Join leaders in the
conservative movement for
The Heritage Foundation’s
2014 Resource Bank Meeting.

March 26-28, 2014

The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

New Orleans, Louisiana

RSVP Today

Join conservative movement leaders from across the country in New Orleans, March 26-28, 2014, for The Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Resource Bank Meeting! Help strategize ways to make government once again ...of the people, by the people, and for the people... instead of government over the people.

Plenary and roundtable strategy sessions will cover: federalism, the war on poverty at 50 years old, Obamacare, real health care reform, legal challenges, education choice innovations in states like Louisiana, and more. You will hear what the left is planning and what the public is saying. And, you will learn from the best in fundraising, marketing and digital strategy. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage in these conversations and meet rising new leaders in the movement. We hope to see you there!



*Schedule is tentative as new speakers are confirmed. Please continue to check back for updates.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
12:00 - 6:00 pmRegistration
1:45 - 5:00 pm

Optional Activity: The National World War II Museum

$35 per person (including admission and roundtrip transportation)

The country's official World War II Museum is a must-see for history lovers and all patriots. Powerful images and extraordinary artifacts bring to life the American Spirit, the courage, teamwork and sacrifice of the young men and women who won the war and changed the world. From the 1930s prelude to war, to the Normandy Invasion and the battles of the Pacific Islands, visitors trace America's role in the war and on the Home Front. The fee includes admission to the museum, a 4:00 p.m. viewing of the 4D film "Beyond All Boundaries," and roundtrip transportation from the hotel.

6:00 - 9:00 pm State Think Tank CEO Reception and Dinner
By Invitation Only
9:00 - 10:30 pm Creole Welcome Reception
Sponsored by Microsoft
Thursday, March 27, 2014
8:00 am Registration, Exhibits, Internet Cafe, and Breakfast Buffet Open
9:00 – 9:10 a.m.

Plenary Session - Welcome Message

Jim DeMint
President, The Heritage Foundation

9:10 - 10:15 am

Plenary Session - Uniting America: Winning Minds and Hearts

Moderator: Geoffrey J. Lysaught
Group Vice President, Strategic Communications, The Heritage Foundation

Lynn Harsh
Vice President of Strategy, State Policy Network

Matt Streit
Vice President, Strategic Communications, The Heritage Foundation

10:15 - 10:30 am Networking Break
10:30 - 11:45 am

Strategy Session – The Left Does Have an Agenda

Moderator: Tracie Sharp
President, State Policy Network

John Fund
National Affairs Columnist National Review

Stanley Kurtz
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center and
Contributing Editor, National Review Online

Cleta Mitchell
Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Strategy Session – Transforming the Welfare State: Next Steps on the Hill and in Communities

Moderator: Jennifer Marshall
Director, Domestic Policy Studies and The DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, The Heritage Foundation

Robert Doar
Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Matt Weidinger
Majority Staff Director, Subcommittee on Human Resources, U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee

Robert L. Woodson, Sr.
President, Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

11:45 am - 12:00 pm Networking Break
12:00 - 1:30 pm

Luncheon and Presentation of the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship

Master of Ceremonies
Bridgett Wagner
Director, Coalition Relations, The Heritage Foundation

A Louisiana Welcome
Kevin Kane
President, Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Presentation of the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship
The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, The Heritage Foundation

David Azerrad
Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, The Heritage Foundation

1:30 - 1:45 pm Networking Break
1:45 - 3:00 pm

Strategy Session - Choosing to Succeed: How Louisiana Puts Parents in Charge of Education

Moderator: Lindsey Burke
Will Skillman Fellow in Education, The Heritage Foundation

Clint Bolick
Vice President for Litigation, Goldwater Institute

Ken Bradford
Assistant Superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education

Lisa Snell
Director of Education, Reason Foundation

Strategy Session - Making People the Priority in Health Care: The Path Forward as Obamacare Unravels

Moderator: Nina Owcharenko
Director, Center for Health Policy Studies, and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Randy E. Barnett
Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center

Charles A. Donovan
President, Charlotte Lozier Institute

John C. Goodman
President and Chief Executive Officer, National Center for Policy Analysis

Strategy Session - Break Through the Noise: Three Strategies for Success in the Public Square

Moderator: Michael Rigas
Deputy Direct, Coalition Relations, The Heritage Foundation

Owen Brennan
Partner, Madison McQueen

Amy Oliver Cooke
Executive Vice President and Director of the Energy Policty Center, Independence Institute

Jerry A. Johnson
President and Chief Executive Officer, National Religious Broadcasters

Wade Miller
Regional Coordinator, Heritage Action for America

3:00 - 3:15 pm

Networking Break

3:15 - 4:30 pm

Strategy Session – Transforming Communities: A Conversation with Local Leaders

Moderator: Jo Kwong, Ph.D.
Director of Economic Opportunity, Philanthropy Roundtable

Ronald P. Briggs
President and Chairman, The Good Shepherd Nativity Mission School, New Orleans

James M. Huger
Chairman, Choice Foundation

Roundtable Discussion - Understanding Their Values: Fundraising Strategies and Stories for Success

Moderator: John Von Kannon
Vice President and Senior Counselor, The Heritage Foundation

John-Paul "J.P." De Gance
Chief Operating Officer, Philanthropy Roundtable

Ann C. Fitzgerald
President, A.C. Fitzgerald & Associates, LLC

Strategy Session - Land of Liberty: Unlocking America's Energy Resources

Moderator: Jack Spencer
Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Rob Gordon, Jr.
Senior Advisor for Strategic Outreach, The Heritage Foundation

Karen Bulich Moreau
President, Foundation for Land and Liberty, and Executive Director, American Petroleum Institute – New York

Kathleen Hartnett White
Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence and Director, Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment, Texas Public Policy Foundation

4:30 - 4:45 pm Networking Break
4:45 - 5:30 pm

Special Address – The Worst Story Ever Told

Emcee: Heather Pfitzenmaier
Director, Young Leaders Program, The Heritage Foundation

Jeremy Boreing

5:30 - 6:30 pm Leisure Time/Networking/Side Meetings
6:30 pm Exhibits and Internet Cafe Close
6:30 - 7:00 pm Reception
Sponsored by the Pelican Institute for Public Policy
7:30 - 9:30 pm

Robert H. Krieble Dinner and Lecture

Master of Ceremonies
Becky Norton Dunlop
Vice President, External Relations, The Heritage Foundation

Remarks and Introduction of Speaker
Jim DeMint
President, The Heritage Foundation

Keynote Address
The Honorable Bobby Jindal
Governor of Louisiana

9:30 - 10:30 pm Taste of New Orleans Dessert Reception
Friday, March 28, 2014
7:30 am Registration, Exhibits, Internet Cafe, and Breakfast Buffet Open
8:00 - 9:00 am

Roundtable Discussion – Removing Obstacles to Education Reform in the States: Common Core and Blaine Amendments

Moderator: Jim Stergios
Executive Director, Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research

Roundtable Discussion – Reports from the States on the Health Care Fight

Moderator: Christie Herrera
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Government Accountability

9:00 - 9:15 am

Networking Break

9:15 - 10:15 am

Strategy Session - A Data-Driven Approach to Strengthen Your Online Presence

Tim McGovern
Director, Marketing Technology, The Heritage Foundation

Nat Ward
Associate Director, Online Membership Programs, The Heritage Foundation

Roundtable Discussion - Saving Rural America

Moderator: Annette Meeks
Chief Executive Officer, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Steven J. Anderson, CPA
Senior Adjunct Fiscal Policy Fellow, Kansas Policy Institute, and Research Fellow, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Daren Bakst
Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy, The Heritage Foundation

William Buckner
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Strategy Session - How You Can Benefit from Heritage's American Perceptions Initiative: Creative Messages Driving Policy Change

Moderator: Keesha Bullock
Director, Marketing, The Heritage Foundation

10:15 - 10:30 am

Networking Break

10:30 - 11:30 am

Plenary Session – Shaking Up the Establishment: A Conservative Media Roundtable
Presented by The Foundry

Moderator: Genevieve Wood
Senior Contributor, The Foundry, The Heritage Foundation

Lachlan Markay
Staff Writer, Washington Free Beacon

Katrina Trinko
Managing Editor, The Foundry, The Heritage Foundation

Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent, Washington Examiner

11:30 - 11:45 am

Networking Break

11:45 - 12:30 pm

Closing Address - Make D.C. Listen: Principled Actions to Empower the American People

Emcee: Mike Needham
Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action for America

Introduction of Speaker: Brooke Rollins
President and Chief Executive Officer, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Keynote Address: The Honorable Ted Cruz (R–TX)
United States Senator

12:30 pm

Boxed Lunches Provided; Resource Bank Concludes; Exhibits and Internet Cafe Close


Steven J. Anderson

Managing Partner, Anderson, Reichert and Anderson CPAs, LLC

Mr. Anderson is the managing partner of Anderson, Reichert and Anderson CPAs, LLC's Oklahoma office.

Prior to joining the firm, he spent an extensive portion of his career in the oil and gas industry first as a comptroller of a multinational company and later as owner and operator of his own firm. He served in the administration of Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and most recently spent three years as the Kansas State Budget Director in the administration of Governor Sam Brownback. The Kansas City Star noted that, "Perhaps no one is more pivotal in Brownback's call to limit spending than one of his first appointees...Steve Anderson."

He has lectured for a number of state and national think tanks on a variety of governmental budget issues. He has served on the Governmental Board of the Kansas State Society of CPAs as well as serving as a Continual Professional Education Lecturer on governmental accounting and finance issues. His study, "The Real Cost of Education" was praised by Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman as a "great service". Forbes magazine has also recognized his actions in designing a new form of governmental accounting instrument as Kansas State Budget Director as "revolutionary."

He holds a B.S. in finance from Fort Hays State University and a MBA from University of Central Oklahoma, in addition to teaching certifications in Calculus, Physics and Business in Oklahoma

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David Azerrad

Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics,
The Heritage Foundation

David Azerrad devotes his time and research to increasing public understanding of America’s founding principles. As director of The Heritage Foundation’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, he teaches the tenets of the American political tradition to policymakers, political leaders, and the public at large while connecting our founding principles to the thorny questions of the day.

A popular speaker, Azerrad gives talks around the country on topics such as the Founding, modern liberalism and conservatism, and the American Dream. He has spoken on many college campuses, including Harvard and Dartmouth, and addressed audiences in more than 15 states, most notably at the Council of State Chambers, Freedom Fest, and the Values Voter Summit.

From September 2010 through September 2013, Azerrad was assistant director and then associate director of the Center for Principles and Politics. Before joining Heritage in 2010, he spent two years at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni promoting civic literacy and working to shake up higher education. In 2007, he was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute in California.

His writings have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and academic journals such as The Times of London (writing as a correspondent in Malaysia), the New York Daily News, The Washington Times, National Review Online, and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy.

Azerrad is a doctoral candidate in politics at the University of Dallas, completing a dissertation on the foundations of John Locke’s political thought. While there, he taught the course “Principles of American Politics” to undergraduates.

A native of Montreal, Canada, Azerrad received his master of arts degree in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Concordia University in Montreal. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Randy E. Barnett

Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center; Director, Georgetown Center for the Constitution

Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and contracts, and is Director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. After graduating from Northwestern University and Harvard Law School, he tried many felony cases as a prosecutor in the Cook County States' Attorney's Office in Chicago. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Constitutional Studies, Professor Barnett has been a visiting professor at Penn, Northwestern and Harvard Law School.

Professor Barnett's publications includes eleven books, more than one hundred articles and reviews, as well as numerous op-eds. His coauthored book, A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case (Palgrave) was published in 2013. New expanded editions of his books, Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (Princeton) and The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (Oxford) were published this year. His other books include The Oxford Introductions to U.S. Law: Contracts (Oxford 2010), Contracts: Cases and Doctrine (Wolters Kluwer, 5th ed. 2012), and Constitutional Law: Cases in Context (Wolters Kluwer, 2nd ed. 2013)

In 2004, he argued the medical marijuana case of Gonzalez v. Raich before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2012, he was one of the lawyers representing the National Federation of Independent Business in its constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Recently, he appeared on PBS's Constitution USA with Peter Sagal; and he portrayed a prosecutor in the 2010 science-fiction feature film, InAlienable.

