|Heather Wilhelm, Senior Fellow, Communications
Wilhelm, the Institute's senior communications fellow, comes from a
background in marketing, public relations, corporate communications,
online news, web development, magazine editing, and print journalism.
Heather's written commentary has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics.com, the Washington Examiner, and the National Review Online. In 2005, she received a Phillips Foundation Fellowship for her written work promoting constitutional principles, a democratic society, and a vibrant free enterprise system.
Heather currently sits on the board of governors for Opportunity International,
a Chicago-based microfinance group providing small business loans to
impoverished entrepreneurs around the world. She holds an M.A. in Social
Sciences from the University of Chicago and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with a B.A. in English and Political Science from Northwestern University.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Heather Wilhelm.
Collin Hitt, Senior Fellow, Education
Collin's work has earned coverage from national and state media outlets, such as the Illinois Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Education Week and The Christian Science Monitor, and the nationally syndicated radio segment Family News In Focus. His written commentaries have appeared in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, the State Journal Register, the Peoria Journal Star, and the Chicago Sun Times.
Collin has also served as a visiting fellow at the Maine Heritage Policy Center and a research consultant to Americans for Prosperity of Illinois. His is an alumnus of the Institute for Human Studies, as well as a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. While at SIU he earned his B.A. in philosophy and political science and later served as a research assistant at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. He has taught school in rural France, and has served on the board of directors of the Springfield Area Arts Council. Collin is a native of Springfield, Illinois, where he currently resides.
J. Scott Moody, Senior Fellow for Budget and Tax Policy
J. Scott Moody has worked as a Public Policy Economist for over 13
years. He is the author, co-author
and editor of over 140 studies and books.
He has testified twice before the House Ways and Means Committee of the
U.S. Congress as well as various state legislatures. He has been interviewed by countless newspapers and radio
and television stations. His work
has appeared in Bloomberg, Forbes, CNN Money, State Tax Notes, The New York
Post, Portland Press Herald, Hartford Courant, The Oklahoman and Albuquerque
His professional experience includes positions as Senior Economist at The
Tax Foundation, Senior Economist at The Heritage Foundation, Vice President of
Policy and Chief Economist at The Maine Heritage Policy Center and Research
Fellow at several other state-based, free-market think tanks.
Scott received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wingate University
(Wingate, N.C.). He received his
Master of Arts in Economics from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA).
Jerry Agar, Multimedia Fellow
Acclaimed talk radio host Jerry Agar joins the Illinois Policy Institute while continuing to work
as a weekend talk host for the Chicago radio station WGN AM 720.
Jerry, who writes for TownHall.com as well as his radio
shows, will be blogging and podcasting on the daily issues facing Illinois and beyond.
Previously, Jerry hosted shows on major talk radio stations such as WLS in Chicago, WABC in New York and KMBZ in Kansas City. Originally from a town of 800 people in Manitoba, Canada, Jerry came to
the United States when nobody was talking about adopting Canada's style
of medical coverage. His American radio career started in the Chicago suburbs of Geneva/St.
Charles at WFXW. He claims that it is not his fault that the station
went off the air and never came back on.
After traveling America as an itinerant morning show host on music
stations he started in talk radio in 2000 at WPTF in Raleigh, North
Carolina. While there he won Radio and Records Magazine's "Rising Talk
Star of 2004." In 2006 he was nominated for Talk Host of the Year.
To read Jerry's latest commentary, click here.
Don Soifer, Senior Fellow, Education
Don Soifer is Executive Vice President of the Lexington Institute and a newly appointed member of the Washington D.C. charter school board, the independent public body responsible for overseeing and authoring all charter schools within the nation's capital. He has published research and articles on a wide range of domestic public policy topics and runs the Lexington Institute's education program. Don has testified before the U.S. Congress and in official proceedings of several federal agencies and state legislatures, and his work has been published in many of the nation's most influential publications. Don will focus on education in his work as a senior fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute.
