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

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Susan Rakov

Frontier Group Director Susan Rakov has spent the past two decades working to build the organizational and intellectual infrastructure of the public interest movement. A graduate of Harvard University, Susan worked during the 1980s to develop and oversee the national staff recruitment program and coordinated grant-seeking efforts of the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), U.S. PIRG. Later, she served as executive assistant to the Chair of the Public Interest Network, helping to build capacity, membership and political power for social change organizations across the nation.

In 1996, Susan became the founding director of Frontier Group. Initially launched to conduct research and policy analysis during the 1996 campaign for a cutting-edge California campaign finance reform initiative, Frontier Group was transformed under Susan's leadership into a multi-issue think tank providing research and policy development support to organizations throughout the Public Interest Network, including U.S. PIRG, Environment America and their respective state affiliates. Over the past decade, Susan has worked to expand Frontier Group's research staff and the range of issue areas the group addresses. Susan's current priorities include overseeing Frontier Group's operations, guiding the group's program and policy development work, and spearheading efforts to build alliances with like-minded research, policy and advocacy organizations. Susan is based in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her husband and two children.

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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, the Financial Times, and the Economist. His research and ideas have influenced public policy debates on issues such as the need for stronger vehicle emission standards, the implications of changing transportation trends, 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.

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Elizabeth Ridlington

Elizabeth Ridlington works as a policy analyst with Frontier Group. She focuses primarily on global warming, energy efficiency and clean vehicles, and has written dozens of reports on these and other subjects. Her work includes Too Much Pollution, assessing state and national trends in global warming emissions; Utility Work Ahead, evaluating Maryland’s progress improving energy efficiency and reducing electricity consumption; 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 and worked as an assistant to the director of the Fund for the Public Interest and U.S. PIRG before joining Frontier Group in 2002. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son.

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Jeff Inglis

Jeff Inglis is a policy analyst in the Frontier Group's Boston office. Prior to joining the team in March 2014, he worked as a reporter and editor in Maine, Antarctica, New Zealand, Missouri and Vermont. Most recently, he served as managing editor of the Portland Phoenix in Maine for eight years, where he and those on his team won state, regional and national awards for investigation and analysis. 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.

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Tom Van Heeke

Tom Van Heeke is a policy associate in Frontier Group’s Boston office. Since joining Frontier Group in August 2012 he has worked primarily on transportation and government accountability issues. A Florida native, Tom was raised largely overseas in Switzerland and Britain where, as a high school senior, he served in local elected office. Tom was thrilled to return to the United States to attend Grinnell College, where he majored in political science and graduated with honors in May 2012.  

 

 

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Judee Burr

Judee Burr is a policy associate in Frontier Group’s Santa Barbara office, where she focuses primarily on clean energy and global warming issues. Her work includes 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 worked with the Bill Lane Center to complete her honors thesis comparing collaborations between indigenous communities and land management agencies in California and Australia to develop more effective fire management strategies. She graduated from Stanford in June 2012 with honors in Earth Systems and a second major in Philosophy. She is a native of Coventry, Rhode Island.

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Lindsey Hallock

Lindsey Hallock is a Policy Associate working out of Frontier Group’s Santa Barbara office. Lindsey graduated with a B.A. in International Affairs from Miami University of Ohio in 2010, where she worked as a student researcher at the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. After graduation, she worked as a Staff Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to joining Frontier Group in August 2014, she received her Master's degree from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands, completing her thesis on urban agriculture and economic development in American cities.

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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.