Daren Bakst

Research Fellow in Agricultural Policy, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Daren Bakst studies and writes about agriculture subsidies, property rights, environmental policy, food labeling and related issues as The Heritage Foundation's research fellow in agricultural policy.

Bakst, who joined Heritage's Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies in May 2013, previously was a policy counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he focused on regulatory reform as well as food and agricultural policy.

He worked for seven years at the Raleigh, N.C.-based John Locke Foundation, one of the largest state-based, free-market think tanks. As director of legal and regulatory studies there, he concentrated on property rights and environmental policy.

Bakst has appeared in or been quoted by media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Times, CNN and National Review Online.

He serves on the Federalist Society's Environmental Law and Property Rights Executive Committee and previous was a member of the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Bakst, who hails from West Palm Beach, Fla., received his bachelor's and master's degrees from George Washington University. A licensed attorney, he holds a law degree from University of Miami and a master of laws degree from American University.

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Clint Bolick

Vice President for Litigation, Goldwater Institute

Clint Bolick serves as the Goldwater Institute's Vice President for Litigation.

In a recent profile, the New York Times said that Bolick is "known for his aggressive litigation to defend individual liberties." He has argued and won cases in the United States Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court, and state and federal courts from coast to coast. He has won landmark precedents defending school choice, freedom of enterprise, and private property rights and challenging corporate subsidies and racial classifications.

Before joining the Goldwater Institute in 2007, Bolick was co-founder of the Institute for Justice and later served as president of the Alliance for School Choice.

Bolick helped author the Health Care Freedom Act and the Save Our Secret Ballot amendment, which were added to the Arizona Constitution in 2010 and adopted in several other states. He also has assisted policy activists in several states to establish litigation centers based on the Goldwater Institute model.

In 2003, American Lawyer recognized Bolick as one of three lawyers of the year for his successful defense of school choice programs, culminating in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris in the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2009, Legal Times named Bolick one of the "90 Greatest D.C. Lawyers in the Past 30 Years." Bolick received one of the freedom movement's most prestigious awards, the Bradley Prize, in 2006 for advancing the values of democratic capitalism.

Bolick has authored several books, most recently with Governor Jeb Bush, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. Other titles include Death Grip: Loosening the Law's Stranglehold Over Economic Liberty (2011) and David's Hammer: The Case for an Activist Judiciary (2007). In addition to his work at the Goldwater Institute, Bolick serves as a research fellow with the Hoover Institution.

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Jeremy Boreing


Jeremy Boreing is a writer and filmmaker and serves as both managing editor of TruthRevolt.Org, a news and commentary website sponsored by the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His most recent film, The Arroyo, follows one man's battle against the drug cartels waging war on America's southern border and the government that turns a blind eye to the chaos.

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Ken Bradford

Assistant Superintendent, Office of Content, Louisiana Department of Education

As Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Content, Mr. Bradford is part of the team that coordinates the implementation of State Standards, the Course Choice Program, and CTE. He has held several roles with the Louisiana Department of Education since 2002 including the Louisiana Virtual School Program Administrator, Assistant Director Center for Educational Technology, State Director of Educational Technology, and, State Assistant Superintendent . He has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Educational Technology from Louisiana State University.

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Owen Brennan

Partner, Madison McQueen

Owen Brennan has developed expertise in nearly every sector of modern communication, working in New York, Washington, DC, and Hollywood. He has worked in political communications, cable news, talk radio, advertising, and with non-profit groups as well.

On Madison Avenue, he worked with several iconic brands, including Apple, Energizer, and Absolut Vodka. He created the Institute for Justice's "I am IJ" branding campaign, which has run for more than a decade.

At City Hall, he served as speechwriter for Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the renaissance of New York and through the attacks of September 11th, 2001. And in broadcasting, Owen has produced talk radio, developed programing on MSNBC, and produced the No. 1 cable news program, The O'Reilly Factor.

In 2008, when Owen launched the first live-streaming news and commentary network on the Internet, the Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott called his outlet, "the most important video news media operation on the Right side of the Internet, or for that matter anywhere on the Internet."

Owen is now a partner at Madison McQueen, a creative agency in Los Angeles that works with a network of Hollywood writers, editors, cinematographers, and other crew and talent to bring their creative skills, story telling, and knowledge of stagecraft to the fight for freedom.

Ronald Briggs

Board Chairman, The Good Shepherd Nativity Mission School

Mr. Briggs has spent twenty years serving on elementary Catholic school boards in the New Orleans area. At Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, he served two terms as President as well as two terms as Member of the Finance Committee. At The Good Shepherd School he has served as Vice President, Treasurer, and as President/Board Chairman. He currently is serving as Board Chairman.

In the year 2000 he was a founding Board Member of The Good Shepherd School. Founded by Harry Tompson, S.J., this school serves low-income families by providing an education which allows families and students to eventually break the cycle of poverty and realize their fullest potential as productive members of society. Located in downtown New Orleans, The Good Shepherd School is proud of its first graduating class who are all enrolled as college freshman today. With tuition paid by benefactors, this extended day, extended year school boasts a record enrollment for the current 2013/2014 school year.

Since 2007 Briggs has been actively involved in the school choice movement in Louisiana. In 2008 Briggs joined other organizations to pass legislation that would implement the Louisiana Scholarship Program in New Orleans. In 2011 legislation was passed to expand the Louisiana Scholarship Program statewide. Currently there are 6,775 students participating in the Louisiana Scholarship Program. Parental demand continues to remain high for the scholarship program. 94% of parents have consistently reported they are satisfied with their child's academic progress in the scholarship program.

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William "Bill" Buckner

President and CEO, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.

Bill Buckner became the eighth President/CEO of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., in January 2012. The Noble Foundation is an independent, nonprofit institute headquartered in Ardmore, OK. Founded in 1945, the Noble Foundation conducts direct operations, including assisting farmers and ranchers, and conducting plant science research and agricultural programs, to enhance agricultural productivity regionally, nationally and internationally.

After obtaining his BS degree in Agricultural Economics from the Univ. of Missouri-Columbia in 1980, Buckner joined USS Agricultural Chemicals, a subsidiary of the U.S. Steel Corp. in Centralia, MO, as a Retail Sales Rep. In 1982, he joined Commerce BankShares for three years as an Agriculture Loan Officer. From 1985-1993, he held various positions of increasing responsibility with the animal health subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, Pitman-Moore, Inc., in Chicago.

In 1993, Buckner joined Bayer AG as a Marketing Exec. in the Companion Animal Health business in Shawnee Mission, KS. He moved to Monheim, Germany, in 1996 where he worked for the Animal Health Business Group as a Business Development Mgr. He became VP/General Mgr. of Bayer's Canadian Agricultural business in Toronto in 1998. Mr. Buckner was appointed President/CEO of Bayer CropScience, Inc., in Calgary, Alberta in 2002. He relocated to Research Triangle Park, NC, as Sr. VP of Commercial Operations for Bayer CropScience LP in 2004 and was appointed Country Head for the U.S. Crop Protection business in 2005. He was elected President/CEO of Bayer CropScience in April 2006 and retired in December 2011.

Buckner currently serves on the boards of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Wilbur-Ellis Company, Mercy Hospital in Ardmore, and the Farm Foundation. Buckner has spoken across the country on the virtues of modern agriculture in providing an abundant, sustainable and safe food supply for the world.

Keesha Bullock

Director, Marketing, The Heritage Foundation

Keesha Bullock was born and raised in Maryland. She earned a bachelor's degree in English at the University of Maryland, College Park. Before joining Heritage, Keesha was managing director at a boutique Capitol Hill-based integrated public relations agency where she developed effective strategic campaigns for leading non-profits, corporations and television networks. She has held leadership roles at several independent public relations agencies in Washington, DC and Charlotte, NC providing strategic communications and marketing counsel to the entertainment, motor sports, pharmaceutical, telecommunications and education industries. From 2002 to 2006, she served as communications manager at Discovery Communications, launching over 65 series and specials and managing over 40 on-air talent. She resides in Columbia, Maryland.

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Lindsey M. Burke

Will Skillman Fellow in Education Policy, The Heritage Foundation

Lindsey Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman Fellow in Education Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Burke devotes her time and research to two critical areas of education policy: reducing federal intervention in education and empowering families with school choice.

Burke's commentary, research, and op-eds have appeared in various newspapers and magazines including The Washington Times, National Review Online, The Atlantic, Time, and Newsweek. She has spoken on education reform issues across the country and internationally and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows including CNN and Fox News.

Burke holds a bachelor's degree in politics from Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., and a master of teaching degree in foreign language education from the University of Virginia.

Amy Oliver Cooke

Executive Vice President and Energy Policy Center Director, Independence Institute

Amy Oliver Cooke is the Executive Vice President and Energy Policy Center Director for the Independence Institute, Colorado's free market, state-based think tank. In addition, she manages the Institute's educational outreach efforts for Kids Are First and Bring In the Vote. She has been with II since 2004.

Under Amy's leadership, the Energy Policy Center has developed powerful relationships with local and national organizations. This collaborative work exposed Colorado's phantom carbon tax; the real cost of the state's renewable energy mandate; resulted in turn over in two PUC commissioners; and a complete reorganization of the Governor's Energy Office.

The Energy Policy Center also was part of a national effort to educate federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle about the consequences of President Obama's nomination of Colorado's former PUC Chairman Ron Binz to head up the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. As a result of that effort, Mr. Binz withdrew his nomination.

Amy is the host of the award winning Amy Oliver Show heard on News Talk 1310 KFKA Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 am. In 2008, the Colorado Broadcasters Association recognized her with the Award of Excellence for Best News Talk personality in a major market. She was recognized again in 2011 with the Award of Merit for Best News Talk personality in a major market.

She has written numerous opinion editorials, issue papers, and issue backgrounders and has been published in the Daily Caller, Townhall, Denver Post, Pueblo Chieftain, Greeley Tribune, Denver Business Journal, Denver Daily News, Liberty Ink Journal, Wall Street Journal, and on Save Our States. She has appeared on Fox News, NPR,, and Power Hour.

Mrs. Cooke earned a journalism degree in 1985 from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a graduate degree in American History from the University of Northern Colorado.

The Honorable Ted Cruz (R–TX)

United States Senator

In 2012, Ted Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas. A passionate fighter for limited government, economic growth, and the Constitution, Ted won a decisive victory in both the Republican primary and the general election, despite having never before been elected to office.

Propelled by tens of thousands of grassroots activists across Texas, Ted's election has been described by the Washington Post as "the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds."

National Review has described Ted as "a great Reaganite hope," columnist George Will has described him as "as good as it gets," and the National Federation of Independent Business characterized his election as "critical to the small-business owners in [Texas, and], also to protecting free enterprise across America."

Ted's calling to public service is inspired largely by his first-hand observation of the pursuit of freedom and opportunity in America. Ted's mother was born in Delaware to an Irish and Italian working-class family; she became the first in her family to go to college, graduated from Rice University with a degree in mathematics, and became a pioneering computer programmer in the 1950s.

Ted's father was born in Cuba, fought in the revolution, and was imprisoned and tortured. He fled to Texas in 1957, penniless and not speaking a word of English. He washed dishes for 50 cents an hour, paid his way through the University of Texas, and started a small business in the oil and gas industry. Today, Ted's father is a pastor in Dallas.

In the Senate, Ted serves on the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on the Judiciary; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Committee on Rules and Administration.

Before being elected, Ted received national acclaim as the Solicitor General of Texas, the State's chief lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court. Serving under Attorney General Greg Abbott, Ted was the nation's youngest Solicitor General, the longest serving Solicitor General in Texas, and the first Hispanic Solicitor General of Texas.

