The Pelican Institute fulfills its mission by:
The Pelican Institute Team
Daniel Erspamer is the Chief Executive Officer of The Pelican Institute, having been appointed in May of 2017. Prior to joining the Pelican Institute, Daniel served as Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at State Policy Network, the service organization for America’s free-market, state-based think tanks, of which the Pelican Institute is an affiliate member. Prior to that, he served a variety of leadership and development roles at the national office of Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation. He received a B.A., with honors, in Political Economy and Communication from Tulane University. Daniel and his wife, Emily (a graduate of Tulane University School of Law), have four children and reside in New Orleans.
Trent Hill is the Digital Marketing Strategist for the Pelican Institute, working to expand the digital footprint of the only think-tank in Louisiana committed to small government, low taxes, and less spending. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he still lives and works at a digital marketing company specializing in search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and other forms of online marketing.
Margaret Mire is a Senior Fellow at The Pelican Institute, most frequently called upon to discuss issues like criminal justice reform, taxation, and budgetary excess. She currently works with American for Tax Reform in Washington D.C. while helping to steer Louisiana policy conversations in a liberty-friendly direction.
Chris Jacobs is a Senior Fellow at The Pelican Institute. He has over a decade of experience in a variety of policy roles on and off Capitol Hill. He previously worked as Policy Director for America Next, a new start-up think tank, and as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Heritage Foundation and the Joint Economic Committee’s Senate Republican staff. Before that, Chris worked as a Policy Advisor for the House Republican Conference under then-Chairman Mike Pence during the debate surrounding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and as a Health Policy Analyst for the Senate Republican Policy Committee during the first two years of the law’s implementation. He got his start on Capitol Hill as an intern for then-Congressman Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. While serving as Policy Director for America Next, Chris contributed to the Wall Street Journal‘s Think Tank policy blog. He has taught part-time on health policy at The American University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History Phi Beta Kappa
Board of Directors
Stephen M. Gele – Chairman
In Memoriam: Kevin Kane
The Pelican Institute was founded in 2008 by Kevin Kane, who led the organization until his untimely death in October of 2016. A well-respected leader on free-market public policy, his work, alongside other partners in the state, led to the passage in 2017 of landmark criminal justice reforms. Many individuals and organizations celebrated Kevin’s accomplishments and noted his passing, including The Times-Picayune, State Policy Network, The Advocate, and Gambit.