Press Release

ALEC to Play Critical Role in New Presidential Administration

ALEC heralds expansion as opportunity to serve the new free-market majority


Contact: Ashley Pratte

Arlington, VA (December 14, 2016) – After two years of dramatic growth under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa B. Nelson, today ALEC announces new programs, promotions, talent acquisitions to better serve a flourishing, free-market majority in the states and Washington, DC.

“In view of the incoming presidential administration’s focus on rolling power back to the states and the sheer number of ALEC alumni in the new administration, ALEC is the organization best positioned to bring policy experts and business leaders together for open and substantive discussions,” remarked ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson. She continued, “ALEC promotions, new programs and staff support our role as the premier free-market organization for elected officials.”

With today’s announcement, several members of the ALEC leadership team will assume new roles including: Bill Meierling as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs; Bartlett Cleland as General Counsel and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer; Jonathan Williams as Chief Economist; and, Lisa Bowen as Chief Financial Officer.

In addition to leadership changes, Shelby Emmett will join ALEC from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to lead the new Center to Protect Free Speech; Joel Griffith formerly of the Heritage Foundation and National Association of Counties (NACo) will serve as Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force director; Ashley Varner will join the Jeffersonian Project, the ALEC 501(c)(4) affiliate, as an advocate for state-based, free-market solutions; and, Ashley Pratte will lead operations for ALEC Public Affairs.

Meierling noted, “It’s a great time to be at ALEC. There is a clear need for sound, free-market leadership in the states. ALEC has been a resource for generations of legislators. With increased capacity and new programs, ALEC is and will remain the go-to resource for state-based reforms.”

ALEC is the leading organization for free-market policy solutions and provides nonpartisan research, study and analysis. ALEC facilitates exchange between public and private sector leaders, think tanks and stakeholders through meetings and model policy development and will continue to play an important role in the years ahead.


The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members. For more information about the American Legislative Exchange Council, please visit: