Joe Lonsdale is an American entrepreneur and technology investor; he founded Palantir, Addepar, OpenGov and other companies, and is a Partner at 8VC, his venture capital firm. Along with friends and colleagues, he is building the Cicero Institute to help policymakers and entrepreneurs work together on society’s challenges.
Tayler Lonsdale is Co-founder & Board Director at Esper, a regulatory technology company powering proactive and productive public administration. Previously, she worked with New Oriental co-founder, Xu Xiaoping, to build Zhen Fund, now a leading early stage investment group in China. From 2014-2015 she led Palantir's largest healthcare customer deployment, where she oversaw software development for population health and provider network management. She is a graduate of Stanford University where she received a B.A. in Human Biology and M.S. in Management Science and Engineering.
Clay Spence is the Director of the Cicero Institute, which he started with Joe Lonsdale in 2019. Clay serves on the boards of Cicero Research and Cicero Action, and has built teams of policy researchers, legislative experts, and government affairs advocates to advance the public interest. He is passionate about rolling back the influence of special interests on government and designing policy frameworks that improve the lives of Americans across the country. Clay graduated with honors from Claremont McKenna college, where he majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
Blake Brickman is an Advisor at the Cicero Institute. Blake previously served in various roles including Chief of Staff to a United States Senator in Washington D.C., Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kentucky, Deputy Attorney General for Policy and Strategic Initiatives in Texas, campaign manager, an attorney in private practice, and as a federal law clerk. Blake is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received a B.A in History and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Whitney Munro is the Head of Operations at the Cicero Institute. She previously served as the chief operational executive for a network of non-profit organizations where she focused on infrastructure and process development, day-to-day operations, compliance, strategy, communications, and other critical issues.
Prior to that, Whitney served as the Vice President of Communications for the Foundation for Government Accountability and the Bill of Rights Institute, where she led comprehensive strategy, marketing, digital, brand, media, and communications efforts. From 2012-2014, she was the Director of Grassroots for Freedom Works, where she championed legislative and electoral reform efforts across the country, often managing more than a dozen campaigns at once.
Her expertise spans political campaigns, crisis and corporate communications, strategic planning, public affairs, public policy, talent development, media relations, operations, and non-profit leadership. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations, a Master of Public Administration, and has frequently appeared on national TV and radio networks including: Fox News, CNN, ABC News, NBC News, and The Blaze.
Judge Glock was formerly a visiting professor at the Department of Economics at West Virginia University. He received his Ph.D. in History with a focus on economic history from Rutgers University. Among other places, Judge's academic writing has been featured in the Business History Review, Review of Banking and Financial Law, and Tax Notes, and his public writing has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Politico. Judge focuses his research on the areas of regulation, financial reform, and housing policy.
Jonathan Wolfson is General Counsel and a Senior Policy Advisor at the Cicero Institute. Before joining Cicero, he led the Policy Office at the U.S. Department of Labor where he managed DOL's deregulatory efforts and oversaw DOL's internal policy development think tank. He previously was a litigator and regulatory attorney at an international law firm representing clients before state and federal courts across the country. Following law school he served as a law clerk to The Honorable Edith Brown Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before law school, Jonathan was a policy analyst at the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Jonathan received an A.B. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an Olin Law and Economic Fellow and won the John M. Olin Prize for best original law and economics research.
Ryan Vassar is a Senior Legal Advisor at the Cicero Institute. Ryan previously served as Deputy Attorney General for Legal Counsel in Texas and as General Counsel. Ryan clerked for Justice Don R. Willett on the Supreme Court of Texas for three years. He received a B.B.A. in Accounting from Texas Tech University and a J.D. from South Texas College of Law Houston.
Jennifer Dirmeyer is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Cicero Institute. She received her PhD in Economics from George Mason University in 2009, with specialties in public economics and political economy. Before joining the Cicero Institute, Jennifer was a tenured Associate Professor of Economics at Ferris State University, where she also served as the chair of the Strategic Planning and Resources Council.
She has been published in academic journals, The Chronicle of Higher Education and other popular outlets. Her paper, “The Jitney Potential: Transportation Regulation and the Welfare of the Poor,” was included in the Templeton Prize-winning report, Enterprise Programs: Freeing Entrepreneurs to Provide Essential Services to the Poor.” Her research interests are education, criminal justice, and urban governance.