Andrew Busch, Senior Fellow, Finance and Markets
Andrew Busch is the Global FX Market Strategist for BMO Capital Markets' Investment Banking Division in Chicago. He is a recognized expert on the world financial markets and how these markets are impacted by political events. On a regular basis, Andy consults with the staffs from the US Treasury, Congress, and the White House on economic and market issues. He is a regular contributor to CNBC, and is regularly quoted in outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and the Associated Press. Daily, his views appear in his e-mail newsletter, the Busch Update. Andy will cover financial and budget issues for the Illinois Policy Institute.
Leonard Gilroy, Senior Fellow, Regulation and Privatization
Leonard Gilroy is the Director of Government Reform at the Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. A certified urban planner (AICP), Len researches privatization, government reform, transportation, infrastructure, and urban policy issues. He is the editor of the world's most respected newsletter on privatization, Privatization Watch, and is the editor of the widely read Annual Privatization Report, which examines trends and chronicles the experiences of local, state, and federal governments in bringing competition to public services. His articles have been featured in such leading publications as Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, and The Weekly Standard. Len will focus on privatization issues and reform in his work with the Institute.
Donna Arduin, Senior Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
Ms. Arduin is a partner at Arduin, Laffer & Moore, Econometrics, LLC, providing economic, fiscal, and policy advice to Governors, legislatures, think tanks, and corporate clients throughout the country.
Donna served as California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Director of Finance from November 2003 until October 2004, where she was the Governor's chief fiscal advisor and was a member of over 70 boards and authorities. Prior to her appointment as Director, Schwarzenegger asked Arduin to undertake an outside, independent audit of California government and state finances.
Prior to working for Governor Schwarzenegger, Arduin served governors from three additional states, including Florida, New York, and Michigan. Donna was Governor Jeb Bush's Director of the Florida Office of Policy and Budget for five years, where she managed the formulation of the governor’s policy and fiscal recommendations, created the nation's first interactive "e-budget," and implemented performance-based budgeting and long-range planning. Additionally, Donna served Governor George Pataki throughout his first term as First Deputy Budget Director and led his successful efforts to reduce and simplify property taxes in New York and reduce the size of state government. Donna also served Governor John Engler for three years during his first term, as Chief Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Management and Budget, as well as the executive director of his reinventing government commission and his appointee to the Michigan Municipal Bond Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc, which is the community-based organization that coordinates child protection programs for the Miami area.
A graduate of Duke University, Arduin graduated magna cum laude with honors in economics and public policy. She worked as an analyst in New York and Tokyo in the private financial markets for Morgan Stanley and Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan.
John Hill, Senior Fellow, Energy Policy
Dr. John Hill is a Senior Fellow for the Alabama Policy Institute and the founder of the newly-formed American Indicators, a research and education organization devoted to tracking trends in health, family, education, the environment, and education. He has authored more than two dozen publications on responsible environmentalism, education, gambling effects, and family structure. John is also an adjunct instructor at Faulkner University, where he teaches introductory research methods, statistics, and quantitative business analysis for executive degree programs.
Jim Porterfield, Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
Jim Porterfield grew up on a farm near Alexander, Iowa. He has degrees in Forestry and Water Resources from Iowa State University.
For nearly 30 years he worked for the American Farm Bureau Federation on issues related to research, soil conservation, water quality, energy, forestry, and health care.
He is a Founding Member of Consumers for Health Care Choices organization and currently is a self-employed consultant as a Watershed/Water Quality Specialist and Healthcare/HSA Policy Analyst.
Dan Proft, Senior Fellow, Public Policy
Please note that Dan Proft is on leave from his role as senior fellow with the Institute.
John Stephen, JD, Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
John Stephen is the founder and managing partner of The Stephen Group, a business and government consulting firm, focusing on assisting business and governments in healthcare and social services intelligence, public sector growth strategies and innovation.Prior to founding The Stephen Group, John was a partner at The Lucas Group from 2008 to 2011, where he led the firm's Government practice, and assisted the firm’s private equity division in evaluating transactions impacted by government regulation, and offering strategies for value based growth. In addition to his experience consulting with business and government, John has the benefit of heading two large state agencies through a period of major change.
