STAFF

Roger Custer
Roger Custer

Executive Director - Email

Roger Custer is the Executive Director of America's Future Foundation, a position he has held since 2011. Previously, he was Conference Director at Young America’s Foundation, where he oversaw the nation’s leading conservative student conferences.  He was also selected for the Koch Associate Program in 2011-2012. He earned a BA at Ithaca College and an MPA in nonprofit management at George Mason University. At Ithaca, his conservative activism was recognized by the Phillips Foundation Ronald Reagan Award, and he was profiled in TIME Magazine in 2004.  In his free time, he serves on the Advisory Board of the Castleton Festival, trains for triathlons, and is a deacon at McLean Presbyterian Church.

Brit Vorreiter
Brit Vorreiter

Director of Programs - Email

Brit Vorreiter is the Director of Programs at America’s Future Foundation. She is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and gradated Summa Cum Laude from Mercer University in Macon, GA with a BBA in Economics and Management. Brit has been working in the free-market arena since the summer of 2012, first as a Koch Summer Fellow at George Washington’s Regulatory Studies Center, an intern with the State Policy Network, and recently as an Event Associate with Mercatus and the Institute for Humane Studies. Brit enjoys running, DC brunches, and meeting new people.

Kathryn Shelton
Kathryn Shelton

Director of Chapter AdvancementEmail

Kathryn Shelton is a Research Associate at the William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom, a free-market think tank at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. Shelton spends most of her time assisting economists with research, data collection and class preparation. She also coordinates the Center’s events, including the annual conference. Shelton is Chair of the Dallas Chapter of America’s Future Foundation and writes for local and national media outlets.

Heather Curry
Heather Curry

Senior AdvisorEmail

Heather Curry is the manager of external affairs for the Cato Institute, where she coordinates outreach to coalition groups at the state and national level. Prior to joining Cato in this role, Heather was a research intern in the institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies and an external affairs manager at the Institute for Humane Studies. Before moving to D.C., Heather specialized in corporate sales for a Fortune 300 corporation. Heather is a San Diego native and graduate of the University of San Diego, where she majored in Political Science.

Jason Riddle
Jason Riddle

National Chapter CoordinatorEmail

Jason Riddle joined the America’s Future Foundation team in 2012 as the chairman and co-founder of AFF’s Atlanta chapter. Jason is passionate about communicating the principles of sound economics and individual liberty. For two years he was producer and co-host of business and economics talk radio program in Atlanta where he had the opportunity to interview a multitude of U.S. Senators, political commentators, best-selling authors, policy analysts, economists, and business leaders. His writings have been published in The Freeman, Peachtree Papers, and on his blog. Jason has over seven years of management consulting experience where he has worked with a variety of public and private companies to enhance their business performance through risk management, process improvement, and internal control. Jason graduated from the Honors Program at the University of Georgia with a BBA in International Business including a dual concentration in Finance and Real Estate.

Sarah Kerner
Sarah Kerner

Director of New MediaEmail

Sarah works full time with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She is a recent graduate of Wheaton College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s in psychology. She was involved with the school’s rowing team, did work for the Alumni Association, was Publicity Coordinator for the IJM chapter, and participated in volunteer work oversees. While at Wheaton, Sarah was able to intern in the District Office of Congressman Peter Roskam and spent a semester in D.C., participating in the American Studies Program and interning at Bread for the World. During her summers, she spent time in Thailand working with an anti-trafficking organization and also did psychology research for the University of Rochester. She also interned for Edelman.

Joel Gehrke
Joel Gehrke

Doublethink EditorEmail

Joel Gehrke is Editor of Doublethink Magazine. He is also a Commentary Staff Writer at The Washington Examiner, where he covers campaigns, congressional oversight of the executive branch, and the White House. Among other things, he has covered the Energy Department — with particular reference the to the green energy loan program — the State Department, and the Justice Department’s involvement in Operation Fast and Furious and the ensuing investigation. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College.

