IFS Staff - Institute For Free Speech

Bradley A. Smith, Chairman and Founder

Bradley A. Smith, Chairman and Founder

Brad is one of the nation’s foremost experts on campaign finance law. He served as a Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, resigning as of Aug. 21, 2005. Smith was elected as Vice...

David Keating, President

David Keating, President

David Keating has a long and distinguished career in nonprofit advocacy. Prior to joining the Institute for Free Speech, he was the Executive Director of the Club for Growth. While there, he played...

Alan Gura, Vice President for Litigation

Alan joined the Institute for Free Speech as Vice President for Litigation in February 2021. In this role, Alan directs the Institute’s litigation and legal advocacy, leads our in-house legal team, and manages...

Scott Blackburn, Research Director

Scott Blackburn, Senior Research Analyst

Scott became the Institute for Free Speech’s Research Director in September 2018. In this position, he is responsible for spearheading the Institute’s short-term and long-term research efforts on the costs and benefits of...

Alex Kroll, Director of Development

Alex Kroll, Director of Development

Alex is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. As a student, he helped create and lead several student groups to counter the prevailing ideology present...

Don Daugherty, Senior Attorney

Don joined the Institute for Free Speech as a Senior Attorney in April 2021.  He previously served as Senior Counsel at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. Hailed among the “Best Lawyers...

Del Kolde, Senior Attorney

Del joined the Institute for Free Speech as a Senior Attorney in April 2021 after over 20 years as a government attorney in the Pacific Northwest. Del has extensive experience in all aspects...

Martha Astor, Attorney

Martha joined the Institute for Free Speech as an Attorney in May 2021. She began her legal career as a Staff Attorney at the Goldwater Institute in Arizona. During law school, Martha completed...

Ryan Morrison, Attorney

Ryan joined the Institute for Free Speech as an Attorney in December 2018. He began his career as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. through the Attorney General’s...

Adam Tragone, Attorney

Adam joined the Institute for Free Speech as an Attorney in June 2022. He previously served as an associate at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hailed as a Super Lawyers...

Alex Baiocco, Policy Analyst

Alex Baiocco, Communications Fellow

Alex is a Policy Analyst at the Institute for Free Speech. He joined the Institute as a Communications Fellow in July 2016, was promoted to Media Manager in September 2018, and became Policy...

Susan Bradley, Office Manager

Susan Bradley, Office Manager

Susan supports the Institute for Free Speech staff as Office Manager, and is the proud mom of three college graduates. In addition to her work at IFS, Susan has served as President of...

Tiffany Donnelly, Media Manager

Tiffany joined the Institute for Free Speech as Media Manager in November 2019. She is responsible for compiling and distributing the Institute’s signature weekday Daily Media Update, which contains topical news stories and...

Stephanie Brown, First Amendment Fellow

Stephanie joined the Institute for Free Speech as a First Amendment Fellow in August 2022. Prior to joining IFS, she clerked for the Honorable Louis Guirola, Jr., of the United States District Court...

Alec Greven, Research Fellow

Alec Greven joined the Institute for Free Speech as a Research Fellow in September 2022. Alec previously served as a Research Intern at the Institute for Free Speech, beginning in May 2020. As...

Mike Columbo, Senior Fellow

Mike is a pro bono Senior Fellow with the Institute for Free Speech and is also Counsel at the California-based Dhillon Law Group. In his practice with Dhillon Law, he focuses on political law...

Parker Douglas, Senior Fellow

Parker joined the Institute for Free Speech in September 2018. He was a Senior Attorney from September 2018 to May 2020. In May 2020, Parker joined the Alliance Defending Freedom and transitioned into...

Gary Lawkowski, Senior Fellow

Gary is a pro bono Senior Fellow with the Institute for Free Speech and Counsel at Dhillon Law Group. His current practice focuses on political law, election law, administrative law, appellate work, and...

George Scoville, Adjunct Fellow

George is a pro bono Adjunct Fellow with the Institute for Free Speech and an attorney at Sims|Funk, PLC, in Nashville, where he represents individuals, closely held companies, and corporations in a variety...

Eric Wang, Senior Fellow

Eric is a pro bono Senior Fellow with IFS and is Of Counsel at The Gober Group. Eric’s practice focuses on federal and state campaign finance, lobbying, political nonprofit, and government ethics laws....

