It Takes a Team.
The Goldwater Institute team is dedicated to holding government accountable and accomplishing remarkable results.
Darcy OlsenDarcy Olsen
President and CEOPresident and CEO
Darcy Olsen is President of the Goldwater Institute, a groundbreaking research and legal center acclaimed by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will as “America’s most potent advocate of limited government.”
Olsen’s leadership style has been critical to the Institute’s achievements, which include the development and implementation of more than 100 reforms, as she revamped the Institute’s organizational structure to parallel a private-sector company focused on results.
Under Olsen’s direction, the Goldwater Institute has become a national leader in restoring the Founders’ vision of America as a compound republic, where states exercise their constitutional authority to check and limit federal power.
The Goldwater Institute developed the Save Our Secret Ballot initiative, spearheading a successful nationwide effort to protect businesses from card-check. “These aren’t merely symbolic victories,” wrote the Wall Street Journal. “States can protect their economies from the NLRB with initiatives like [Save Our Secret Ballot].”
The Goldwater Institute also designed the nation’s first education savings accounts. Parents use the accounts to pay for a wide range of education expenses including private school tuition, educational therapies, and even college courses. The New York Times highlighted the accounts as a national model for states as they reform public education to expand learning opportunities for students..
An authority on education reform, economic policy, and government reform, Olsen is a regular guest on national media programs, including National Public Radio and Fox News Channel. Her opinions have been widely published in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Review.
Olsen has received numerous awards and recognition including the national Roe Award for achievement in public policy. She was named the “64thmost powerful person in hockey” by Hockey Magazine for her role in blocking a multi-million-dollar subsidy to an NHL team “Don’t let her young looks fool you,” wrote Politickeraz, “She is brilliant [and] will take your head off with a smile.”
A graduate of Georgetown University and New York University, Olsen started her public policy career at the Cato Institute. Born in Vermont, raised in Utah, Olsen resides in Arizona. She is a foster mother and the mother of one and counting.
Clint BolickClint Bolick
Vice President for LitigationVice President for Litigation
Clint Bolick serves as the Goldwater Institute’s Vice President for Litigation.
In a recent profile, the New York Times said that Bolick is “known for his aggressive litigation to defend individual liberties.” He has argued and won cases in the United States Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court, and state and federal courts from coast to coast. He has won landmark precedents defending school choice, freedom of enterprise, and private property rights and challenging corporate subsidies and racial classifications.
Before joining the Goldwater Institute in 2007, Bolick was co-founder of the Institute for Justice and later served as president of the Alliance for School Choice.
Bolick helped author the Health Care Freedom Act and the Save Our Secret Ballot amendment, which were added to the Arizona Constitution in 2010 and adopted in several other states. He also has assisted policy activists in several states to establish litigation centers based on the Goldwater Institute model.
In 2003, American Lawyer recognized Bolick as one of three lawyers of the year for his successful defense of school choice programs, culminating in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris in the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2009, Legal Times named Bolick one of the “90 Greatest D.C. Lawyers in the Past 30 Years.” Bolick received one of the freedom movement’s most prestigious awards, the Bradley Prize, in 2006 for advancing the values of democratic capitalism.
Bolick has authored several books, most recently with Governor Jeb Bush, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution. Other titles include Death Grip: Loosening the Law’s Stranglehold Over Economic Liberty (2011) and David’s Hammer: The Case for an Activist Judiciary (2007). In addition to his work at the Goldwater Institute, Bolick serves as a research fellow with the Hoover Institution.
Andrea WoodmanseeAndrea Woodmansee
Senior EditorSenior Editor
Andrea Woodmansee is senior editor for the Goldwater Institute and was previously the Goldwater Institute director of communications, responsible for the Goldwater Institute’s media and community relations. Before joining the Goldwater Institute, Woodmansee worked as marketing communications program manager for a Phoenix technology firm, managing document production and website development. She is a former Goldwater Institute intern and has taught university-level courses in policy and economics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University, where she was a Trustees' Scholar.
