Lawson Bader, President and CEO, DonorsTrust
Prior to his role at CEI, Lawson was vice president at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. There, he built several important programs to educate lawmakers and their advisors on economic principles.
With a Master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins, a B.A. in political science from Wheaton College, and his experience working in market-oriented think tanks, Lawson comes to DonorsTrust with a wealth of knowledge about the policy world and a strong commitment to the principles of limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise that animate DonorsTrust’s mission.
Kim Dennis, President & CEO, Searle Freedom Trust
Joseph E. diGenova, Founding Partner, diGenova & Toensing, LLP and Former United States Attorney, District of Columbia
DiGenova has extensive experience on Capitol Hill. He was Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the Senate Rules Committee and Counsel to the Senate Judiciary, Governmental Affairs and Select Intelligence Committees. He has conducted confirmation, investigative, legislative and oversight hearings, drafted legislation and testified before both Houses of Congress. He also served as Administrative Assistant and Legislative Director to U.S. Senator Charles Mathias.
Mr. diGenova has published articles on criminal law, terrorism, and Congressional oversight and has spoken on those and other issues to various organizations throughout the United States. As part of his advocacy approach, he has appeared on Court TV, Lehrer News Hour, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Nightline, 60 Minutes, Crossfire, This Week With David Brinkley, John McLaughlin’s One On One, Today Show, Good Morning America, and other national television programs. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and his law degree from Georgetown University.
Todd Gaziano, Executive Director of the DC Center and Senior Fellow in Constitutional Law, Pacific Legal Foundation
Todd attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics. His public law work includes service as a law clerk for U.S. Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones, in the U.S. DOJ Office of Legal Counsel, as a chief subcommittee counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, and as the founding director of The Heritage Foundation’s Legal Center. He also had a six-year term as commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, where he reported on civil rights developments and conducted oversight and investigations of civil rights agencies. Early in his career, he was as a litigator in Houston, and more recently, was the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of an innovative healthcare delivery and IT company.
Todd is a frequent legal commentator in print, on radio and TV, before congressional committees, and in other public settings. With more than 20 years in the liberty movement, Todd continues to publish scholarly papers and op-eds on constitutional and legal reform topics. He has a special interest in the constitutional limits of government, especially federalism and the separation of powers, and protections for individual rights. Several of his scholarly articles have influenced landmark Supreme Court litigation, congressional policy, and presidential actions. He also has worked to increase the effectiveness of many organizations within the freedom-based public interest legal movement.
Kevin Gentry, Vice President, Charles Koch Foundation, and Vice President of Special Projects–Development, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC
Eric M. George, Partner, Browne George Ross LLP
Eric M. George, a partner with Browne George Ross LLP, represents clients in complex, frequently high-profile disputes. He is experienced in state and federal trial court and arbitration proceedings, involving contracts, securities, intellectual property, real estate, art law, Indian law, malpractice and constitutional issues. Eric also has extensive appellate experience, having argued cases before the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Courts of Appeal.
Prior to joining the firm, Eric served as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee (1999 through 2000); as Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary to Gov. Pete Wilson (1997 through 1999); and as a law clerk for federal Judge D. Lowell Jensen of the Northern District of California (1993 through 1994).
Eric has been profiled on various occasions, and is featured regularly as one of the California Top 100 Attorneys by the Daily Journal, as one of the “Top 100 Power Lawyers” by the Hollywood Reporter, and as a “Super Lawyer.” In 2014, the Daily Journal reported a $65 million summary judgment won by Eric as one of the prior year’s top 10 awards in California.
Eric serves on federal and state judicial selection committees; is involved in the state’s legal, business and civic communities; and sits on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Advisory Committee.
Brian Glicklich, Chair of the Global Digital Practice, Sitrick and Company
Rick Graber, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
The Hon. Scott Keller, Texas Solicitor General
The Hon. Thomas R. Lee, Associate Chief Justice, Utah Supreme Court
Steven Lehotsky, Vice President & Chief Counsel for Regulatory Litigation, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center
He also served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he advised Executive Branch officers on a wide range of constitutional, statutory interpretation, and regulatory issues in the areas of cyber security, immigration reform, financial regulation, environmental regulation, economic sanctions, and national security.