Hunter Bates

Partner, Akin Gump. Read more about Hunter »

Edward H. Crane

Founder and President Emeritus, Cato Institute. Read more about Edward »

Cleta Mitchell

Senior Legal Fellow, Conservative Partnership Institute. Read more about Cleta »

Stephen Modzelewski

Managing Member, Maple Engine LLC.

Eric O’Keefe

Chairman of the Board, Citizens for Self-Governance.

Bradley A. Smith

Bradley A. Smith, Chairman and Founder

Chairman and Co-Founder, Institute for Free Speech and Blackmore-Naught Designated Professor of Law, Capital University Law School. Brad is one of the nation’s foremost experts on campaign finance law. He served as a...

John Snider

CPA-Retired, Treasurer.

In Memoriam, Herbert E. Alexander

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California and Director, Citizens Research Foundation.

Stephen Ansolabehere

Professor of Government, Harvard University. Related Readings: “What Is the Place of Corporate Money in Democratic Politics?” “Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett and the Problem of Campaign Finance” “Unrepresentative Information: The Case of...

Lillian R. BeVier (Retired)

David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Virginia School of Law. Related Readings: “First Amendment Basics Redux: Buckley v. Valeo to FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life” “Mandatory Disclosure,...

Bruce E. Cain

Professor of Political Science, Stanford University and Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Related Readings: Democracy More or Less: America’s Political Reform Quandary (Excerpt) “More...

John Coleman

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota. Related Readings: “Assessing the Potential Effects of Citizens United: Evidence from the States” “Pay to Play: Parties, Interests, and...

Richard M. Esenberg

Founder, President, and General Counsel, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Adjunct Professor of Law, Marquette University Law School. Related Readings: “The Lonely Death of Public Campaign Financing”

Jay Goodliffe

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University and Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. Related Readings: “Campaign Fund-raising and Spending for Deterrence and Savings” “Campaign War Chests...

Joel M. Gora

Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School. Related Readings: “Free Speech Matters: The Roberts Court and the First Amendment” “In Defense of ‘Super PAC’s’ and of the First Amendment” “Free Speech, Fair Elections, and...

Jeffrey Milyo

Frederick A. Middlebush Chair in the Social Sciences, Department of Economics, University of Missouri. Related Readings: “Do State Campaign Finance Reforms Increase Trust and Confidence in State Government” “Campaign Spending and Electoral Competition:...

Michael C. Munger

Director, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program and Professor of Political Science, Public Policy, and Economics, Duke University. Related Readings: “Locking Up Political Speech: How Electioneering Communications Laws Stifle Free Speech and Civic Engagement” Read more...

David M. Primo

Ani and Mark Gabrellian Professor, Professor of Political Science and Business Administration, University of Rochester. Related Readings: “Risky Business: Do Disclosure and Shareholder Approval of Corporate Political Contributions Affect Firm Performance?” “Disclosing Disclosure:...

Larry J. Sabato

Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics, University of Virginia and Director, UVA Center for Politics. Related Readings: “PACs and Parties” Read more about Larry »

John Samples

Vice President and Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute. Related Readings: “Why the Government Should Not Regulate Content Moderation of Social Media” “Move to Defend: The Case against the Constitutional Amendments Seeking...

Bradley A. Smith, Chairman and Founder

Bradley A. Smith, Chairman and Founder

Brad is one of the nation’s foremost experts on campaign finance law. He served as a Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, resigning as of Aug. 21, 2005. Smith was elected as Vice Chairman of the Commission in 2003 and Chairman of the Commission in 2004.

A recent New York Times story referred to Smith as the “intellectual powerhouse” of the movement to roll back campaign finance restrictions. His 2001 book, Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform, was lauded by George Will as the year’s “most important book on governance.” Once called “the most sought after witness in Congress” on campaign finance issues, Smith has authored over 40 articles on campaign finance reform, appearing in academic publications such as the Yale Law Journal and Georgetown Law Journal, and popular publications such as The Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and National Review. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Bill Moyers Journal, the Lehrer News Hour, Fox News Special Report, ABC News, Washington Journal, and numerous other national and local television and radio programs.