Katherine Ruddy
Katherine Ruddy

Photographer

Katherine Ruddy is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance photographer, staff photographer for America’s Future Foundation and contributing photographer of Doublethink. She was previously the advertising manager of The American Spectator magazine. She holds a B.S. degree in Studio Art from Florida State University. To see her photos, click here.

Morgan
Morgan O’Leary

Intern - Email

Morgan O’Leary is the Programs Intern at America’s Future Foundation. She is a currently pursuing a bachelor’s in Spanish with minors in German and Government from Lawrence University. Morgan became interested in opportunities in Washington D.C. after interning for Congressman Reid Ribble and is currently participating in the Koch Internship Program. In her free time Morgan enjoys reading and attending various fine arts performances.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Katherine Ruddy
Jeff Berkowitz

Chairman

Jeff Berkowitz is the principal of Berkowitz Public Affairs, which provides strategic and crisis communications, policy analysis and investigative research. Previously, Berkowitz served as Research Director for the Republican National Committee. Berkowitz has worked on campaigns throughout the country, including Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign, where he served as Deputy Communications Director and Research Director, and President Bush’s re-election campaign. In government, Berkowitz was the Associate Director for Research in The White House Office of Scheduling and he also served at the State Department as an advisor on international information programs and public-private partnerships.  In addition to serving America’s Future Foundation, Berkowitz is on the board of the Hamilton Foundation and a member of the Young Leadership Board of the Republican Jewish Coalition. A resident of Washington, DC, Berkowitz is a graduate of American University’s School of International Service and a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.

 
David White

Vice Chair

David White is the COO of Keybridge Communications, a public affairs firm. In addition to his work at Keybridge, David is the founder and editor of Terroirist.com, a critically acclaimed wine blog, and writes a twice monthly column for Grape Collective which appears in nearly 100 newspapers. David began his career in the George W. Bush administration, where he worked as chief speechwriter at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has also worked at the American Enterprise Institute. In addition to serving on AFF’s board, David serves as president of the American Wine Consumer Coalition and vice chairman of Heart’s Delight, a wine auction benefitting the American Heart Association. David is a graduate of Yale University, where he rowed on the crew team and co-edited The Politic, Yale’s nonpartisan political magazine.

David White
Joanna Robinson

Treasurer

Joanna started her first business in April 2009. Lunar Massage is a network of neighborhood massage studios with affordable, accessible massage for busy professionals and area residents in DC. It now has three locations and fifteen employees. In addition to being CEO of Lunar Massage she does operations consulting for other business owners and is working on launching a local floral design service called Tin Can Flowers. She switched to being an entrepreneur after four  years of fundraising for school choice and other libertarian causes. She was AFF’s Membership Director from 2005-2007 before joining the Board. Prior to coming to Washington D.C., Joanna managed a congressional campaign in District 26 in Texas (Dallas), worked in the importing business for the craft industry, and also at a financial planning firm. She comes from an Army family and her degree is in English Literature. She and her partner Rob Montz are car-less urbanophiles who love the sharing economy and taking long walks with their Corgi, Bronson.

Cheryl Miller
Cheryl Miller

Secretary

Cheryl Miller works for the Hertog Foundation and directs WhatSoProudlyWeHail.org. Previously, she managed the AEI Program on American Citizenship and worked as head news clerk and editorial researcher at the New York Times. She has also served as deputy director of research in the White House Office of Presidential Speechwriting. Her work has appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, and the Claremont Review of Books. She is the author of the AEI report, Underserved: A Case Study of ROTC in New York City, and co-author (with Robin Lake) of Strengthening the Civic Mission of Charter Schools.

