Doug Mesecar has served in senior operational and policy roles at leading education companies, the U.S. Department of Education, and in Congress. His cross-cutting expertise ranges from curriculum development and education technology, to teaching and public policy, with a strong focus on the use of data in every role. Doug currently is Senior Vice President of Blended Learning Solutions for EdisonLearning. In addition, Doug continues to write on important education topics like government markets and performance based funding.
At the U.S. Department of Education, his roles included Deputy Chief of Staff of the Department, Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement, and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. While at the Department, Doug worked closely with the Department’s Budget Office and OMB to develop and model administration budget requests. He also led the school services and education technology implementation for Sylvan Learning as Vice President for Contract Programs and SylvanSync, where he lead the teams modeling SylvanSync system adoption and usage, with resultant impact on revenue, territory penetration, and technology resource utilization. Doug also served as Vice President of Math and Strategic Initiatives at Scholastic Education; in addition to product development and business line leadership, Doug helped to develop nascent ROI metrics for the sales team and forecasts of math software sales.
Doug attended Hope College and the University of Denver, where he completed graduate work in education and earned his teacher license. He taught 5th grade in the Jefferson County School system in Colorado.
Director of Financial Services Policy
Meghan is the Director of Financial Services Policy at the American Action Forum.
Previously she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the Small Business Administration and the House Committee on Small Business where she focused on access to capital issues. She graduated magna cum laude from Ole Miss with degrees in economics and political science. She received her J.D. from Pepperdine University and is licensed to practice law in California.
Director of Energy Policy
Kimberly VanWyhe is the Director of Energy Policy at the American Action Forum.
Prior to joining the Forum, Kimberly worked as a Legislative Aide for the Alaska State Legislature focusing on energy and natural resources. Her D.C. experience includes working for The Cohen Group and BlueWater Strategies. Kimberly has worked on several successful state, local and federal political campaigns in Alaska.
Kimberly received her B.A in Political Science from St. John’s University in New York and holds an MBA in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona; in addition, Kimberly holds a certificate in Global Oil and Gas Management from Thunderbird.
National Security Expert
Dr. Michael Holtje served several years as an Operations Officer for the U.S. Department of State, where he helped coordinate Department positions concerning interagency operations and foreign partnerships.
Dr. Holtje subsequently completed a Robert Bosch Fellowship in Berlin, Germany. He served as a Visiting Fellow in the German Bundestag (parliament), as part of the CDU/CSU Foreign Policy Working Group. He was also a visiting researcher with the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
Dr. Holtje received both his J.D. and Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary Law and Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska. His doctoral work, in what is commonly called “Behavioral Economics,” examined various features of decision-making processes. He subsequently completed an LL.M. in National Security Law from the George Washington University Law School.
Health Care Data Analyst
Jonathan is a Health Care Data Analyst at the American Action Forum.
At AAF Jonathan focuses on the intersection of data and health care policy. Specifically, what data can tell us about the health care landscape and where it is headed.
He was previously a mathematics educator. Jonathan received his B.S. in mathematics education from Purdue University in 2012.
Director of Defense Analysis
Rachel Hoff is Director of Defense Analysis at the American Action Forum.
She previously served as the Director of Government Relations & External Affairs at the Foreign Policy Initiative, a think tank she helped found in 2009. From 2006 to 2008, Rachel worked as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), focusing on foreign affairs and national security issues. From 2004 to 2006, she was a Research Assistant working with several foreign and defense policy scholars at the American Enterprise Institute.
Rachel received a master’s degree in Global Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tufts University. She has worked and volunteered for numerous Republican Party campaigns and organizations and represented Washington, DC as a delegate at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Health Care Policy Analyst
Tara O'Neill is a health care policy analyst with American Action Forum.
Before joining AAF, Tara worked as a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, most recently for Congressman Tom Rice, covering a broad portfolio of issues, including health care, Medicare, and Medicaid. After her time on Capitol Hill, Tara earned her Master’s in Public Policy and Management with a health policy concentration, graduating with Distinction from Carnegie Mellon University. For her undergraduate studies, Tara attended Clemson University in her home state of South Carolina.
Chief Operating Officer
Sarah Hale has experience with a broad range of domestic policy issues, and nearly a decade of experience on Capitol Hill. Prior to joining the American Action Forum she served as Chief of Staff for Representative Sue Myrick.