Ashley FitzwilliamsAshley Fitzwilliams
Ashley Fitzwilliams is a paralegal with the Goldwater Institute's Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, tasked with assisting the attorneys with all aspects of litigation and case management. Ashley has years of experience supporting cases in family law, trusts and estates litigation, in addition to commercial litigation and criminal investigations. She received her bachelor’s degree in Government and History from the University of Redlands and her paralegal studies certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Blake WilsonBlake Wilson
Digital Production SpecialistDigital Production Specialist
Wilson serves as the Digital Production Specialist, acting as the point person for the Institute’s presence on the web and social media platforms. As a member of the communications team, Wilson also assists in the production of traditional outreach tools, including publications, videos and photos, with an aim to broaden the Institute’s audience and reach. He also lends his technical expertise to a variety of other needs throughout the Institute.
As an undergraduate, Wilson helped Forbes develop a new web market show to extend their influence on a daily basis. Wilson graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State with a B.A. in broadcast journalism, a B.S. in political science and a minor in business.
Byron SchlomachByron Schlomach
Director, Center for Economic ProsperityDirector, Center for Economic Prosperity
Dr. Byron Schlomach is an economist and works as the Director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute. He has 15 years of experience working in and around state government. He has researched and written on tax and spending policy in two states in addition to studying transportation, health care, and education policy. Byron’s writings have appeared in National Review Online, Business Week online and numerous Texas and Arizona newspapers. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
Charles SilerCharles Siler
External Relations ManagerExternal Relations Manager
As the External Relations Manager, Siler acts as a liaison between members of the media and the Institute’s policy experts. Through cultivation and development of strong working relationships with the media, Siler works to raise the visibility of Goldwater policy recommendations and legal victories.
Prior to joining the Institute, Siler conducted public affairs missions around the globe with the U.S. Army, often supporting the Dept. of Defense, State Dept. and the U.S. Agency for International Development. While in the military, he was stationed both in the U.S. and abroad, operating in multiple countries from bases in South Korea and Djibouti, where he garnered a wealth of high-profile coverage for the military from Pulitzer-prize winning journalists and international media outlets.
Siler has also worked for The Washington Times, where his work as a journalist has been published in their International Reports. Siler holds a B.S. in Economics from George Mason University.
Cheryl McCartyCheryl McCarty
Office ManagerOffice ManagerCheryl joined the Goldwater Institute in March 2009. Some of her duties include smooth operation of office services, bookkeeping, and Human Relations support. Prior to joining Goldwater, Cheryl served as Scholarship Administration Officer for the Daniels Fund in Denver, Colo., where she managed the database for the scholarship program.
Christina CorieriChristina Corieri
Health Care Policy AnalystHealth Care Policy Analyst
Christina Corieri serves as Health Care Policy Analyst for the Goldwater Institute. She has done extensive research on health care legislation. Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Christina worked as the Vice President of Government and Board Relations for a national nonprofit. She has also worked in the offices of Senator Kyl, Congressman Flake, and Governor Brewer. Christina holds a J.D. along with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in History from Arizona State University.
Christina SandefurChristina Sandefur
Staff AttorneyStaff Attorney
Christina Sandefur is a staff attorney at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. Christina litigates in defense of economic liberty, private property, free speech, and taxpayer rights and is the lead attorney on the Institute’s challenge to the federal health care law. She recently won a major victory for Arizona taxpayers when the court of appeals held that government cannot spend bond money on unapproved purposes when voters authorized the funds for specific projects. Christina is a frequent guest on national and local television and radio shows. Before joining the Institute, Christina worked to advance liberty as a law clerk at the Pacific Legal Foundation in California and a research intern and contributor at the Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy. She earned her J.D. summa cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law, where she served as notes editor of the Michigan State Law Review and president of the MSU Federalist Society. Christina graduated magna cum laude from Hillsdale College with a B.A. in history and political economy and completed an honors thesis on the economic history of the U.S. Postal Service.
