|For media inquiries, contact Diana Rickert at 312-607-4977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Tillman, CEO
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 is the founder of the Great Communications Foundation, a national organization dedicated to helping advocates for liberty make the moral case in public policy debates.
John's success has become a model for liberty-based organizations across the country. John is frequently asked to consult with other nonprofit, free market organizations on marketing and organizational strategy.
In 2011, John won the prestigious Roe Award for his leadership, innovation and accomplishments in the world of public policy. This annual award pays tribute to those in the state public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced the free market philosophy.
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 and the Washington Times and other news outlets.
John is former president of Americans for Limited Government, a national organization that advocates for property rights, spending limits, term limits and other liberty-based policies in more than 26 states. John also was co-founder of the Sam Adams Alliance, a national nonprofit that encourages grassroots citizen activism.
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.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by John Tillman.
Kristina Rasmussen, Executive Vice President
Kristina Rasmussen serves as the Executive Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute, where she directs the Institute's operations, legislative outreach, and policy research. She develops and advises decision makers on liberty-based public policy solutions, and specializes on budget and tax issues, health care, and economic competitiveness.
Kristina's opinion pieces have been featured in the Washington
Post, Forbes Magazine, Chicago Tribune,
National Review Online, Investor's
Business Daily, the State Journal-Register and The
Hill, among others. Her television appearances include CNN, CSPAN,
Fox Business News, and Al Jazeera English, and Fox Chicago News and she
has been a guest on numerous radio shows.
Kristina came to the Institute from the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), where she amplified the pro-taxpayer message by serving as Director of Government Affairs. In addition to her extensive tax and budget advocacy, Kristina worked on telecommunications, transportation, and state transparency issues.
Kristina completed her Master's degree in Political Management at George Washington University, where she was named a Bryce Harlow Foundation Scholar. Kristina graduated summa cum laude from Randolph-Macon Woman's College with a B.A. in Political Science. Kristina and her husband live in Springfield, Illinois.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Kristina Rasmussen.
Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy
Ted Dabrowski is Vice President of Policy at the Illinois Policy Institute, where he develops and recommends solutions to the state’s economic and fiscal problems with a focus on Illinois budget and tax policy, health care, pension reform, education policy and job creation.
Ted currently serves as a volunteer board member for Virtual Learning Solutions, a not-for-profit board that intends to open a charter school in Illinois.
Recently, Ted was the lead consultant to the Education Committee for Gov. Quinn’s Taxpayer Action Board. That board was responsible for proposing efficiencies in state spending across the state’s various spending programs. Ted has also authored documents focused on the state’s education finances and the general state aid formula, as well as school vouchers.
Prior to joining the Institute, Ted had a 16-year career in international management with Citigroup in both Mexico and Poland. His most recent role was managing the Corporate and Investment Banking Division for Citibank-Handlowy, Citibank’s majority-owned bank in Poland. Before that, he was the treasurer and the sales and trading head of the $8 billion-asset Citibank-Handlowy. In Mexico, Ted was the assistant treasurer of Citibank Mexico, where he oversaw various units of the sales and trading operations.
Ted is a first-generation American born in Chicago. He also is a recent graduate of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He also holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an undergraduate degree in Industrial Management from The Georgia Institute of Technology.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Ted Dabrowski.
Daniel Anthony, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Anthony serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications
for the Illinois Policy Institute. His professional experiences span
both the non-profit and corporate arena.
Previously, Daniel worked with Saatchi & Saatchi S – the marketing
and sustainability consulting division of top global ideas company
Saatchi & Saatchi. He worked in both a client management and
planning/strategy capacity to develop marketing and communications
strategies around issues of sustainability and corporate stewardship for
some of the largest companies and most popular brands including
Coca-Cola, General Mills, NBC Universal, Wal-Mart and Frito-Lay. Prior
to his work with Saatchi he served as the Director of the National Youth
Leadership Forum on Technology, a Washington, DC non-profit that
focused on finding solutions to real-world problems through technology
Daniel brings a global perspective to his work. He spent many years in
Mexico and Singapore working on various humanitarian aid projects.