In private practice in Houston, Ted spent five years as a partner at one of the nation's largest law firms, where he led the firm's U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice. Ted has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court. During Ted's service as Solicitor General, Texas achieved an unprecedented series of landmark national victories, including successfully defending:

  • U.S. sovereignty against the UN and the World Court in Medellin v. Texas;
  • The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms;
  • The constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument;
  • The constitutionality of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance;
  • The constitutionality of the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment law; and
  • The Texas congressional redistricting plan.

The National Law Journal has called Ted "a key voice" to whom "the [U.S. Supreme Court] Justices listen." Ted has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, by the National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.

From 2004-09, he taught U.S. Supreme Court Litigation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law.

Prior to becoming Solicitor General, he served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, as Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.

Ted graduated with honors from Princeton University and with high honors from Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for the Chief Justice of the United States.

Ted and his wife Heidi live in his hometown of Houston, Texas, with their two young daughters Caroline and Catherine.

John-Paul "J.P." De Gance

Chief Operating Officer, Philanthropy Roundtable

J.P. De Gance joined The Philanthropy Roundtable as chief operating officer in February 2013. He's responsible for managing development, operations, including finance and accounting, event planning and logistics, technology, and human resources departments, and he is playing a leadership role in outreach to emerging philanthropists.

J.P. has worked closely with philanthropists throughout the past decade, helping them strengthen our free society. With a background in major gifts, he's overseen fundraising efforts that have generated a half billion dollars in revenues over the past decade.

Most recently, he served as the vice president of external affairs at Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation. There he oversaw all fundraising and development efforts of the two organizations and helped to formulate strategies for policy and issue campaigns at the state and national levels. Before joining AFP and AFPF, J.P. worked at Koch Companies Public Sector as a senior member of their special projects team overseeing all their fundraising efforts focused on advancing strategies to protect and advance economic freedom. He's also served as the director of planned giving at the Leadership Institute and participated as a member of their youth and political training faculty. He sits on the board of the Conservative Leadership PAC and is a past executive director of that organization.

J.P. graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism. His most important role comes as a husband first and then father – he lives in Woodbridge, Virginia with his wife Christina. Together, they're raising nine children.

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Jim DeMint

President, The Heritage Foundation

Former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint has served as president of The Heritage Foundation since April 2013. He is a principled leader who has fought to secure America’s future ever since his first campaign for Congress in South Carolina.

In 1998, DeMint was elected to the first of three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, seeking to enact innovative solutions to improve America for future generations. His reputation as one of Washington’s most principled conservative leaders grew after his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.

During his time in office, DeMint collaborated with Heritage on entitlement, health care, education, and immigration reform and on efforts, such as Heritage’s Index of Dependence on Government, to reverse Americans’ growing reliance on taxpayer-funded programs. He earned national acclaim for his work to end the system of earmarks, also known as the “congressional favor factory.” Following the November 2006 elections, he stood against big spenders in Congress and stopped over 10,000 wasteful pork projects. Famed Washington journalist Robert Novak called him a “hero.” Wall Street Journal editor Steve Moore said that his actions saved Americans nearly $17 billion and called him the “taxpayers’ greatest ally.”

In 2011, just as Ronald Reagan had done more than 20 years earlier, DeMint delivered the keynote address to the nation’s largest gathering of conservative activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He was ranked as the Senate’s most conservative member by National Journal and as the number one Senator voting for responsible tax and spending policies by the National Taxpayers Union.

Jim DeMint understands that a country’s greatness is found in its people and values, not in its government. He has been a tireless advocate for smaller government, individual liberty, a strong national defense, and traditional values.

Robert Doar

Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute

Robert Doar is the Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he studies and evaluates how free enterprise and improved federal policies and programs can reduce poverty and provide better opportunities for vulnerable Americans. Before joining AEI, Doar was commissioner of New York City's Human Resources Administration where he administered 12 public assistance programs for the largest local social services agency in the United States. Programs included welfare, food assistance, public health insurance, home care for the elderly and disabled, energy assistance, child support enforcement services, adult protective services and domestic violence assistance, and help for people living with HIV/AIDS. Before joining the Bloomberg administration, Doar was New York State commissioner of social services, helping make New York a model for the implementation of welfare reform.

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Chuck Donovan

President, Charlotte Lozier Institute

Chuck Donovan is the President of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. He served as Legislative Director of the National Right to Life Committee more than three decades ago, worked as a writer for President Ronald Reagan for eight years, helped to lead the Family Research Council for nearly two decades, and most recently served as Senior Research Fellow in Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, where he co-chaired the Foundation's Religious Liberty Working Group alongside former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese III.

Chuck has played key roles in the development of public policy regarding public financing of abortion, compassionate alternatives to abortion, the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, and rights of conscience.

Donovan is the author or co-author of books and monographs on family topics. Chuck has also appeared on CNN's Inside Politics, ABC's Nightline, FOX News, the BBC, NPR, CBN, EWTN, MSNBC, Voice of America and many more. His articles and commentaries have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, CNN Online, Politico, The Daily Caller, The Sacramento Bee, The Washington Times, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and The San Diego Union, as well as in National Review, The Weekly Standard, World Magazine, American Library Journal, The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry, and Focus on the Family's Citizen. From 2009-11 he shared a syndicated column that appeared in the McClatchy Newspapers nationwide.

He serves on the board of directors of both Gabriel Homes, a ministry that promotes independent living among developmentally delayed adults, and Heartbeat International, a pregnancy care network with affiliates across the United States and in dozens of other nations. In 2013 Chuck received the John Cardinal O'Connor Pro-Life Leadership Award in recognition of his lifetime of work in behalf of the sanctity of life.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Donovan grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He and his wife, Meg, reside in the Washington, D.C. area and they have two daughters and two sons.

Becky Norton Dunlop

Vice President, External Relations, The Heritage Foundation

Becky Norton Dunlop's duties and travel itinerary as The Heritage Foundation's vice president for external relations have made her the think tank's "chief ambassador" outside the Beltway.

Dunlop's speeches and other appearances keep her on the road about 60 days a year, addressing a variety of audiences on how conservative principles meet the challenges of today's issues. Young people - from kindergarteners to high schoolers to law students - provide some of her favorite interactions amid the rounds of political activists, civic and business groups and government organizations.

Dunlop, who joined Heritage in 1998, oversees four program areas - Coalition Relations, Lectures and Seminars, Young Leaders Program and Strategic Outreach - that are focused on spreading conservative ideas in a host of outside forums. Her responsibilities include advising and consulting with fellow leaders in the private and public sectors.

She previously served inside the White House, at the Department of Justice and at the Department of the Interior as a senior official in the Reagan administration from 1981-1989. She ran her own strategic management and communications consulting firm, Century Communications, and also served from 1994-98 as secretary of natural resources in Virginia under Gov. George Allen.

Dunlop considers her work for the nation on behalf of President Ronald Reagan to be among the greatest privileges of her life. From his inauguration in 1981 to 1985, her White House posts included deputy assistant for presidential personnel and special assistant to the president and director of his Cabinet office.

During Reagan's second term, Dunlop went to Justice in 1985-86 as senior special assistant to Attorney General Edwin Meese, in charge of managing Cabinet-level domestic policy issues. She oversaw major policy reports on the environment, the family, federalism, tort reform, privatization and welfare reform. She completed her service at the Interior Department as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks.

As Virginia's natural resources chief, Dunlop worked to streamline, decentralize and down-size agencies while protecting and improving the environment. She is one of the few "free-market environmentalists" to have headed a state agency and put ideas into action. Her book, Clearing the Air (Alexis de Tocqueville Institute, 2000), chronicles some of her experiences in advancing those principles.

Dunlop also served in the administration of President George W. Bush. In 2002, Bush appointed her to a part-time post as chairwoman of the Federal Services Impasse Panel, which resolves disputes between agencies and labor unions. Under her leadership, the seven-member panel took on several hundred cases, eliminating backlogs and applying the law in a fair and timely manner.

Her current leadership roles include serving on the boards of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, the Family Foundation of Virginia, the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors, the Reagan Alumni Association, the Association for American Educators Foundation, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, the American Conservation Union and the Phillips Foundation.

In addition to conservative principles and their roots in the nation's founding, Dunlop is a sought-after public speaker on the idea that personnel is policy; on energy and the environment (including free market environmentalism); and on the Reagan administration (including the 40th president's effective leadership style).

A graduate of Miami University in Ohio, she resides in Arlington, Va., with her husband, George S. Dunlop. The Dunlops are members of Oakland Baptist Church in Alexandria.

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Ann Fitzgerald

President, A.C. Fitzgerald & Associates

Ann Fitzgerald, President of A.C. Fitzgerald & Associates, has a master's degree in philanthropic studies from Indiana University. She has more than twenty years experience in sales, management, fundraising publishing and marketing. She has directly supervised large, multi-function teams as well as small groups specializing in these areas.

Fitzgerald was a key catalyst in launching the original site for The Heritage Foundation in the mid-'90s and subsequently went on to lead the marketing efforts for the entire organization. Later, she also led the foundation's publishing and production units. As Director of Development for The Heritage Foundation, she helped increase contributions income by twenty percent by establishing integrated programs for direct marketing, major gifts, and planned giving. Fitzgerald regularly writes and speaks on fundraising, systems management, proposal writing, donor relations, and prospect research. She has launched several fundraising training programs including "Finding the Funding," "Funding Fast Forward" and "Taking It to the Next Level." She also published two manuals, 100 Tips, Techniques and Templates for Persuasive Proposal Writing, and 125 Ways to Identify and Cultivate Supporters for Your Cause.

Fitzgerald is a graduate of The Catholic University of America and has lived and worked in Paris, France. She started her career at BNA Software, a division of the publishing company the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. Later she joined the parent company and worked in both sales and marketing roles. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

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John Fund

National Affairs Columnist, National Review; Analyst, Fox News

John Fund is national affairs columnist for National Review and an analyst for Fox News. He is currently writing a book on the Obama Justice Department to be published in June by Harper Collins. He is a former editorial board member and columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy (Encounter Books, 2004) and The Dangers of Regulation Through Litigation (American Tort Reform Foundation, 2000). He is a tireless opponent of pork barrel, earmarks, and lack of transparency in Congress. He was called "the Tom Paine of the modern Congressional reform movement" by Roll Call.

Mr. Fund began his journalism career as a reporter for the syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak. He has received awards for his work from the Institute for Justice, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the School Choice Alliance.

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Myron Ebell

Director, Center for Energy and Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Myron Ebell is director of energy and global warming policy at CEI. He also serves as director of Freedom Action, a web-based grassroots activist organization loosely affiliated with CEI, and chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition, which comprises over two dozen non-profit groups in this country and abroad that question global warming alarmism and oppose energy rationing policies.

In March 2010, the Financial Times called Ebell "one of America's most prominent climate-change skeptics." In July 2009, the Business Insider's Green Sheet named him third in its list of the Ten Most-Respected Global Warming Skeptics, after Professor Freeman Dyson and Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, and commented, "Myron Ebell may be enemy #1 to the current climate change community."

Among numerous other recognitions, Vanity Fair magazine published a long, highly critical profile of Ebell in their May 2007 "second annual Green Issue." Greenpeace featured Ebell and three of his CEI colleagues in "A Field Guide to Climate Criminals" distributed at the UN climate meeting in Montreal in December 2005. Rolling Stone magazine in its November 17, 2005 issue named Ebell one of six "Misleaders" on global warming in a special feature, along with President George W. Bush, Senator James Inhofe, and the late Michael Crichton. As a result of a BBC Radio interview in November 2004, seven members of the British House of Commons from all three major parties introduced a motion to censure Ebell "in the strongest possible terms." In its May 22, 2004 special Issues and Answers issue, National Journal profiled Ebell as one of ten people who would lead the global warming debate during the next presidential administration. The Clean Air Trust in March 2001 named Ebell its "Villain of the Month" for his role in convincing the Bush Administration not to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

Prior to coming to CEI, Ebell was policy director at Frontiers of Freedom, a public-policy advocacy organization founded by former US Senator Malcolm Wallop. While at Frontiers of Freedom, he worked on property rights, the Endangered Species Act, federal-lands policies, and global warming. He previously served as senior legislative assistant to Rep. John Shadegg, where he helped develop landmark legislation that would reform the Endangered Species Act, and before that as Washington representative of the American Land Rights Association and as assistant to the chairman of the National Taxpayers Union.

