STAFF

Roger Custer

Roger Custer
 

Executive Director - Email

Roger Custer is the executive director of America's Future Foundation.  Under his leadership since 2011, AFF's impact, programs, and budget have grown steadily.  He is a 2012 graduate of the Koch Associate Program and a 2014 recipient of the William F. Buckley, Jr. Award from the Young Conservatives Coalition.  His background includes a BA at Ithaca College, an MPA in nonprofit management at George Mason University, and experience as Conference Director at Young America's Foundation.  At Ithaca, his campus activism was profiled in Time Magazine.  He lives in Virginia with his wife and son.   Other activities include the FEE Faculty Network, Young Voices Advisory Board, and recent service as a deacon at McLean Presbyterian Church.

Heather Pfitzenmaier

Vice PresidentEmail

Heather Pfitzenmaier oversees AFF's programs nationwide. She has been co-director of AFF’s Southeast Michigan chapter since 2014.  Pfitzenmaier previously served as Director of the Young Leaders Program, and earlier as Intern Coordinator, at the Heritage Foundation from 2007-2015.  There she oversaw Heritage’s efforts to reach young people including the internship program, campus outreach, and events for young professionals. She is the recipient of the Young Conservatives Coalition Buckley Award, Forbes magazine “30 Under 30” in law and policy, and “30 Under 30″ by Red Alert Politics.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from the University of Michigan and is based in southeast Michigan.

Jaci Woltornist

 
 

Director of Programs – Email

Jaci (pronounced "Jackie") Woltornist is the Director of Programs at America's Future Foundation. She graduated cum laude from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a major in Humanities focusing on education philosophy and Western civilization. Formerly the Director of Religious Education at Holy Spirit Church in Annandale, Virginia, she revitalized the program making it one of the largest in the region. As a proud Oregonian (in all ways except politics), she enjoys hiking, a good IPA, and rainy days. Jaci and her husband reside in Falls Church, Virginia. 

Jon Staab

Development OfficerEmail

Jon Staab serves as Development Officer at America’s Future Foundation. Jon earned a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Richmond and a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, where he was a U.S. Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow. He speaks Arabic sometimes, enjoys volunteering, and is a lover of all things historical. Jon is based in the Washington, D.C. area.

Kristine Goffos

Marketing Associate - Email

Kristine Goffos is the marketing associate at America’s Future Foundation. Kristine earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Previously, she has served as deputy press secretary for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and as the digital strategy associate for The Heritage Foundation, where she oversaw the introduction and expansion of Heritage’s Facebook Live video efforts and helped develop a new analytics system for tracking audience engagement across platforms. A native Iowan, Kristine is an avid Cyclones fan and enjoys a good cup of coffee (or two, or three). She and her husband reside in Washington, D.C., with their cats, Starbuck and Apollo.

Jason Russell

Writing Fellows Program Manager - Email

Jason Russell is the contributors editor at the Washington Examiner. Prior to that, he was a commentary writer at the Examiner for two years. He also worked as a research associate at the Manhattan Institute. Jason graduated from the University of Rochester, double-majoring in economics and political science. He is originally from the Detroit area.

David Bell

Capitol Hill Program CoordinatorEmail

David Bell is the Capitol Hill Program Coordinator for America's Future Foundation where he manages the Capitol Hill Advisory Board to equip staff members to advance liberty in Congress.  David also works at the Portland Cement Association (PCA) as the Government Affairs Manager.  In this position, David is responsible for spearheading the association’s advocacy efforts at the state level and responsible for monitoring, analyzing, and advocating on a variety issues falling under each of PCA’s reporting committees (Environment and Energy, Transportation and Infrastructure, Occupational Health and Safety).

 

David is originally from New Jersey and earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice/Political Science from Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Christian Rice

Capitol Hill Program Manager - Email

Christian Rice is the Capitol Hill Program Manager for America's Future Foundation where he manages the Capitol Hill Advisory Board to equip staff members to advance liberty in Congress. Christian also serves as the Coordinator of Government Relations at the National Agricultural Aviation Association, where he works on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), agricultural, and environmental issues. Prior to working in government relations, Christian was policy staff for the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology where he focused on UAS, aviation research and development, and space policy. Christian graduated from Georgetown Univeristy with degrees in Government and Philosophy, which allowed him to intern and work for multiple conservative organizations. His work has been published in major national publications.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Carl Helstrom

Chairman

Carl Helstrom is Vice President of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Previously, he was Executive Director of the JM and Milbank Foundations. He has more than 30 years experience in charity and private foundation management, specializing in new and small organizations.  Carl is also Chairman of State Policy Network (Arlington, VA) and serves on the Boards of the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives (Harrisburg, PA), the Goldwater Institute (Phoenix, AZ), the A. P. Kirby, Jr. Foundation (Mendham, NJ), and The Roe Foundation (Greenville, SC).  He is a graduate of Grove City College (Grove City, PA), and he and his beautiful wife, Jane, are the proud parents of three sons.

Kathleen O'Hearn

Kathleen O’Hearn
 
Vice Chair
 

Kathleen O’Hearn is the director of policy advancement for State Policy Network. In this capacity she works alongside state-based think tank staff to identify key policy reforms, help craft innovative ideas to advance human flourishing, and connect coalition partners across the country.  She previously served as a program associate for SPN from 2006—2007. Prior to joining SPN for the second time, she 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. She earned her BS in Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University and her Masters in Public Health at George Mason University. She currently lives in Falls Church, Va., with husband Jerry Brito.

