R. Kyle Alagood

Pro-Black, anti-racist, queer feminist lawyer, policy guy, and former food stamp & Medicaid kid.


Who’s Kyle?

KyleAlagood-1252I am a lawyer, researcher, and policy advocate whose work centers on turning evidence-based ideas into reality. Since 2010, I have helped public interest organizations and political leaders develop meaningful strategies to bring together stakeholders in pursuit of common goals. My brand of advocacy blends policy, communications, and outreach to achieve demonstrable results. My work has resulted in changes to oversight of police organizations, reforms to parole hearings in Louisiana, and accountability at the local, state, and federal levels.


R. Kyle Alagood

Curriculum Vitae


U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, District of Columbia
Counsel & Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Eric Swalwell, December 2019 – present

        • Develop and maintain relationships with government stakeholders and business executives to advance legislative goals that benefit the Member’s congressional district, including working with a major U.S. bus manufacturer CEO to ensure federal funds for capital projects bolster U.S. employment.
        • Oversee legislative and policy work relating to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, foreign policy, public transit, commerce, and special projects.
        • Advise the Member on long-term policy goals and create strategic plans to integrate communications activities with legislative work by writing opinion editorials, white papers, and legislation.
        • Brought in to help the Member execute a consistent strategy during hearings and House Floor debates on the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump, including working with the Member on his hearing scripts and speeches.

Swalwell for America
Washington, District of Columbia
National Policy Director, May 2019 – July 2019

        • Built and directed policy teams in Washington, D.C. and Dublin, California, overseeing development of all policy platforms and policy rollouts across the campaign.
        • Briefed the candidate on emerging issues in national policy, prepared the candidate for debates, and advised the candidate on political developments.

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, District of Columbia
Communications Director to Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., September 2017 – May 2019

        • Handled legislative issues including judiciary, civil rights, voting rights, the Aviation Humanitarian Crisis Act (H.R. 3951), gun violence prevention initiatives, and immigration detention oversight.
        • Built support for the Member’s initiatives and constituent services goals by writing remarks, including more than four dozen House Floor speeches in 2018.

Louisiana Parole Project
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Pro Bono Attorney, May 2017 – September 2017

        • Represented indigent incarcerated felons sentenced as juveniles to mandatory life without parole and made eligible for release hearings by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Miller and Montgomery
        • Developed the Louisiana Parole Project’s form pleadings for Miller-Montgomery parole hearings.
        • Interviewed clients at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (a.k.a. “Angola Prison”), talked to family members about reentry plans, and worked with post-release experts to craft parole release pleadings for clients.

Gannon Universtiy
Erie, Pennsylvania
Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
, August 2016 – August 2017

Freelance Researcher
Principal, January 2012 – September 2017

        • Wrote for, edited, and provided investigative legal, historical, and political research to Democracy in the Dark: The Seduction of Government Secrecy, a non-fiction book by Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., former Chief Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations With Respect to Intelligence Activities (the “Church Committee”).
        • Provided historical research and documentation to former West Wing writer Debora Cahn for The Special Program, her award-winning screenplay about a young attorney’s struggle with Dick Cheney’s vice presidential administration to end illegal spying and torture.
        • Investigated contemporaneous and retrospective statements on the 1983 terrorist attacks in Beirut against U.S. Marines for Barton Gellman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

NYC Quadrennial Advisory Commission
for the Review of Compensation Levels of Elected Officials
New York, New York
Director of Research, September 2015 – December 2015

        • Developed data-driven methodology and conducted research for commissioners appointed to study compensation levels of New York City’s mayor, city council, public advocate, comptroller, borough presidents, and five district attorneys.
        • Managed research initiatives, including tasking city agencies with specific research queries.
        • Worked directly with commissioners to engage the public through the Internet, resulting in the most transparent Quadrennial Advisory Commission study ever.
        • Work Sample (excerpt): NYC Quadrennial Advisory Commission Report

LSU Law Center Parole & Reentry Clinic
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Student Attorney (Rule XX)
August 2014 – December 2014

        • Successfully advocated before the Louisiana Board of Pardons, Committee on Parole, for three indigent incarcerated clients’ early release from state prison.
        • Holistically managed clients’ parole cases by helping plan for reentry, writing briefs for the parole committee, and arguing for clients’ release, with minimal supervision.