As an FEC Commissioner, Smith won plaudits for his integrity and refusal to put partisan interests ahead of his duties, as well as his steadfast support for free speech. For his honesty and integrity, the Wall Street Journal dubbed him, “the only honorable man in this bordello.” Smith now serves as the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School. He has won numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, and is a past member of the Advisory Committee to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Election Law Journal, and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Smith also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Studies, is a senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute and is a member of the Board of Scholars of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Smith is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and Kalamazoo College and holds an honorary doctorate from Augustana College. You can follow him on Twitter @CommishSmith.

 

 

David Keating, President

David Keating, President

David Keating has a long and distinguished career in nonprofit advocacy. Prior to joining the Institute for Free Speech, he was the Executive Director of the Club for Growth. While there, he played a key role in growing the organization’s membership and influencing economic freedom through public policy and politics. He also worked for many years as the Executive Vice President of the National Taxpayers Union and as the Washington Director of Americans for Fair Taxation.

In 2007, Keating founded SpeechNow.org due to his frustration with the incessant attacks on the First Amendment. His goal was to give Americans who support free speech a way to join together, pool their resources, and advocate for federal candidates who agree with them – and work to defeat those who do not. That group won the lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission that created what’s now known as the super PAC.

In 1996, Keating was appointed to the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service by then Senator Bob Dole because of his leading role in the development and passage of the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights.

Keating has appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” NBC’s “Today,” ABC’s “20/20,” PBS’s “The NewsHour,” Fox News Channel, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” and many other news and talk programs.

Alan Gura, Vice President for Litigation

Alan joined the Institute for Free Speech as Vice President for Litigation in February 2021. In this role, Alan directs the Institute’s litigation and legal advocacy, leads our in-house legal team, and manages and works to expand our network of volunteer attorneys.

Prior to joining the Institute, Alan litigated complex federal matters for twenty years, in his own practice and as a partner in various Washington-area firms. He argued and won landmark constitutional cases in the United States Supreme Court and has appeared before numerous appellate and district courts throughout the country. Alan often speaks at law schools and continuing legal education seminars. He also teaches strategic/public interest litigation as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Alan began his career clerking for the Hon. Terrence W. Boyle, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He has also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, a litigation associate at the Washington office of Sidley Austin, and as counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.

Alan earned his J.D. at Georgetown (1995) and his B.A. at Cornell University (1992). He is an active member in good standing of the Virginia, District of Columbia, and California bars, the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, and various federal appellate and district court bars.

Selected Awards and Recognition:

Scott Blackburn, Research Director

Scott Blackburn, Senior Research Analyst

Scott became the Institute for Free Speech’s Research Director in September 2018. In this position, he is responsible for spearheading the Institute’s short-term and long-term research efforts on the costs and benefits of campaign finance laws and regulations on free political debate and free association. Scott’s primary research areas include contribution limits, disclosure mandates, tax-financed campaigns, the Federal Election Commission, and other speech-related regulations at both the federal and state level. Scott also leads the Institute’s outreach efforts to academics, in an effort to support high-quality, nonpartisan scholarly research about the First Amendment. Prior to becoming the Institute’s Research Director, Scott served as the organization’s Senior Research Analyst.

In addition to his research duties, Scott blogs and authors op-eds on his research and other topical campaign finance and political speech issues. Scott’s writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Post.

Prior to joining IFS in June 2014, Scott worked at the Cato Institute, the American Action Forum, and wrote for the political fact-checking website, FactCheck.Org. Scott graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Science in 2012.

Scott can be reached at sblackburn [at] ifs.org.

Alex Kroll, Director of Development

Alex Kroll, Director of Development

Alex is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. As a student, he helped create and lead several student groups to counter the prevailing ideology present on those campuses. In his prior position as Member Relations Officer with Susan B. Anthony List, Alex strengthened relationships with existing supporters and persuaded new individuals to become significant donors to that organization. In his current position, he helps supporters achieve their philanthropic goals and promotes IFS to prospective new donors.

Alex can be reached at akroll [at] ifs.org.

Don Daugherty, Senior Attorney

Don joined the Institute for Free Speech as a Senior Attorney in April 2021.  He previously served as Senior Counsel at the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty.

Hailed among the “Best Lawyers in America” and Wisconsin’s “Super Lawyers,” Don has over 30 years of experience in trial and appellate litigation in private practice and has been a partner at three of Wisconsin’s largest law firms.

Don earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia. Before entering private practice, he clerked for the Hon. Roger J. Miner on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has served on the boards of numerous civic and charitable organizations, including, most recently, as President of the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association.

