About Us

What We Do

Frontier Group provides information and ideas to help citizens build a cleaner, healthier, fairer and more democratic America. We address issues that will define our nation’s course in the 21st century – from fracking to solar energy, global warming to transportation, clean water to clean elections. Our experts and writers deliver timely research and analysis that is accessible to the public, applying insights gleaned from a variety of disciplines to arrive at new ideas for solving pressing problems.

Who We Are


Susan Rakov

Frontier Group Director Susan Rakov is an organizer who believes that big ideas, coupled with sustained effort by a strong team, can change the world. Her first job after graduating from Harvard/Radcliffe in 1983 was as a community organizer with MASSPIRG, working on campaigns for voter registration, to stop acid rain, and to clean up hazardous waste dumps. Having added an organizer’s core skills of recruitment, training and leadership development to her talents as a writer, editor and critical thinker, she turned toward the challenge of capacity building for the public interest movement, heading a national staff recruitment program for The Public Interest Network to identify and recruit more young people to careers as organizers. From 1989 to 1996 she was Executive Assistant to the Chair of The Public Interest Network, helping to develop campaigns and build membership and political power for social change organizations across the nation. 

In 1996, having identified a need for policy development driven by public interest values, Susan began building a new team as the founding director of Frontier Group. Initially launched to conduct research and policy analysis during a 1996 California initiative for campaign finance reform, Frontier Group has transformed under Susan's leadership into a multi-issue think tank, injecting clear-eyed, well-informed, outside-the-Beltway perspective into public debate on a broad range of issues. Susan's current priorities include guiding Frontier Group's research and policy development work, cultivating new ideas for partnership with like-minded research, policy and advocacy organizations (both in and out of The Public Interest Network), and training analysts to think like organizers – and vice versa. Susan is based in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her husband and two children.


Tony Dutzik

Tony Dutzik is senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. Since joining Frontier Group in 2001, he has been the lead author of dozens of reports on a range of policy issues, focusing primarily on climate, energy and transportation policy. His work has received national and international media attention - including coverage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the Financial Times, and the Economist. His research and ideas have influenced public policy debates on issues such as the implications of changing transportation trends, the need for stronger vehicle emission standards, and the role of state policy action in addressing global warming.

Prior to joining Frontier Group, Tony worked as an education reporter for the Eagle-Tribune newspaper of Lawrence, Mass. He also worked for six years as a political writer with the Fund for the Public Interest and for two years organizing college students with New Jersey PIRG at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. and Temple University in Philadelphia. Tony holds a Master's degree in print journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science degree in public service from Penn State University. A native of Pittsburgh, he now resides in Boston with his wife and two children.


Elizabeth Ridlington

Elizabeth Ridlington is a policy analyst with Frontier Group. She focuses primarily on global warming, fracking and clean vehicles, and has written dozens of reports on these and other subjects. Her work includes Moving America Forward, assessing the impact of state and national policies to reduce global warming emissions; Fracking by the Numbers, tallying the cumulative impacts of fracking on our air, water and land; and numerous reports on the benefits of state adoption of stronger vehicle emission standards. Elizabeth graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in government. She joined Frontier Group in 2002. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.


Jeff Inglis

Jeff Inglis is a policy analyst in Frontier Group's Boston office. He has worked on research projects about clean water, transportation funding priorities, and childhood hunger. A longtime newspaper reporter and editor before joining Frontier Group in March 2014, Jeff worked as a journalist in Maine, Antarctica, New Zealand, Missouri and Vermont. He has a bachelor's degree in history from Middlebury College and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Long active in efforts to promote open and transparent government, Jeff is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the National Press Photographers Association.


Tom Van Heeke

Tom Van Heeke is a policy analyst in Frontier Group’s Boston office. Since joining Frontier Group in August 2012, he has worked primarily on transportation policy and government accountability issues. His reports have been featured in media outlets including The Washington Post’s GovBeat blog, Governing magazine, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and online transportation fora such as Streetsblog Network. A Florida native, Tom was raised largely overseas in Switzerland and Britain where, as a high school senior, he served in municipal elective office. Tom was thrilled to return to the United States in 2008 to attend Grinnell College, where he majored in political science and graduated with honors in May 2012. Outside the office, he enjoys traveling and is a college sports enthusiast and frequently disappointed Florida Gators fan.


Judee Burr

Judee Burr is a policy analyst in Frontier Group’s Santa Barbara office, where she focuses primarily on clean energy and global warming issues. Her work includes Shining Cities on the development of solar power in U.S. cities, two editions of Ohio’s Clean Energy Success Story on the growth of clean energy in Ohio, Reaching for the Sun on solar power development in Texas cities and The Power to Pollute on the influence of agribusinesses on the spread of factory farm water pollution in Wisconsin. Before joining Frontier Group in August 2012, she attended Stanford University, where she worked as a research assistant for the Carnegie Institute for Global Change and for the interdisciplinary Bill Lane Center for the American West. She graduated from Stanford in June 2012 with honors in Earth Systems and a second major in Philosophy.


Gideon Weissman

Gideon Weissman is a Policy Analyst in Frontier Group’s Boston office. Gideon joined Frontier Group in 2014 after two years as a writer with Public Interest GRFX, where he managed and drafted political communications for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), state PIRGs and the Fair Share network. Before that, he served for two years as a program associate with New Jersey PIRG, working on campaigns to establish New Jersey’s health care exchange and to get big money out of politics. Gideon holds a B.A. in Government from Cornell University and is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Mary Leah Braun Fellowship

Mary Leah Braun was a remarkable young woman who worked with the Frontier Group and other organizations in the Public Interest Network before her untimely death in April 2006. The Mary Leah Braun Fellowship was dedicated in her honor in the summer of 2007. For more information about the fellowship and its recipients, click here.