Seventh Judicial District of Louisiana, District Court
Vidalia, Louisiana
Legal Intern to the Honorable Kathy A. Johnson
June 2014 – July 2014

        • Assisted district court judge in all aspects of civil and criminal proceedings, including drafting orders, writing legal memoranda on state constitutional issues, and coordinating with prosecutors and defense attorneys preparing for trial.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Legal Extern to the Honorable Jane Triche-Milazzo
September – October 2013

        • Drafted chambers memoranda regarding 12(b)(6) motions in cases involving state and federal claims, including intentional and negligent fraud, copyright and trademark infringement, and prescription.

Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
New York, New York
Research Consultant, 2012 – 2016
Research Associate, Liberty and National Security Program, April 2010 – August 2012

        • Wrote background papers and questions to aid Members of Congress working on judiciary and homeland security issues such as intelligence oversight, terrorist radicalization, and law enforcement transparency.
        • Drafted congressional testimony, talking points, and speeches for Brennan Center principals.
        • Staffed subject-matter experts in meetings with Members of Congress and prepped national security attorneys for public hearings in Congress and the New York City Council.
        • Worked on a core team that drafted a bill (now a local law), introduced by New York City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Brad Lander, to create an independent inspector general for the NYPD.
        • Wrote for, edited, and conducted investigative research on national security oversight, civil rights, and transparency for Chief Counsel Fritz Schwarz’s book Democracy in the Dark: The Seduction of Government Secrecy.
        • Advanced the Liberty and National Security Program’s agenda through public engagements with House Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, then-Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan, and then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition
New York, New York
Working Group Member, April 2010 – August 2012

        • Worked with Muslim community leaders and organizations to initiate effective communication with the New York City Police Department.


LSU Journal of Energy Law & Resources
Senior Associate, 2014 – 2015
Junior Associate, 2013 – 2014

        • Supervised second-year law students’ legal research; copy edited articles accepted for publication both in print and online; worked with editors to increase the journal’s quality and audience size.

Journal of Management & Sustainability
Editorial Board Member, 2014 – 2016

        • Peer reviewed and screened articles submitted for publication in a double blind, peer reviewed academic journal focusing on research in environmentalism, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and related areas of law and policy.


Louisiana State University Law Center
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Juris Doctor & Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law, May 2015

        • C. E. Laborde, Jr. Memorial Scholar
        • Highest Grade in National Security Law (Fall 2014) and Constitutional Law II (Spring 2015)
        • Chancellor’s Scholar, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 (top 25 percent of all full-time students)

University College London
London, England
Master of Science, November 2009
Program:     Democracy and Democratisation

        • Dissertation: Media Framing and Bias During Gay Marriage Debates in Three U.S. States: A Content Analysis

Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Bachelor of Arts, December 2007
Majors:        Mass Communication, concentration in political communication; International Studies, concentration on Africa and the Middle East

        • Organized public education forum attended by more than two hundred students; panelists, including a Catholic priest, geneticist, and social work professor, discussed homosexuality in modern America.
        • Studied abroad at the American University in Cairo.


R. Kyle Alagood, Opening the Schoolhouse Door to the AIDS Virus: Policy-Making, Politics, and Personality in a Queens County Courtroom, 1985-86, 19 U. Pa. J. L. & Soc. Change 259 (2016) (arguing that transparency in decision making enhances democracy and results in better government policy).

R. Kyle Alagood, Black as Less Than Person: Case Studies on Race, Law & Medical Science in the United States, 2015 Freedom Ctr. J. 89 (2015) (tracing the evolution of racism in U.S. law and medicine).

R. Kyle Alagood, The Mythology of Mitigation Banking, 46 Envt’l L. Rep. 10200 (2016).

R. Kyle Alagood, Parole Release Hearings: The Fallacy of Discretion, 5 T. Marshall L.J. Gender, Race & Just. (2015) (overviewing parole release hearings and proposing reforms for uniformity).

        • “[A] notable and timely new paper,” according to Professor Douglas A. Berman, Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University.

R. Kyle Alagood, Settlement Confidentiality: A “Fracking” Disaster for Public Health and Safety, 45 Envt’l L. Rep. 10459 (2015) (discussing how secrecy in civil settlement agreements affects the public interest).

        • Excerpted in Colorado Common Law, http://cocommonlaw.com/2014/10/article-settlement-confidentiality-a-fracking-disaster-for-public-health-and-safety.

R. Kyle Alagood, Rule 76a: Could Texas Courts Solve the Secrecy-Science Dilemma in Fracking Disputes?, LSU J. Energy L. & Res. Currents (Sept. 10, 2014), http://sites.law.lsu.edu/jelrblog/?p=476.