Don is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. He has been admitted to practice before federal district courts across the country, including the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, as well as the Second, Seventh, Ninth, and Federal Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Del Kolde, Senior Attorney

Del joined the Institute for Free Speech as a Senior Attorney in April 2021 after over 20 years as a government attorney in the Pacific Northwest.

Del has extensive experience in all aspects of litigation, including trial and appeals. He began his career trying felony criminal cases in state court and has handled diverse civil cases in both state and federal court. He has first-chaired over 60 jury trials. Most recently, he spent over a decade handling civil cases for local government clients, including civil rights and First Amendment cases. Del particularly enjoys oral argument and cross examination. He also has an interest in the intersection of technology and the law.

Del earned his J.D., with Honors, at the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A., magna cum laude, at the University of Washington.

He is licensed to practice law in the State of Washington. He is also admitted to the federal court bars of the Western District of Washington, Ninth Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court.

In his spare time, Del enjoys trail running and spending time outdoors.

Martha Astor, Attorney

Martha joined the Institute for Free Speech as an Attorney in May 2021. She began her legal career as a Staff Attorney at the Goldwater Institute in Arizona.

During law school, Martha completed a legal internship at the Institute for Free Speech in the summer of 2017, where she helped develop the organization’s amicus briefs in the Supreme Court cases, Carpenter v. United States and Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Program.

Prior to attending law school, Martha presented at prestigious international conferences across the globe, including at the Sorbonne and Oxford. She has written and been published frequently on psychology and educational reform, including co-authoring the book Regrowing from our Roots. Martha also taught courses at Northern Arizona University and provided extensive educational consultation across the country.

She earned her J.D. from Notre Dame Law School, where she was an officer in the Federalist Society and provided administrative support for the provision of Notre Dame’s Intensive Advocacy Program. She holds a B.S. in Public Relations and an M.A. in Counseling from Northern Arizona University, where she graduated with highest honors.

Martha is licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and the State of Texas. She is also admitted to the federal court bar of the District of Arizona.

Ryan Morrison, Attorney

Ryan joined the Institute for Free Speech as an Attorney in December 2018. He began his career as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. Ryan was a trial attorney in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division and also worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Subsequently, Ryan accepted an appointment from President George W. Bush and joined the U.S. Air Force Office of the General Counsel as Special Counsel and Special Assistant to the General Counsel. In addition to working on Air Force matters, Ryan assisted the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the General Counsel with congressional investigations and the Department’s legislative program. He received the Secretary of Defense’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his service. At the end of the Bush administration, Ryan became an Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Deputy General Counsel (Legal Counsel) for the U.S. Department of Defense and represented the Department’s interests in Guantanamo Bay habeas corpus litigation. Later, Ryan clerked for the Honorable Eugene E. Siler, Jr. for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and entered private practice after the clerkship. He became an associate at the Louisville, Kentucky office of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP and represented Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 500 companies in various types of litigation. After four years of private practice, he joined Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s administration and served in multiple roles.

Ryan graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was a member of the Kentucky Law Journal and the president of the Federalist Society. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in finance from Western Kentucky University.

Ryan is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is also admitted at the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Sixth and Ninth Circuits, as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.

Adam Tragone, Attorney

Adam joined the Institute for Free Speech as an Attorney in June 2022. He previously served as an associate at Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Hailed as a Super Lawyers Rising Star since 2021, Adam has extensive experience in both trial and appellate courts throughout Pennsylvania and around the country. He has defended the media in a range of First Amendment matters, including access and privilege issues, defamation and privacy, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Prior to law school, Adam served as the managing editor of one of the nation’s oldest weekly newspapers.

Adam graduated from Duquesne University School of Law, where he was the executive editor of the Duquesne Law Review and received the Louis L. Manderino Honor Society for Distinguished Achievement in Moot Court and the McGinley Fellowship for Public Service. He was also the student speaker at his Commencement.

Adam is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia and is also admitted at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as well as the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Alex Baiocco, Policy Analyst

Alex Baiocco, Communications Fellow

Alex is a Policy Analyst at the Institute for Free Speech. He joined the Institute as a Communications Fellow in July 2016, was promoted to Media Manager in September 2018, and became Policy Analyst in November 2019.

