ECONOMY

Loni Mahanta


Loni Mahanta is a Nonresident Fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings, where she focuses on tech policy and emerging tech.

Mahanta is also a practicing attorney and policy advisor, who helps early- and mid-stage startups and technology companies understand the legal, regulatory, and policy landscapes in which they operate.  Mahanta most recently served as the VP, Policy Development and Research at Lyft, where she designed and implemented public policy strategies to address the policy implications of ridesharing.  Specifically, Mahanta led a team of sustainability, safety, privacy, labor, and data experts to pioneer legislative and regulatory frameworks in domestic and global markets in which Lyft operates.

In this capacity, Mahanta served as Lyft’s chief labor negotiator in addressing the modernization of labor laws, leading talks across worker advocates, drivers, labor unions, state and federal legislators, and governors to develop innovative policy solutions to guide the future of work, address bargaining in the modern economy, and skills development in light of accelerated automation.

Among other initiatives driven by Mahanta, her team was integral to the creation of Lyft’s first ESG report (published in 2020), and they drove the adoption of Lyft’s industry-leading environmental commitment to 100% electric vehicles by 2030, the most meaningful way to reduce carbon emissions on the platform.  Mahanta’s team also architected Lyft’s annual Economic Impact Report, as well as large operational datasets for use by academics and governments, demonstrating the major economic impacts of the ridesharing industry.

Mahanta originally joined Lyft as a senior member of Lyft’s in-house Legal team.  As VP, Associate General Counsel, Mahanta was responsible for all labor and employment-related challenges facing Lyft, internally and externally.

Previously, Mahanta practiced at the law firms of Folger Levin LLP, Crowell & Moring LLP, and Folger, Levin & Khan LLP.

Mahanta currently sits on the board of the Family Violence Appellate Project, a non-profit dedicated to helping domestic violence survivors and their children by appealing dangerous trial court decisions on their behalf, for free.  Mahanta is also a member of the Marin City Incorporation Committee seeking to incorporate the historically black community as a formal city, and establish a path to financial independence & self determination.

Loni earned a J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law (magna cum laude), and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University.

Loni Mahanta is a Nonresident Fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings, where she focuses on tech policy and emerging tech.

Mahanta is also a practicing attorney and policy advisor, who helps early- and mid-stage startups and technology companies understand the legal, regulatory, and policy landscapes in which they operate.  Mahanta most recently served as the VP, Policy Development and Research at Lyft, where she designed and implemented public policy strategies to address the policy implications of ridesharing.  Specifically, Mahanta led a team of sustainability, safety, privacy, labor, and data experts to pioneer legislative and regulatory frameworks in domestic and global markets in which Lyft operates.

In this capacity, Mahanta served as Lyft’s chief labor negotiator in addressing the modernization of labor laws, leading talks across worker advocates, drivers, labor unions, state and federal legislators, and governors to develop innovative policy solutions to guide the future of work, address bargaining in the modern economy, and skills development in light of accelerated automation.

Among other initiatives driven by Mahanta, her team was integral to the creation of Lyft’s first ESG report (published in 2020), and they drove the adoption of Lyft’s industry-leading environmental commitment to 100% electric vehicles by 2030, the most meaningful way to reduce carbon emissions on the platform.  Mahanta’s team also architected Lyft’s annual Economic Impact Report, as well as large operational datasets for use by academics and governments, demonstrating the major economic impacts of the ridesharing industry.

Mahanta originally joined Lyft as a senior member of Lyft’s in-house Legal team.  As VP, Associate General Counsel, Mahanta was responsible for all labor and employment-related challenges facing Lyft, internally and externally.

Previously, Mahanta practiced at the law firms of Folger Levin LLP, Crowell & Moring LLP, and Folger, Levin & Khan LLP.

Mahanta currently sits on the board of the Family Violence Appellate Project, a non-profit dedicated to helping domestic violence survivors and their children by appealing dangerous trial court decisions on their behalf, for free.  Mahanta is also a member of the Marin City Incorporation Committee seeking to incorporate the historically black community as a formal city, and establish a path to financial independence & self determination.

Loni earned a J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law (magna cum laude), and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University.

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