Ebell has appeared as a guest on numerous television shows, including the ABC Evening News, NBC Nightly News, PBS News Hour, BBC Newsnight, BBC World, CNBC, CNN, C-SPAN's Washington Journal, MSNBC, ITN, Voice of America, Televisa, Sky TV, Al Jazeera, PBS's NOW, Fox News's Special Report with Bret Baier, O'Reilly Factor, and Hannity and Colmes, and on national television networks in Australia, Canada, France, Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, and Germany. He has spoken frequently on a variety of BBC radio news shows and on hundreds of radio talk shows, including G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Reagan, Lars Larson, Dennis Miller, Jim Bohannon, Blanquita Cullum, Janet Parshall, Neal Boortz, Thom Hartmann, Jane Chastain, Alan Colmes, Alan Nathan, Air America, and National Public Radio's Diane Rehm, Talk of the Nation, To the Point, Living on Earth, Morning Edition, and All Things Considered. In 2004 and 2009, he was featured in BBC Radio documentaries and in 2005 participated in a BBC World Television debate on the Kyoto Protocol. Ebell's writings have appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Human Events, Forbes, London's Guardian, Standpoint Magazine, Newark Star Ledger, Riverside Press Enterprise, Philadelphia Inquirer, Manchester Union Leader, Anchorage Daily News, and Environmental Law Forum.

Ebell has testified before eight House and Senate committees. On radio and television and in person, he has debated then-Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, then-EPA Administrator Carol Browner, then-CEQ Chairman Katie McGinty, then-Acting CEQ Chairman George Frampton, then-British Environment Minister Michael Meacher, former British Environment Minister John Selwyn Gummer, then-Dutch Environment Minister Jan Pronk, European Environment Agency Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade, several Senators and Representatives, and the heads of the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Wilderness Society, Greenpeace USA, Friends of the Earth UK, National Environmental Trust, Public Citizen, and Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy. In May 2005, the Oxford Union invited Ebell to speak in a debate on global warming. He also spoke on the opening plenary panel of the Society of Environmental Journalists' annual meeting in 2004, along with Teresa Heinz Kerry, Ted Danson, and Franco Harris. The Weather Channel named CEI one of the ten most influential groups or individuals in the global warming debate; notably, no other non-profit groups, including environmental pressure groups, were named to the list.

A native of Baker County, Oregon, Ebell holds a B.A. from Colorado College and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. He also did graduate work at the University of California at San Diego and at Peterhouse, Cambridge University.

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John C. Goodman, Ph. D.

President and Chief Executive Officer, National Center for Policy Analysis

John C. Goodman is president and CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis and author of the new book, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis. He is widely known as the "Father of Health Savings Accounts" and Modern Healthcare named him as one of four people who have most influenced the modern health care system. He is also the Kellye Wright Fellow in health care. The mission of the Wright Fellowship is to promote a more patient-centered, consumer-driven health care system.

He frequently testifies before Congress on health care reform and retirement topics and is the author of more than 50 published studies and 10 books, including Lives at Risk: Single Payer National Health Insurance Around the World; Leaving Women Behind: Modern Families, Outdated Laws; and the trailblazing Patient Power: Solving America's Health Care Crisis, the condensed version of which sold more than 30,000 copies.

Dr. Goodman regularly appears on the FOX News Channel, CNN, FOX Business Network and CNBC. He was a debater on many of William F. Buckley's Firing Line programs. He is also a frequent editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal, the Health Affairs blog, and Dr. Goodman's health policy blog is one of the most popular health policy blogs and it is the place where pro-free-enterprise, private sector solutions to health care problems are routinely vetted by experts from across the political spectrum.

Dr. Goodman was the lead expert in the NCPA's grassroots public policy campaign, "Free Our Health Care Now," an unsurpassed national education effort to communicate patient-centered alternatives to a government-run health care system. The initiative resulted in the largest online petition ever delivered to Capitol Hill.

Dr. Goodman became interested in economics and classical liberal ideas while an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, where he became vice president of the student body. He is a crossword puzzle aficionado, and most days he is able to conquer the puzzles in The New York Times in ink.

He received his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University, and has taught and done research at Columbia University, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Southern Methodist University and the University of Dallas.

Robert Gordon

Senior Advisor for Strategic Outreach, The Heritage Foundation

As senior advisor for strategic outreach, Robert Gordon establishes and builds working relationships with new audiences and potential allies in championing ideas and policy solutions from The Heritage Foundation that are rooted in individual freedom, limited government, free markets, a strong national defense and traditional values.

Before joining Heritage in 2008, Gordon directed several conservation organizations and, from 2003 to 2006, served on committee staff in the House of Representatives. Working for the House Committee on Resources, he helped craft the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (HR 3824), which passed the House with substantial bipartisan support. He also assisted in the committee's oversight and investigative duties, including international environmental programs and funds derived from excise taxes on hunting and fishing.

In 1989, Gordon founded the National Wilderness Institute, a nonprofit conservation organization whose mission was to promote conservative environmental vision and policies. He managed research and litigation, worked with federal whistleblowers and made numerous requests under the Freedom of Information Act. He testified regularly before the House and Senate on wetlands, property rights, international environmental designations and endangered species, among other issues.

Also while at NWI, Gordon guided programs that led to congressional hearings, government audits and legislation. Among the bills was the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Improvement Act of 2000, which became law, as well as the Potomac River Protection Act and the Endangered Species Recovery Act.

Gordon's work and writings drew coverage from national networks from Fox to PBS and from major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer and Las Vegas Review-Journal. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Technology: Journal of The Franklin Institute and Environment International.

From 1997 to 2002, Gordon served two terms as a member of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Board of Conservation and Recreation. He also has played instrumental roles in the Grassroots Endangered Species Coalition and the Environmental Issues Council.

Gordon graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor of arts degree in Russian and Soviet studies. He and his wife, Susanne, currently reside in Alexandria, Va., with their three daughters.

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Lynn Harsh

Vice President of Strategy, State Policy Network

Lynn Harsh is Vice President of Strategy for State Policy Network. Ms. Harsh is the co-founder and former chief executive officer of Washington State's Freedom Foundation (formerly Evergreen Freedom Foundation). After teaching high school English and history and serving briefly as a school principal, Ms. Harsh left the field of secondary education to work in politics and eventually public policy. She found her niche as an idea entrepreneur: crafting and executing strategies to solve problems; hiring great leaders and teams; innovating and evaluating. She finds respite in gardening, cooking, college basketball and visiting her grown children. She loves music, reading, most teenagers and pretty much anything outdoors.

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Christie Herrera

Senior Fellow, Foundation for Government Accountability

Christie Herrera is senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA), where she spearheads the Foundation's Medicaid work, as well as a variety of special projects. FGA builds paths to a better life by helping state leaders transform their health and welfare programs in states all across America.

Prior to joining FGA soon after its inception, Christie was director of the Health and Human Services Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a nationwide, nonpartisan association of state legislators. During her time at ALEC, 38 states enacted model legislation drafted by ALEC's Health and Human Services Task Force.

Christie has testified before Congress and legislative committees in 27 states. Her policy work has been covered by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Politico, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel, among other media outlets. Christie holds a B.S. in communications studies and an M.S. in political science from Florida State University, home of the 2013 BCS National Champions.

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James M. Huger

Chairman of the Board, Choice Foundation

Jim was born and raised in New Orleans. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Jim began his career in the parking industry. He took a position with Colonial Parking of Washington, D.C. in their management training program. Later he took a position with System Parking of CA where he worked in their operations and marketing departments. In 1990 Jim returned to New Orleans and became the Marketing Director for Dixie Parking Services. During his tenure at Dixie, he grew the company and became the majority stockholder. In 1998 he sold Dixie parking to pursue other interests. Today Jim is involved in various business ventures and is active in several charitable organizations. He is a former Trustee for the Isidore Newman School and the founder and Chairman of the Board of the Choice Foundation, the non-profit that holds the charter for Lafayette Academy, Esperanza and Macdonough 42, educating almost 2,000 elementary school children in New Orleans annually. He and his family live in New Orleans.

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The Honorable Bobby Jindal

Governor of Louisiana

Bobby Jindal was sworn in as Governor of Louisiana on January 14, 2008.

Shortly after taking office, Governor Jindal called a Special Session to address comprehensive ethics reform, the cornerstone of his election platform.  Since the conclusion of the session, the Better Government Association and the Center for Public Integrity announced that Louisiana's new ethics laws are among the best in the nation.

Additionally, the Governor's second Special Session eliminated burdensome taxes that deterred investment in Louisiana and limited the growth of existing Louisiana businesses.

Governor Jindal has put forth detailed plans for reforming Louisiana's health care, education, and transportation systems, as well as for encouraging workforce development and continuing recovery efforts in areas devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.   

Governor Jindal has worked tirelessly to eliminate the bureaucratic red-tape that has slowed the recovery process in the past, allowing recovery from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike to progress quickly.  Louisiana's oil and gas, agriculture, fisheries, and transportation industries were all affected by the storms and Governor Jindal continues to work with local, state, and federal entities to ensure that all individuals and industries affected are provided with the necessary assistance. 

Jindal was born in Baton Rouge on June 10, 1971.  He graduated from Baton Rouge High School in 1988 and went on to attend Brown University where he graduated with honors in biology and public policy. Following his graduation from Brown he attended Oxford University in England as a Rhodes Scholar, having turned down admissions to medical and law schools at both Harvard and Yale.

In 1994, Jindal went to work for McKinsey and Company as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies before entering public service. In 1996, he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). In 1998, Jindal was appointed Executive Director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare.

President George W. Bush appointed Jindal to serve as Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2001. In that position, he served as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  He later resigned from the position in 2003 to return to Louisiana and run for elected office for the first time.  In that race, Jindal went from being a relatively unknown candidate for Governor, to receiving the most votes in the primary election and eventually 48 percent of the vote in runoff.

In 2004 he was elected to the 109th United States Congress representing the First District of Louisiana.  In Congress he was elected Freshman Class President and served on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the House Committee on Homeland Security, and the House Committee on Resources.  Bobby also served as Assistant Majority Whip.  In his first term he passed a number of notable pieces of legislation and played an instrumental role in Louisiana's recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  His noteworthy accomplishments include the passage of legislation to bring significant offshore energy revenues to Louisiana for the first time and legislation that keeps Federal Emergency Management Agency from taxing certain recovery grants as income.

Jindal was re-elected to Congress in 2006 with 88 percent of the vote majority.

Jindal and his wife Supriya have three young children.

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson

President and Chief Executive Officer, National Religious Broadcasters

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). Located in the Washington, DC metro area, NRB is an international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of viewers, listeners and readers worldwide.

The mission of the NRB is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech.

Dr. Johnson previously served as President of Criswell College in Dallas, TX, where he oversaw the operation of one of the nation's leading major market Christian radio stations, KCBI–FM in Dallas, which was recognized by NRB as Station of the Year in 2011.

He is a graduate of Criswell College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. He received a Master of Arts in Historical and Theological Studies from Denver Seminary in Denver, CO, and a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Johnson also studied at Oxford University in England and served as Director of the Oxford Distinguished Scholar's Program.

Previously, Dr. Johnson served in the senior administration and faculty at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Associated with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in various roles for 14 years, Johnson was Dean of Boyce College, served on the seminary's executive cabinet, was Assistant Director of Development, a Trustee, and Board Chairman for two years.

Johnson also served as Vice President for Academic Development, Dean of the Faculty, and Professor of Ethics and Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.

He has written and delivered numerous theological position papers, and published various articles, editorials, and studies.

He currently serves on the board of the NRB Network.

He is married to Rhonda and they have two children, Isaiah and Eva.