Emily GersemaEmily Gersema
Investigative ReporterInvestigative Reporter
Emily Gersema serves as Investigative Reporter for the Goldwater Institute. Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, she was a reporter for The Arizona Republic where she covered downtown Phoenix business issues, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, as well as education. Emily also has worked also as an editor for the East Valley Tribune, covered state education issues for the Omaha World-Herald, and covered agricultural issues for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa.
Jared BlanchardJared Blanchard
Staff AttorneyStaff Attorney
Jared Blanchard is a staff attorney at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. Before he joined the Goldwater Institute, Jared worked in private practice in Florida. Jared earned his J.D. from the Florida State University College of Law, where he served as President of the FSU Federalist Society. Jared spent his two law school summers working first as a summer clerk for the Institute for Justice and then as a judicial intern for Judge Stephen Dillard of the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Before entering law school, Jared served as the Maffucci Fellow at the Institute for Justice. He received his B.A. from the University of Florida, where he majored in political science and minored in English.
Jason LloydJason Lloyd
Member Services AssistantMember Services Assistant
As the Member Services Assistant, Jason is responsible for assisting the development team with meeting the day-to-day development needs of the Goldwater Institute. He works closely with the Director of Major Gifts to maintain donor relations, manage regular interaction with vendors and supports, and manage start-to-finish details for development events, including the Institute’s annual dinner celebration.
Jason’s prior experience includes event planning and management, as well as working for political campaigns in Arizona, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He graduated from Patrick Henry College with a bachelor’s degree in American Politics & Policy and currently resides in Phoenix with his wife.
Jon RichesJon Riches
Staff AttorneyStaff AttorneyJon Riches is an attorney at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. He litigates in areas of taxpayer rights, public union and pension reform, government transparency, and school choice, among others. Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Jon served on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. While on active duty, Jon represented hundreds of clients, litigated dozens of Court-Martial cases, and advised commanders on a vast array of legal issues. Jon also served as supervisor attorney, managing an office that provided full spectrum legal support to one of the largest naval installations on the west coast. He previously clerked for Sen. Jon Kyl on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, worked for the Rules Committee in the Arizona State Senate, and clerked in the Office of Counsel to the President at the White House. Jon received his B.A. from Boston College, where he graduate magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law. He is a native of Phoenix, Arizona.
Jonathan ButcherJonathan Butcher
Education DirectorEducation Director
Jonathan Butcher serves as Education Director for the Goldwater Institute. He has researched education policy and school choice programs at both the state and national level. Prior to joining Goldwater, Jonathan was the Director of Accountability for the South Carolina Public Charter School District, South Carolina’s only statewide charter school authorizer. Jonathan studied education policy at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and worked with the School Choice Demonstration Project, the research team that evaluated voucher programs in Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee, Wisc.
Jonathan studied education and family policy at The Heritage Foundation, a research institute in Washington, D.C. His research has appeared in journals such as Education Next and the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy. He has appeared on local and national TV outlets, including interviews on Fox News. He has been a guest on many radio programs, and his commentary has appeared in newspapers around the country. He holds a B.A. in English from Furman University and an M.A. in economics from the University of Arkansas.
Justin StreiffJustin Streiff
Director of Major GiftsDirector of Major GiftsJustin Streiff is the Director of Major Gifts for the Goldwater Institute. Justin leads the Institute’s major gifts team in expanding in-state and national membership to the Institute, and increasing member support and outreach. Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Justin managed the direct response fundraising efforts for dozens of national and state-based political campaigns, PACs and non-profits. In 2010, Justin served as Campaign Manager for Congressman John Kline’s re-election campaign. Prior to leading Congressman Kline to victory in 2010, Streiff joined Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl’s Washington office, working on a variety of issues including transportation, water rights, agriculture, environment, and energy. Justin is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri – St. Louis and lives in the Phoenix area with his wife and daughter.
Kris SchlottKris Schlott
Kris Schlott is a paralegal with the Goldwater Institute's Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation tasked with assisting the attorneys with all aspects of litigation and case management. Kris came to the institute with 23 years of experience in commercial and environmental litigation, commercial bankruptcy and most recently insurance defense. She received her A.A. degree in paralegal studies from Phoenix College.