Peter Suderman
Peter Suderman

Peter Suderman is a senior editor at Reason magazine and Reason.com, where he writes regularly on health care, the federal budget, tech policy, and pop culture. He is also a film critic for The Washington Times and a 2010 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. Before joining Reason, Suderman worked as a writer and editor at National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, FreedomWorks, Doublethink, and Culture11. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Newsweek.com, theAtlantic.com, the Washington Examiner, The New Atlantis, The American Conservative, the Orange County Register, and numerous other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Gary D. Leff

Gary is Chief Financial Officer for the Mercatus Center and Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University where he is responsible for their combined $30 million budget.  Previously he was Director of Development for both IHS and Mercatus, and prior to that, Program Director for IHS Liberty & Society summer seminars. Before joining the Institute for Humane Studies he was a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow at the Tax Foundation.  A renowned expert on airline, hotel, and credit card loyalty programs, Gary is co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, chair of nominations the Freddie Awards, and author of the ViewFromTheWing.com blog which reaches over 500,000 people each month.  Gary has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, CNN Business Traveler, Good Morning America, The Colbert Report, and numerous other television and radio shows.  He is regularly quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He holds a BA (summa cum laude) in economics from California State University, Fresno.

 
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Kristine Esposo

Kristine Esposo joined Direct Impact (DI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller and a member of the WPP family, in June 2013. She manages a nationwide grassroots communications program for one of the firm’s largest clients and draws from her experience in public affairs campaigns, coalition management, issue advocacy, and stakeholder outreach. Prior to joining DI, Kristine worked in Strategic Alliances at DCI Group, where she served clients in the technology, education, retail pharmacy, and agriculture industries. In her role at DCI, Kristine built and maintained relationships with think tanks, advocacy groups, and issue experts from across the political spectrum. Previously, Kristine worked in corporate relations, external affairs, and event planning for public policy research and advocacy organizations. Originally from Frederick, Maryland, Kristine graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science and completed graduate coursework in International Commerce and Policy at George Mason University. She currently serves on the board of directors of The George Washington University Alumni Association and resides in Arlington, Virginia with her fiance Erik Telford.

Kathleen O’Hearn
Kathleen O’Hearn

Kathleen O’Hearn is the director of coalitions for State Policy Network. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing and developing relationships with D.C.-based organizations in order to promote state-focused strategies. She previously served as a Program Associate for SPN from 2006-2007. Prior to joining SPN for the second time, Ms. O’Hearn served as the Associate Director for State Outreach and External Relations at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She also spent time as a staff assistant on Capitol Hill and working as a research intern for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Ms. O’Hearn earned her BS in Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University, as well as a minor in Business Administration. She is also a graduate of George Mason University. She currently lives in Arlington, VA, with her husband Jerry Brito.

Whitney Garrison Athayde

Whitney Garrison Athayde is the Director of Development at The Independent Women’s Forum as well as an owner of Meticulous Events. Previously, she has been a part of the fundraising teams at The The American Spectator Foundation, The Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the Center for Excellence in Education. She got to know D.C. well early in her career as a Program Instructor for the Close Up Foundation. She is also a founding member of the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) and currently serves on their Advisory Board. Whitney earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Virginia and her Masters in Public Policy from George Mason University where she studied as a Seymour Martin Lipset Scholar. She and her husband John Athayde are active members of Trinity Presbyterian Church and enjoy spending time with their son, John Quincy.

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Kathryn Kelly

Kathryn A. Kelly is a tax attorney in the New York office of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. Her areas of practice include U.S. corporate and international taxation, with an emphasis on tax structuring for cross-border investments and transactions.  Before joining Gibson Dunn, Ms. Kelly served as a law clerk to Chief Judge William B. Traxler, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.   Ms. Kelly earned her Juris Doctor in 2010 from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and executive editor of the Columbia Journal of Tax Law.  Prior to law school, she served as director of state outreach for the Mercatus Center.  In 2002, Ms. Kelly received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Southwestern University, where she was a Presidential Scholar and Fleming Fellow. She graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors in Economics. In addition to serving on AFF’s board, Ms. Kelly serves on the advisory board of the Columbia Journal of Tax Law.

 
 

ADVISORY BOARD

Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute

Michael Gleba, The Sarah Scaife Foundation

Carl Helstrom, The JM Foundation

Roger Ream, Fund for American Studies

Leonard Liggio, Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Edwin Meese, Heritage Foundation

Edwin Feulner, Heritage Foundation

Gene Meyer, Federalist Society

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

Ron Robinson, Young America’s Foundation

Chad Thevenot, Institute for Humane Studies