Jared Meyer is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Cicero Institute. Before joining Cicero, he worked at the U.S. Department of Labor and the White House Council of Economic Advisors. He has also worked at the Foundation for Government Accountability and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
Jared is the coauthor of Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America's Young and the author of Uber-Positive: Why Americans Love the Sharing Economy and How Progressive Cities Fight Innovation. He has testified before numerous congressional committees and state legislatures on employment policies. A member of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 for Law and Policy, Jared's research has been published in numerous outlets, including The Wall Street Journal. He has also been a guest on networks such as the BBC, Fox News, and NPR.
Jared received a B.S. in Finance and a minor in the Philosophy of Law from St. John's University in New York City. While at St. John's, he worked as a research assistant for the political philosopher Douglas Rasmussen.
Michael Lucci is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Cicero Institute. Michael has served as a presidential appointee on the Federal Services Impasse Panel and as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to the Governor of Illinois. He was previously the Vice President of State Projects at Tax Foundation and the Vice President of Policy at Illinois Policy Institute.
Michael was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and resides with his family in Leander, Texas. He previously worked as an educator and as an options trader. Michael received a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Arts and Sciences from the University of Notre Dame.
Devon Kurtz is a policy advisor at the Cicero Institute. At Dartmouth College, he studied Classics and Religion. While an undergraduate, he worked on the Oxford History of the Archaic Greek World as a Presidential Scholar, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Dartmouth Review, and was named a Rufus Choate Scholar in 2019. Prior to joining Cicero, Devon worked at the Office of Public Relations at the American University of Kuwait. His writing has been featured in the Daily Caller and the Wall Street Journal.
Annie Bowers graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2020 with a B.A. in Philosophy, Music Composition, and French and French Studies. Her undergraduate philosophy thesis argued for a minimal state within the context of the anarchist-libertarian debate in individualist political philosophy. While at Sewanee, Annie was a founding member of the Sewanee chapter of (In Parenthesis) Women's Philosophy Group, the founder of the Sewanee Chamber Music Society, and a member of the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra Strategic Planning Committee.
Madi is the Government Affairs Manager at the Cicero Institute. She previously worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget as a special assistant and Presidential Management Fellow. She also has experience on Capitol Hill and in state government.
Madi graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelors in Policy, Planning, and Development. She is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Nick holds an undergraduate degree from Stanford and a master's from University College London, where he studied intellectual history as a Fulbright fellow. His writing has appeared in a range of publications including American Affairs, Law & Liberty and the London-based New Statesman. He previously worked in publishing and at the DC-based Wilson Center.
Ana Torralba is an Executive Assistant at the Cicero Institute. She has more than 10 years of experience working as a generalist, having taken on roles in different fields such as HR; admin; accounting; marketing; events planning and coordination; as well as customer service. She graduated from Assumption College - Makati City, Philippines with a B.S. in Psychology major in Human Service.
For nearly ten years, The Right Honourable Stephen Harper led Canada through the world’s most complex geopolitical, economic and security challenges as the country’s 22nd Prime Minister. During his tenure in the world’s top forums such as the G-7 and G-20, NATO and the United Nations, Mr. Harper was known for a frank, assertive leadership style defined by principled diplomacy, disciplined economic policy, a strong stance on international peace and security and passionate defense of freedom and human dignity.
Mr. Harper created the modern Conservative Party of Canada, won three successive national elections and was the longest serving Conservative Prime Minister since Canada’s founding Prime Minister in 1891. Under his watch, Canada emerged from the 2008 economic crisis faster and stronger than its peers. Among his many accomplishments in office, Mr. Harper brought federal taxes to their lowest level in 50 years, balanced the budget while making investments in health care and infrastructure, overhauled the criminal justice system and expanded Canada’s international trade network tenfold. On the international stage Prime Minister Harper oversaw Canada’s involvement in a series of complex conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq and stood staunchly by besieged allies Israel and Ukraine. As the host leader of the 2010 G-20 summit in Toronto, and as an economist by training, Mr. Harper helped shape financial reform frameworks, implemented a sustainable approach to fiscal stimulus, and led the call for open markets and pragmatic, growth-oriented economic policy.
Today, Mr. Harper is Chairman and CEO of Harper & Associates, a global business consulting firm and Chairman of the International Democrat Union, the global alliance of conservative political parties. He is also a Founder-Member of the Friends of Israel Initiative, an association of former high-office holders from around the world steadfastly defending Israel’s right to self-determination, security and democracy.
Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies, Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation Distinguished Scholar at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013). In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, an advisory firm. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group. His new book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the U.S. in January.