Kevin Kane

President, Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Kevin Kane serves as the president of the Pelican Institute for Public Policy, which he founded in 2008. The Institute's mission is to promote freedom and prosperity in Louisiana. Kevin has helped advance this mission through work on policy issues including education, health care and criminal justice.

Kevin is a native of New York and a graduate of Tulane University and the Loyola University School of Law, and is a fellow of the Loyola Institute of Politics. He sits on the board of the Choice Foundation, which operates three charter schools that opened after Hurricane Katrina. Kevin lives in New Orleans with his wife Lesley and their two children and never tires of exploring America's most interesting city.

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Stanley Kurtz

Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Contributing Editor, National Review Online

Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC and a contributing editor at National Review Online. Kurtz has published on a wide variety of topics, from the dangers posed by the movement for regional governance in the United States to the challenge of tribal politics in the Middle East. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Weekly Standard, The Claremont Review of Books,, City Journal, and Policy Review. Kurtz has published two books on the political history and policy goals of President Barack Obama: Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism and Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing from the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities.

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Jo Kwong, Ph.D.

Director of Economic Opportunity Programs, Philanthropy Roundtable

Jo Kwong directs the economic opportunity program at The Philanthropy Roundtable, an association of philanthropists committed to advancing liberty, opportunity and personal responsibility through their charitable giving. Her program works to build a network of donors interested in applying free society principles to "Helping People to Help Themselves" by exploring strategies that enable people to move from welfare dependency to economic independence and life stability.

Prior to joining the Roundtable, Jo worked at the Institute for Humane Studies, the Capital Research Center, PERC, and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, to focus on creating the long-term free-market conditions that best enable human wealth and prosperity. Jo is now working to complement that institutional focus with a greater understanding of effective human service delivery models and strategies that enable economically-marginalized people to join the free-enterprise economy.

Jo received her Ph.D. in natural resource economics from the University of Michigan and her undergraduate degree in biology from Brown University.

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Geoffrey J. Lysaught

Group Vice President of Strategic Communications, The Heritage Foundation

As group vice president of strategic communications, Geoffrey J. Lysaught leads The Heritage Foundation's teams tasked with media strategies, digital media, strategic communications, marketing and marketing technology.

Lysaught serves as publisher of The Foundry, Heritage's policy blog, and in 2014 began to reposition it as a top media brand for news, analysis and commentary from a conservative perspective. A member of the senior management team, he also advises Heritage's president and executive vice president on management issues across the organization.

Lysaught joined Heritage in April 2012 as vice president of strategy and finance. He previously was deputy executive director of the Law & Economics Center at the George Mason University School of Law. Besides being instrumental in the center's strategy, operations, fundraising and communications, he had primary responsibility for the success of the Searle Civil Justice Institute and the Congressional Civil Justice Caucus Academy.

He continues to serve on the Board of Overseers of the Searle Civil Justice Institute at GMU's law school.

Lysaught arrived at GMU in 2010 from Northwestern Law School, where he was senior director of policy, research and communications and chief of staff for the Searle Center on Law, Regulation and Economic Growth. He also taught two courses -- one on analytical methods for lawyers and the other on corporations.

Prior to his time at Northwestern, Lysaught executed over $10 billion in financing and mergers and acquisitions as vice president of investment banking at Deutsche Bank Securities in New York and managing director of business development for Aetna Inc.

He holds a juris doctor degree and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Kansas. He received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

Lysaught grew up in Leawood, Kan. He and his wife, Cathy, currently reside in McLean, Va.

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Lachlan Markay

Reporter, Washington Free Beacon

Lachlan Markay is a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. He comes to the Beacon from The Heritage Foundation, where he co-founded and reported for the think tank's first newsgathering operation. He was also a contributing editor for Lachlan is a frequent guest on popular cable news and talk radio shows, and his work has appeared in leading publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, and the Washington Examiner. He graduated from Hamilton College in 2009, and currently lives in Washington, D.C.

Jennifer A. Marshall

Director, Domestic Policy Studies and The DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, The Heritage Foundation

As director of domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, Jennifer A. Marshall oversees research in areas that determine the character of our culture: education, marriage, family, religion and civil society. Marshall heads the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, where researchers examine the role that religion, family, and community play in society and public policy. She also oversees, an online source of easy-to-share charts, briefs, videos, and reports on the latest social science research on family and religious practice. In 2010, National Journal named Marshall one of 20 "power players" in Washington for her work on school choice and other education reforms.

Before joining Heritage in 2003, Marshall worked on cultural policy issues at Empower America, a free-market think tank. Before that, she was senior director of family studies at the Family Research Council and taught at an American school in Lyon, France.

Marshall collaborates with Heritage colleagues to explore how moral values and civil society relate to issues such as limited government, a strong national economy, and foreign policy. One recent hallmark of her team's efforts is "Indivisible," a 2010 collection of essays in which prominent fiscal conservatives write on issues normally associated with social conservatives, and vice versa.

Marshall contributes a regular column on issues of faith and family to the McClatchy-Tribune news wire, placing her perspective in dozens of the nation's best newspapers and affiliated websites. She has spoken at national and international forums, testified before Congress, and appeared on numerous radio and television shows, among them C-SPAN's premier talk show, "Washington Journal," and PBS's "To the Contrary."

She is the author of Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of Single Life in the Twenty-First Century (Multnomah Publishers, 2007). The book evaluates the cultural, practical, and spiritual issues that marriage-minded young women confront as the age of first marriage continues to rise in America.

Marshall holds a master's degree in statecraft and world politics from the Washington-based Institute of World Politics and a bachelor's degree in French from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill., where she also earned teacher's certification. She currently resides in Arlington, Va.

Tim McGovern

Director of Marketing Technology, The Heritage Foundation

As Director of Marketing Technology, McGovern provides technical leadership to support Heritage's online and constituent engagement strategies.

Previously, he was Heritage's Director of Information Systems, where he managed the think tank's system engineering and help desk operations. He was responsible for oversight of Heritage's information technology infrastructure including its data center, telecommunications systems and desktop computing environment. He also directed the planning, creation and execution of Heritage's computing and technology training course catalog.

Prior to joining Heritage in 2003, McGovern developed Web application for numerous online companies, most recently and

McGovern holds a bachelor's degree in human resource management from The Catholic University of America in 2000. A native of Pennsylvania, he now lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his wife, Lori, and their four children, Thérèse, Myriam, Brendan, and Monica.

Gordon graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor of arts degree in Russian and Soviet studies. He and his wife, Susanne, currently reside in Alexandria, Va., with their three daughters.

Annette Meeks

Chief Executive Officer, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Annette Meeks is founder and CEO of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, an independent, non-profit, education and research organization that develops and actively advocates the principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, economic freedom, and limited government.

Annette's previous experience was in Washington, D.C. where she was appointed by Congressman Newt Gingrich to serve as a Deputy Chief of Staff upon his swearing in as the 50th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to serving in the speaker's office, Meeks worked with Gingrich for seven years in a variety of leadership positions in Washington, D.C. and Georgia.

Meeks has a wide range of demonstrated dynamic and creative leadership. She has served as a congressional chief of staff, managed a multi-million dollar congressional campaign, and was involved in the earliest discussions of what would eventually become known as "The Contract with America."

Meeks has assumed various leadership positions throughout Minnesota, including serving on Governor Tim Pawlenty's transition advisory committee; the Governor's Stadium Screening Committee; and the Commission to End Long-Term Homelessness. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Hennepin Theatre Trust and Maggie's List, a national organization dedicated towards electing conservative women to Congress.

From 2003 until March 2011, Annette served as the Seventh District representative to the Metropolitan Council. Meeks served as chair of the Council's Transportation Committee and also served on the Community Development Committee.

On April 30, 2010, Meeks received Republican endorsement as the GOP candidate for Lieutenant Governor. The Emmer/Meeks ticket lost the November 2nd general election by less than ½ of one percent, the second closest gubernatorial election in Minnesota history.

A frequent and popular public speaker throughout the state of Minnesota, she also frequently provides political commentary on local television and radio shows.

She is married to Jack Meeks.

Edwin Meese, III

Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Edwin Meese III, the prominent conservative leader, thinker and elder statesman, continues a quarter-century formal association with The Heritage Foundation as the leading think tank's Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus.

In that capacity, Meese oversees special projects and acts as an ambassador for Heritage within the conservative movement.

Meese was chairman of Heritage's Center for Legal and Judicial Studies from its founding in 2001 until what he calls his "semi-retirement" on Feb. 1, 2013.

He joined Heritage in 1988 as the think tank's first Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow -- the only policy chair in the country to be officially named for the 40th president. His work focused on keeping President Reagan's legacy of conservative principles alive in public debate and discourse.

The legal center now bears his name, in recognition of Meese's contributions to the rule of law and the nation's understanding of constitutional law. Its mission is to educate government officials, the media and the public about the Constitution and legal principles -- and how they affect public policy.

Perhaps best known as U.S. attorney general during Reagan's second term, Meese's service to the conservative icon stretched from the California governor's mansion in 1966 to the White House in 1981 before he went to the Department of Justice four years later.

His Heritage "hats" kept Meese among the major conservative voices in national policy debates at an age when most men and women enjoyed quiet retirements.

In 2006, for example, Meese was named to the Iraq Study Group, a special presidential commission dedicated to examining the best resolutions for America's involvement in Iraq. In the past few years he wrote and spoke about constitutional topics ranging from religious liberty to the responsibility of Supreme Court justices.

Immediately after Reagan's death in 2004, and in the years since, Meese often agreed to major media appearances to discuss the lasting impact of his old friend, mentor and boss. He has summarized the Reagan legacy in three accomplishments: Reagan cut taxes and kept them low. He worked to defeat and end the Soviet Union and its worldwide push for communism. And he restored America's faith in itself after years of failure and "malaise."

"I admired him as a leader and cherish his friendship," Meese wrote in a 2004 essay for Heritage members and supporters. "Ronald Reagan had strong convictions. He was committed to the principles that had led to the founding of our nation. And he had the courage to follow his convictions against all odds."

Edwin Meese III was born Dec. 2, 1931, to Edwin Jr. and Leone Meese in Oakland, Calif. He graduated from Yale University in 1953 and holds a law degree from the University of California-Berkeley.

Meese spent much of his adult life working for Reagan, first after the former actor, sports announcer and athlete was elected as California's governor in 1966 and then when he sought and won the presidency in 1980.

Reagan never forgot Meese's loyalty and hard work. During a press conference at which reporters questioned Meese's actions at the Justice Department, Reagan replied: "If Ed Meese is not a good man, there are no good men."

During the Reagan governorship, Meese served as executive assistant and chief of staff from 1969 through 1974 and as legal affairs secretary from 1967 through 1968. He previously was deputy district attorney in Alameda County, Calif.

From January 1981 to February 1985, Meese held the position of counsellor to the president -- the senior job on the White House staff -- and functioned as Reagan's chief policy adviser. In 1985, he received Government Executive magazine's annual award for excellence in management.

Meese served as the 75th attorney general of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988. As the nation's chief law enforcement officer, he directed the Justice Department and led international efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime.

Meese's relationship with Heritage began when he met with senior management to discuss the think tank's landmark policy guide, Mandate for Leadership, prepared for the incoming administration. Meese later recalled that Reagan personally handed out copies of the 1,093-page book to members of his Cabinet and asked them to read it. Nearly two-thirds of Mandate's 2,000 recommendations would be adopted or attempted by the Reagan administration.

More than a decade after joining Heritage, Meese assumed the chairmanship of its Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Under his guidance, the center counseled White House staffers, Justice Department officials and Senate Judiciary Committee members on the importance of filling judicial vacancies with qualified men and women who are committed to interpreting the Constitution according to the founding document's original meaning.

The center became known for hosting "moot court" practice sessions to sharpen the arguments of attorneys slated to bring important cases before the Supreme Court. Those cases addressed constitutional issues ranging from property rights to racial preferences in primary and secondary schools to restrictions on free speech in campaign finance law.

Meese headed the legal center's Advisory Board for the writing and editing of the best-selling book, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution (Regnery, 2005). In it, 109 experts walked readers through a clause-by-clause analysis of the Constitution. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was among those keeping the reference work handy during Judiciary Committee hearings on Supreme Court nominees.

