Marilyn Haft is an an entertainment and digital media attorney. She specializes in the business and legal affairs of multimedia and communication industries including the film, television, digital and publishing sectors.
Ms. Haft has been a partner at a number of firms and was a test case constitutional law litigator at the national level for the American Civil Liberties Union. Over six years, she litigated in state and federal courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ms. Haft has served as general counsel and managing director of a financial services company that provided short-term funding requirements for major film studios, independent film producers and distributors. In that capacity, she was responsible for co-creating the financing structure of the transactions. Ms. Haft was also general counsel to a publicly traded multimedia and digital acquisitions company. In that position, she was responsible for all aspects relating to acquisitions including intellectual property issues involving patent, copyright, trademark and trade secrets. Ms. Haft has also been selected as a Super Lawyer by her peers every year consistently since 2008.
Ms. Haft is also an award-winning independent film producer and worked at NBC News and ABC News as a producer on Peter Jennings’ specials. She also represented Mr. Jennings as an attorney. She was the executive producer of an Emmy award-winning documentary on Preston Sturges for “American Masters” on National Public Television, and co-produced “Grace is Gone,” the John Cusack movie that won the Audience Award at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
She also co-produced two 2008 Sundance films, “Diminished Capacity,” starring Matthew Broderick, Virginia Madsen and Alan Alda, and “Birds of America,” starring and co-produced by Hillary Swank. She was a producer of the 2010-released film, "Handsome Harry," starring Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi and Aidan Quinn.
She is an author of several non-fiction books and a former newspaper columnist.
Ms. Haft served the Carter Administration as Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison in the White House, where she was the liaison to organized interest groups in the areas of human rights, business and the arts.
She was then appointed Deputy Counsel to Vice President Walter Mondale in the White House where, among other duties, she was the White House's representative and liaison with the intelligence agencies for the re-writing of their charters. She also participated in the pre-Camp David negotiations.
Ms. Haft then ran the New York City campaign for the re-election of the President along with then-Lieutenant Governor Mario Cuomo, who ran the campaign for New York State. Finally, she was appointed as a U.S. Representative to the United Nations, where she was one of the six official representatives of the U.S. to the U.N. She primarily represented the U.S. in the Third Committee of the General Assembly, which oversees global social and economic issues.
Ms Haft continues her work with the UN. She is the President of the Board of the Friends of the World Federation of United Nations Associations. WFUNA is a global non-profit organization representing and coordinating a membership of over 100 national United Nations Associations (UNAs) and their thousands of constituents. WFUNA works with civil society to strengthen and improve the UN and to educate future world leaders including through Model UN programs. WFUNA is the largest international network of people supporting and engaging the UN.
Ms. Haft is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and is a member of the Bars of New York State, the District of Columbia and the US Supreme Court.