Following his time abroad, Daniel completed his BA in foreign languages
and linguistics in Normal/Bloomington, IL at Illinois State University
and his MBA in international business at The Johns Hopkins University
Carey Business School.
Jonathan Greenberg, Vice President of External Relations
Jonathan Greenberg serves as Vice President of External Relations at the Illinois Policy Institute.
Jonathan ran for the Illinois House of Representatives in 2012 in a highly competitive race against a long-term incumbent. He earned the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune, which called him “one of the most impressive challengers we’ve come across in this election.” He championed real pension reform, implementation of pro-growth policies and serious reforms to public education and government.
Before running for office, Jonathan advocated for a strong relationship between the U.S. and Israel during his more than five years with the prestigious and bipartisan American Israel Public Affairs Committee. As Midwest Political Director, he handled AIPAC’s political operations across nine states and 95 congressional districts.
Jonathan was ordained a rabbi in 2006 by the Union for Reform Judaism and spent his first year of seminary in Jerusalem. Before going to seminary, Jonathan worked as a business development professional at the Indiana Department of Commerce. He earned both his master’s degree in public affairs and bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana University.
Jonathan and his family live in Northbrook. He is a member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis and the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce.
Matt Paprocki, Senior Director of Government AffairsMatt
Paprocki , the Senior Director of Government Affairs, focuses on the
legislative process, government relations and legislative outreach for
the Illinois Policy Institute.
to joining the Illinois Policy Institute, Paprocki served as a Revenue
and Tax Advisor for the Illinois House Republican Staff for seven years.
Paprocki also served as a Legislative Analyst for the Illinois House
Republican’s in the areas of Revenue and Finance, Labor, Pensions,
International Trade & Commerce,and Consumer Protection.
working on legislative staff, Paprocki received the Golden Horseshoe
Award for Best State Legislative Staffer, as voted on by State
legislators, lobbyists and staff counterparts.
Paprocki earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame with an accounting major.
Rebecca Kohn, Senior Manager of External Relations
Rebecca Kohn has served as an External Relations Associate for the
Institute since March 2012. In that capacity, Rebecca works to connect
with and foster the Institute’s relationships with its supporters, as
well as support the Institute’s policy and outreach events.
Before joining the Institute, Rebecca worked as an associate
director of advancement for a leading international relief and development
organization.Rebecca also comes
to the institute with experience as a finance director for political campaigns.
Originally from Michigan, Rebecca graduated with a bachelor’s
of science in child development from Michigan State University, and attended graduate school at the University of Akron.
Rebecca and her husband, Eric, live in Chicago with their
Brian Costin, Director of Government Reform
Brian Costin, Director of Government Reform, joined the Illinois Policy Institute in January of 2010. Previously, he worked for the Heartland Institute as assistant director of government relations. Brian has been active in the Institute’s Liberty Leaders project, which he now leads, and founded the Schaumburg Freedom Coalition, where he won the 2010 Government Watchdog Award from the Sam Adams Alliance for his work exposing government waste & fraud in his hometown of Schaumburg.
Brian graduated with distinction from North Park University where he received a Master in Management of Nonprofit Administration. While attending North Park University, Brian worked for UPS in operations management and business development. As an undergraduate at Illinois State University, Brian completed a Bachelors of Science degree, double majoring in Economics and Politics & Governance.
Brian’s work has earned coverage from national and state media outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, and Chicago Tonight. He is a regular guest on the nationally syndicated television show First Business and the Mornings with Ray Hanania radio show.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Brian Costin.
Paul Kersey, Director of Labor PolicyPaul
Kersey is director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.
He received a degree in economics from the University of
Michigan-Dearborn in 1988 and in 1993 he received his Juris Doctor from
the University of Illinois.
