Founder and President
Holly Harris is Founder and President of the Network, and oversees all operations, activities, and personnel at the organization.
Through the Network, she connects lawmakers to America’s premiere policy experts, fosters bipartisan cooperation on evidence-based solutions, and works with top philanthropists and advocates to create platforms that lift up bold leaders working together on big ideas.
Prior to founding the Network, Holly was President and Executive Director of Justice Action Network, the country’s largest bipartisan criminal justice reform organization. Holly led multi-million dollar campaigns and built broad coalitions to pass groundbreaking prison and sentencing reform legislation at the federal level and in states across the country, impacting hundreds of thousands of lives. Most notably, Holly was a driving force behind the passage of the First Step Act, a landmark criminal justice reform bill signed into law by the President in 2018 that provided relief to thousands of federal prisoners serving egregiously unfair sentences.
Holly later testified before Congress in support of the Fair Chance Act, which she helped pass in 2019, and she frequently appeared before state legislative committees in red, blue, and purple states advocating for second chance initiatives.
She has spoken to large and diverse audiences from the Anti-Defamation League to state Chambers of Commerce, and has been featured on main stage panels at the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center, Politico’s RNC event, Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority, and has served as moderator for numerous events including Women Unshackled, which she organized to address the unique needs of women in our justice system. This event led to the passage of numerous Dignity bills across the country; subsequently, Professional Women in Advocacy recognized Holly for Excellence in a Campaign for Women Serving Women.
Holly draws on her relationships on both sides of the aisle to organize high-profile events featuring Governors, members of Congress, senior White House officials, star athletes, and celebrities, often working with media partners such as the Washington Post, Axios, and Politico. She regularly appears on television on outlets such as MSNBC, Fox News, and C-Span, and has written for top publications from the New York Times to Foreign Affairs. She was twice named to Washingtonian Magazine’s Most Influential People and Washington’s Most Powerful Women.
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Holly began her career as a television news reporter in Lexington, Ky. She went on to law school at UK, where she won state and national awards, then litigated high-profile cases at the state’s Justice Cabinet. She was later appointed General Counsel to the Republican Party, also serving in communications and fundraising roles. Her notable campaign work includes efforts to re-elect Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul. Holly later served as chief of staff to the state’s agriculture commissioner, where she spearheaded the regulatory framework and legislation that enabled farmers to grow and process industrial hemp, and then successfully sued the federal government for blocking industrial hemp pilot programs, an achievement written about in Rolling Stone Magazine.
Holly is a single mother to her young son Harris, a sports cards enthusiast and die-hard UK Wildcats fan.