November 14, 2023

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows!

By: AF Editors

In our new LEAD Fellowship, new and emerging leaders learn practical skills and adopt new mindsets in order to craft a freedom-focused leadership philosophy. This collaborative course gave our graduates the skills and network they need to rise in their career. Read below to learn more about our first graduating LEAD class!

Interested in joining our next Class of LEAD Fellows? Sign up here to be notified when the applications open!

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows!

Maggie Burch is a project lead for Designed For Joy, a non-profit in Raleigh, NC which provides dignified living-wage work for women from vulnerable situations. Maggie is passionate about utilizing business to address social issues and develop community. She graduated with honors from Meredith College in 2022 with a B.S. in Social Development:
Innovation and Impact. While at Meredith College, Maggie was involved with several local non-profits. Her senior thesis “The Sustainability Lens and the Search for Better Business” was a comparative case study of social enterprises.

She is a recent graduate of Voiz Academy’s Sustainability Analyst Bootcamp. Her studies also include Semester At Sea (Colorado State University), Richmond, the International American University in London, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Meet our 2023 GO! Fellows! 1

Caitlin Dexter is the External Relations Officer at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). With a background in grassroots activism and a keen interest in education policy and educational freedom, Caitlin is committed to educating and empowering the next generation. Her journey is not just about her own growth, but about inspiring and equipping others to join the cause. As a dedicated member of the liberty movement for nine years, she’s honed the skills of cultivating partnerships, elevating brand representation, and fostering meaningful connections to build strong communities. She’s worked on policy issues such as expanding educational freedom in the states of Florida and Georgia, securing open free speech on public college campuses, rideshare regulations, and others. Her enthusiasm and her creative approach to spreading the love of liberty make her a standout advocate in the movement.


Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 1

Ted Ellis is Director of Coalitions and Member Services for the Republican Study Committee under Chairman Kevin Hern of Oklahoma. In his role, he works to unify federal legislators, Congressional staff, and conservative advocates around a shared vision for limited government, strong national defense, a vigorous American economy, and the preservation of traditional values. Previously, he was director of coalitions for Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots advocacy organization with millions of activists across all 50 states.

Ted was named a fellow with the Fund for American Studies in 2022 and a Madison fellow with Hillsdale College in 2023. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Roanoke College and studied at St. Anne’s College, University of Oxford. Ted is a proud native son of Texas and hails from Franklin, Tennessee.

Ashlyn Entriken

Ashlyn Entriken is a Development Associate for the Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Additionally, she is a producer of the Institute’s radio program, Freedom & Prosperity Radio, and events coordinator for the Tuesday Morning Group and other special events. A graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Ashlyn received a B.A. in Biblical Studies. She became a member of the Tau Sigma honors society within her first year of higher education. In addition, she is a member of both Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Ashlyn joined the Institute in 2018 while living in Abingdon, located in southwest Virginia, and has recently moved
to Rockbridge County, Virginia.

Rachel HardenRachel Harden is a seasoned communications professional with extensive experience in public relations, strategic
messaging, and copywriting. She holds a deep understanding of brand tone and audience targeting, and has delivered outstanding results across diverse media channels. With a background in journalism, Rachel thrives when distilling complex information into digestible content. Her experience in various communications positions at state agencies, including the Kansas House of Representatives, Kansas Department of Revenue, and the Office of the Governor, highlights her adaptability and proficiency in managing high-profile communications.

Additionally, Rachel brings a strong foundation in legislative affairs and a track record of successful grant writing for Project 2 Restore, a restoration house for survivors of human trafficking. Recently she was appointed to serve on the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. She is married to BJ and they have a teenage son and an energetic German Shepherd.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 4

John Houlihan is a reservist in the Navy and a State Certification Specialist with the Appraisal Institute. His mission is to leverage his skills and experience to support and empower his team, organization, and community. John has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Human Resources from DePaul University. He is also currently studying for a Master of Science in Supply Chain Management at DePaul University.

John is a firm believer that every individual has the opportunity and capability to gain and add value to every situation we encounter in both professional and personal settings. With over 10 years of experience in various roles in the military, logistics, and education sectors, he is a versatile and adaptable professional with a passion for helping others achieve their goals.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 5

Ben Leach currently oversees all donor communications and outreach for Speech First and is committed to growing a diverse group of donors at all levels to help accomplish the goals of my organization. Ben enjoys gaining new skills and learning from those who have more experience than him. He has a passion for protecting individual rights and freedoms. Ben graduated from Union University, where he studied Political Science and International Relations. Ben is currently located in Columbia, Tennessee.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 6Franklin Lee is Senior Associate for the Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties team at R Street Institute and the DC Hub Coordinator for America’s Future. Previously, Franklin worked as a paralegal for Lutheran Social Services of New York (LSSNY). Franklin has published two books: From Harvard to Homeless: Journeys of a Millennial Nomad, and the Amazon bestseller The Art of Napping: The Sleeping Samurai and the Dormant Dragon.

