What it takes to reorganize the Federal government

You are leading the charge to make the Federal government more efficient, effective and accountable through the work of Heritage.

As previously mentioned, earlier this summer President Trump tasked OMB Director Mick Mulvaney to come up with a plan to get America back on track for real growth in the economy. The goal is to get sustained economic growth up to 3% or higher.

Immediately after being assigned that project, Director Mulvaney and his team called upon Heritage and Heritage Action for help in pulling together such a plan.

Since then Heritage’s economic experts have been working closely with Director Mulvaney’s team to craft this plan that would provide a much-needed economic boost to our country.

Specifically, in an effort to provide the OMB with its request for ideas for reform, Heritage published two separate Blueprint for Reorganization reports. The first, An Analysis of Federal Departments and Agencies, contains bold and timely recommendations to downsize and reform the Executive Branch while the second, Pathways to Reform and Cross-Cutting Issues, discusses the problems of a cluttered and overgrown federal government, the history of executive branch reorganizations, various pathways for a successful reorganization, and recommendations for cross-cutting reforms – such as federal personnel, budget, and regulatory reforms – to help streamline and improve the federal government.

As part of that plan Heritage hosted an event Tuesday titled, Reorganizing the Federal Government: What needs to be done and how to do it. At this event a panel of experts explained the steps needed to reorganize the Federal government.

You can watch the full video below:

Do you think the Federal government needs to be reorganized to make it more efficient? If so, how would you start reorganizing it?

Former Heritage staff fill Trump Administration

Since January, numerous Heritage employees have gone on to serve in the Trump Administration. Below is an updated list of 52 Heritage staff who have assumed or are in the nomination process for positions in the Administration, including nearly ten advisors, four center directors, two general counsel, one chiefs of staff, four deputy directors, one director, and one secretary. This does not include the numerous individuals who served as part of the transition efforts.

We congratulate our former coworkers on these positions and are excited to see the work they do as they apply their expertise to tackling today’s critical issues.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Nina Owcharenko, is now a senior advisor within the Department of Health and Human Services. She formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Center for Health Policy Studies and Preston A. Wells, Jr. Fellow. Owcharenko is well known as a champion of patient choice and robust competition in America’s health insurance markets. For years, she has advanced free-market, patient-centered solutions that fix the real problems in America’s healthcare system.
  • Roger Severino, is the new director of the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. He formerly served as Director of Heritage’s Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. Prior to his time at Heritage, Severino was a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He previously worked as the Chief Operations Officer and Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

Department of the Interior

  • Ryan Nichols, is now serving as an advisor in the Office of Water and Science within the Department of Interior. He formerly served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. Over the past five years, Nichols has helped strengthen and align key players in the conservative movement by serving as a liaison to non-partisan conservative organizations.
  • Lori Mashburn, serves as the White House liaison to the Department of the Interior. Formerly she served as Heritage’s Associate Director of Coalition Relations. As a key member of Heritage’s coalition relations team, Lori worked with conservative state allies to advance shared policy priorities.
  • Elinor Werner, serves as the Executive Assistant to Secretary of the Interior. She formerly served as Heritage’s Assistant Director of the Young Leaders Program.

Department of Defense

  • Charles “Cully” Stimson, has been nominated to serve as General Counsel of the Department of the U.S. Navy. He manages Heritage’s National Security Law Program, is a Senior Legal Fellow in Heritage’s Center for National Defense and is Chief of Staff for Dr. Ed Feulner. Stimson is a widely recognized expert in national security, homeland security, crime control, drug policy & immigration.
  • Justin Johnson, is serving at the Pentagon and conducts research on related defense budgeting matters. He formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting policy. While at Heritage, Johnson conducted important research on how to achieve a fully-equipped, combat-ready military, as outlined in his recent Heritage report “Congress Should Enact a Strong Defense Budget in FY 2017.”
  • Brian Slattery, currently serves as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe/NATO. He formerly served as a policy analyst in Heritage’s Center for National Defense. At Heritage, Slattery advocated for a strong national defense and robust security enterprise, focusing particularly on maritime security, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Arctic.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in DOD: Rebecca Buchheit, Beachhead/White House Liaison

Office of Management and the Budget

  • Russ Vought, has been nominated to serve as Deputy Director of the Office of the Management and Budget. Russ formerly served as Heritage Action’s vice president of grassroots outreach.
  • Lisa Curtis, now leads the Trump National Security Council’s work on South and Central Asia. A former CIA analyst and senior advisor in the Bush White House, Lisa formerly served as a Research Fellow in Heritage’s Asian Studies Center. At Heritage, Curtis analyzed America’s economic, security and political relationships with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other nations of South Asia as a senior research fellow.
  • Jessica Anderson, has joined the Office of Management and Budget to help restore fiscal responsibility. She formerly served as the grassroots director for Heritage Action for America.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in OMB: John Gray, advisor; Brad Bishop, Confidential Assistant to the Associate Director; Amanda Robbins, Confidential Assistant.

