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May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016 | News Releases on

Heritage Names Dunlop “Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow,” Wagner Moves up to VP

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2016—The Heritage Foundation has named Becky Norton Dunlop its Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow.  She succeeds former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, who remains with the think tank as Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus. 

A leading figure in the conservative movement, Dunlop has been Heritage’s Vice President for External Relations since 1998. She also chairs the Conservative Action Project, an alliance of more than 100 CEOs of conservative organizations working together to advance conservative principles and public policy goals.

“Becky Norton Dunlop was ‘a natural’ to become the next Reagan Distinguished Fellow,” said Heritage President Jim DeMint. “She served President Reagan throughout both terms in office as a senior official at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, as well as inside the White House. And she works tirelessly to keep his legacy alive through her service on the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and as a Treasurer of the Reagan Alumni Association.”

A former Secretary of Natural Resources for the state of Virginia, Dunlop is the author of Clearing the Air and one of the nation’s leading free-market environmentalists. She will continue to spearhead Heritage’s promotion of the American Conservation Ethic, a federalist approach to improving stewardship of the environment and managing the nation’s natural resources for the benefit of the American people.

Beyond her work at Heritage, Dunlop is active in numerous civic and professional organizations.  A member of the Advisory Council for the Landmark Legal Foundation, she serves on the boards of the Association of American Educators and its Foundation, the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, the American Conservative Union and the Council for National Policy as well as the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors and the Reagan Alumni Association.  She and her husband, George, are also very active members of the Oakland Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va.

Bridgett Wagner, a 35-year veteran of Heritage, has been promoted to Dunlop’s previous post. As Vice President for External Relations, Wagner will oversee the think tank’s outreach and education programs.  Her portfolio includes coalition relations, lectures and seminars, strategic outreach, and Heritage’s Young Leaders Program.

“As head of Heritage’s Coalitions Relations program, Bridgett Wagner has been an invaluable mentor and matchmaker for conservative policy organizations at all levels—state, national and international,” DeMint said.

He cited her leadership of Heritage’s annual Resource Bank conferences as one of her “invaluable contributions to the conservative movement.” The annual conferences attract hundreds of conservative leaders for research presentations, strategy sessions and best-practices seminars.

“Year after year, Bridgett has helped conservative leaders and institutions grow, mature, build networks, stay motivated and work together to advance innovative, principled policy solutions,” DeMint said.

Outside of Heritage, Wagner serves as a director of the State Policy Network, the Foundation for Government Accountability and the Dominican Foundation. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society and the Philadelphia Society, Wagner also sits on the Board of Trustees of the University of Dallas and Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

“Becky Norton Dunlop and Bridgett Wagner are both movement legends, and Heritage is privileged to have them on our team advancing the cause of liberty,” DeMint said.

Based in Washington, D.C., The Heritage Foundation is the nation’s most broadly supported public policy research institute. Founded in 1973, Heritage develops public policy solutions that advance free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and a strong national defense.

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