As a legislative staffer, she developed considerable health-related expertise with regard to Medicare, Medicaid, FDA and public health law. In 2014 she completed a year-long professional fellowship sponsored by the Robert Bosch Foundation focused on European Union politics and German domestic policy. Sarah graduated from the University of Maryland in 2004 with B.A.s in both Economics and Government & Politics.
Brittany La Couture
Health Policy Counsel
Brittany has a J.D. from Georgetown University where she focused her studies on health care policy, and is licensed in New Jersey.
Prior to joining AAF, Brittany was a Research Assistant in the Health Care Policy department of the Cato Institute.
Brittany graduated summa cum laude in 3 years from Holy Family University where she studied psychology and philosophy, played volleyball, and was a member of the Psi Chi and Pi Gamma Mu honor societies.
Emil H. Frankel
Emil H. Frankel is a Visiting Scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) in Washington, DC, and an independent consultant on transportation policy and public management issues. Previously, he served as BPC’s director of transportation policy. In June 2009, BPC’s transportation project, under Frankel’s leadership, issued its report and recommendations, Performance Driven: A New Vision for U.S. Transportation Policy. He is a Senior Fellow at the Eno Center for Transportation and a Senior Advisor of Crosswater Realty Advisors.
Frankel was Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 2002 to 2005. Appointed by President George W. Bush, Frankel played a key role in the coordination and development of the Administration’s proposal to reauthorize the Federal highway, transit, and highway safety programs. He also provided policy leadership in such areas as intermodal freight transportation, reform of the nation’s intercity passenger rail system, transportation project financing, and the application of information technologies to transportation systems operations.
Frankel was Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation from 1991 to 1995. From 1995 to 2001 he was Of Counsel to Day, Berry & Howard (now, Day Pitney) in the law firm’s Stamford, Connecticut, office, and he was a Principal Consultant of Parsons Brinckerhoff, the international engineering and consulting firm, from 2005 to 2007.
From 1995 to 2001, and again in 2008 and 2009, Frankel was a Visiting Lecturer at both the Yale School of Management and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he taught on issues of transportation, energy, and environmental policy, and public management. In 1995 he was a Joint Fellow of the Center for Business and Government and of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
During the 1970s and 1980s, he was a senior executive of The Palmieri Company, a national firm engaged in business and real estate reorganizations. Previously, Frankel served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and as a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Jacob K. Javits of New York.
Frankel served as a founding Vice Chair of the I-95 Corridor Coalition. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Regional Plan Association of New York, the Board of Directors of Cambridge Systematics, Inc., the Board of Advisors of the Institute of Transportation Studies of the University of California, Davis, and the Board of Advisors of the Institute of Transportation Studies of the University of California, Los Angeles. He chaired the Transportation Research Board’s Committee for a Study of Potential Energy Savings and Greenhouse Gas Reductions from Transportation that reported in 2011 and is a National Associate of the National Research Council. Frankel was a Selectman of the Town of Weston, Connecticut, from 1999 to 2001.
Frankel received his Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School, and was a Fulbright Scholar at Manchester University in the United Kingdom. From 1981 to 1984 and from 1985 to 1997 he was a Trustee of Wesleyan University, where he is now a Trustee Emeritus.
Director of Technology and Innovation Policy
Will Rinehart is Director of Technology and Innovation Policy at the American Action Forum, where he specializes in telecommunication, Internet, and data policy, with a focus on emerging technologies and innovation.
Rinehart comes to the Forum from TechFreedom, where he was a Research Fellow. He was also previously the Director of Operations at the International Center for Law & Economics.
In 2009, Rinehart was a Koch Summer Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, concentrating on advertising policy and Internet governance. In 2008, he was a Research Associate at the Illinois Policy Institute, where he studied state-level budget, energy and tax issues. Additionally, he worked for the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement as the Research Assistant in Technology and Civic Engagement. Rinehart has a Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Illinois and is currently finishing his Masters at the University of Illinois. His thesis focuses on economics and communication, and, more broadly, his research program explores the intersection of technology, innovation and society.