Meese's other books include "Leadership, Ethics and Policing" (Prentice Hall, 2004); "Making America Safer" (Heritage, 1997); and "With Reagan: The Inside Story" (Regnery Gateway, 1992).He wrote the Introduction to a well-received 2010 book on the "overcriminalization" trend, "One Nation Under Arrest," by Heritage veterans Paul Rosenzweig and Brian W. Walsh.

He also is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California and lectures, writes and consults throughout the United States on a variety of subjects.

As both attorney general and counsellor to Reagan, Meese was a member of the Cabinet and the National Security Council. He served as chairman of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Drug Policy Board. After Reagan won the White House in the 1980 election, Meese headed the transition team. During the campaign, he was the Reagan-Bush Committee's senior official.

Meese had a career outside government and politics. From 1977 to 1981, he was a law professor at the University of San Diego, where he also directed the Center for Criminal Justice Policy and Management.

He was an executive in the aerospace and transportation industry as vice president for administration of Rohr Industries Inc. in Chula Vista, Calif. He left Rohr to return to the practice of law, doing corporate and general work in San Diego County.

A retired colonel in the Army Reserve, Meese remains active in numerous civic and educational organizations.

He and his wife, Ursula, have two grown children and reside in McLean, Va.

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Wade Miller

Southwest Regional Coordinator, Heritage Action for America

Wade Miller served in the United States Marine Corps and is an infantry combat veteran with multiple deployments including Iraq and the Horn of Africa. After completing his military service, Wade enrolled at The University of Texas at Dallas and majored in Political Science. While attending university, Wade served as a Bill Archer Fellow and as an intern for the President of The Heritage Foundation, Dr. Edwin J. Feulner. After completing his Heritage Foundation internship, Wade went on to the American Enterprise Institute Summer Institute.

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Cleta Mitchell, Esq.

Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP

Cleta Mitchell is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Foley & Lardner LLP and a member of the firm's Political Law Practice. With more than 40 years of experience in law, politics and public policy, Ms. Mitchell advises nonprofit and issue organizations, corporations, candidates, campaigns, and individuals on state and federal campaign finance law, election law, and compliance issues related to lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure. Ms. Mitchell practices before the Federal Election Commission, the ethics committees of the US House and Senate and similar state and local enforcement bodies and agencies.

Ms. Mitchell has extensive experience on the federal lobbying and ethics law enacted by Congress in 2007, having taught dozens of seminars on the subject since its passage. In 2008, Ms. Mitchell authored The Lobbying Compliance Handbook, published by Columbia Books, Inc.

Ms. Mitchell represents numerous candidates, campaigns and members of Congress, as well as state and national political party committees. She has served as legal counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Ms. Mitchell served as co-counsel for the National Rifle Association in the Supreme Court case involving the 2002 federal campaign finance law.

Ms. Mitchell has testified before Congress on numerous occasions related to election law, campaign finance and lobbying and ethics laws, and is a frequent speaker and guest commentator on political law. In 1999, she authored "The Rise of America's Two National Pastimes: Baseball and the Law," published by the University of Michigan Law Review, and in 2012, Ms. Mitchell authored "Donor Disclosure: Undermining The First Amendment," published by the Minnesota Law Review. In 2013, she was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, "How to Investigate the IRS."

Ms. Mitchell served on the advisory council to the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Election Law and as an advisor on the American Law Institute's Election Law Project entitled, "Principles of Election Law: Dispute Resolution." She serves on the board of directors of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, is chairman of the American Conservative Union Foundation, and has served as the president of the Republican National Lawyers Association.

Ms. Mitchell has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system and has been selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for five consecutive years since 2010 for her work in administrative/regulatory law. She was also named a "Top Lawyer" in Washington D.C. by the Washingtonian for her work in political and campaign law. For her work in government and political law, she is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers (2010 - 2013). In 2012, National Journal named her one of Washington's 25 Most Influential Women. Ms. Mitchell was a teaching fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1981 and was the Shapiro Fellow at the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University in 2001.

Ms. Mitchell was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1976-1984 where she chaired the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. She served on the executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ms. Mitchell was in private law practice in Oklahoma City in litigation and administrative law until 1991 when she became director and general counsel of the Term Limits Legal Institute in Washington, D.C. She litigated cases in state and federal courts nationwide on congressional term limits and served as co-counsel with former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell in the U.S. Supreme Court case on term limits for members of Congress.

Ms. Mitchell received her B.A. (high honors, 1973) and J.D. (1975) from the University of Oklahoma. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, the State of Oklahoma, the Supreme Court of the United States and federal district and appellate courts.

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Karen Moreau

Executive Director, New York State Petroleum Council

Karen Moreau is the Executive Director of the New York State Petroleum Council, which is the New York office of the American Petroleum Institute. The API is the largest trade association in the world for the oil and gas industry, with over 550 member companies.

Ms. Moreau is a lifelong New Yorker and was raised on a mushroom farm in the Hudson Valley. She practiced law for more than 25 years, while managing her own farm and raising her five children. She was the counsel for agricultural and real property tax policy for the NY State Senate Majority from 2001-2009.

In 2010, Ms. Moreau co-founded the Foundation for Land and Liberty, a non-profit legal foundation dedicated to the protection of private property ownership and economic freedom. While heading the foundation in 2011, she took up the cause of farmers from New York's Southern Tier who were fighting the New York state imposed moratorium on fracking.

She traveled extensively in northern Pennsylvania, toured numerous drilling and fracking sites, and interviewed dozens of citizens regarding natural gas development. Following that experience, she produced a short film, "The Empire State Divide", which depicts the decline of upstate NY as the result of the loss of agriculture and manufacturing, and the promise of natural gas development. She has published numerous op-eds in the New York Post and has appeared on Fox National TV, CNBC and is a national expert and speaker on the subject of hydraulic fracturing, energy development and property rights.

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Michael Needham

Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action for America

Mike Needham is the Chief Executive Officer for Heritage Action for America. He is responsible for setting the strategy and vision of Heritage Action, ensuring it advances the mission of The Heritage Foundation while building it into a permanent presence in Washington. He also oversees all policy decisions that hold Members of Congress accountable. He appears regularly television, including Fox News, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and CBS. Prior to his role at Heritage Action, Mike served in four different roles at The Heritage Foundation, including Chief of Staff, advisor to the President, and a director in The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies.

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Nina Owcharenko

Director, Center for Health Policy Studies, and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

As director of the Center for Health Policy Studies, Nina Owcharenko oversees The Heritage Foundation's research and policy prescriptions on such issues as health care reform on the federal and state levels, Medicare and Medicaid, children's health, and prescription drugs. She is well known in Washington policy circles as a champion of patient choice and robust competition in America's health insurance markets.

Owcharenko, Heritage's director of health policy studies since 2010, also was named Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow in Health Policy in April 2012. As deputy director in 2009, she coordinated the think tank's related research and was the lead advocate of its stances as debate in Congress over health care reform heated up.

Owcharenko, who joined Heritage in 2001, has made the case for consumer-based health policy solutions as a guest expert on dozens of radio and television programs. Her research and analysis have been published in newspapers and periodicals around the country, as well as in such noted policy journals as Health Affairs. She has made presentations at national, state, and professional conferences. She also worked for nearly a decade as a Capitol Hill staffer. She served as legislative director to Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) when he was a Representative and to Representative Sue Myrick (R-N.C.). She began her Hill career on the staff of the late Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.).

The Preston Wells, Jr. fellowship, made possible by the Florida-based Lillian S. Wells Foundation, recognizes Owcharenko's leadership in opposition to what Americans now call "Obamacare" and in efforts to move America to patient-centered, market-based health care. Wells, an entrepreneur, served on Heritage's Board of Trustees from 1994 until his death in 2003.

In 2008, Owcharenko won Heritage's prestigious W. Glenn and Rita Ricardo Campbell Award in recognition of specialized but high-profile work on the uninsured and related issues, in particular the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Each year, the award goes to a policy expert who has made "an outstanding contribution to the analysis and promotion of a Free Society."

Owcharenko received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1994. Originally from Charlotte, N.C., she currently resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

Heather Pfitzenmaier

Director, Young Leaders Program, The Heritage Foundation

As director of the Young Leaders Program, Heather Pfitzenmaier oversees The Heritage Foundation's efforts to reach out and promote our mission to the next generation of Americans. These programs include a rigorous but welcoming internship program, campus outreach and events for young professionals.

Herself an alum of Heritage's intern program, Pfitzenmaier joined Heritage in 2007.  Previously, she was intern coordinator for the Young Leaders Program, running various components of Heritage's premier internship experience. YLP is part of the think tank's External Relations division.

Pfitzenmaier was the recipient in November 2012 of the Young Conservatives Coalition's Buckley Award, which recognizes individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 who have made "a significant contribution to the conservative movement."  In December 2012, Forbes magazine named her one of "30 Under 30" young Americans who are making the greatest impact on law and policy.

Pfitzenmaier was born Heather Sexton in Royal Oak, Mich., and grew up in Livonia, Mich. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and political science from the University of Michigan.

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Michael Rigas

Deputy Director of Coalition Relations, The Heritage Foundation

Michael J. Rigas is Deputy Director of Coalition Relations at the Heritage Foundation.

Prior to joining Heritage, Rigas served as Political Director of the Massachusetts Republican party where he worked with candidates to double the number of seats held by Republicans in the Massachusetts legislature, the greatest percentage increase for Republicans in any state in the nation in 2010. Mr. Rigas is also the founder Federal Procurement Advisors (FPA), a small business which provides consulting services to companies seeking to do business with the federal government. Prior to founding FPA, Rigas served as an appointee in the administration of President George W. Bush as Associate Administrator at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). At GSA he was responsible for all small business policies and programs of the agency, which manages more than one-fourth of the government's total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets. Mr. Rigas has testified before Congress and represented GSA at public speaking engagements throughout the U.S. Prior to his appointment at GSA, Rigas spent more than a decade in the private sector, including Mellon Financial Corporation and Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

Rigas holds a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from Boston University.

Rigas is a native of Boston, Massachusetts and is married to Laura Keehner Rigas.

Brooke Rollins

President and Chief Executive Officer, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Brooke L. Rollins is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, one of the nation's premier free market think tanks. Over the past decade, she has emerged as one of the nation's most thoughtful and articulate defenders, in both media and policy, of the principles of liberty and limited government.

Under Rollins' leadership, the Foundation has grown from a small policy shop with fewer than a half-dozen employees in San Antonio, Texas, to a major force in the national conservative and liberty movements, with nearly forty employees and a new headquarters under construction just two blocks from the Texas State Capitol in Austin. In that period, the Foundation has driven the state and national conversations on topics such as education, taxes, tort reform, criminal justice, health care, immigration, and beyond.

Brooke Rollins' vision, developed and implemented at the Foundation every day, is one of state policy as the driver of the national agenda. With Washington, D.C. having taken the nation down a decades-long path of big spending, high taxes, and mounting debt, it is the states—and especially Texas—that will chart the course of reform and liberty that will save America.

Before joining the Foundation, Rollins served as Governor Rick Perry's Deputy General Counsel, and later as his Policy Director.

She attended Texas A&M University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Development. While at Texas A&M, Rollins was the first female to serve as Student Body President and was recognized as the top graduate based on academics, leadership, and service. In 2007, Rollins was invited back to campus as the Aggie Muster speaker.

Rollins graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law and spent several years as a litigator with Hughes & Luce, L.L.P., in Dallas, Texas, focusing primarily on complex commercial litigation. She also completed a federal judicial clerkship with the Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn, a United States Federal District Judge in the Northern District of Texas.

She received the 2008 Thomas Roe Award, the top honor for free market think tank leadership, at the State Policy Network's annual meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. Rollins was recognized in Texas Monthly as one of the 25 most influential leaders in Texas. In 2013, Rollins was invited to join the Young Presidents' Organization which unites approximately 20,000 business leaders in more than 120 countries—creating better leaders through education and the exchange of ideas.