Jason Wang was previously incarcerated at the age of 15 for a first degree felony and given a 12 year sentence. While in prison, he worked on criminal justice reform that led to changes in policy, rehabilitation programs, and the release of thousands of juveniles from max security prisons to community based programs. Since being released, he has graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with an MBA and MS International Business, started 5 companies, and is currently the Founder and CEO of FreeWorld.
Avik Roy is the President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that conducts original research on expanding opportunity to those who least have it. Roy’s work has been praised widely on both the right and the left. National Review has called him one of the nation’s “sharpest policy minds,” while the New York Times’ Paul Krugman described him as man of “personal and moral courage.” He has advised three presidential candidates on policy, including Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney. As the Senior Advisor to Perry’s campaign in 2015, Roy was also the lead author of Gov. Perry’s major policy speeches. The Wall Street Journal called Perry’s address on intergenerational black poverty “the speech of the campaign so far.” Roy also serves as the Policy Editor at Forbes, where he writes on politics and policy. His writing has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Atlantic, National Review, and National Affairs, among other publications. He is a frequent guest on television news programs, including appearances on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, CBS, PBS, and HBO. From 2011 to 2016, Roy served as a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Previously, he served as an analyst and portfolio manager at Bain Capital, J.P. Morgan, and other firms, where he invested in biotechnology and health care companies. He was born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from high school in San Antonio, Texas. USA Today named him to its All-USA High School Academic First Team, honoring the top 20 high school seniors in the country. Roy was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied molecular biology, and the Yale University School of Medicine.
Brian Blase is the CEO of Blase Policy Strategies, a health care research and consulting firm. From 2017 until 2019, Dr. Blase served as a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House’s National Economic Council. In this capacity, he coordinated the Trump Administration’s health policy agenda, leading the development of the administration’s policies to increase health care choice and competition. Dr. Blase has worked for key congressional committees in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate as well conducting policy research for several think tanks. He often publishes research and commentaries, and is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, among many other outlets. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University.
Originally from Chicago, Tyler is helping build a venture capital firm, GreatPoint Ventures, with Ray Lane (former Oracle President, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chairman and Kleiner Perkins Partner), Andrew Perlman (founder of 8 large companies w/ 4 of which going public), and Ashok Krishnamurthi (leading early executive at Juniper Networks and CEO/Founder of 2 large exits to Oracle and Roche). Prior to GreatPoint Ventures, Tyler worked as international fintech investor at Point72 Ventures for hedge fund titan, Steve Cohen. At age 18, he was one of fourteen freshmen nationwide selected to work at Morgan Stanley’s summer financial analyst program and became a national student ambassador for the firm. From there, he worked for several venture capital firms before graduating from college at Claremont McKenna, where he also participated in Building Leaders On Campus (BLOC), Student Government, Young Entrepreneurship Summit (Yes) and was a Keck scholar. Some of hisventure roles included being an analyst at Joe Lonsdale’s 8VC, founding student partner at Contrary Capital, summer associate at Jeffrey Katzenburg’s WndrCo, intern at Felicis Ventures, and Venture Capital Fellow at Unshackled Ventures. Tyler is passionate about paying it forward through youth mentorship, education and the arts. He has been an activeparticipant in several initiatives involving uplifting underserved communities ranging from inner-city minority focusedscholarship programs, food/toy drives, immigration support, restorative justice-centric peer jury programs, sound healing music initiatives and African American historical archiving.
Maleka Momand is the CEO and Co-Founder of Esper, a technology platform for government regulatory processes. Prior to Esper, she served as President of Argive, a Silicon Valley non-profit dedicated to regulatory transparency and administrative research. She holds a degree in political science from the University of Central Arkansas and calls Austin, Texas home.
Shlomo Klapper is a J.D. Candidate at the Yale Law School in the Class of 2020. Before law school, he worked as a behavioral researcher in Dan Ariely’s lab at Duke University, at Palantir in both the Commercial and Government sectors, and as a speechwriter for Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Shlomo graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School and a B.A. in History from the University of Pennsylvania.
Connor works directly with Joe Lonsdale and portfolio companies to coordinate and advance policy efforts. Prior to 8VC, Connor was a partner on the market development team at Andreessen Horowitz where he worked on proactive deal sourcing for prospective investments and go-to-market strategy for portfolio companies. He previously worked on product and sales at GiveCampus, a Y-Combinator backed company that builds technology for charitable giving. He also worked as a research assistant at Capitol Counsel, where he supported partners on healthcare and tax policy work. Connor received an AB with Honors in Philosophy and a minor in African-American Studies from Georgetown University.