For two decades Douglas L. Faulkner has been a leader in expanding the global use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. He is President and Founder of Leatherstocking LLC, a clean-technology advisory firm that draws inspiration and its name from the classic early-American frontier novels by James Fenimore Cooper. The firm provides advice on global business strategy where politics, diplomacy, trade, technology, finance and science overlap. Mr. Faulkner offers guidance on sustainable partnerships for business development as well as pathways through federal and state governments for assistance.
Mr. Faulkner accompanied Virginia Governor McDonnell on his historic trade and investment mission to Sweden in June 2012, inaugurating a new commercial relationship between the Commonwealth and the Kingdom long advocated by Mr. Faulkner. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C. chapter. He served on an informal energy advisory group to the then newly-elected Governor McDonnell. Mr. Faulkner has been a visiting lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and George Washington University’s Business School. He helped the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities to create and is now leading a multi-year course on U.S.-Brazil collaboration on biofuels in sub-Saharan Africa. The web publication, “Biofuels Digest”, carries his column under the moniker, “The Cleantech Conservative”.
In the U.S. government, he served in several senior political assignments for President George W. Bush for the duration of his Administration. At the Department of Energy, he was named Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and, at the Department of Agriculture, served as both Deputy Under Secretary and Acting Under Secretary for the Office of Rural Development. His stewardship atop both organizations resulted in significant cost savings and better management practices. He led the negotiating team for the landmark Energy Title of the 2008 Farm Bill, resulting in a billion dollars of new funding and new authorities; co-led the development of the first comprehensive National Biofuels Action Plan; represented Agriculture in building both the U.S.-Brazil Presidential biofuels initiative and the Global BioEnergy Partnership; and, successfully proposed significant new funding for bioenergy and solar energy research and development, which became Presidential initiatives. The Secretary of Energy, Samuel W. Bodman, honored Mr. Faulkner with his own award for excellence. He also served as a senior policy advisor to two previous Secretaries of Energy and launched a new bio-based products R&D program.
Mr. Faulkner earned a B.A. from the University of Illinois and a M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. As a Rotary Foundation scholar, he attended the University of Singapore. Born and raised in central Illinois, Mr. Faulkner now lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and son, where he volunteers in his church and community; he serves as a Director of 1st Stage Theater in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Both he and his son are Eagle Scouts.
Director of Labor Market Policy
Ben Gitis is the Director of Labor Market Policy at the American Action Forum.
He has extensively researched and written about the minimum wage, wage subsidies, regulatory cost burdens, and the labor market consequences of the Affordable Care Act. Ben’s work has been referenced by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, Reuters, and others. He received a B.A. from Davidson College, where he graduated magna cum laude with Honors in Economics and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He also spent a year studying economics in Hertford College, University of Oxford.
Senior Health Care Data Analyst
Conor is the Senior Health Care Data Analyst at the American Action Forum. He previously worked as a Statistician at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.
Conor received his B.S. in civil engineering from Cornell University in 2011 where he graduated Cum Laude. He has been involved in economic research efforts on topics ranging from biofuels to parking garages to numerical methods.
Health Care Expert
Stephen T. Parente is the Minnesota Insurance Industry Chair of Health Finance in Carlson School of Management and the Director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota.
As a Professor in the Finance Department, he specializes in health economics, information technology, and health insurance. Dr. Parente has been the principal investigator on large funded-studies regarding consumer directed health plans, health information technology and health policy micro-simulation. He is currently on the governing board of the Health Care Cost Institute. He is the Founding Director of the Medical Valuation Laboratory, a nine college interdisciplinary effort to accelerate medical innovation from scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs. Dr. Parente was a health policy advisor for the McCain 2008 Presidential Campaign and served as Legislative Fellow in the office of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D WV) in 1992/93. He has a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.
Cameron McCosh has experience with a broad range of domestic policy issues. She worked for DHE Consulting, an economic and policy consulting firm in Washington, D.C.
While completing her Master’s Degree she interned in the Equity Research division of Lehman Brothers, analyzing the impact of political forces and policy changes on financial markets. In 2013, she was featured in National Journal's "25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35." Cameron completed her B.A. from American University in 2007, and her Master's in Public Policy in 2008.
Economic and Regulatory Expert
Dr. Thomas A. Hemphill, an associate professor of strategy, innovation and public policy in the School of Management, University of Michigan-Flint, received his Ph.D. in Business Administration with a primary field in Strategic Management and Public Policy and Secondary Field in Technology and Innovation Policy from The George Washington University. Dr. Hemphill teaches in the areas of business and society, innovation management, strategic management, and international business.