Media appearances for Rollins have extended from local Texas newspapers to major international publications, in keeping with her imperative to the Foundation to be Texas-focused and nationally relevant. Her most recent major hits include a segment debating Texas versus California on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity;" Fox Business Network's "Stossel;" several guest spots discussing matters from energy policy to education reform to Aggie football on Bill Bennett's nationally-syndicated radio show "Morning in America;" and even a stint as guest-host of Salem radio's "Mike Gallagher Show." Rollins is an ideal and always relevant participant in shows and discussions on nearly any topic affecting the great American conversation.

Rollins and her husband Mark, an executive in the energy business, live in Fort Worth with their four young children—Luke, Jake, Anna, and Lillian.

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Christopher Rufo

Creative Director, Ideas Institute

Christopher Rufo is the Creative Director of the Ideas Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to producing and distributing character-driven political documentaries. He has directed three films for PBS—Age of Champions, Roughing It, and Diamond in the Dunes—and been hailed by the New York Times for his "good eye for the unusual" and ability to capture "fascinating material."

Christopher's latest documentary, Age of Champions, reached more than 3 million viewers on PBS, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon. He also led a grassroots campaign of more than 3,000 community events and 100 speaking engagements with partners including AARP, Alzheimer's Association, and the National Council on Aging.

Christopher graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and has appeared on Fox News, NPR, ABC, CBS, HLN, and CNN. 

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Tracie Sharp

President, State Policy Network

Tracie Sharp is president of State Policy Network, the capacity building service organization of free market, state-focused public policy think tanks. SPN has over 130 members, including 59 state think tanks representing all 50 states. Ms. Sharp has been an active leader in the state-focused think tank movement since 1988, serving on the SPN board of directors since its founding in 1992 and hired as president in August 1999.

Ms. Sharp is a trustee to the Roe Foundation of Greenville, S.C. She also serves as trustee to the Special Hope Foundation, a family foundation supporting innovative projects to assist the causes of the physically, emotionally, and developmentally disabled.

Prior to assuming leadership of State Policy Network, Ms. Sharp was executive director and one of the founders of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon's state-focused, market-oriented think tank. During her tenure (1991-1999), Cascade became the leading free market voice in the state, thriving on nationally-recognized public policy research, most notably in the areas of k-12 education reform and social security privatization.

In 1993, Ms. Sharp founded HOPE-Oregon, serving as its first president and on the board of directors until 1999. HOPE-Oregon is a Portland, OR-based private volunteer effort to provide health care education services to low-income families.

Previously, Ms. Sharp worked with Washington State radio commentator and political pundit John Carlson, serving as director of programs at the Washington Institute for Policy Studies in Seattle. During that time she was also active in the Puget Sound Big Brother/Big Sister program.

Ms. Sharp is a graduate of the University of Washington.

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Lisa Snell

Director of Education, Reason Foundation

Lisa Snell is the director of education and child welfare at Reason Foundation, where she oversees research on education and child welfare issues.

She has testified before the California State Legislature and numerous other state legislatures and numerous government agencies and authored policy studies on school finance and weighted student funding, universal preschool, school violence, charter schools, and child advocacy centers.

Lisa is a frequent contributor to Reason magazine. She is regular contributor to School Reform News and Privatization Watch. Her commentary has also appeared in Education Week, Edutopia, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Times, and numerous other publications. Lisa is also an advisory board member to the National Quality Improvement Center for the Children's Bureau and is a board member for the California Virtual Academy.

Before joining Reason Foundation, Ms. Snell taught public speaking and argumentation courses at California State University, Fullerton. She earned a Master of Arts in communication from California State University, Fullerton.

Jack Spencer

Director, Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Jack Spencer oversees Heritage Foundation research on a wide range of domestic economic issues as director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Those topics include federal spending, taxes, energy and environment, regulation and retirement savings.

Before his promotion to Roe Institute director in July 2013, Spencer specialized in nuclear energy issues in both the domestic and global arenas as Heritage's senior research fellow in nuclear energy policy. He was Heritage's go-to expert on nuclear waste management, technological advances, industry subsidies and international approaches to nuclear energy.

Spencer also researched regulation of the industry, proliferation issues, the global energy market and national security uses for nuclear power. Much of his work centered on developing a comprehensive, subsidy-free, market-based approach to nuclear energy policy. That strategy includes fighting to preserve Yucca Mountain as a safe repository for nuclear materials.

Spencer has testified before Congress on related topics, including nuclear loan guarantees and international implications of the growth of commercial nuclear power. The President's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future heard his testimony in 2010 on how to introduce market forces into public policy for safely managing nuclear waste.

Spencer began his second tour of duty at Heritage in September 2007, after working on commercial, civilian and military components of nuclear energy at the Babcock & Wilcox Companies, based in Charlotte, N.C. From 1998 to 2005, he was a Heritage analyst on defense and national security.

Spencer is quoted regularly in national newspapers such as The Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times. He has appeared as a guest expert on Fox News Channel, MSNBC, C-SPAN and BBC, among other TV outlets, as well as on National Public Radio and popular radio programs such as "The Rush Limbaugh Show."

He holds a bachelor's degree in international politics from Frostburg State University and a master's degree from the University of Limerick. While in Ireland, he began research toward a doctorate in international relations and national security.

Spencer, who grew up in Mount Savage, Md., currently resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.

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Jim Stergios

Executive Director, Pioneer Institute

Jim Stergios is Executive Director of Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based think tank founded in 1988. Prior to joining Pioneer, Jim was Chief of Staff and Undersecretary for Policy in the Commonwealth's Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, where he drove efforts on water policy, regulatory and permit reform, and urban revitalization. His prior experience includes founding and managing a business, teaching at the university level, and serving as headmaster at a preparatory school. Jim holds a doctoral degree in Political Science from Boston University.

Jim has been interviewed on the BBC and MSNBC, and has appeared regularly on local television and radio news broadcasts, including Chronicle, WBZ, WHDH, WCVB, NECN, Fox 25, WGBH TV and radio, WBUR's Radio Boston, WBZ's Nightside with Dan Rea, WRKO's Tom & Todd Show and Pundit Review. Jim's opinion pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, and regional newspapers throughout New England. He has been quoted in hundreds of news outlets across the country, including in The New York Times, The Economist, and The Washington Post, and speaks at national policy conferences.

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Matt Streit

Vice President, Strategic Communications, The Heritage Foundation

As vice president of Strategic Communications, Matt Streit provides leadership for Heritage's marketing, creative, and strategic communications teams as well as the American Perceptions Initiative.

Under Streit's leadership in 2009, the annual number of broadcast and cable interviews doubled -- to more than 4,000. His team reaches out to scores of talk radio hosts, from modest outlets in Missouri or Oklahoma to Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated show.

Before his promotion to director in 2008, Streit served as assistant director of Media Services, where he worked to put more of Heritage's trusted voices, faces and policy solutions on the national and international airwaves. He previously was a senior media associate, booking over 300 interviews on the major broadcast and cable news networks and elsewhere in his first six months on the job.

Streit was instrumental in the inauguration of the Robert H. Bruce Radio Studio, which allows Heritage's analysts and executives to be heard practically anywhere on Earth. The studio has been a temporary home to such top-tier hosts as Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Sandy Rios, Neal Boortz and Bill Handel.

He also led the design and renovation of the Elmore Family Television Studio, from which Heritage experts appear live at least twice a day in interviews with local, national and international news anchors.

Streit joined Heritage in February 2006, after working for the House Committee on Resources as deputy communications director. He served as spokesman for the committee's chairman and developed communications plans for its policy issues. He collaborated with senior staff to promote conservative energy policies that would encourage economic growth and environmental stewardship.

In other communications roles for the House committee over three years, Streit wrote press releases, commentaries and other opinion pieces and pitched stories to broadcast outlets.

A native of Wooster, Ohio, Streit received a bachelor's degree in political science in 2001 from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. He also holds a bachelor's degree in theology.

Streit currently resides in Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood with his wife, Amber, and their son Deacon.

John Von Kannon

Vice President and Senior Counselor, The Heritage Foundation

John Von Kannon has been a key player in The Heritage Foundation's phenomenal growth in size, expertise and influence for more than 30 years.

Under Streit's leadership in 2009, the annual number of broadcast and cable interviews doubled -- to more than 4,000. His team reaches out to scores of talk radio hosts, from modest outlets in Missouri or Oklahoma to Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated show.

Before his promotion to director in 2008, Streit served as assistant director of Media Services, where he worked to put more of Heritage's trusted voices, faces and policy solutions on the national and international airwaves. He previously was a senior media associate, booking over 300 interviews on the major broadcast and cable news networks and elsewhere in his first six months on the job.

Streit was instrumental in the inauguration of the Robert H. Bruce Radio Studio, which allows Heritage's analysts and executives to be heard practically anywhere on Earth. The studio has been a temporary home to such top-tier hosts as Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Sandy Rios, Neal Boortz and Bill Handel.

He also led the design and renovation of the Elmore Family Television Studio, from which Heritage experts appear live at least twice a day in interviews with local, national and international news anchors.

Streit joined Heritage in February 2006, after working for the House Committee on Resources as deputy communications director. He served as spokesman for the committee's chairman and developed communications plans for its policy issues. He collaborated with senior staff to promote conservative energy policies that would encourage economic growth and environmental stewardship.

In other communications roles for the House committee over three years, Streit wrote press releases, commentaries and other opinion pieces and pitched stories to broadcast outlets.

A native of Wooster, Ohio, Streit received a bachelor's degree in political science in 2001 from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. He also holds a bachelor's degree in theology.

Streit currently resides in Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood with his wife, Amber, and their son Deacon.

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Katrina Trinko

Managing Editor, The Foundry, The Heritage Foundation

Katrina Trinko is managing editor of The Foundry at The Heritage Foundation and a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors. Formerly, Trinko worked as a reporter for National Review Online. Her work has also been published in other outlets, including Acculturated and the Washington Times, and she has appeared on numerous radio and TV shows. Trinko is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, and currently lives in Arlington, Virginia.

Bridgett Wagner

Director, Coalition Relations, The Heritage Foundation

As director of the Coalition Relations Department, Bridgett Wagner serves as The Heritage Foundation's liaison to policy organizations, experts and activists at the state, national and international level.

She advises other think tanks on ways to advance their policy prescriptions and builds support for Heritage's policy research agenda "beyond the Beltway."

Wagner organizes Heritage's annual Resource Bank meeting, a gathering of hundreds of conservative groups from across the nation and around the world to meet and discuss strategy. She also oversees the publication of a quarterly magazine, The Insider, and its online companion site,”

In addition to her Heritage duties, Wagner serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Dallas and is a director of State Policy Network, the International Policy Network and the Dominican Foundation. She sits on the advisory boards of the Benjamin Rush Society, the National Civic Arts Society, Talent Market and the Adriatic Institute for Public Policy in Croatia. She is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and the Philadelphia Society.

Wagner, who joined Heritage in 1981, previously served as director of development, director of business relations and director of events for Heritage's 25th anniversary "Leadership for America" campaign. She also worked as speechwriter and special assistant for former Heritage President Edwin J. Feulner.

Wagner, originally from Richardson, Texas, holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Dallas. She resides in Washington, D.C.

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Nathaniel Ward

Associate Director, Online Membership Programs, The Heritage Foundation

Before joining Heritage, Nathaniel Ward worked at the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign headquarters on the communications staff. He earned a degree in government from Dartmouth College, where he worked as an editor at The Dartmouth Review. He lives in his native Washington, D.C.