Other White House Positions

  • Paul Winfree, serves as deputy assistant to the president, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and director of budget policy. He formerly served as director of Heritage’s Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. Winfree, well-known in Washington for his tough stance on fiscal responsibility, took a leading role in drafting Heritage’s budget plan, and Politico named him “one of the most important people in the Administration to watch.” Roll Call highlighted Winfree in a list of rising stars in the Administration.
  • Hans von Spakovsky, has been appointed to the Presidential Advisory Commission on voter fraud. The appointment of von Spakovsky is a testament to the extensive work he has done throughout his career, specializing in voting and election issues including campaign finance reform, voter fraud, and election administration.  A former Commissioner at the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice official, von Spakovsky currently runs the Election Law Reform Initiative at Heritage.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in other White House positions: Rick Dearborn, Deputy Chief of Staff, White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Cabinet Affairs; Matt Flynn, Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs, Executive Office of the President; Duncan Braid, Vetting; Lara Barger, Digital Media; Brian Blasé, Special Assistant to the President for Health Care Policy; Sean Doocey, Deputy Director, Presidential Personnel; Emily Lataif, Executive Assistant to the Staff Secretary

Department of State

  • Brittany Balmer,  works in the State Department as Protocol Officer for Diplomatic Visits and Ceremonies. She formerly served as Heritage’s Senior Event Producer. Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: William Wolfe, Congressional Advisor/Legislative Affairs; Ory Rinat, Beachhead team; Mary Monica Allen, Executive Assistant

Department of Homeland Security

  • John Mitnickhas been nominated to serve as to general counsel in the Department of Homeland Security. He currently serves as Heritage’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, general counsel’s office. At Heritage, Mitnick advises on and oversees all legal, regulatory, and compliance matters . His experience prior to Heritage includes serving as an Associate Counsel to President George W. Bush in the White House, Deputy Counsel for the Homeland Security Council, and Associate General Counsel for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Diem (Nguyen) Salmon, currently serves as Chief of Staff in the DHS and formerly served as Heritage’s senior policy analyst for defense budgeting.

Department of Transportation

  • Elaine Chao, serves as the United States Secretary of Transportation. She formerly served as a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Chao also previously served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009. Secretary Chao’s distinguished career spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She has served as President and CEO of United Way of America, Director of the Peace Corps, Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator, a White House Fellow, Vice President of Syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group, and a banker with Citicorp in New York.
  • Other former Heritage staff who now work in the State Department: Owen Morgan, Special Assistant.

National Institute of Justice

  • David Muhlhausen, has been appointed Director of the NIJ.  He formerly served as Heritage’s research fellow in empirical policy analysis. Muhlhausen is a leading expert on evaluating the effectiveness of federal social programs, and a veteran analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis. Muhlhausen joined Heritage in 1999 after serving on the staff for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he specialized in crime and juvenile justice policies. He previously was a manager at a juvenile correctional facility in Baltimore.

Environmental Protection Agency

  • David Kreutzer, worked on a beachhead team within the EPA (during which time he helped undo Obama-era climate initiatives). He formerly served at Heritage as a senior research fellow on energy economics and climate change and has returned to Heritage where he continues to research and write about labor markets and trade.

Department of Labor

  • James Sherk, has taken on an influential role on a beachhead team within the Department of Labor. James formerly served as a Heritage research fellow in labor economics. Sherk’s research has helped equip right-to-work states with the ammo they need to resist union coercion and bad labor policy.

Department of Transportation:

  • Nick Yonkovich, Special Assistant to the CFO.
  • Tina Henry, Special Assistant for Scheduling
  • Andrew Fink, Special Assistant for Advance

Department of Housing and Urban Development:

  • William Gribbin, speech writer for HUD Secretary Ben Carson
  • Anne Gribbin, Special Assistant
  • Benjamin Hobbs, Special Policy Advisor, Office of Public and Indian Housing

Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Laura Trueman, Special Assistant
  • Matt Grinney, Speechwriter
  • Steve Wagner, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families

Office of the Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • Jeet Gurram, Senior Advisor
  • Randy Pate, Deputy Administrator

Office of Personnel Management

  • Mike Rigas, nominated to be Deputy Director
  • Anthony Campau

Department of Education

  • Gerren McHam, Government Affairs
  • Jessica Newman, Office of the Secretary as Director of Scheduling

Small Business Administration: Maryann Bradfield, Chief of Staff

National Economic Council: Maggie Delahoyde, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director

What is the most important policy these conservative leaders can advance while serving in the administration?