Dr. Hemphill’s research interests are in the areas of innovation management and policy, corporate governance, business and public policy, and international business and political economy. His academic research has been published in Science and Public Policy, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Business Economics, Regulation: The Cato Review of Business and Government, Journal of Business Ethics, Business and Society Review and Thunderbird International Business Review, among others, and presented research papers at the Academy of Management and Academy of International Business annual conferences.
In addition to his scholarly research, Dr. Hemphill has published editorial opinion pieces concerning business and the economy in the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s.Com/Investor’s Business Daily, RealClearMarkets, and American.com/The American: The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute.
Health Care Expert
Shalla Ross is President of the Ross Group, LLC and has extensive experience in the health care policy space, having guided a wide array of health industry and provider clients through the policy making and political process. She provides her clients with comprehensive policy analysis and solutions to complex issues. She concentrates on health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the budget.
Shalla left Capitol Hill in 2006 after serving as Policy Director to the House Republican Conference under Representative Deborah Pryce (R-OH). She also she served as Staff Director of the House Rules Committee’s Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. Prior to her work at the House Republican Conference, Shalla served as Legislative Director to Representative Phillip Crane (R-IL). Additionally, Shalla served as a Legislative Aide to Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) and as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. She also worked as a health care analyst for the Republican National Committee during the 2000 Presidential election cycle.
Scott Fleming is an expert on higher education policy and student financial aid programs. He previously served as Senior Education Policy Advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
While with the HELP Committee, Scott led the Senate effort to fundamentally change federal financial aid, creating billions of dollars in new student aid programs while also saving $13 billion in the process.
He also served as an education policy advisor to two candidates for President of the United States. Professionally, he has managed projects spanning five continents and more than 70 countries and speaks fluent Portuguese.
He now serves as Vice Chairman to Madison Education Group, a policy and business strategy consulting group based in McLean, VA. Scott currently resides in Springfield, VA, with his wife and four children.
Director of Regulatory Policy
Sam Batkins is director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum. Batkins focuses his research on examining the rulemaking efforts of administrative agencies and Congress. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hill, Reuters, and The Washington Post, among other publications. He has testified before the U.S. House, Senate, and state legislatures across the country.
Prior to joining the Forum, Batkins worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute for Legal Reform and the National Taxpayers Union. At the U.S. Chamber, he focused on lawsuit abuse, tort reform, and federal regulation. During his time at the National Taxpayers Union, he conducted studies on state and federal spending.
Batkins received his B.A. in political science from Sewanee: The University of the South, where he graduated summa cum laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. He is a member of the Maryland Bar.
Sally Gray Lovejoy
Sally Gray Lovejoy served for eighteen years on the House Education and the Workforce Committee before she was appointed by President George W. Bush as the Education Attaché to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in May, 2006.
Lovejoy worked closely with First Lady Laura Bush in her role as Honorary Ambassador for the UN Literacy Decade organizing the first ever White House Conference on Global Literacy sponsored by Mrs. Bush and UNESCO.
From 2000-2006, Lovejoy served as the Director of Education and Human Resources Policy for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Her chief legislative accomplishments include:
Chief House Committee staff negotiator for the No Child Left Behind Act.
Oversaw enactment of numerous reforms of the Federal student aid program.
Successfully developed and guided every legislative initiative on education and training through the Congress during that time.
In 2009, Lovejoy established her own company, SGL International, LLC focusing on providing strategic policy advice on international and domestic educational issues.
Lovejoy received a B.A in International Affairs from Sweet Briar College.
Health Care & Economic Expert
Dr. Robert A. Book is a health economist, and Senior Research Director at Health Systems Innovation Network, LLC, where he works primarily on economic and statistical modeling of the effects of health care reform, primarily through the lens of the effects of changes in the law on the incentives faced by individuals, employers, providers, and insurers.
His expertise extends to a wide variety of issues related to health economics and health care policy, including insurance coverage, provider incentives, employer-sponsored insurance, administrative costs, medical costs, Medicare fee-for-service pricing policies (Part A and Part B), Medicare Advantage, comparisons with health care systems in other countries, pharmaceutical R&D, drug regulation, and the economics of medical research. He has written on the impact of the individual and employer mandates, subsidies and regulatory changes, as well as on changes made to the Medicare program. Previously, he conducted a detailed study of the cost structure of the specialty pharmacy industry in the wake of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act; analyzed the growth of diagnostic imaging and cost changes resulting from improved technology; forecasted effects of Medicare payment changes on the long-term, acute care, and rehabilitation hospital industries; analyzed costs in pharmacy and physician practices; studied the impact of medication therapy management by pharmacists and the impact of government-sponsored medical research on the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Book earned a Ph.D. in economics and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, an M.A. in computational and applied mathematics from Rice University, and a B.S. in mathematics and history from Duke University. He has also served as Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics at the Heritage Foundation, on the faculty of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, as a Senior Associate for The Lewin Group, and as a Research Economist at the Center for Naval Analyses.
Rick Grafmeyer is a partner at Capitol Tax Partners, Washington’s largest independent consulting firm specializing in tax legislative and regulatory matters.
He formerly served as the deputy chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) from 1998 through 2000. During his tenure, JCT published comprehensive studies of corporate tax shelters, the penalty and interest system, and tax-exempt organizations, plus a major three-volume tax simplification project.
Earlier Mr. Grafmeyer was the deputy staff director for the Senate Finance Committee responsible for tax and health care legislation before the Committee and is also widely known as an expert on Senate and House parliamentary procedural rules as well as budget process rules.
Other than his government service, Mr. Grafmeyer has been a partner in Arthur Andersen's National Office of Federal Tax Services as well as a partner and the National Director for Washington Tax Services for Ernst & Young in their National Tax Office.
Mr. Grafmeyer has a B.A. degree in accounting from Walsh College in Ohio, a J.D. degree from the University of Akron School of Law, and a LL.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Paul Gessing became the first full-time President of the Rio Grande Foundation in March of 2006. Since joining the Foundation, Gessing has been a prominent voice for limited government and individual liberties in policy areas including: Constitutional liberties, taxes, health care, education, and transportation.
He has published articles in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, US News & World Reports, The Albuquerque Journal and several other major publications. He writes for and appears regularly in media outlets around New Mexico. Paul has also testified in Congress and before a variety of state and local bodies.
Paul graduated from Bowling Green State University in Ohio with a degree in Political Science in 1997 and he received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Maryland in 2005.
Michele Davis is a Partner at the Brunswick Group, a global corporate communications advisory firm. She has broad experience in formulating and communicating economic policy, having worked in the Administration of George W. Bush and in the Congressional leadership.
Michele served as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning at the Department of the Treasury from 2006 through January 20, 2009. She was a senior member of the Treasury team addressing the financial crisis. Prior to Treasury, Michele served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Communications at the White House. Before joining the White House, Michele was Senior Vice President for Regulatory Policy at Fannie Mae, and she served at the Treasury Department as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs in 2001-2002. Earlier in her career, Michele was Communications Director for House Majority Leader Dick Armey, and spent six years advising the Congressional leadership on communications strategy for the House agenda. She began her free-market advocacy work at Citizens for a Sound Economy, where she worked from 1991-94. She earned a B.S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown University and an M.A. in economics at American University. She and her family live in Arlington, Virginia.
Mark R. Maddox has held a variety of senior strategic policy, communications, and political positions during his 25-year career, and currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for Arcadian Networks, where he serves as chief strategist on government policy and as a member of the executive team. He is currently a member of the Gridwise Alliance Board of Directors.
Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary (acting) and head of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy program from 2004 to 2006. He was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy in 2003.
As the head of the Department of Energy’s fossil energy research and development program, Maddox oversaw the development of many of the critical technologies that will be essential to controlling future green house gas emissions. He also managed a $750 million budget, and high profile initiatives including the FutureGen Zero Emissions Power Plant, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Power Plant development, the regional carbon sequestration program, liquefied natural gas supply and safety issues, the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Internationally, he chaired the 21-nation Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum Policy Committee, and led working groups with China and India. He also served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary on fossil energy, environmental management, and budget issues.
Additionally, Maddox worked in the Government and Public Affairs offices at Lockheed Martin as a director for the Integrated Management Systems division. Before that he served as Chief of Staff for Congressman Nathan Deal, and also worked as a senior strategist for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC). Maddox received a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University and earned an undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University, OH.
