WASHINGTON—Andrew Puzder, former chief executive of CKE Restaurants and economic expert, joined The Heritage Foundation on Wednesday as a visiting fellow in business and economic freedom.
In his role as visiting fellow, Puzder will focus on the consequences of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activism, and the impact of shareholder resolutions. Puzder will work with Heritage experts to advance business and free-market activity, economic growth, and develop policy solutions that benefit all Americans.
“The left has weaponized capital to advance an agenda they could never pass with the support of the American people. We’re thrilled Andy Puzder brings his decades of valuable business experience to The Heritage Foundation to push back,” Heritage President Kevin Roberts said. “We will not concede the loss of corporate America to the left’s march through the institutions. We will kill the ‘woke’ cancer without killing the host. The private sector will again thrive when political decisions are made through the democratic process, where elected leaders are beholden to voters.”
In a new commentary for the Wall Street Journal today, Puzder documents the Biden administration’s nonstop war against America’s oil and gas producers. “Unless its efforts meet with resistance, prices will increase and our energy independence will vanish,” Puzder warns. He advocates for states to act by discouraging the financial sector and institutional investors from supporting Biden’s agenda.
“American businesses and American families thrive when they are free—free from an overly burdensome federal government, free from suffocating regulations, and free from activists trying to shape the boardrooms of their employers or influence the custodians of their retirement investments,” Puzder said. “By partnering with the world-class team at Heritage, we will affirm that economic freedom leads to a more dynamic marketplace that delivers the greatest innovations, delivers a cleaner environment, and most importantly, leads to greater individual and family prosperity.”
Puzder began his career as a commercial trial lawyer in St. Louis in 1978 and later served as the personal attorney for entrepreneur Carl Karcher. He went on to become CEO of the well-known fast food powerhouses Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains in 2000, expanding to 3,800 locations and leading the company out of serious financial difficulties.
He frequently delivers lectures on economics and politics for various groups, associations, colleges, and universities. Puzder is a senior fellow at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, a member of the Washington University Law School’s Board of Advisors, a director at Job Creators Network, and a member of the advisory board at Prager University. He has authored several books, including “Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It,” “The Capitalist Comeback: The Trump Boom and the Left's Plot to Stop It,” “Getting America Back to Work” and “It’s Time to Let America Work Again.”
In 2021, Puzder was named chairman of the board at 2ndVote Advisers, an investment firm formed in response to the stakeholder capitalism and ESG movements.