Among his many accomplishments, John assisted Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri in drafting and negotiating the Rhode Island Global Medicaid Waiver.This landmark Medicaid Waiver was granted by Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt in December of 2008 and then subsequently adopted by the Rhode Island General Assembly in January of 2009.The Waiver was the first Medicaid Waiver ever to place a cap on total Medicaid spending and provide a state with unprecedented flexibility from federal regulations.According to a report by The Lewin Group in December of 2011, the Waiver has generated savings of over $100 million in its first two years.Governor Carcieri called John’s work “an unqualified success” and one that his state is “tremendously grateful for.”
John also led a team that reviewed the South Carolina Medicaid system for Governor Nikki Haley and provided the state with recommendations on rebalancing long term care by offering an integrated Medicaid managed care solution.John had earlier assisted Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s Taxpayer Action Board in drafting a report that recommended over $2 billion dollars in health and human service savings over a 5-year period.John was also asked by the State of Illinois Senate Special Committee on Medicaid Reform to provide key testimony in December of 2010 that led to Illinois passing legislation in rebalancing long term care away from high cost nursing home care.
In addition to Medicaid, John completed a project in 2011 for the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families, where he assisted the Secretary in developing the state’s future strategic vision in child welfare.The project known as the Child Protection Transformation project will recognize the State of Florida as having a future world class child welfare agency.John also led efforts in early 2010 to assist the State of South Carolina in re-organizing the state agency responsible for putting people back to work, and identifying over $1.2 billion dollars in savings for the state unemployment insurance system, while offering a plan to cut taxes for small businesses.The Chairman of South Carolina’s Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, W. Greg Ryberg, applauded John’s efforts and stated that “John’s clear-headed and forthright analysis and advice illuminated the path for SC to fix its UI system and relieve the burden on small business.”
Prior to joining The Lucas Group, John served from 2003 to 2007 as Commissioner of New Hampshire’s largest Department, the Department of Health and Human Services, where he was in charge of a $1.8 billion dollar annual budget, and was able to contain Medicaid cost to less than a 1% growth during his four year term. As Commissioner, John led the Department through a period of major innovation, including improving Medicaid operations and engaging families on assistance in work activities.He developed and implemented a nationally recognized Health Care Reform program that focused Medicaid on prevention, wellness and rebalancing long term care. John initiated disease management and care coordination programs that transitioned New Hampshire Medicaid away from treating the sick to keeping people healthy. Through John’s efforts, Medicaid long term care home and community placements increased 23%, replacing more expensive nursing home placements, which dropped 11%. Moreover, during each of the four years John was Commissioner, New Hampshire ranked first nationally in the Kids Count survey. During that same period, the enrollment of low income, uninsured children into the State’s Medicaid and SCHIP program increased by 7500. John also oversaw the state’s welfare program, Special Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program.In this role, John was able to transform welfare in New Hampshire, reducing the rolls by 20 percent and dramatically increasing work participation rates by bringing accountability to the program.
Prior to heading the $1.8 billion annual budget at HHS, John served as Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Safety, where he was appointed as the state’s first Homeland Security Coordinator. John organized New Hampshire to be the first in the US to conduct a statewide Avian Flu pandemic planning exercise, testing all aspects of its emergency management response.
John was a prosecutor for 10 years, taking him from the county level to an Assistant Attorney General. In the process, he prosecuted crimes from misdemeanors up through homicide cases.John is a respected author; he has written or co-authored eight books on various legal matters. He also serves as a guest lecturer at Babson College in Massachusetts where he has taught students entrepreneurial management skills and how to make government more efficient through innovative market based solutions.
John received his BA in 1984 from the Whittermore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire, and his JD in 1987 from the Detroit College of Law.
Jonathan Ingram, Senior Fellow, Health Policy and Pension Reform
Jonathan Ingram is the Director of Research at the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA).
Beforing joining the FGA, Jonathan served as the Director of Health Policy and Pension Reform at the Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan research organization dedicated to promoting personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois. While at the Institute, he developed public policy solutions, with a particular focus on patient-centered health care policies and public sector retirement reform. Jonathan has also previously served as a staff writer and editor-in-chief for the Journal of Legal Medicine, an internationally-ranked peer-reviewed academic journal.
Jonathan’s work has earned coverage from The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Washington Examiner and Fox Business News, among other media outlets.
Jonathan earned his Juris Doctor from Southern Illinois University School of Law, where he specialized in health law and policy, and his Bachelor of Science from MacMurray College. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois.