Kristen K. Waggoner

Kristen K. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of US legal advocacy, general counsel – Arizona, with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner supervises a team of more than 50 attorneys and legal staff who specialize in constitutional law and focus on religious freedom, sanctity of life, and marriage and family. Waggoner joined Alliance Defending Freedom in 2013.

Waggoner has extensive experience in civil litigation, employment, education, nonprofit, and constitutional law.  After clerking with Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders and interning with U.S. Representative Linda Smith, Waggoner joined Ellis, Li & McKinstry, a Seattle law firm, where she became a partner in 2004. At ELM, Waggoner participated as counsel in hundreds of legal matters including constitutional cases such as Andersen v. King County (same-sex marriage), Stormans v. Wiesman (pharmacists’ conscience rights), State v. Arlene’s Flowers (floral designer’s right not to participate in same-sex marriage), State ex rel Gallwey v. Grimm (financial aid to religious university students), and State v. Hamlin (clergy-penitent privilege). Waggoner’s clients primarily included private schools and universities, churches, denominations, and other nonprofit organizations, and she served on the firm’s management, compensation, pro bono, and hiring committees.

Waggoner is Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent in Martindale-Hubbell. Washington Law & Politics selected her as a “Rising Star” for many years and she is a sought-after national speaker on legal and cultural issues.  She has made numerous media appearances including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Times, the Seattle Times, BBC News, CNN, CBS Sunday Morning, and ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, as well as appearances on Fox News and other networks.

Since 2000, Waggoner has served as an adjunct faculty member at Northwest University at the undergraduate and master’s levels.  She is currently a member of Northwest University’s board of trustees. 

Waggoner earned her J.D. from Regent University School of Law, graduating cum laude. Waggoner also served as the internal managing editor for the Regent Law Review. She earned her BA from Northwest University. Waggoner is admitted to practice in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Florida, and is admitted to many federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

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