Kurt AltmanKurt Altman
Senior AttorneySenior Attorney
Kurt Altman is a Senior Attorney for the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. Before joining the Institute, Kurt operated a private litigation and appellate practice, focusing on criminal law in both state and federal courts. Previously, Kurt spent a number of years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, leading investigations and conducting trial in Federal District Court. As a member of the Department of Justice, Kurt earned the Director’s Award, the highest honor bestowed upon Department of Justice lawyers, for his efforts in the first capital prosecution in Federal District Court for the District of Arizona. Additionally, he has twice received the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director’s Award for his tireless efforts on behalf of FBI-conducted investigations. Since 1994, Kurt has served as lead counsel in hundreds of jury trials throughout Arizona. Because of his unique background, Kurt has been a featured lecturer and teacher at numerous seminars and centers where he has been able to share his experiences with attorneys from around the country. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law, in Winston-Salem, NC.
Le TemplarLe Templar
Director of Foundation RelationsDirector of Foundation Relations
Le Templar is the Director of Foundation Relations for the Goldwater Institute. He manages grant writing and foundation support for the independent government watchdog.
Mr. Templar has nearly 20 years of experience in writing about government and public policy, in editing and storytelling, and in appearances on broadcast media. A graduate of the University of Wyoming, Mr. Templar earned bachelor degrees with honors in political science and journalism. From 1992 until late 2005, he worked as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers in western Nebraska, northern Texas and the East Valley suburbs of the Phoenix metro area. He covered stories about every level of government from city councils to presidential elections. He has interviewed farmers driving tractors in sugar beet fields, professional football players practicing under the Texas sun, police officers working the midnight shift, and at least one governor aboard a military aircraft.
While covering the Arizona state capitol in 2004, Mr. Templar investigated the state agency that regulates nursing home administrators. He uncovered massive budget problems, dysfunctional management and huge delays in investigations that left vulnerable adults at risk. Mr. Templar’s reporting prompted the state senator who had sponsored legislation to continue the state agency for another 10 years to request, and receive, the governor’s veto so the Legislature could adopt a different law with better oversight.
In 2006, he was promoted to the six-person editorial board of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. In that position, he wrote daily about policy debates and reforming government to better protect liberty and economic freedom. He also served as the newspaper’s opinion page editor for a year before joining the Goldwater Institute in early 2010.
Mr. Templar has received writing and reporting awards from the Nebraska Press Club, the Nebraska pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the Oklahoma Associated Press Managing Editors association, the Arizona Press Club and Arizona APME.
A resident of Phoenix, Mr. Templar has an extensive history of volunteer service. He organized publicity for the Red Ribbon drug abuse prevention week in Scotts Bluff County, Neb., and launched an Explorer troop for journalism in Wichita Falls, Texas. He has served as past president and in other leadership positions with the Arizona Press Club, the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona and Valley of the Sun SPJ pro chapter. He’s also a member of the advisory board for the Maricopa County community colleges’ occupational certificate for journalism.
Mr. Templar previously served as the Goldwater Institute's communications director from January 2010 to June 2011.
Lucy CaldwellLucy Caldwell
Communications DirectorCommunications Director
In her capacity as Communications Director, Lucy is responsible for overseeing the Institute's media and outreach efforts. To this end, Lucy works to strengthen the Institute’s relationships with members of the media, as well as key activists in the community locally and nationwide to promote Goldwater policy recommendations and legal precedents.
Lucy previously served as the Institute's External Affairs Manager. Before joining the Goldwater team, Lucy served as Executive Director of Pass the Balanced Budget Amendment, a 501(c)4 organization co-chaired by Club for Growth board member Ken Blackwell and former U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck. In the 2010 election cycle, Lucy coordinated Save Our Secret Ballot efforts in Arizona. The Save Our Secret Ballot Amendment, a ballot initiative that originated at the Goldwater Institute, passed overwhelmingly in all four states where it appeared on the ballot.
