professional network can have an outsized impact on your career trajectory. Treat your relationships like a garden of beloved plants. Stay in contact with people you meet along your professional journey, give these relationships the care and feeding they need in order to grow. Stay connected with college friends especially and continue to make genuine connections throughout your career. Don’t neglect your skill development but consider your network development as equally important. Second, give yourself your best chance by having a diverse set of skills; marry your subject-area knowledge with a must-have skill set.

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