Kersey began his public policy work
at the National Right to Work Committee as director of state
legislation. In that role, he analyzed and responded to labor
legislation in all 50 states. Paul then went on to the Mackinac Center
for Public Policy, where he served first as Labor Research Associate
under former NLRB member Bob Hunter, and then, after a fellowship at the
Heritage Foundation, Kersey returned to Mackinac as director of labor
policy. Kersey’s articles have appeared in the Detroit News, National
Review Online, and the Wall Street Journal.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Paul Kersey.
Benjamin VanMetre, Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst
Benjamin VanMetre serves as the senior budget and tax policy analyst at the Illinois Policy Institute. Ben’s research focuses on state and local government spending, tax policy, entrepreneurship and economic freedom.
Before joining the Institute, Ben earned his Master of Arts degree in Economics from George Mason University while working as a Masters Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Beloit College where he completed a double major in Economics and Management and Psychology, graduating with Cum Laude honors as well as departmental honors from the Economics department.
Ben’s work has appeared in several outlets including, among others, Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, Economic Affairs,Cato Journal, Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Maryland Journal, Providence Journal, Journal of Business and Economic Perspectives and the second volume of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Ben VanMetre
Josh Dwyer, Director of Education Reform
Joshua Dwyer is the Director of Education Reform for the Illinois Policy Institute, where he develops and recommends solutions for the problems plaguing Illinois' education system.
Previously, Joshua worked as an Adjunct Professor at Governors State University, where he taught Masters classes in public policy and law. He has also worked for a number of education policy organizations in Illinois.
Joshua earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont, his master's in public policy degree from the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy and his master's in journalism degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Josh Dwyer
Diana Rickert, Director of Media Relations
Diana Rickert serves as the Director of Media Relations for the Illinois Policy Institute. In this role, Diana leads the Institute's media strategy and outreach efforts which spread the message of free markets through newspapers, radio, TV and other mediums.
Before joining the Institute, Diana wrote for daily newspapers for more than nine years under the byline Diana Sroka. Most recently, Diana was a reporter for the Northwest Herald newspaper in northwest suburban Chicago. In 2011, her reporting on Illinois' public employee pension crisis garnered more than eight prestigious journalism awards from the Illinois Press Association, the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association and the Local Media Association, formerly known as Suburban Newspapers of America. Diana's pension reporting also was a finalist for a Lisagor award for investigative reporting from the Chicago Headline Club. Diana also has worked for the Daily Herald, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Associated Press, among other news organizations.
Diana is a graduate of Marquette University, where she studied journalism and political science. During college she founded a free market, student-run newspaper, The Warrior. She currently serves as vice president on the Board of Directors for Warrior Media Inc., the nonprofit parent company for the newspaper.
Jean Hutton, Operations Manager
Jean Hutton joined the Institute in June of 2010. As Operations Manager Jean’s responsibilities include financial management for the Institute, payroll administration, human resources, compliance and office administration.
Prior to joining Illinois Policy Institute, Jean was the Director of Operations for a Peoria based employee management service. She has also served as Human Resources Coordinator for an Illinois correspondent bank and as Branch Operations Manager for a national financial services firm.
Jean graduated magna cum laude from Culver-Stockton College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She has held NASD registrations as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) and as a General Securities Principal (Series 24), and in 2009 earned the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) designation from the American Payroll Association.
Scott Reeder, Journalist in Residence
Scott Reeder serves as Journalist in Residence for the Illinois Policy Institute. Scott joined the Institute as a journalist after more than 25 years of covering local and state government.
Mr. Reeder made a national name for himself investigating teacher tenure in Illinois and the lack of accountability in the teacher certification process.
Previously he served as a national managing editor for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, where he worked to establish a national network of statehouse bureaus. Prior to his time with Franklin, he ran an Illinois statehouse bureau for 10 years providing customized statehouse coverage for newspapers in five Illinois communities.
