Maria Barsallo Lynch is the Executive Director of the Defending Digital Democracy Project. 

Barsallo Lynch brings a background in politics and the cross-section of cybersecurity and technology to the leadership team of the Defending Digital Democracy Project (D3P) to help grow the project’s work and impact in providing solutions and tools to keep democratic processes safe.  She believes in the importance of helping decision makers and consumers gain literacy in the growing fields of cybersecurity, technology innovation, and the space in between.

A graduate of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Barsallo Lynch has rooted her work in seeking systemic change for challenging social issues by leading funding strategy and program implementation in the nonprofit and political arenas.  As a Fellow at the El Pomar Foundation, Barsallo Lynch advised one of Colorado’s leading philanthropic organizations on grant funding and programmatic initiatives for rural areas in her adopted home state.  She served as a Deputy Finance Director for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet on what at the time was the most successful fundraising campaign in Colorado history. She later worked as Director of Development at the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) Colorado Schools, among other roles consulting to help initiatives best implement successful fundraising strategies and programs. 

Inspired by her family’s humble roots and her experiences as a Panamanian immigrant to the United States, Barsallo Lynch founded DESDE, a social enterprise that seeks to empower marginalized Panamanian artisans by providing them tools to navigate market access, using technology to make connections and spur opportunities for economic mobility.

Barsallo Lynch also served as a Legislative Fellow to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, supporting his work as Ranking Member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance.  During her time as a student at Harvard Kennedy School, she conducted research on legislative efforts in data privacy and regulation of technology companies.

Barsallo Lynch holds a B.A. from The Colorado College and serves on its Alumni Association Committee. She is also an alumna of the International DO School Fellowship.  She lives between Boston and Washington, D.C., with her husband, Dermot.


For additional information about D3P, contact Project Coordinator Maya Nandakumar. 

Last Updated: Sep 18, 2020, 8:36am



Request Interview


Mailing Address:

Suite 475

One Brattle Square

Cambridge, Massachusetts