As Policy Analyst, Alex is responsible for the development of policy in support of the Institute’s mission. He authors policy papers explaining the organization’s position on issues implicating speech freedoms and policy primers to educate the public, policymakers, and media. Alex also authors op-eds and blogs on a variety of topical political speech subjects and is responsible for the organization’s graphic design needs.

Previously, Alex interned at the Cato Institute as a Media Relations Intern. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science.

Alex can be reached at abaiocco [at] ifs.org.

Susan Bradley, Office Manager

Susan Bradley, Office Manager

Susan supports the Institute for Free Speech staff as Office Manager, and is the proud mom of three college graduates. In addition to her work at IFS, Susan has served as President of the Mount Vernon Republican Women’s Club since January of 2011. A native of the DC area, she currently resides near Mt. Vernon with her husband Bob.

Susan can be reached at sbradley [at] ifs.org.

Tiffany Donnelly, Media Manager

Tiffany joined the Institute for Free Speech as Media Manager in November 2019. She is responsible for compiling and distributing the Institute’s signature weekday Daily Media Update, which contains topical news stories and commentary on a variety of issues surrounding campaign finance and free speech generally. Tiffany also monitors news sources for relevant commentary and discussions on political speech stories that IFS can engage with and contribute to and maintains the Institute’s website and social media presence. She authors op-eds and blogs on a variety of political speech subjects as well.

Tiffany holds a B.A. in History from Brown University and a J.D. from the University of Louisville. Prior to earning her J.D., Tiffany worked as a Paralegal at the ACLU’s National Office, where she managed client outreach in education-related cases across the country. Most recently, she worked at organizations focused on artistic and cultural education.

Tiffany can be reached at tdonnelly [at] ifs.org.

Stephanie Brown, First Amendment Fellow

Stephanie joined the Institute for Free Speech as a First Amendment Fellow in August 2022. Prior to joining IFS, she clerked for the Honorable Louis Guirola, Jr., of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.While obtaining a J.D. from Tulane University Law School, she served as a managing editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal. Stephanie was also inducted into the Order of Barristers for her role on the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team, where she twice competed in Hong Kong. She holds both a M.B.A. and B.A. in Public Management from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. The first two years of her undergraduate studies began at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she played Division I tennis on a full athletic scholarship. Stephanie is licensed to practice law in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Colorado. After she completes her fellowship, Stephanie will clerk for the Honorable Kurt D. Engelhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Alec Greven, Research Fellow

Alec Greven joined the Institute for Free Speech as a Research Fellow in September 2022. Alec previously served as a Research Intern at the Institute for Free Speech, beginning in May 2020.

As Fellow, Alec works to build the IFS research portfolio on various political speech-related and free expression issues. He investigates the impact of campaign finance regulations on free expression, including donor disclosure, campaign contribution limits, and taxpayer-funded campaigns.

Alec recently finished his fully funded Master of Public Policy at the University of Oxford as a Jepson Scholar. He is a 2021 graduate of the University of Richmond where he double majored in Leadership Studies and PPEL (Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law).

Alec is a New York Times bestselling author of five books published in over 20 languages. He previously served as a cohost of the Oxford Policy Podcast, a podcast focused on interviewing leading experts on important policy issues and also worked as a Research Assistant to Dr. Talita Dias to develop a documentary on international law and free expression.

Alec previously worked as a staff writer for The Collegian, the University of Richmond’s campus newspaper. He also actively worked to reform his campus speech codes at the University of Richmond.

Mike Columbo, Senior Fellow

Mike is a pro bono Senior Fellow with the Institute for Free Speech and is also Counsel at the California-based Dhillon Law Group. In his practice with Dhillon Law, he focuses on political law compliance, First Amendment rights, whistleblower claims, and defense of white collar criminal and administrative enforcement matters, including related litigation. He also serves as counsel to state and federal candidate campaigns, political action committees, and nonprofits, including 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations, advising them on formation, governance, fundraising, and communications.

Prior to joining Dhillon Law, Mike was Of Counsel in the Political Law Section of the California law firm of Nielsen Merksamer. He has served as counsel to former FEC Commissioner Lee E. Goodman, as a staff attorney at the Federal Election Commission, a white collar defense attorney, a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and as a judicial law clerk.

Mike’s extensive experience has allowed him to see up close how complicated campaign finance regulations chill political speech. Mike is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and Vassar College.