Kristine Telford

Esposo
 
Treasurer
 

Kristine Esposo Telford serves as director of external affairs for Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade association for all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Kristine works with EEI's members to address public policy issues affecting the industry through the development and implementation of public affairs campaigns nationwide. Kristine joins EEI with a decade of public affairs, issue advocacy, and outreach experience. In previous roles, she managed public affairs and issue advocacy campaigns for Fortune 500 clients, specializing in third party outreach and mobilization. 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 resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Erik Telford, and their two dogs, Scout and Stella.

Richard Lorenc

 

 

 

 

 

Richard N. Lorenc is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). As COO, Lorenc supports FEE's business unit leaders, supervises program measurement, directs artwork and corporate communications, and participates in fundraising and strategic planning. He serves on the board of directors of the Coalition to Reduce Spending and Oberg Research. A dual American-Polish citizen, Lorenc serves on the advisory board of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolności i Przedsiębiorczości), which promotes and educates on the free market in Polish society. Lorenc is a graduate of Charles Koch Institute and Atlas Network leadership programs. His background includes service at the Illinois Policy Institute, America's Future Foundation, and Truth in Accounting. Lorenc has traveled to over 30 countries and has been published in major national outlets. He is a graduate of Emory University and lives in beautiful Lake Claire, Atlanta, where he plays the double bass in the Emory University Symphony Orchestra.

John Tillman

John Tillman is one of the nation's most prominent leaders of a state-based think tank. As CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, he has transformed what many wrote off as a blue state into a place ripe for free market reform. John also serves as the President of Think Freely Media and is the founder of the Great Communicators Foundation. In 2011, John won the prestigious Roe Award for his leadership, innovation and accomplishments in the world of public policy.  John is regularly featured in the media, and has appeared on FOX News Channel, FOX Business, the BBC and NPR, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and other news outlets. John is former president of Americans for Limited Government and was co-founder of the Sam Adams Alliance.   Before joining the world of public policy, John was a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He resides in Chicago's north suburbs with his wife, Julie, and daughter, Lauren.

David Riggs

 

David Riggs joined The Philanthropy Roundtable in 2014 as vice president of philanthropic strategy. Mr. Riggs previously served as executive vice president at the John William Pope Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also worked as an environmental program officer at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation in Washington, D.C., and has held senior fellow positions at the Capital Research Center, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Center of the American Experiment. Mr. Riggs earned a B.A. at UNC Wilmington and a Ph.D. in applied economics at Clemson University. He has taught economics at George Mason University.

Chaz Cirame

Chaz is one of the nation’s foremost experts regarding how NGO’s and influencers affect public policy.  The company he founded and runs - Cc: External Affairs, Inc. – helps corporations, trade associations, public affairs firms and non-profits develop long-term partnerships to reach and exceed their goals - be they shaping public opinion, achieving legislative outcomes, or building lasting strategic alliances. A veteran of dozens of political and issue campaigns, Chaz has also served in senior Fundraising and political roles for a variety of campaign and non-profit organizations including serving as Political Director of the Maine Republican Party.  Immediately before starting Cc: External Affairs, Inc., Chaz served on the senior leadership team of the American Legislative Exchange Council where he ran Public Affairs, Fundraising/Membership and Conferences.  While at ALEC, Chaz and his team shattered organizational records for fundraising, legislative outreach, private sector member recruitment and conference attendance. Chaz is an alumnus of the University of Maine Augusta, where he worked his way through college as an aide to the Maine State Senate Leadership. Chaz is a past President of the Washington Area State Relations Group, an association of D.C.-based state government affairs professionals.

Daniel Rothschild

Daniel M. Rothschild is Executive Director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Prior to serving in this role at Mercatus, Mr. Rothschild was director of state projects and a senior fellow with the R Street Institute. He joined R Street in October 2013 after two years as the first-ever director of external affairs and coalitions at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, he spent six years in a variety of policy, communications, and project management positions at the Mercatus Center. His popular writing and articles and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Reason, Weekly Standard, Roll Call, The Hill,& Chicago Policy Review, Economic Affairs, and many other publications. Dan has testified before the U.S. Congress and several state legislatures on tax and fiscal policy, government reform, and disaster recovery policy. Rothschild has a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College, a master’s degree from the University of Manchester, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. 

Jeff Berkowitz

Recognized by Politico as “an opposition research and policy ace,” Jeff Berkowitz is Founder and CEO of Delve, a competitive intelligence firm. He's served as Research Director at the Republican National Committee to help shape public opinion on issues including: the 2002 midterm elections, President Bush’s successful re-election bid, Obamacare, the 2009 economic stimulus package, financial regulatory reform, and two Supreme Court nominations. Berkowitz has led research and messaging operations at The White House, the U.S. Department of State, Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign, and at prominent organizations in both the private and non-profit sector. Berkowitz serves on the board of the Hamilton Foundation, is a member of the Young Leadership Board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, and a national coalition leader for Maverick PAC.

Roger Ream

Roger Ream has devoted the past 24 years to The Fund for American Studies as executive vice president and president since 1998. In 2013, Roger also became president of the sister organization of TFAS, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).  His focus has always been on spreading the ideas individual freedom and human flourishing. In addition to his work with TFAS and FTE, Roger is chairman of the board of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), and serves on the boards of Donor’s Capital Fund, the U.S. Air Force Academy Foundation, Ethics and Economics Education, and the International Freedom Educational Foundation. He is a founding member of the Frank S. Meyer Society, past president of the Philadelphia Society, and serves on the advisory boards of the Philanthropic Enterprise and Talent Market.  Ream received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife have three children.

 

ADVISORY BOARD

Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute

Michael Gleba, The Sarah Scaife Foundation

Robert Levy, Cato Institute

Edwin Meese, Heritage Foundation

Edwin Feulner, Heritage Foundation

Christopher Malagisi, Conservative Book Club

Gene Meyer, Federalist Society

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

Chad Thevenot, Institute for Humane Studies