R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., I Drafted Eric Swalwell’s Leading Gun Control Plan. It’s Vital Another Candidate Fights for It Now, Newsweek, Aug. 6, 2019, https://www.newsweek.com/i-drafted-eric-swalwells-leading-gun-control-plan-its-vital-another-candidate-fights-it-now-1452871.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., This Gay Gun Owner Just Had an Epiphany, Advocate.com, Aug. 5, 2019, https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2019/8/05/gay-gun-owner-just-had-epiphany.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., 11 Ideas on Stopping Violence from a Gun-Owning Gay, Advocate.com, Feb. 22, 2018, https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/2/22/11-ideas-stopping-violence-gun-owning-gay.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., Obama Must Pardon Manning and Snowden Before Trump Takes Office, CNN, Dec. 19, 2016, http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/19/opinions/pardon-manning-and-snowden-alagood-opinion/.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., Eliminate This Useless Tax, Period, USA Today, Oct. 28, 2015, https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/10/28/eliminate-useless-tax-period/74736628/.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., The Dire State of Louisiana LGBTs, Advocate, May 6, 2015, http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2015/05/06/op-ed-dire-state-louisiana-lgbts.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., LSU’s Possible ‘Bankruptcy’: The Bell Tolls for Louisiana Higher Education, Huffington Post, Apr. 27, 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kyle-alagood/lsus-possible-bankruptcy-_b_7149140.html.

R. Kyle Alagood & Andrew Hairston, Op-Ed., Breaking the Code of Silence on Race in Law School, Huffington Post, Oct. 23, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kyle-alagood/breaking-the-code-of-sile_1_b_6035224.html.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., Does ‘Tranny’ Matter to a Slave, Huffington Post, June 10, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kyle-alagood/does-tranny-matter-to-a-slave_b_5462657.html.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., Tea Party Rep. John Fleming Flip-Flopped on Abortion—And No One Noticed, Huffington Post, Mar. 28, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kyle-alagood/john-fleming-flip-flopped-on-abortion_b_5051446.html.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., La.’s Culture at Stake in Anti-Abortion Bill, Shreveport Times, Mar. 27, 2014, http://www.shreveporttimes.com/article/20140327/OPINION0106/303270002/La-s-culture-stake-anti-abortion-bill.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., What It’s Like to be Gay in the State of Duck Dynasty (Hint: It’s Very, Very Bad), Huffington Post, Dec. 28, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kyle-alagood/what-its-like-to-be-gay-i_b_4510918.html.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., Manning and Snowden: Wakeup Call on Overclassification, Nat’l L.J., July 10, 2013, http://at.law.com/vbjnNo.

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., America a New National Security State, Shreveport Times, June 23, 2013, at C2.

R. Kyle Alagood, United States v. Nixon, in The Book of Digests: A Supplement and Study Guide (Paul R. Baier ed., 2013).

R. Kyle Alagood, Op-Ed., As House Hears Testimony on National Security Leaks, Time is Ripe to Examine Impact of Wikileaks, Huffington Post, July 12, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/r-kyle-alagood/as-house-hears-testimony-_b_1672250.html.

R. Kyle Alagood, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: An Expensive Closet, Students for Reform, Oct. 23, 2006, at 1, available at https://rkylealagood.com/sexuality-in-the-service/.


N.Y.C. Quadrennial Advisory Commission, Final Report (2015) (“Part D: Data and Analysis” and throughout the report), available at http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/quadrennial/downloads/pdf/2015-Quadrennial-Commission-Report.pdf.

Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr., Democracy in the Dark: The Seduction of Government Secrecy (2015) (detailing the evolution of government secrecy in America).

Domestic Intelligence: Our Rights and Safety (Faiza Patel ed., 2013) (collecting essays on domestic intelligence from public officials, scholars, and advocates).

Michael Price, National Security and Local Police (2013) (detailing local law enforcement intelligence gathering and oversight in the nation’s largest police departments).

Faiza Patel & Andrew Sullivan, A Proposal for an NYPD Inspector General (2012) (overviewing police oversight in New York City).

Faiza Patel, Rethinking Radicalization (2011) (describing flaws in law enforcement’s response to terrorism).

Emily Berman, Domestic Intelligence: New Powers, New Risks (2011) (examining legal implications of the FBI’s powers).

Elizabeth Goitein & David M. Shapiro, Curbing Needless Secrecy (2011) (proposing guidelines for preventing overclassification in federal agencies).