Abe Sutton is a J.D. Candidate at Harvard Law School in the Class of 2022. From 2017 until 2019, Sutton focused on health policy with the federal government, serving at the National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council and Department of Health and Human Services. In these roles, he coordinated health policy across the federal government, with a focus on the shift to paying-for-value within Medicare, increasing choice and competition in health care markets, and updating the federal government’s approach to kidney care. Prior to that, Sutton was a consultant with McKinsey & Company where he worked with clients in the health sector. He holds undergraduate degrees in political science, management, and health care management and policy from the Wharton School and the College at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 for Law and Policy.
Pankaj is the founder and CEO of Finches, a global collective of thought leaders in early stage technology. Pankaj is also an investor in dozens of companies, an advisor to eight venture capital firms and collaborates regularly with the NBA. He is an early backer of Wish, Addepar, BuildZoom, OpenGov and many other companies. His advisory roles include Boom.tv, G.O.A.T. Fuel, Meter Feeder, Pair Eyewear, QuanticMind, Quilt, ONEHOPE and zBiotics. Pankaj is passionate about incubating ideas, building communities and helping scale consumer brands in the sports, media and entertainment sectors. He recently founded Sparrows, Pacecar and a soon-to-be announced gin company. His current philanthropic focus is with the Angiogenesis Foundation and Hilaroo. Pankaj is also an advocate for Every Mother Counts, Virgin Unite and Witness. Previously, he proudly served on the Board of Directors for BRAC USA and Girls, Inc and supported Music Rising. Pankaj has been a guest speaker at a number of top schools, including Columbia University, Harvard University, New York University, Stanford University, Tufts University and the University of California Haas Graduate School of Business. He received his B.S. in Economics and Finance.
Garrett Johnson is a co-founder and executive director of the Lincoln Network. He also co-founded SendHub.com, a venture-backed-Y Combinator startup launched in 2011. He served as professional staff to the Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where his oversight portfolio included Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Haiti. Originally from Florida, Garrett earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. He also read for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, England as a Rhodes Scholar. Garrett currently lives in San Jose, CA.
Nicole Nabulsi Nosek spent 13 years working in senior roles, from campaign manager to speech writer, on American campaigns at the federal, state and local level, for Democratic Congress members and Democratic state legislators. Nicole recently managed and won one of the top competitive American campaigns for Congress, unseating a 3 term incumbent congressman. Prior to that, Nicole worked as a Communications Director at the California State Capital where they legalized bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Nicole also led the media outreach for President Obama's Affordable Care Act with Ogilvy. She wrote for the Berkeley Political Review, co-led the speech and debate team and graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Political Science and B.A. in Rhetoric. Nicole currently serves on the J-Street Texas Strategic Leadership Group. She is currently studying at The Family Institute at Northwestern to become a psychoanalyst.
David J. Teece is the Thomas W. Tusher Professor in Global Business and director of the Tusher Initiative for the Management of Intellectual Capital at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He has authored over 30 books and 200 scholarly papers, and has been cited almost 170,000 times, per Google Scholar. Dr. Teece has been ranked as the world’s most-cited scholar in the combined field of business and management in an analysis of science-wide author citations published in PLOS Biology, a peer-reviewed journal. He is co-editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management. Dr. Teece has received nine honorary doctorates and has been recognized by Royal Honors.
Dr. Teece pioneered the dynamic capabilities perspective in strategic management, defined as “the ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competencies to address rapidly changing environments.” According to Science Watch (November/December 2005), his paper (with Gary Pisano and Amy Shuen) “Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management” was the most cited paper in economics and business globally.
Dr. Teece co-founded and is executive chairman of the Berkeley Research Group, an expert services and consulting firm of economists and other professionals with expertise in domains ranging from higher education to corporate finance. Founded in 2010, BRG had more than 40 offices and 1,200 employees as of December 2020. Dr. Teece also founded, and then acted as chairman and then vice-chairman of the Law and Economics Consulting Group (LECG), a business that provided expert advice and testimony to companies and countries in need of independent economic analysis and review.
Dr. Teece has a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and has held teaching and research positions at Stanford University and Oxford University. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; St. Petersburg State University, Russia (where he was instrumental in founding the Graduate School of Management); Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Lappeentranta University of Technology, Finland; University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business, Canada; Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania; EBS University of Business and Law, Germany; Edinburgh Business School, United Kingdom; and Keio University, Japan.
Other honors Dr. Teece has received include: