Steve Anderson is budget director for the state of Kansas. He served as a contract letter appointee in the Office of State Finance of Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating from 2000 to 2002. He has 25 years’ experience in private practice as a consultant, tax preparer, and author. He is a certified public accountant and received his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Fort Hays State University and his MBA from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Joseph L. Bast
Joseph Bast is president of The Heartland Institute. He is the coauthor or editor of 21 books and founding publisher of Heartland’s series of monthly public policy newspapers, sent to the nation’s national, state, and local elected officials.
Bruno Behrend, J.D.
Bruno Behrend is executive director of For the Good of Illinois and a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute. In 2009, he served as policy director/strategist for a gubernatorial candidate in the Illinois primary election. In 2008, he co-authored Illinois Deserves Better – The Ironclad Case for an Illinois Constitutional Convention, which coincided with a campaign to pass a referendum calling for a Constitutional Convention. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where he earned his degree in finance. He earned his J.D. from IIT-Kent College of Law in 1990 and is licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois.
Benjamin Domenech is a research fellow for health care policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of its monthly newspaper, Health Care News. He writes Consumer Power Report, a weekly Heartland e-newsletter, and co-hosts Coffee & Markets, an award-winning daily podcast focused on politics, policy, and the marketplace.
Hon. Bette Grande
Bio coming soon
Christie Herrera is vice president of policy at the Foundation for Government Accountability, a Florida-based public policy research and advocacy organization. She drives the development and promotion of market-based public policy in Florida and nationwide. Before joining FGA, she served as director of the Health and Human Services Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a nationwide, nonpartisan association of state legislators. She has testified before Congress and legislatures in 13 states. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications studies and a master’s in political science from Florida State University.
Hon. Judson Hill
Georgia state Sen. Judson Hill was first elected to the Georgia Senate in 2004 by almost 75 percent of the vote; he began his fourth term in January 2011. In 2006 he was unanimously elected to serve as vice chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. He also holds leadership positions on or is a member of several committees, including Reapportionment and Redistricting, Special Senate Judiciary, Health & Human Services, Judiciary, and Urban Affairs and is an ex-officio member of the Transportation Committee. In 2010 he authored and passed legislation protecting Georgians’ freedom to choose the health care best for their family and protecting them from federal fines or penalties for exercising that freedom. In 2008 he authored and successfully passed the nation’s first patient-centered prevention-focused free-market health care reform legislation. He served in the Reagan Administration as an assistant United States attorney and at the United States Department of State, Agency for International Development. He graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science; his law degree is from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia. In 2002 he co-authored the business book, Enhancing Your Business Value.
Scott Jensen is a senior strategist for the advancement of school choice by the nation’s largest school choice organization, the American Federation for Children. Previously, Jensen served for 14 years in the Wisconsin Assembly, including three terms as Assembly Speaker. He also served as chief of staff to Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson. He played a crucial role in the creation, expansion, and defense of Milwaukee’s pioneering school choice program. Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Drake University and his master’s in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1984.
Sam Karnick is research director of The Heartland Institute. Before joining Heartland, he served as director of publications for the Hudson Institute, where he was co-founder and editor in chief of the organization’s quarterly magazine, American Outlook.
Robert M.S. McDonald, Ph.D.
Robert M.S. McDonald is associate professor of history at the United States Military Academy. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, Oxford University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his Ph.D. A specialist on Thomas Jefferson and the early American republic, he has published several journal articles and other essays. He is editor of Thomas Jefferson’s Military Academy: Founding West Point (2004), Light & Liberty: Thomas Jefferson and the Power of Knowledge (2012), and Sons of the Father: George Washington and His Protégés (forthcoming). He is completing a book to be titled Confounding Father: Thomas Jefferson’s Image in His Own Time.
Hon. Sid Miller
Texas state Rep. Sid Miller is his sixth term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he works to put his real-world experience as a small businessman, community leader, agriculturist, former schoolteacher, and former school board member to work on behalf of the people of Texas. Among many awards he has received from taxpayers, constituent organizations, his colleagues, and the media, he is a two-time recipient of the Fighter for Free Enterprise Award from the Texas Association of Business; earned the Taxpayer Hero award from Texas for Taxpayer Reform; and was named Freshman of the Year by his conservative colleagues during the 77th session. He is a founding member of the Legislative Tea Party Caucus and serves as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Education Task Force. He is an avid rodeo participant and was named the 2004 World Champion of Calf Roping by the United State Calf Roping Association. He set a world record that year as well.
John Nothdurft joined the staff of The Heartland Institute in May 2008 as Heartland’s legislative specialist on budget and tax policy. He was named government relations director in November 2010.
Joy Pullmann is a research fellow for education policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of its monthly newspaper, School Reform News. Before joining Heartland, she was the assistant editor for the American Magazine at the American Enterprise Institute.
Christine P. Ries, Ph.D.
Christine P. Ries is professor of economics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a senior fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a faculty associate at Georgia Tech’s Program in Science Technology and Innovation Policy, and a member of the selective Policy@Tech Campus Partners. She studies and teaches principles of free-market economics and their application in corporate decision-making and the creation of economic value for companies and countries. She has worked on problems in global corporate finance for Morgan Guaranty, CitiCorp, Barclays, Chase Manhattan Bank, IBM, and other firms. After being appointed to the Special Council for Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians in 2010, Ries focused her expertise on the problem of tax structure and economic growth in Georgia. She organized and promoted private-sector teams from mining, manufacturing, and agricultural industries to streamline and rationalize Georgia’s tax code describing sales tax exemptions for business. This code modernization was enacted into law in 2012 and dramatically increased code transparency and reduced the cost of compliance for businesses in Georgia. She earned her Ph.D. in international business economics at the University of Chicago.
Jonathan Small, a certified public accountant, is fiscal policy director for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, whose staff he joined in December 2010. He is responsible for formulating and communicating OCPA’s perspective on tax and fiscal policy. His work includes “Economics 101,” which he co-authored with Dr. Art Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden. He and OCPA have helped lead the effort in Oklahoma to highlight more than $2 billion over the next three fiscal years in waste, inefficiencies, and non-core spending in the Oklahoma state budget. He has served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance; fiscal policy analyst and later a research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives; and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. He holds an accounting degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and an associate’s in business from Oklahoma City Community College.
James M. Taylor, J.D.
James M. Taylor is a senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of its monthly newspaper, Environment & Climate News. He writes a weekly column for Forbes.com as well as Climate Change Weekly, a Heartland e-newsletter.
Jill Vecchio, M.D.
Dr. Jill Vecchio has given 60+ lectures on health care reform to state public policy networks, university think tanks, congressional staff, political organizations, and professional groups. Her YouTube video series features seven segments reviewing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). She has held leadership positions with Docs 4 Patient Care, a physician organization working on behalf of market-driven health care policy, and is director of speaker training for Docsquads, training physicians in 15 states to speak on health care issues. She is a graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and beginning in 2013 will be the organization’s health care issues instructor. She is launching Imagine Reform, LLC, a private consulting group established to guide governments, industries, and businesses toward market-driven solutions as alternatives to government bureaucracy. She serves on the physician scientific advisory board for Hologic, a medical device company and is president of Imaging Consulting, LLC. She graduated from Iowa State University and from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. She completed residencies at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and at the University of Colorado, where she served as chief resident from 1992 to 1996.
Hon. Joe Walsh
In 2010 Joe Walsh was elected to Congress to represent the Eighth District of Illinois. He has a long history of advocating on behalf of a number of public policy issues and causes including the advancement of market-based solutions to education reform and urban poverty. He also has a background in teaching at the high school and college level. Joe was born and raised in the Eighth District where he currently lives with his wife Helene.
Bernard L. Weinstein, Ph.D.
Bernard L. Weinstein is associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute and an adjunct professor of business economics in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. From 1989 to 2009 he was director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas, where he is now an emeritus professor of applied economics. He has held teaching positions in New York and Texas; has been a research associate with the Tax Foundation in Washington, DC and the Gray Institute in Beaumont, Texas; and has worked for several U.S. government agencies, including the President’s Commission on School Finance, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Trade Commission. He has authored or co-authored numerous books, monographs, and articles on the subjects of economic development, energy security, public policy and taxation, and his work has appeared in professional journals and mainstream media outlets alike. He is a panelist with the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast; a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association for Business Economics; and serves on the boards of directors of Beal Bank Texas and Beal Bank USA. Since 2012 he has been an associate of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU and a fellow with the George W. Bush Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree in public administration from Dartmouth College, studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received his master’s and doctorate degrees in economics from Columbia University.
Benjamin Zycher, Ph.D.
Benjamin Zycher is president of Benjamin Zycher Economics Associates, a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and an associate in the Intelligence Community Associates program of the Office of Economic Research, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State. He is also a member of the advisory board of the quarterly journal Regulation and a consultant to an extensive list of private-sector clients. He has held positions with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, RAND Corporation, the Western Economic Association International, the Milken Institute, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Consumer Alert. He was founding editor of the quarterly public policy journal Jobs & Capital, an adjunct professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an adjunct professor of economics and business in the MBA program at the California State University, Channel Islands. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California Los Angeles and a master’s in public policy from the University of California Berkeley.