Among the journalism awards he has captured are the Investigative Reporters and Editors Freedom of the Information Award, the Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and the John Aubuchon Freedom of Information Award, which is the highest honor of Capitolbeat, a national association of statehouse journalists
He received his bachelor's in journalism from Iowa State University and holds a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. He and his wife, Joan, reside near Springfield and have three daughters: Grace, Anna and Caitlin.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Scott Reeder
Chris Andriesen, Outreach Coordinator
Chris joined the Illinois Policy Institute as the outreach coordinator after participating in the Institute's Milton Friedman Internship program.
Chris received his bachelor's degree in economics from Hillsdale College.
Jane McEnaney, Policy Outreach ManagerJane McEnaney is the policy outreach manager for the government affairs team, where she shares the Illinois Policy Institute’s message with state, local and federal leaders.
Prior to joining the Illinois Policy Institute, Jane served as Congressman Paul Ryan’s Staff Assistant in Washington DC and also worked in the War Room of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign headquarters in Boston.
Jane grew up on Chicago’s north shore where she attended Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart and graduated as an Illinois State Scholar. During high school, she served on then-Congressman Mark Kirk’s Student Leadership Advisory Board, where she first became interested in the legislative process.
Jane graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts with a degree in Political Science and a concentration in Latin American and Latino Studies.
Hilary Gowins, Editor
Hilary Gowins is the editor for the Illinois Policy Institute. In this role, she works on all of the Institute's writing, with a focus on clearly and accurately conveying the think tank's free market principles.
Before joining the Institute, Hilary was a reporter at the Northwest Herald, where she covered local government and wrote enterprise stories focusing on politics at the state level. During her time at the Northwest Herald, she was awarded an Illinois Press Association award for feature writing, and many of her stories were picked up by the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune.
She continues to freelance, and her work has appeared in various publications throughout the Chicago area, including the Northwest Herald and the Pioneer Press. She also has experience working at a Chicago marketing firm.
Hilary earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Kenyon College and her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Click here to view policy reports, articles, and other work by Hilary Gowins
Lauren Andriesen, Executive Assistant
Lauren joined the Illinois Policy Institute in 2013 as an Executive Assistant. Before joining the Institute, Lauren worked with Congressman Joe Walsh on his re-election campaign. She graduated from Hillsdale College with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Business Administration.
Natasha Malik, External Relations Associate
Natasha Malik joined the Illinois Policy Institute as a Liberty@Work fellow where she currently serves as an External Relations Associate.
Prior to joining the Institute, Natasha interned with the American Council of Trustees and Alumni in partnership with the Charles Koch Institute. She also has served as President of her campus International Justice Mission Club and Model United Nations.
Natasha graduated with high honors from Patrick Henry College with a degree in Government and International Politics & Policy.
Teresa O’Leary, graphic designer
A classically trained artist with over 10 years experience in print and multimedia design, Teresa joined the institute in 2012.
Charlie Fritschner, Video Specialist
Charlie Fritschner is the Video Specialist for the Illinois Policy Institute. In this role, he oversees all video & film production projects, meaning he produces, writes, shoots, and edits Institute video.
Before joining the Institute, Charlie was a videographer and producer for the Institute for Humane Studies' Learn Liberty project, a freelance camera operator, and a producer/director for an independent documentary and several short films.
Charlie attended the College of William and Mary and double majored in English and American Studies.
Amanda Martin, External Relations Coordinator
Amanda Martin joined the Illinois Policy Institute in May 2012 in a dual role as Executive Assistant and External Relations Associate. She now serves as the Institute’s External Relations Coordinator, facilitating development communications and fostering support for the Institute’s mission. In addition, Amanda is a fellow in the Charles Koch Institute’s Liberty@Work™ program.
Before joining the Institute, Amanda was an editorial services intern at the Heritage Foundation. She holds a degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science with a minor in international studies.