As a Senior Fellow, Mike assists IFS in analyzing legislation and regulatory proposals that affect political speech rights. He also writes op-eds and reports on the Institute’s behalf.

Parker Douglas, Senior Fellow

Parker joined the Institute for Free Speech in September 2018. He was a Senior Attorney from September 2018 to May 2020. In May 2020, Parker joined the Alliance Defending Freedom and transitioned into his new role with the Institute for Free Speech as a Senior Fellow.

Parker graduated Order of the Coif from the S.J. Quinney School of Law at the University of Utah, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Utah Law Review, holds a Ph.D. with Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and graduated with honors from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges, with a double major in English and History.

Prior to joining IFS, Parker was the 2017-2018 Supreme Court Fellow assigned to the Supreme Court of the United States, where he served in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice. Previously, he served as Utah Federal Solicitor to Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, where he litigated Utah’s trial, appellate, multi-state, and amicus matters in all federal courts. Parker has also been an Assistant Federal Defender, practiced in the Supreme Court and Appellate section of Latham & Watkins’s Washington, D.C. office, and taught several law courses at the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney School of Law. He was law clerk to the Honorable Michael W. McConnell, then of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and now Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford University, and to the Honorable Tena Campbell of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.

Parker has litigated over 300 federal matters and numerous others in state courts. He has handled cases concerning civil rights – the majority involving the First Amendment – criminal prosecutions, separation of powers, antitrust, trade secret, and sovereignty disputes. He has tried many cases to a verdict – both to juries and the bench – argued over forty appeals in federal and state courts of appeal, as well as suppression, Daubert, and dispositive motions, recorded in over fifty opinions. Parker has also represented clients on appeal or through amicus briefing in every federal court of appeals, including the Supreme Court, and in many state courts of appeal.

Gary Lawkowski, Senior Fellow

Gary is a pro bono Senior Fellow with the Institute for Free Speech and Counsel at Dhillon Law Group. His current practice focuses on political law, election law, administrative law, appellate work, and nonprofit issues.

Before joining the Dhillon Law Group, he served in various capacities at the U.S. Department of the Interior for nearly four years, where he became Counselor to the Secretary. In that capacity, he advised the Secretary and other senior department leaders on complex and sensitive policy and legal matters. He also served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Gary has a wealth of experience in campaign finance and political law. He served as counsel at the Federal Election Commission for over four years, including stints with former Chairman Lee Goodman, former Vice Chairman Don McGahn, and, most recently, Commissioner Sean Cooksey. He also served as legal counsel to a national nonprofit organization.

Gary earned his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and holds a B.A. in Foreign Affairs and Economics from the University of Virginia.

George Scoville, Adjunct Fellow

George is a pro bono Adjunct Fellow with the Institute for Free Speech and an attorney at Sims|Funk, PLC, in Nashville, where he represents individuals, closely held companies, and corporations in a variety of complex commercial disputes.  For the first three years of his practice, George worked for a mid-sized Tennessee law firm, representing consumer-product manufacturers and designers in tort litigation in state and federal court.  He began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk to United States District Judge Sheryl H. Lipman in Memphis.  As a law student, George published the first paper in the academic literature to comparatively analyze state statutes that prohibit or regulated political communications coordinated by campaign committees and independent expenditure groups.  Shortly after his graduation, he also published a full law review article on public employees’ free speech rights in the digital age.

In addition to his law practice, George is an Adjunct Professor of American Government and Constitutional Law at Belmont University.  In his spare time, he volunteers as the executive director and treasurer of the Tennesseans for Sensible Election Laws political action committee, which, in its few short years of existence, has already prevailed in constitutional litigation, challenging Tennessee’s onerous campaign-finance regime.  Before attending law school in his mid-thirties, George lived and worked in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a policy analyst for a global trade association of IT companies, a new media strategist for the Cato Institute, and a channel lead for a cutting-edge political and industry communications consulting firm before founding his own strategic communications practice.  In other words, George developed his passion for protecting free speech rights while cutting his teeth in the trenches of local and national political, issue-advocacy, and brand-positioning campaigns.

Eric Wang, Senior Fellow

Eric is a pro bono Senior Fellow with IFS and is Of Counsel at The Gober Group. Eric’s practice focuses on federal and state campaign finance, lobbying, political nonprofit, and government ethics laws. He has advised clients on the campaign finance laws in all 50 states and in many municipalities.

