Creating law and government that actually work for the 21st century.
Perhaps the most obvious place where new and better leadership is needed is in public policy, both from government and from the organizations and people who influence it. John Jay Institute alumni are making new roads where old arguments seemed impossible to end, providing ancient wisdom and new ideas in congressional offices, starting new organizations in areas where old ones are stuck in the past, and shaping election and party institutions at the highest levels.
What We've Achieved
Taking the lead on public policy
The list here is stunning, as even these few highlights show. Our alumni are starting new organizations, like Grant Callen ‘04 who founded Empower Mississippi, a new educational organization whose purpose is to empower citizens to advocate for policies that help people thrive, and Jamie Lord ’00, who founded Georgia Capitol Group to influence policy in that state. They are running existing organizations, like Julie Linn, president of Texans for Education Reform; David Smith ’98, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute; and Eric Cochling ‘99, vice president for public policy at the Georgia Center for Opportunity. And they are driving new policies with their research, like Jayson White ‘98 (Project Manager of the Urban Policy Advisory Group at Harvard University) and Aaron Reitz ’14 (Koch Fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation).
Supporting think tanks and policy work
The best ideas can only be developed and implemented if they have the right team of fundraisers, administrators, and communicators behind them. Lara Barger ’11 is coordinator of strategic communications at The Heritage Foundation, where Heather Sherlock '11 works in major gifts development after turning heads with a whirlwind of national success at the Leadership Institute. Tyler Castle ’12 is driving the conversation about the relationship between economics and morality through the Values and Capitalism program at The American Enterprise Institute. Lindsay Matlock ’07 has earned one promotion after another at Americans for Prosperity, where she currently serves as state programs director. Jessica Prol '05, already in her tenth year in D.C. public policy work, is managing editor for publications at the Family Research Council. Many other alumni work in high-ranking support roles for national and state-based policy organizations.
Making law happen
John Jay Institute alumni are everywhere in offices on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, from the lowest level to the highest. Doug Branch ‘98 is senior policy adviser to the U.S. Senate Joint Economic Committee. Matt Crumb ‘13 works for Indiana governor Mike Pence. Samantha Hartman ’10 has been making waves behind the scenes of the Florida Senate for years. And dozens serve in U.S. House and Senate offices, influencing policy daily—like House press secretary Christyne Brennan, House legislative counsel Isaac Fong, and Senator Mark Kirk’s staffer Lansdale Henderson ’13. David Eastman ’10 is one of several young alumni who have already run for office, and some of our most promising alumni who are climbing the ranks on the business and legal scenes plan to run for office in the future.
Enforcing laws and shaping policies in the administration
For better or worse, much of policy in America happens in the bureaucracy and its surrounding organizations. Which is why it’s good we have people like Gresham Kay ’07 providing strategic support in the Texas Comptroller’s office, Tim Johnson ’02 as an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice and Mark Meador ’08 and Christopher Brown in the Federal Trade Commission.
It’s one thing to impact existing legislators—it’s another to get wise ones into office to begin with. That’s Caleb Heimlich ‘06’s job as executive director of the Washington State Republican Party. Others, like April Ponnuru ’98, are in senior positions on leading 2016 presidential campaigns, or advising and aiding candidates as expert consultants like Jerod Patterson ’05 and Julia Kiewit ’09. David Powers ’04 has served as senior counsel to the Republican National Committee, and David Dry ’14 is finance coordinator for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Picking up where everything else leaves off
Chris Donahoe ’08 impacts economic policy through his position as senior manager of corporate relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Sarah Origer ’08 does all the fundraising for the Northern Indiana Community Foundation’s economic development work. Others, like Jered Sigmon ‘06, work in senior positions in municipal government—or advise senior ministers, like Lucia Papayova ‘07 does in Slovakia’s Ministry of Transport. As policies are made at the national and state levels, ideas and impacts trickle up and down at every level of leadership—and at every level of leadership, John Jay Institute alumni are there making good things happen.