Monica Sanders

Monica Sanders joins the Emergency and Disaster Management from the Washington and Lee University School of Law, where she created and taught a course on disaster law and policy.

Photo of Monica Sanders


Her current work involves policy strategy related to internet governance, data in disasters and how to use technology to reach vulnerable populations. Previously, she was the Senior Legal Advisor for International Response and Programs at the American Red Cross, where she focused on international disaster response and humanitarian assistance principles. She also designed advocacy trainings to help communities access government structures. All of her work includes an emphasis on cultural competency and cross-cultural communication. 


Ms. Sanders’ early career involved seven years of television and online journalism experience. She worked in the Miami and Atlanta markets prior to joining CNN, where she received a 2002 Emmy award for her work covering the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks and the military engagement in Afghanistan that followed. Before departing the network, she contributed to an online newscast for CNN.com and cultural programming for CNN International. 


A native of New Orleans impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Sanders' later combined her journalism skills with legal training. Drawing on personal experiences from the storm, she began another career as an advocate with Law Students for Government Accountability immediately after the storm. That would evolve into working in a Congressional office and serving as a Senior Committee Counsel for both the United States House of Representatives and Senate Committees on Homeland Security. In those roles, she focused on oversight of disaster response and recovery programs, cybersecurity, and critical infrastructure protection. She studied security and defense-civilian coordination in the European Union Visitor’s Program. Her work also included overseeing the first ever Congressional report on the impacts of regulation on security and response capacity and leading an investigation into nepotism and mismanagement at a federal agency. 


Other examples from her body of work which include: coordinating with industry and ensuring the inclusion of ethnic and linguistic minorities in the Deepwater Horizon policy response, reconciling property and border issues in Haiti, and assisting with direct assistance to home and business owners recovering from Hurricane Maria. She continues her advocacy and direct response work as a ''grey shirt'' with Team Rubicon and remains an active member of the UNDP consultants roster. 


Ms. Sanders received her degrees from the University of Miami, the Catholic University of America, Harvard Law School and University College London.