Prior to joining The Gober Group, he was Special Counsel in the Election Law practice group at the Washington, D.C. law firm of Wiley Rein. Eric has served as interim general counsel at Americans for Prosperity and as counsel to former Commissioner Caroline Hunter at the Federal Election Commission. Eric writes frequently about political law issues and has been published in USA Today, Roll Call, The Hill, Politico, and The Washington Times, among other notable outlets.

In his role as a Senior Fellow, Eric authors analyses for IFS of the constitutional and practical issues inherent in campaign finance and political speech regulations proposed in Congress, at regulatory agencies, and in state legislatures around the country. He also contributes opinion pieces to outlets around the country on these issues.

Eric earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and holds a B.A. in Public Policy from Princeton University.

Hunter Bates

Partner, Akin Gump.

Read more about Hunter »

Edward H. Crane

Founder and President Emeritus, Cato Institute.

Read more about Edward »

Cleta Mitchell

Senior Legal Fellow, Conservative Partnership Institute.

Read more about Cleta »

Stephen Modzelewski

Managing Member, Maple Engine LLC.

Eric O’Keefe

Chairman of the Board, Citizens for Self-Governance.

Bradley A. Smith

Bradley A. Smith, Chairman and Founder

Chairman and Co-Founder, Institute for Free Speech and Blackmore-Naught Designated Professor of Law, Capital University Law School.

Brad is one of the nation’s foremost experts on campaign finance law. He served as a Commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, resigning as of Aug. 21, 2005. Smith was elected as Vice Chairman of the Commission in 2003 and Chairman of the Commission in 2004.

A recent New York Times story referred to Smith as the “intellectual powerhouse” of the movement to roll back campaign finance restrictions. His 2001 book, Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform, was lauded by George Will as the year’s “most important book on governance.” Once called “the most sought after witness in Congress” on campaign finance issues, Smith has authored over 40 articles on campaign finance reform, appearing in academic publications such as the Yale Law Journal and Georgetown Law Journal, and popular publications such as The Wall Street JournalUSA Today, and National Review. He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Bill Moyers Journal, the Lehrer News Hour, Fox News Special Report, ABC News, Washington Journal, and numerous other national and local television and radio programs.

As an FEC Commissioner, Smith won plaudits for his integrity and refusal to put partisan interests ahead of his duties, as well as his steadfast support for free speech. For his honesty and integrity, the Wall Street Journal dubbed him, “the only honorable man in this bordello.” Smith now serves as the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School. He has won numerous awards for his scholarship and teaching, and is a past member of the Advisory Committee to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Election Law Journal, and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Smith also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Studies, is a senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute and is a member of the Board of Scholars of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Smith is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and Kalamazoo College and holds an honorary doctorate from Augustana College.

John Snider

CPA-Retired, Treasurer.

In Memoriam, Herbert E. Alexander

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California and Director, Citizens Research Foundation.

Stephen Ansolabehere

Professor of Government, Harvard University.

Related Readings:

Read more about Stephen »

Lillian R. BeVier (Retired)

David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Virginia School of Law.

Related Readings:

Read more about Lillian »

Bruce E. Cain

Professor of Political Science, Stanford University and Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

Related Readings:

Read more about Bruce »

John Coleman

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota.

Related Readings:

Read more about John »

Richard M. Esenberg

Founder, President, and General Counsel, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and Adjunct Professor of Law, Marquette University Law School.

Related Readings:

Jay Goodliffe

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University and Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy.

Related Readings:

Read more about Jay »

Joel M. Gora

Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School.

Related Readings:

Read more about Joel »

Jeffrey Milyo

Frederick A. Middlebush Chair in the Social Sciences, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.

Related Readings:

Read more about Jeffrey »

Michael C. Munger

Director, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program and Professor of Political Science, Public Policy, and Economics, Duke University.

Related Readings:

Read more about Michael »

David M. Primo

Ani and Mark Gabrellian Professor, Professor of Political Science and Business Administration, University of Rochester.

Related Readings:

Read more about David »

Larry J. Sabato

Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics, University of Virginia and Director, UVA Center for Politics.

Related Readings:

Read more about Larry »

John Samples

Vice President and Director, Center for Representative Government, Cato Institute.

Related Readings:

Read more about John »

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap