America’s Future, formerly America's Future Foundation (AFF), is a non-profit network founded in 1995 for "young conservatives and libertarians" in Washington, DC. America's Future Foundation is an "affiliate" member of the State Policy Network, a web of right-wing “think tanks” in 48 states across the country.
The group was started by Mary and Chris Siddall, Samuel Casey Carter, Adam Kaufman and Robert and Lisa Caldwell. According to its website, "the mission of America’s Future Foundation is to identify and develop the next generation of conservative and libertarian leaders. We work to build a nationwide network of young professionals who are committed to the principles of limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility."
Although headquartered in Washington, D.C., AFF has chapters in 20 cities across the country as of January 2017. See here.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our ExposedbyCMD.org site.
Current member of the Board of Directors of AFF, Chaz Cirame, worked on the senior leadership team at ALEC. "While at ALEC, Chaz and his team shattered organizational records for fundraising, legislative outreach, private sector member recruitment and conference attendance," according to his AFF profile.
Stacie Rumenap, previously sat on the Board of Directors of AFF, represents Stop Child Predators, a non-profit organization of which she is Executive Director, as the co-chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Criminal Justice Reform Task Force, as of 2016. She was also on the Private Sector Executive Committee of the now defunct Public Safety and Elections task force. She has been a member of ALEC since 2004, according to ALEC's webpage.
Both ALEC and the AFF are also members of the State Policy Network, which is a consortium of right-wing think-tanks and policy advocacy groups funded by the likes of the John M. Olin Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (a Koch Family Foundation).
Ties to the Koch Brothers
Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.
AFF receives interns through the "Koch Summer Fellow Program," particularly from the Institute for Humane Studies, a subsection of the Koch-funded Mercatus Center located at George Mason University. Interns receive a stipend as a Koch Summer Fellow. AFF is among the scores of think-tanks and policy advocacy groups listed on the Institute for Humane Studies-approved internships webpage.
The current staff and Board of Directors have ties to the Koch network. Executive Director Roger Custer is a 2012 graduate of the Koch Associate Program. Director Richard Lorenc is a graduate of the Charles Koch Institute and David Riggs worked as an environmental program officer at the Charles G. Koch Foundation.
AFF also receives funding from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. (see below)
AFF published the quarterly Doublethink, as well as the magazine Brainwash.
AFF uses social events as a way to network young professionals who are either libertarian or conservative. Many of these events are hosted by SPN "think tanks."
For a list of upcoming AFF events see here.
America's Future Foundation is not required to disclose its funders. Its major foundation funders, however, can be found through a search of the IRS filings. Here are the know funders of AFF:
- Charles G. Koch Foundation: $56,403 (2011-2014)
- DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund: $270,000 (2010-2014)
- Dunn Foundation: $25,000 (2022)
- Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation: $40,000] (2013-2015)
- Total Revenue: $601,132
- Total Expenses: $325,962
- Net Assets: $532,160
- Total Revenue: $608,742
- Total Expenses: $566,305
- Net Assets: $256,990
- Total Revenue: $517,895
- Total Expenses: $375,446
- Net Assets: $214,553
- Total Revenue: $324,506
- Total Expenses: $285,924
- Net Assets: $72,104
- Total Revenue: $227,293
- Total Expenses: $218,489
- Net Assets: $33,522
As of January 2017:
- Roger Custer, Executive Director
- Jaci Woltornist, Director of DC Programs
- Heather Pfitzenmaier, Vice President
- Kathryn Shelton, Director of Chapter Advancement
- David Hoyt, Director of Development
- Jon Staab, Development Associate
- Christian Rice, Capital Hill Program Manager
- Jason Russell, Writing Fellows Program Manager
- Cindy Cerquitella, Director of Programs
- Sarah Friederich, Event Coordinator
- Eric Heidenreich, Director of IT
Board of Directors
- Carl Helstrom, Chairman; Executive Director of the JM Foundation and Milbank Foundation
- Kathleen O'Hearn, Vice Chair; Director of Policy Advancement for State Policy Network
- Kristine Telford, Treasurer; Senior Director at the Herald Group
- Richard Lorenc, COO of the Foundation for Economic Education
- John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute
- David Riggs, Vice President of Philanthropic Strategy at the Philanthropy Roundtable
- Chaz Cirame, Founder and CEO of Cc: External Affairs, Inc.
- Daniel Rothschild, Executive Director of the Mercatus Center
- Jeff Berkowitz, Founder and CEO of Delve
- Roger Ream, President of The Fund for American Studies
- David White
- Gary D. Leff
- Cheryl Miller
- Whitney Garrison Athayde
- Peter Suderman
- Kristine Esposo
- Roger Custer
- Kmele Foster - Chairman: Vice President and Co-Founder of TelcoIQ, a telecommunications consultancy in Maryland ($40 million in sales revenue in 2008).
- Gary D. Leff: Leff is the CFO at the Mercatus Center and Institute for Humane Studies. He was previously the Director of Development for both as well. He was also a Charles G. Koch SUmmer Fellow at the Tax Foundation.
- John S. Barry: Vice Chairman: Handles the global public policy initiatives at Visa Inc.'s Global Government Affairs Department. Barry was previously the Director of Research and Chief Economist at the Tax Foundation and an economic policy analyst at the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.
- Stacie Rumenap: Treasurer: Executive Director of Stop Child Predators and a Co-Chair of the Public Safety and Elections Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
- Tim Carney - Secretary: Senior reporter for the Evans-Novak Political Report, a columnist for the Washington Examiner and the author of The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money (2006).
- Melissa Anderson: Anderson is the Associate Director of former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum's Program to Protect America's Freedom at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Previously, he was a communications advisor for the Senate Republican Conference. She was also a reporter for THe Hill newspaper and an editorial assistant for the National Review.
- Raul Damas: He is the Senior Manager of Public Affairs at Pfizer Inc.. PReviously, Damas was the Associate Director of the White House Office of Poilitical Affairs.
- Kathryn Kelly: Director of state outreach for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Previously, she was at the Engalitcheff Institute for Comparative Political and Economic Systems at the Fund for American Studies.
- Sean Rushton: Communications Director for the U.S. Small Business Adminstration. Previously, she was executive director of the COmmittee for Justice. He was also press secretaries for Congressman Bill Archer (R-TX) and Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA).
- Jeff Berkowitz: Research Director for the Republican National Committee. Previously was the Deputy Communications Director and Research Director for the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and as Associate Director for Research in the White House Office of Scheduling. Berkowitz was also the Senior Defense and Foreign Policy Analyst for the Republican National Committee and Bush-Cheney 2004.
- Arthur Brooks, American Enterprise Institute
- Michael Gleba, The Sarah Scaife Foundation
- Robert Levy, Cato Institute
- Edwin Meese, Heritage Foundation
- Edwin Feulner, Heritage Foundation
- Christopher Malagisi, Conservative Book Club
- Gene Meyer, Federalist Society
- Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
- Chad Thevenot, Institute for Humane Studies
- Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
- Samuel Casey Carter
- Christina Culver, Dutko Worldwide
- Carl Helstrom, The JM Foundation
- Scott Hodge, The Tax Foundation
- Michael Lynch, MetLife Financial Services
- Roger Ream, The Fund for American Studies
- Christopher S. Siddall, Satori Consulting
- Mary Siddall, Founder, America’s Future Foundation
- Matthew Spalding, The Heritage Foundation
As of 2012 (may no longer exist as it is not listed on the AFF website in 2017):
- Clint Bolick, Alliance for School Choice
- Leonard Liggio, Atlas Economic Research Foundation
- T. Kenneth Cribb, Intercollegiate Studies Institute
- Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Fellow, Heritage Foundation
- Edwin J. Feulner, Jr., Heritage Foundation
- Gene Meyer, Federalist Society
- Barbara Ledeen, Founder, Independent Women’s Forum
- Randal C. Teague, Fund for American Studies
- Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
- Ron Robinson, Young America’s Foundation
America's Future Foundation
Employer Identification Number: 52-1928321
1513 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
- About AFF, "America's Future Foundation Website", accessed July 2011
- State Policy Network, Directory, State Policy Network, 2016.
- AFF's Mission, "America's Future Foundation Website".
- America's Future Foundation, Aff Team, America's Future Foundation, 2017.
- American Legislative Exchange Council Stacie Rumenap, organization website, accessed September 8, 2016.
- American Legislative Exchange Council Private Sector Executive Committee, organization website, accessed June 2, 2011.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, Private Sector Executive Committee, organizational website, accessed June 30, 2011.
- State Policy Network, Member Directory, organizational website, accessed July 10, 2011.
- Media Matters Action Network, State Policy Network: Funders, online conservative transparency database, accessed July 10, 2011.
- , "Koch Summer Fellow Program - Host Search." Institute for Humane Studies. TheIHS.org. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- America's Future Foundation, [Events, organizational website, accessed June 2011.
- America's Future Foundation, 2015 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, August 4, 2016.
- America's Future Foundation, 2014 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, February 11, 2016.
- America's Future Foundation, 2013 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, December 30, 2014.
- America's Future Foundation, 2012 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, December 11, 2013.
- America's Future Foundation, 2011 IRS Form 990, Internal Revenue Service, December 21, 2012.