Lisa Ellman | Washington, D.C. | Hogan Lovells

Lisa Ellman
Ellman Lisa
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Credentials
  • Insights and events
quote mark

"A former presidential advisor, attorney Lisa Ellman is one of the top legal minds in high-tech aviation."

Scott McGrew, PressHere TV, NBC

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s “top legal minds” in emerging technologies and advanced aviation, Lisa Ellman offers a unique perspective and vast experience, helping clients push policy and regulatory boundaries forward safely.

As chair of the Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) practice and co-founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Commercial Drone Alliance, Lisa is focused on helping businesses succeed in the dynamic drone marketplace. She also focuses on UAS security efforts and enabling Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). Lisa founded and hosts the Advanced Aviation Innovation Summit series, bringing together regulators, policymakers, and industry stakeholders to explore ways to enhance U.S. global leadership in advanced aviation.

As a member of the firm’s Transportation and Aviation practices, Lisa has a broad understanding of policy issues and advises crewed aviation organizations, self-driving car companies and other transportation clients as they implement innovative solutions.

Throughout her career, Lisa has worked to bridge government policymaking and business innovation. She has held a variety of positions at the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including leading the DOJ's effort to develop policy to govern the use of UAS in the United States. Lisa also has extensive federal advisory committee experience, including on the NASA Advisory Council Aeronautics Committee and as a leader on the FAA's BVLOS and UAS Detection and Mitigation Aviation Rulemaking Committees.

In 2022, Lisa was named Most Innovative Practitioner in The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers North America awards.  She is a highly sought-after thought leader and regularly appears on television to discuss new developments. Her opinions have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fortune and other publications.  She was recognized in Fortune's "Most Powerful Women" series for her efforts to develop policy to govern drone use in the United States. 

quote mark

"Obama's former law student is shaping the nation's policy on drones."

Elizabeth Segran, Fortune Magazine

Representative experience

Assist UAS companies with participation in federal government pilot pograms to push UAS policy boundaries forward safely and securely.

Help companies navigate UAS/AAM regulatory processes.

Represent Commercial Drone Alliance on advisory groups such as NASA Advisory Council Aeronautics Committee and FAA BVLOS and UAS Detection and Mitigation Aviation Rulemaking Committees.

Assist businesses and trade associations to craft public policy strategies to move innovation forward safely.

Assist companies entering the dynamic UAS/AAM marketplace to craft a business strategy for success.

Assist non-profit organization focused on enhancing crewed flight safety. 

Provides counsel on legal and policy issues around drone security, including counter-drone technology. 


  • J.D./M.P.P., The University of Chicago Law School and Harris School of Public Policy, 2005
  • B.A. History, University of Michigan, 2000
Bar admissions and qualifications
  • District of Columbia
Court admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Most Innovative Practitioner, The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers North America

The Financial Times

Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory (Nationwide), Rank 3

Chambers USA

Transportation MVP


Technology Law Trailblazer

The National Law Journal

Transport: Aviation and Air Travel - Litigation and Regulation, Leading Lawyer

Legal 500 US

Government: Government Relations

Legal 500 US

Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Technology: Transactions

Legal 500 US

Media, Technology, and Telecoms: Telecoms and Broadcast: Transactional

Legal 500 US

Government: Government Contracts

Legal 500 US

Rising Star

National Law Journal D.C.

Transportation: Most Valuable Player


Transportation: Aviation: Regulatory

Chambers USA