As an undergraduate, Lucy served as a Ronald Reagan Fellow at the Goldwater Institute. Previously, she worked as a journalist, and her work has appeared in National Review, the Daily Caller, Slate, and other national publications. Lucy holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.
Nick DraniasNick Dranias
Director of Policy Development & Constitutional GovernmentDirector of Policy Development & Constitutional GovernmentNick Dranias holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is Director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute.Dranias led the Goldwater Institute’s successful challenge to Arizona’s system of government campaign financing to the U.S. Supreme Court. Even before the case was accepted for review, Dranias was able to persuade the Court to intervene in lower court proceedings and block campaign subsidies from being paid to government-funded candidates during the 2010 election cycle. In addition to practicing constitutional law as a member of the Goldwater Institute’s litigation team, Dranias serves as a constitutional scholar. He has authored numerous scholarly articles dealing with a wide spectrum of issues in constitutional and regulatory policy, including the protection of free speech, the principle of state sovereignty, the reformation of excessive regulation, and the guarantee of individual liberty. His articles have been published by leading law reviews, bar journals and think tanks across the country. Dranias’ latest work is Save the Taxpayers Tens of Billions of Dollars: End Government-Sector Collective Bargaining.Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Dranias was an attorney with the Institute for Justice for three years and an attorney in private practice in Chicago for eight years. In law school, Dranias served on the Loyola University Chicago Law Review, competed on Loyola’s National Labor Law Moot Court Team, and received various academic awards. He graduated cum laude from Boston University with a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy.
Roger ZetahRoger Zetah
Chief Financial OfficerChief Financial Officer
Roger Zetah, CPA, MBA, operates with strong financial controls and metrics to enhance and monitor the organization’s operations. Roger brings 15 years experience to the Institute with a background as V.P. of Finance for a publicly traded company. He also spent six years with KPMG in the audit and consulting practice. Roger received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, graduating summa cum laude. He received his MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2003. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Scottsdale Community College for seven years. Roger has been a CPA since 1986 and is a member of the Arizona Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. He served in the United States Air Force with a top secret clearance.
Stephen SlivinskiStephen Slivinski
Senior EconomistSenior Economist
Stephen Slivinski is a senior economist at the Goldwater Institute. He is an expert in tax and budget policy at the state and federal level. He formerly held the position of research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and senior editor in the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Prior to that he was director of budget studies at the Cato Institute, a senior economist at the Tax Foundation, and director of tax and budget studies for the Goldwater Institute.
Mr. Slivinski is the author of the book, Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government, published in 2006. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Businessweek, the Arizona Republic, and many other print and on-line publications. He has appeared on CNN, Bloomberg, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC. He holds a master's degree in economics from George Mason University.
Travis JunionTravis Junion
Major Gifts OfficerMajor Gifts Officer
Travis Junion is the Major Gifts Officer for the Goldwater Institute. In this capacity, Junion facilitates greater member engagement and expansion of the Institute’s donor base.
Junion is a veteran of numerous candidate and issue campaigns at the national, state and local level. As a professional political operative, his career has focused on grassroots and get out the vote projects, election integrity operations, candidate development and public affairs consulting. In 2012, Junion served as the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action Campaign Field Representative in Arizona. Previously Junion mobilized grassroots activists for a 2010 U.S. Senate campaign, launched an exploratory campaign for Arizona governor, and advised congressional and legislative campaigns. Junion also worked on the 2008 presidential election, directing election day operations in New Mexico.
A longtime political activist and Arizona native, Junion is an honors graduate of Arizona State University.
Victor RichesVictor Riches
Vice President, External AffairsVice President, External AffairsVictor Riches is the Goldwater Institute’s Vice President of External Affairs. Prior to joining Goldwater, he worked for 17 years at the Arizona Legislature. During his tenure at the Legislature, Victor was an analyst and policy advisor on several committees, including Appropriations, Judiciary, Government Reform, Education and Commerce. He is the only person to have served as Chief of Staff of both the State Senate and House of Representatives. While at the Legislature, Victor spearheaded the passage of pension reform, school choice measures and the largest tax cuts in in Arizona history. He is a graduate of Arizona State University.