Rachana Desai Martin is the Chief Government and External Relations Officer with the Center for Reproductive Rights. After previously working on the Center’s federal advocacy team in 2018, she re-joined the Center in May 2023 to lead advocacy with the United Nations, multilateral institutions, and government bodies in support of the Center’s mission to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world.
Rachana is a former litigator and seasoned leader with two decades of experience in government, law, organizational management, and politics. She held several senior positions both on Capitol Hill and across multiple Cabinet agencies during the Biden and Obama administrations. In 2021, President Biden appointed her to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Administration and Management at the Department of Labor. During the Obama administration, Rachana served in multiple senior roles, including as Counselor to the General Counsel and Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Oversight and Litigation at the Treasury Department and Special Assistant to the Secretary for Veterans Affairs. Prior to her Executive Branch service, Rachana worked on Capitol Hill advising Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) on banking and financial services issues, including the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
During the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, Rachana served as the Biden-Harris campaign’s National Director of Voter Protection and Senior Counsel, where she led a team dedicated to protecting and expanding the right to vote across the United States. Her previous roles in politics and campaigns include: Chief Operating Officer and Director of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection at the Democratic National Committee; Nevada Voter Protection Director for the Clinton 2016 campaign; and Deputy Northeast Political Director for the Gore campaign in 2000.
Rachana began her legal career at Sutherland, Asbill, & Brennan (now Eversheds Sutherland LLP), where she worked for both the financial services and litigation groups. She graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina Honors College, and received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University.