Franklin graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in East Asian studies and anthropology in 2015. He received his master’s in Asian studies from the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service in 2017.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 7

Luisanny Marinez is a first-generation undergraduate mechanical engineer, complemented by a minor in computer science. She boasts years of experience in engineering research and teaching math and physics. Her passion for STEM, education, and people serves as the driving force behind her desire to inspire and mentor younger generations toward rewarding careers. Her ultimate goal is to establish an early-age vocational school firmly rooted in the principles of liberty.

Committed to this vision, Luisanny participated in AF’s LEAD Fellowship program to hone essential skills and knowledge for launching her educational initiative. Her mission is clear: to provide a high-quality education system that empowers individuals to achieve personal freedom by mastering the skills necessary for their chosen paths. Luisanny’s strong dedication to education and her mission to nurture future leaders exemplify her determination to create a positive impact, both within herself and the world at large.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 8

Aaron Miller is a County Commissioner, veteran, and doctoral candidate living in Tennessee with his wife and child. Finding a love of learning after a twelve-year career in the Air Force, he holds a B.A. in Political Science, an M.A. in International Affairs, an M.S. in Management, and is pursuing a doctorate in Public Administration. With a storied history in political involvement, he is always on the lookout for new organizations to help within the Liberty movement. When he isn’t studying or debating policy, you can find him spending time with his family, organizing grassroots efforts across the State, or acting as a consultant for local candidates and organizers across the country.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 9Ann Marie Miller-Silva is the Communications & Content Associate for EdChoice. In that role, Ann Marie leads project management, content creation and supports all Communications projects. She comes to EdChoice with a background in storytelling, writing and social media marketing. Prior to this role, Ann Marie worked as a community manager for Iron Light marketing agency where she created social media content and interviewed national criminal justice reform advocates. She also served as a storyteller for the Illinois Policy Institute illustrating the intersection of public policy and people’s lives, business and choices.

Ann Marie graduated from George Mason University with a master’s degree in economics and earned a interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in Economics, Spanish, and Japanese from Western Carolina University. In her spare time, she runs her startup Exito, dedicated to credit education and access to capital, making free enterprise a reality for her clients, one entrepreneur at a time.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 10Lily Moll currently serves as American Conservation Coalition’s Southern Regional Director, where she manages grassroots operations in the Southeastern United States. Prior to joining ACC, Lily worked at a lobbying firm in Nashville, Tennessee that specializes in healthcare policy, broadband accessibility, and property rights. She has also worked on a variety of campaigns throughout the State of Tennessee.

Lily graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University, where she studied history and public policy. Outside of work, Lily enjoys graphic design, traveling to visit new places, and spending time outside with her dog, Max, and her fiancé, Jordan.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 11

Lydia Ocampo is an Outreach Manager at Talent Market where she manages searches primarily for entry and mid level roles in the liberty movement. She also engages in outreach to expand Talent Market’s network, including giving presentations on career development and the opportunities available in the movement.

Lydia started her career with Young Americans for Liberty. During her time with YAL, she wore many hats including Southeast Regional Director, Intern Coordinator, and Director of Operations. This is where she found her passion for recruiting and discovering like-minded individuals to grow our movement. Lydia is also a graduate of the Koch Associate Program and the Generation Liberty Fellowship.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 12Katherine Revello is a writer, journalist, and communications professional, and a dedicated advocate for government transparency and accountability. With over a decade of experience covering government, Katherine is particularly passionate about issues relating to freedom of speech, freedom of access, and other First Amendment issues. Her recent work has focused on the Freedom of Information Act and the improving access to public information.

Katherine has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Maine and her work has appeared in Reason, The Huffington Post, The Washington Examiner, and other publications. She currently works as an investigative reporter for Connecticut Inside Investigator.

Meet Our 2023 LEAD Fellows! 13Morgan Stanchak currently serves as the Senior Campaigns Manager for the Conservative Energy Network (CEN). In her role, Morgan works closely with the national leadership team as well as CEN’s 24+ state members executing major policy education projects, initiatives, and campaigns. Prior to joining CEN, Morgan served as Communications Associate for First Tuesday Strategies (FTS) in Columbia, SC. Additionally, Morgan served as a Staff Assistant for Senator Lindsey Graham’s 2020 re-election campaign.

Morgan graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Political Science. Morgan currently resides in Washington, DC. Morgan classifies herself as a huge Swiftie, and in her free time you can catch Morgan cheering on the New York Yankees and the South Carolina Gamecocks.