Heritage Foundation Announces Executive Director of Feulner Institute, Vice President for Outreach

Heritage Foundation Announces Executive Director of Feulner Institute, Vice President for Outreach

Apr 29, 2022 3 min read

WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced today that Bridgett Wagner was named executive director of the Edwin J. Feulner Institute, and Andrew Olivastro was named vice president for outreach. Heritage’s Board of Trustees voted to approve both promotions Wednesday. 

Heritage launched the Feulner Institute in 2019, named in honor of the organization’s founder. In her new role, Wagner will continue to be an ambassador for The Heritage Foundation and spearhead strategic enterprise-wide priorities. She’ll remain a member of Heritage’s senior management team, providing counsel and advice to Heritage and conservative movement partners. 

This is Olivastro’s latest stint at Heritage, where he returned in 2019 as director of coalition relations. With nearly 15 years in government and the business world, Olivastro will utilize his experience and expertise to capitalize on new outreach opportunities for Heritage. He and his team will help expand Heritage’s reach both across the movement and to new audiences. 

Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement on the promotions: 

“I am immensely proud of the incredible work Bridgett and Andy accomplished in their many years of service to Heritage and the conservative movement. Bridgett is a trusted voice throughout our organization and across the conservative movement, and she is going to do great things in this new role, maximizing the effectiveness of Heritage’s relationship with the conservative movement. She is one of the few Heritage ‘lifers,’ having devoted her professional career to the foundation. Andy is the perfect man to serve as our new vice president of outreach. He spent years building relationships across the conservative movement, as well as outside of it, and his expertise is crucial as Heritage expands our efforts across the country. I am excited for the things Bridgett and Andy are going to do in these new roles.” 

For decades, Wagner has connected conservatives throughout the movement and provided sound advice to emerging leaders and established conservative voices. Prior to her most recent role as vice president of policy promotion, Wagner served as Heritage’s director of coalition relations, a position in which she gained immense respect for motivating, supporting, encouraging, counseling, and otherwise helping to build a vital network of conservative think tanks and issue-based organizations in the U.S. and around the world. She joined Heritage in 1981 as a research assistant and speechwriter for then-President Ed Feulner. 

“It’s an honor to be taking on this new role with the Feulner Institute at Heritage. As someone who has seen the conservative movement grow and Heritage’s role evolve to match the challenges we face, this is a very exciting time to be in the fight,” Wagner said. “More Americans than ever have become aware of just what’s at stake. Kevin Roberts and the entire Heritage team are taking on the big policy battles, training new leaders, expanding our outreach under Andy Olivastro, and strengthening the network of organizations we partner with every day. The work of the Feulner Institute will help us to recognize and support these partners in new ways.” 

Olivastro previously helped direct the speechwriting team for U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, served as speechwriter to former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, and founded ATO Strategies, a public affairs firm focused on media engagement and reputation management for individuals, businesses, and nonprofits. He also led executive and employee communications and corporate responsibility for United Technologies (now Raytheon Technologies), and developed elite engagement strategies for Fortune 10 companies at Edelman Public Relations. 

“The Heritage Foundation is a friend to every American and a partner with every freedom-loving individual,” Olivastro said. “Our work is to protect American families and achieve important victories against the rising tide of radicalism and extremism from the left. Under Kevin’s vital leadership and through a continued partnership with Bridgett, our team is just getting started.”