Lisa Graham Keegan
Lisa Graham Keegan has spent 11 years as Principal Partner at the Keegan Company, where she consults, writes, and speaks on critical issues and emerging markets in American education.
Mrs. Keegan spent a decade serving as an Arizona state official, first as a member of Arizona’s House of Representatives where she chaired the education committee, and then as the elected state superintendent of public instruction. She served as John McCain’s education advisor for two presidential campaigns, and currently serves on a number of corporate and volunteer boards. Mrs. Keegan’s first book, Simple Choices: Thoughts On Creating Environments That Support Who Your Child Is Meant To Be, was released in May 2013. She lives in Peoria, Arizona with her husband and family.
The Honorable Lauren Maddox is a Principal at the Podesta Group, providing clients with strategic and crisis communications experience, a global perspective on education policy, in-depth knowledge of how federal policy is shaped at the most senior levels of government, and extensive legislative and executive branch contacts. Lauren served as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education from September 2006 to November 2008. She was the primary communications advisor to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings on K-12 and higher education matters, and the top strategist on outreach to opinion leaders and the stakeholder community.
Prior to her work in the Bush Administration, Lauren spent nearly seven years at the Podesta Group. Before that, she was a senior communications advisor to the House Majority Leadership, including former Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts Jr. She began her career on Capitol Hill as press secretary for Colorado Republican Joel Hefley. She also served as the senior spokesperson and communications strategist for two national health care trade associations. Maddox earned her Bachelor's Degree in psychology from Creighton University in Omaha, NE, and a Master's Degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
Director of Immigration Policy
Laura Collins in the director of immigration policy at the American Action Forum.
A former practicing attorney, Collins joined the Forum after serving as a senior research analyst at the Republican National Committee, focusing on immigration and judiciary issues. She also worked on cooperative federalism and energy and environmental issues as a policy analyst for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. She received her B.B.A. in management from the University of Oklahoma and her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. She is licensed in Texas and Oklahoma.
The Honorable Holly Kuzmich is the Vice President of Margaret Spellings and Company, a public policy and strategic consulting firm. Led by former U.S. Secretary of Education and White House Domestic Policy Advisor Margaret Spellings, the firm's experts offer decades of experience developing public policy and strategies on national, state, and local issues. Kuzmich has deep policy knowledge in education—from preschool and early reading to higher education—and extensive experience in legislative issues. She is a leading authority on the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) from inception to implementation.
Prior to joining Margaret Spellings and Company, Kuzmich served as the Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. In these capacities, she oversaw all communications between the Administration and Congress on behalf of the Secretary and served as a member of the senior staff, providing strategic advice and counsel on Administration initiatives and working closely with the White House to advance education reform. She led the implementation, regulatory, and reauthorization efforts for NCLB, managed student lending initiatives, and led policy development associated with the nearly $70 billion annual budget.
Kuzmich came to the Department from the White House Domestic Policy Council where she served as Associate Director for Education. Prior to that, Kuzmich worked in the United States Senate on issues including education, health care, welfare, and social policy. She received her bachelor's degree from Northwestern University.
Harvey S. Rosen is the John L. Weinberg Professor of Economics and Business Policy at Princeton University. He was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Rosen has been a member of Princeton's Department of Economics since 1974. He served as Chairman of the Department from 1993 to 1996, and has been Co-Director of the Center for Economic Policy Studies since 1993. In 1986 he was elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society.
Rosen has been involved in both the graduate and undergraduate teaching programs at Princeton. In recent years he has taught undergraduate courses in public finance, taxation, and introductory microeconomics, and graduate courses in public finance. From 1989 to 1991 Rosen's audience changed from Princeton students to federal government policy makers when he served in the U.S. Treasury as Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax Analysis). During a second stint in Washington from 2003 to 2005, he served on the President's Council of Economic Advisers, first as a Member and then as Chairman. In this capacity he provided advice to the White House on a wide variety of policy issues including tax reform, social security, health care, energy, the federal budget, and financial market regulation.