Here’s the next generation of conservative leaders

I would say that the internship changed my life because it genuinely did. I can’t wait to come back to D.C. and to work for the movement in the future. ~Mimi Teixeira, Heritage intern summer ’17

Heritage believes strongly in preparing the next generation of conservatives for their role in leading our country. 

Through the Young Leaders Program young conservatives from around the country get a chance to work at Heritage and learn about the conservative principles that made this country great.

Yesterday, our summer intern class graduated.

Below is one interns story about her experiences this summer:

‘Here’s what the Heritage internship did for me.’

As our internships through The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program draw to a close, I want to tell you how grateful we all are for your generous support that made this opportunity possible.

This summer alone, Heritage trained 67 principled and passionate young conservative leaders. As part of our 12-week internship, we have been equipped through meaningful work experiences, thought-provoking lectures and discussions, exceptional community, and mentorships by the dedicated Heritage staff. We learned from experts and we developed a greater grasp of the principles behind our politics. We learned how to communicate these principles and policies. By working closely with Heritage’s renowned policy experts, we have conducted challenging research projects and we’ve gained critical experience in valuable professional skills like resume writing and networking.

My fellow interns and I wanted to take this moment to share with you a few of our favorite aspects and key takeaways from this internship. Below are some of our class reflections:

This summer we learned many things about Heritage, including that it hosts many international guests and dignitaries for both public and private events. We have also been impressed by the number of Heritage staff who have transitioned to the Hill or the administration. We have been encouraged by the culture of the organization – where everyone, no matter the title, is valued and genuinely respected by all other employees.

Some of our favorite memories from this summer included meeting and interacting with many influential individuals like Newt Gingrich, Kellyanne Conway, and Ben Shapiro and hearing from foreign leaders like the President of Romania and President of Ukraine. We came to realize just what a significant venue Heritage is in bringing together important leaders and decision makers. You never knew who you would meet in the elevator! This, in addition to the time Heritage’s own experts took to brief us and invest in us was very impactful. We also enjoyed the many opportunities to refine our professional focus, and were touched by the willingness and eagerness of employees to share with us and to assist. Many of us also had our first articles published, whether that was in The Daily Signal or a Heritage research publication, highlighting Heritage’s willingness to showcase its interns.

When it comes to key takeaways – lessons Heritage taught us that we look forward to carrying on with us – here are a few things the class had to say:

  • We learned: “the power of networking, and the power of associations. Doors open to you when you have taken the initiative to go to new places and meet new people.”
  • We learned: “how important it is to have friends who share your values to keep you grounded and help you make the right decisions. D.C. is a big city full of ambition and temptation, and it would be easy to be swept away by it without good friends.”
  • We gained: “the knowledge of being able to articulate what [we] stand for, rather than believing in a platform of knowing what [we] stand against.”
  • We learned: how to articulate, defend, and promote, our conservative principles and solutions, and are now prepared “to take the debate to our college campuses.”

According to one Heritage intern:

This internship has greatly enhanced my understanding of Conservatism. The First Principles lunches taught me the the foundations of conservative philosophy. The lectures and policy briefings showed me how these policies based on Conservative principles benefit all of American society. The practical experience and philosophical training that I received from Heritage will prove invaluable as I seek to advance Conservatism in America.

And as Max Morrison, the homeland and cyber security intern, put it:

I sincerely appreciate the effort, funds, and time that went into providing us all with this wonderful opportunity, and that the energy was not wasted because you’ve trained the next generation of leaders in the conservative movement.

How true this is! There are 67 of us in the summer intern program. 67 distinct individuals with unique callings and personal passions, but a common purpose. As my friends have highlighted above, we know what we believe. We know why we believe it. We know how to articulate, defend, and promote our beliefs. In short, we’re not your average 20-somethings. And as we now leave for our college campuses and careers across the country, thanks to Heritage, we are well prepared to spread our conservative values. As Dr. Feulner says, there are no permanent victories, no permanent defeats, only the permanent battle of ideas. We have the ideas, the solutions. And so with grace and humility we will continue to break through the liberal echo chambers on college campuses and in society, boldly and effectively confronting the left-wing ideology that sweeps up so many, and encouraging our conservative peers to do the same.

Heritage has equipped us, empowered us, and challenged us to do this and more. This summer, we have seen firsthand your and Heritage’s inspirational dedication to investing in us– the young conservative leaders of today– and we are forever grateful. Your dedication is ensuring American values and principles are restored and secured. You are truly shaping the future of the conservative movement. Thank you.

-Kathleen Reynolds, summer intern 2017

Heritage 2017 summer intern class. 

Do you believe in Heritage’s mission to shape the next generation of conservative leaders? Why or why not?