Deborah Lashley-Johnson

Senior Advisor for Policy and International Affairs

From 2015-2021, Ms. Lashley-Johnson was the USPTO’s Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché for the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations (U.N.) and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland. She worked on issues involving the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the World Health Organization (WHO), and certain substantive committees of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). 

As of August 2021, Ms. Lashley-Johnson returned to the Trademarks team as an attorney/advisor in the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA). Prior to her recent work in Geneva, Ms. Lashley-Johnson was part of OPIA from 2010-2015, where she was responsible for a wide range of issues at WIPO concerning governance, budget, and legal standards that promoted IP protection. She also led the USPTO’s Africa IP team, providing capacity building for the African continent. Additionally, she worked on policy formation concerning geographical indications and biotechnology under the WTO’s TRIPS Agreement. From 2008-2010, Ms. Lashley-Johnson was the diplomatic IP Attaché at the U.S. Mission in Geneva. She was the first legal IP expert for the U.N. side of the mission, analyzing and commenting on IP policy issues concerning counterfeit medicines at WIPO, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the WHO. From 1997-2008, Ms. Lashley-Johnson worked on IP and trade issues for the U.S. government in a variety of capacities—at the USPTO and the International Trade Administration—handling IP matters at a number of international bodies, including the WTO, WIPO, UNCTAD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the WHO. 

Ms. Lashley-Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Georgetown University and a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law.