During the 2009 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States, Lehotsky served as law clerk to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. He also served as law clerk to Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Prior to his clerkship with Chief Judge Ginsburg, he practiced law at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, MA. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he received the Sears Prize. He also graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
The Hon. Steven J. Markman, Chief Justice, Michigan Supreme Court
From 1989-93, Justice Markman served as United States Attorney, or federal prosecutor, in Michigan, after having been nominated by President George H. W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. From 1985-1989, he served as Assistant Attorney General of the United States, after having been nominated by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the United States Senate. In that position, he headed the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy, which served as the principal policy development office within the Department, and which coordinated the federal judicial selection process. Prior to this, he served for seven years as Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, and as Deputy Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.
Justice Markman has authored articles for such publications as the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, the Detroit College of Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the American Criminal Justice Law Review, the Barrister's Law Journal, the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the American University Law Review. Justice Markman has taught constitutional law at Hillsdale College since 1993. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
The Hon. Kevin C. Newson, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Before joining Bradley Arant, Judge Newsom served for three and a half years as the State of Alabama's Solicitor General. He served as a law clerk to Justice David H. Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court (2000-2001) and, before that, to Judge Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1997-98). Judge Newsom received a B.A. from Samford University (1994); he graduated summa cum laude, first in his class, and with a 4.00 GPA. Judge Newsom received his J.D. from Harvard Law School (1997); he graduated magna cum laude and was an Articles Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Melinda Oakes, Executive Director, The Triad Foundation
In Ithaca, she is on the boards of the Sciencenter and Ithaca Women's Opportunity Center. She is also active with St. John's Episcopal Church and was chairwoman of the Cayuga Medical Center Foundation's Gala fundraiser in 2014. Melinda received her bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in Communications and English and her Masters from the University of Hartford in Elementary Education.
Peter Schweizer, Author and President, Government Accountability Institute
D. Gordon Smith, Dean, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
Throughout his career, Dean Smith has been active in developing scholarly communities. In 2004 he co-founded (with Christine Hurt, also of BYU Law School) The Conglomerate Blog, a popular law professor blog focusing on business law. He has served as Chair of the Section on Business Associations in the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), and he participated in the creation of the Section on Transactional Law and Skills, for which he currently serves as Secretary. In 2009 he served on the planning committee for the AALS Workshop on Transactional Law. During that same year, he co-founded the annual Rocky Mountain Junior Scholars Forum. In 2012 he co-founded (with Afra Afsharipour of UC Davis School of Law) the Transactional Law Workshop, a monthly virtual gathering of transactional law scholars. And in 2013, he co-founded (with Colleen Baker) the Business Ethics Book Club, a virtual book club of law professors, who meet once a semester to discuss a recent work on business ethics.
He has taught at six law schools in the U.S., as well as law programs in Australia, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, and Hong Kong. Before entering academe, Dean Smith clerked for Judge W. Eugene Davis in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and was an associate in the Delaware office of the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Governor Pete Wilson, Of Counsel, Browne George Ross LLP
Pete Wilson’s more than 30 years of dedicated public service as Governor of California, U.S. Senator, Mayor of San Diego and California state Assemblyman uniquely equip him to counsel and negotiate for clients at all levels of today’s activist regulatory environment.
Pete is Of Counsel at Browne George Ross LLP. He is also a Principal in WWGR Consulting. Pete strengthens BGR’s services by expanding its reach and experience nationally and internationally, particularly where business and governmental interests intertwine.
As Governor of California from 1991 to 1999, he is credited with leading California from the depths of recession to prosperous economic recovery. Insisting on strict budget discipline and reform of the state’s then-hostile business environment, he courted investment in job creation nationwide and abroad. He demanded reform of California’s onerous regulatory excess by consolidating and expediting permit approvals by creating one-stop shops. He advocated market-based pools for unsubsidized health coverage for employees of small businesses and obtained anti-fraud measures that drove down workers’ compensation premiums by 40 percent. Under his leadership, California also enacted sweeping welfare and anti-crime reforms and historic education reforms.
After leaving office, he served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and the Defense Policy Board of the Secretary of Defense.