Matt Weidinger

Republican Staff Director, Human Resources Subcommittee, U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means

The U.S. House Committee on Ways Matt Weidinger has been the Republican Staff Director of the Human Resources Subcommittee of and Means since 2001, handling welfare, unemployment, and related benefit and employment issues. In 2000 he was Manager of Government Relations for the USX Corporation (then U.S. Steel and Marathon Oil), handling tax, trade and benefit issues for a Fortune 50 company. He previously served on the Ways and Means Committee staff between 1995 and 1999, working as a professional staff member for both its Human Resources and Social Security Subcommittees. In 1995 and 1996, he helped draft the landmark 1996 welfare reform law, including specifically provisions related to work requirements for welfare recipients, disability benefits, and eligibility of noncitizens for public assistance. From 1990 through 1994, Mr. Weidinger served as a senior legislative assistant to Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL), focusing on international affairs, health and Social Security issues. Mr. Weidinger received a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and an MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

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Kathleen Hartnett White

Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence & Director, Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Kathleen Hartnett White joined the Texas Public Policy Foundation in January 2008. She is a Distinguished Senior Fellow-in-Residence and Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment.

Prior to joining the Foundation, White served a six-year term as Chairman and Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). With regulatory jurisdiction over air quality, water quality, water rights & utilities, storage and disposal of waste, TCEQ's staff of 3,000, annual budget of over $600 million, and 16 regional offices make it the second largest environmental regulatory agency in the world after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Prior to Governor Rick Perry's appointment of White to the TCEQ in 2001, she served as then Governor George Bush appointee to the Texas Water Development Board where she sat until appointed to TCEQ. She also served on the Texas Economic Development Commission and the Environmental Flows Study Commission. She is now serving in her fifth gubernatorial appointment as an officer and director of the Lower Colorado River Authority.

White is also co-owner of White Herefords and a partner with her husband in a 125 year-old ranching operation in Jeff Davis and Presidio counties. She also is Vice-Chairman of the Texas Water Foundation and sits on the board of the Texas Natural Resource Foundation. She recently received the 2007 Texas Water Conservation Association's President's award, the Colorado River Foundation's Friend of the River Award and the Texas Chemical Council's Leadership Award.

A writer and consultant on environmental laws, free market natural resource policy, private property rights, and ranching history, White received her bachelor cum laude and master degrees from Stanford University where for three years she held the Elizabeth Wheeler Lyman Scholarship for an Outstanding Woman in the Humanities. She was also awarded a Danforth National Fellowship for doctoral work at Princeton University in Comparative Religion and there won the Jonathan Edwards Award for Academic Excellence. She also studied law under a Lineberry Foundation Fellowship at Tech University.

White was Director of Private Lands and the Environment for the National Cattlemen's Association in Washington, D.C. She has served as director of the Ranching Heritage Association, and was a special assistant in the White House Office of the First Lady Nancy Reagan.

She is a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattleraisers Association, the Texas Hereford Association, and the American Hereford Association. She is a former commissioner of the Texas Strategic Economic Development Planning Commission, a former board member of the Texas Wildlife Association and the National Cattlemen's Legal Defense Fund.

A long-time breeder of National Champion Jack Russell Terriers, Kathleen Hartnett White lives with her husband Beau Brite White in Bastrop County Texas outside of Austin and in Presidio County Texas on the far southwestern border of Texas.

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Genevieve Wood

Senior Contributor, The Foundry

Genevieve Wood advances policy priorities of The Heritage Foundation as senior contributor to The Foundry, which the think tank is repositioning in 2014 from blog to top media brand for news, analysis and commentary from a conservative perspective.

Wood functions as leading voice for The Foundry, producing regular commentary and making media appearances to explain and promote Heritage's key policy solutions for the most critical issues to Americans. She provides quick, incisive analysis of breaking news and astute commentary that persuades and activates audiences necessary to achieve conservative policy victories. She also carries the Heritage message to hundreds of thousands of members and represents The Foundry at events around the country.

Wood, previously a member of the senior management team, has worked since 2006 to develop and execute strategies to promote Heritage's policy solutions for advancing free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

Wood says she long has enjoyed the challenge of "helping everyday Americans understand how what happens in Washington and public policy affects them." Most recently, that effort had included appearances on a range of misguided proposals from immigration reform to interstate sales taxes. She spoke to tens of thousands of Americans while crisscrossing the country in 2012 to promote fiscal responsibility as part of a bus tour that visited 127 cities in 25 states. She also conveyed the think tank's conservative policy solutions in dozens of radio and TV interviews during the 10-month tour.

Since 2011, Wood and her creative team have introduced audiences and organizations to policy agendas such as Saving the American Dream, Heritage’s detailed plan to solve the national debt crisis, simplify taxes, redesign entitlement programs and make health care affordable. She oversaw Leadership for America, the think tank’s program to advance 10 initiatives addressing key domestic, economic, legal and foreign policy challenges.

Wood's duties previously included coordinating long-term and short-term strategies from Capitol Hill to the grassroots level, with the goal of educating government officials and ordinary taxpayers. She led a creative team responsible for market research, product development, publications, video production, photography and graphic design, branding and advertising.

As a commentator, Wood has appeared on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel (including Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly) and on programs such as CBS' "Face the Nation," NBC's "Today," C-SPAN's "Washington Journal," PBS' "To the Contrary" -- and even ABC's defunct "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher. She has been a guest on hundreds of local radio and TV shows. Before joining Heritage in 2006, Wood worked for more than 14 years in Washington politics, policy and media. She helped federal and state lawmakers, political candidates, authors and organizations communicate policy goals and plan how to implement objectives. Her clients ranged from regional groups to prominent outfits such as Heritage, Cato Institute, Focus on the Family, Manhattan Institute and the Susan B. Anthony List.

In 2000, Campaigns & Elections magazine named Wood a “rising star in politics.” From 1991 until 2004 she held media-related positions with, among others, the Family Research Council, the Leadership Institute, National Public Radio, NBC News and the Republican National Committee. Her responsibilities ranged from overseeing video production facilities to producing and anchoring television and radio talk shows on public affairs.

A native of Texarkana, Texas, Wood holds a bachelor's degree in history from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She resides in Washington, D.C.

Robert L. Woodson, Sr.

Founder and President, Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

Robert L. Woodson, Sr. is Founder and President of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. For more than four decades, Woodson has promoted self-help, neighborhood empowerment and the importance of civil society's institutions. During the 1970's he directed the National Urban League's Administration of Justice division. Later he served as a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He has influenced thought leaders at the highest level, while providing inspiration and capacity building assistance to neighborhood leaders in some of the most distressed communities.

Dedicating his life to helping low-income people address the problems of their communities, in 1981 Woodson founded the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise for the purpose of strengthening and advocating for those neighborhood-based organizations struggling to serve their communities. The Center has provided training and capacity-building technical assistance to more than 2,600 leaders of community-based groups around the country. He was instrumental in paving the way for resident management and ownership of public housing, and brought together task forces of grassroots groups to advise the 104th Congress, the Pennsylvania Legislature, and the Wisconsin Assembly on welfare reform.

Mr. Woodson is frequently featured as a social commentator in print and on-air media, including The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, the Garrison Show and other national and local broadcasts. He is the only person ever to receive both the liberal and conservative world's most prestigious awards – the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Prize, as well as the Presidential Citizens Medal.

He has written several books, including The Triumphs of Joseph: How Today's Community Healers are Reviving Our Streets and Neighborhood.

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Byron York

Chief Political Correspondent, Washington Examiner

Byron York is the chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner and a Fox News contributor. He has written on nearly every aspect of the Obama administration, Congress, and the presidential campaigns of 2012, 2008, 2004, and 2000. He is the author of The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, an account of liberal activism in the 2004 election. Formerly White House correspondent for National Review, his work has been published in Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, and the New Republic. He lives in Washington, DC.

Hotel & Travel

Hotel Reservations

Our group rate deadline at the Sheraton New Orleans has passed, but you may still check availability and current rates by clicking here.

Below are links to a few hotels within walking distance of the Sheraton that may still have availability (but Heritage does not have rate agreements with these hotels):

Closest Airport

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) – 15 miles/20 minutes


Airport Shuttle Transportation
You may reserve a shared ride service between the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel and Louis Armstrong International Airport through New Orleans Airport Shuttle. Rates are $20pp one way / $38pp roundtrip. Please call 504-522-3500 for information or make reservations online at least 24 hours prior to your flight departure time online here.

Taxi Service
Taxis are available outside of baggage claim and the average fare to the Sheraton is $33. Should you need a cab during your stay or for your return trip to the airport, the hotel team will be happy to assist you. 

Streetcar Transportation
The Sheraton is also located right on the Streetcar line which provides easy transit along Canal Street, St. Charles Avenue, and the Riverfront. One-way cost: $1.25. One, three and five-day unlimited ride passes are also available for $5, $12 and $20 respectively.

Hotel Parking
Valet parking service is available for hotel guests, but there is no self-parking. Due to limited space and height restrictions parking is available on a first-come-first-served basis and they cannot accommodate oversized vehicles.

Overnight valet guest rate is $38 plus tax with in/out privileges. Daily valet parking (eight hours or less) is $24 plus tax.

Local Area Attractions

For information on things to do in New Orleans, please visit their Convention & Visitors' Bureau site for a variety of great options.


Participating organizations have the opportunity to request exhibit space at the 2014 Resource Bank Meeting. A new feature at this year's conference will be an Internet Cafe within the exhibit space for attendees to visit with exhibitors, enjoy the beverage stations, and take advantage of complimentary wifi internet access.

Exhibitor Registration

Exhibitor tables are complimentary for nonprofit organizations and $500 for all other organizations. Registration for Exhibit tables is processed through individual RSVPs via this website. All Exhibit Table registrations are due by Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

Due to the number of organizations participating, it will be necessary to share table space. We anticipate that each group will receive three-feet of tabletop space. Please adjust your quantity of display materials accordingly. Space will not be available for stand-alone exhibits.

Exhibitor Schedule

You will be responsible for setting up and dismantling your own exhibits.
Exhibit setup must begin at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.
Exhibits will be displayed until 12:30 p.m. on Friday, March 28, 2014.
Tear down for exhibits will begin at 12:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon, following adjournment of Resource Bank’s closing session.

For More Information

If you have any questions, require a power source for your exhibit table, or are interested in additional Sponsorship Opportunities, please call the Coalition Relations Department at (202) 608-6056 or e-mail Lori Mashburn at with the subject line “Exhibit Space.”

Affiliate Events

Environmental Leaders Conference (presented by The Heritage Foundation)

Saturday, March 29, 2014
The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Please visit to view the current Agenda and RSVP today!

Crisis Communication Workshop (presented by the Leadership Institute)

Friday, March 28, 2014
The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

If a crisis were to hit your organization tomorrow, would you be ready?
In a moment of crisis, the initiative passes to those who are best prepared. This workshop will arm you with the tools and techniques you must know to develop a communication strategy and properly respond to a crisis.

You will learn to:

  • Identify the stages of a crisis
  • Develop internal and external communication strategies
  • Stay on message during a crisis
  • Handle negative information and avoid media traps

To register, please visit:

Youth Outreach Strategy Meeting (presented by The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program)

Thursday, March 27, 2014
The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel – Maurepas Room, 3rd floor
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Join us Thursday afternoon, March 27, as we bring together leaders of organizations and programs for young people, from high school students to college students to graduate students to young professionals.  This is an excellent opportunity to brainstorm ideas and ways to work together, and to announce and share current programs and opportunities so other groups can share with their contacts. 

To RSVP, please contact Heather Pfitzenmaier, Director of Heritage's Young Leaders Program, at

Film Viewing – Building the Machine: A Film about the Common Core
(presented by HSLDA)

Thursday, March 27, 2014
The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel – Rhythms Ballroom I, 2nd floor
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

In 2010, 45 states adopted the Common Core States Standards Initiative (CCSSI), but according to a May 2013 Gallup Poll, 62% of Americans said they had never heard of the Common Core. Prominent groups and public figures have broken traditional party lines over the issue, leaving many wondering where they should stand.

Building the Machine introduces the public to the Common Core and its effects on our children's education. Parents, officials, and the American public should be involved in this national decision regardless of their political persuasion.

The documentary compiles interviews from leading educational experts, including members of the Common Core Validation Committee. After a year of research and production, we present the story of the Common Core through the voices of those who know it best.

We invite you to watch our film on Thursday afternoon, March 27, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and then explore the issues for yourself.