Rosen's main field of research is public finance. He has published several dozen articles in scholarly journals on this topic and authored an undergraduate textbook on it as well. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals dealing with public finance and taxation. In 2007 he received from the National Tax Association its most prestigious award, the Daniel M. Holland Medal for distinguished lifetime contributions to the study and practice of public finance.
Director of Fiscal Policy
Gordon joins the Forum after serving in a series of congressional and campaign positions.
Most recently he served as senior policy advisor to Senator Rob Portman, and also served as policy director during Senator Portman’s campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, he was a professional staff member for the Senate Budget Committee, and before that was deputy director of domestic and economic policy for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign. He also spent several years with the American Enterprise Institute.
Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education at Stanford University. A leader in the development of the economic analysis of educational issues, his research spans the impact on achievement of teacher quality, high-stakes accountability, and class-size reduction. He pioneered measuring teacher quality on the basis of student achievement, the foundation for current research into the value-added evaluations of teachers and schools. His work on school efficiency is central to debates about school finance adequacy and equity; his analyses of the economic impact of school outcomes motivate both national and international educational policy design.
Hanushek is also chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He currently serves as chair of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.
His recent book, Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools, describes how improved school finance policies can be used to meet our achievement goals. Earlier books include Courting Failure, the Handbook on the Economics of Education, The Economics of Schooling and School Quality, Improving America’s Schools, Making Schools Work, Educational Performance of the Poor, and Education and Race, along with numerous widely cited articles in professional journals.
Hanushek previously held academic appointments at the University of Rochester, Yale University, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He served in government as deputy director of the Congressional Budget Office. He has been appointed to a variety of policy commissions including the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence in California. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the International Academy of Education along with being a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and the American Education Research Association. He was awarded the Fordham Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 2004.
A distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he completed his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1965 to 1974.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin has a distinguished record as an academic, policy adviser, and strategist. Currently he is the President of the American Action Forum and most recently was a Commissioner on the Congressionally-chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. Since 2001, he has served in a variety of important policy positions.
During 2001-2002, he was the Chief Economist of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (where he had also served during 1989-1990 as a Senior Staff Economist). At CEA he helped to formulate policies addressing the 2000-2001 recession and the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. From 2003-2005 he was the 6th Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which provides budgetary and policy analysis to the U.S. Congress. During his tenure, CBO assisted Congress as they addressed numerous policies -- notably the 2003 tax cuts (JGTRRA), the Medicare prescription drug bill (MMA), and Social Security reform. During 2007 and 2008 he was Director of Domestic and Economic Policy for the John McCain presidential campaign. Following the 2008 election Dr. Holtz-Eakin was the President of DHE Consulting, an economic and policy consulting firm providing insight and research to a broad cross-section of clients.
Dr. Holtz-Eakin has held positions in several Washington-based think tanks. He was Senior Fellow at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics (2007-2008), and the Director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations (2006). He has also been a visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and American Family Business Foundation.
Dr. Holtz-Eakin built an international reputation as a scholar doing research in areas of applied economic policy, econometric methods, and entrepreneurship. He began his career at Columbia University in 1985 and moved to Syracuse University from 1990 to 2001. At Syracuse, he became Trustee Professor of Economics at the Maxwell School, Chairman of the Department of Economics and Associate Director of the Center for Policy Research.
Dr. Holtz-Eakin serves on the Boards of the Tax Foundation, National Economists Club, and the Research Advisory Board of the Center for Economic Development.
Donald Bruce is the Douglas and Brenda Horne Professor of Business in the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and the Department of Economics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He holds a B.A. with honors in economics from Drew University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Syracuse University.
Dr. Bruce specializes in applied policy research, focusing primarily on the economic and behavioral effects of tax policies on such things as small business activity and owner-occupied housing. His work in CBER has included an ongoing evaluation of Tennessee’s welfare program, Families First. He has published numerous articles in academic journals and presented his work at several professional meetings. He has also testified before Congress on the topic of internet taxation, and he presented his work on taxes and small business activity before the President’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform in 2005. His paper on tax policy and entrepreneurial endurance was awarded the National Tax Association’s Richard Musgrave Prize for the most outstanding article published in the National Tax Journal in 2002.
Dr. Bruce is a member of the National Tax Association and the American, Southern, and Western Economic Associations.
Dan Goldbeck is a research analyst for regulatory policy at the American Action Forum. His primary focus is researching the political ramifications of bureaucratic and legislative regulatory actions.
In 2008, Dan interned in the office of Congressman George Radanovich. He has been involved in various political campaigns and organizations on the local, state, and federal levels. He has also held positions in several small businesses across a number of fields.
Dan received a B.A. in Political Science with a History Minor from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009.
Director of Health Care Policy
Christopher Holt previously served as the Legislative Assistant for health care policy to Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA).
He has extensive legislative experience, having worked as a health policy advisor for Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH). He began his Congressional career as the Legislative Correspondent for the Senate Special Committee for the Aging. Holt is a graduate of Whitman College.
Director of Education Policy
Chad comes to the Forum with ten years of education policy and advocacy experience.
His past professional experience includes work with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools as the Senior Director for Federal Advocacy, The House Committee on Education and the Workforce as a Professional Staff Member, and the Education Leaders Council where he held several positions including Policy Analyst, Director of Federal Programs, and Director of Operations.
Catrina Rorke is an energy expert.
She previously served as Legislative Director at Lighthouse Consulting Group, a government and public affairs firm. Prior to joining Lighthouse, Catrina worked for former Rep. Bob Inglis as his advisor on energy and environment issues. Catrina came to Washington as a Presidential Management Fellow at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She holds degrees from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Carlos E. Bonilla is a partner in Airline Forecasts, an aviation consulting and investment advisory firm. He served as Special Assistant for Economic Policy to President George W. Bush from 2001-2003. At the White House he held the labor portfolio, was part of the tax policy team at the National Economic Council, and did extensive work on aviation issues. Prior to that he was an adviser to the George W. Bush election campaign.
Bonilla was a Senior Vice President at The Washington Group, a government affairs firm, from 2003-2008. At the Washington Group he provided strategic advice and representation to a variety of clients, primarily in the transportation and health care sectors. He served as an economist at the House Budget Committee from 1998-2001 before joining the White House.
Bonilla currently focuses primarily on transportation issues. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Mesa Air Group where he serves on the Audit Committee.
Director of Housing Finance Policy
Andy Winkler is Director of Housing Finance Policy at the American Action Forum.
Previously he worked at the American Action Forum as a Policy Analyst focusing on housing and economics and at the International Center at the University of Missouri. His research is focused on housing finance, mortgage markets, and housing economics, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, NBC and others. He received his B.A. from the University of Missouri.
Andy is the Global Currency and Public Policy Strategist for BMO Capital Markets' Investment Banking Division in Chicago. He is a senior fellow on economic issues for the Illinois Policy Institute. Mr. Busch consults with the staffs from the U.S. Treasury, Congress, and the White House on economic and financial market issues. He was an adviser on the economy and the financial markets to U.S. Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. Andy met recently with all the most senior staff at the U.S. Treasury. He has met and advised the last three U.S. Treasury Secretaries including Tim Geithner.
He is a recognized expert on the world financial markets and how these markets are impacted by political events. Andy recently spoke at the Pacific Economic Conference in Russia on the global credit crisis. He met and consulted with the governor of Primorsky Territory and the mayor of Vladivostok over the future direction of the Russian economy.
Andy has appeared for the last seven years on CNBC's The Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and on CNBC's the Kudlow Report. He is a CNBC contributor, and his blog is number one for CNBC. He is regularly quoted in the following press: Wall Street Journal, Reuters News Services, Dow Jones News Services, Associated Press, Agence France-Press, Australia's Au., U.K.'s Guardian, and the Globe and Mail.
Andy is a prolific writer. Daily, his views appear in his newsletter, the Busch Update. Monthly, he writes a column for SFO (Stock, Futures, and Options) Magazine covering topics such as the US 2008 presidential elections, the housing crisis, and executive leadership. Lastly, his book, World Event Trading: How To Analyze and Profit From Today's Headlines, is available on Amazon and was translated into Mandarin in 2008 and into Japanese in 2009.
Andy joined BMO Financial Group in 1990 in the foreign exchange trading room of Harris Trust and Savings Bank, which merged with Bank of Montreal's room in 1995. Prior to joining Harris, he traded foreign exchange at Northern Trust Company. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1983, and received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1988.
The American Action Forum is a 21st century center-right policy institute providing actionable research and analysis to solve America’s most pressing policy challenges. MORE