Susan A. Carleson, Chairman/CEO
Susan A. Carleson, ACRU Chairman/CEO, began her career in public policy in 1981 as an advisor on health care financing policy during the Reagan transition and then as a senior advisor to the Greenspan Commission on Social Security Reform. She joined the staff of the House Republican Conference in 1982 and later served as Legislative Director for Jack Kemp. During the 2nd Reagan term, she was a Special Assistant to the Deputy Undersecretary of Education and Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for Justice Programs. From 2002 until 2006, she served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the Social Security Administration.
Following the passing of her husband Robert B. Carleson in 2006, she assumed the leadership and day-to-day management of the ACRU.
Morton C. Blackwell, Director
Morton C. Blackwell, Director, founded the Leadership Institute, a nonpartisan educational foundation, in 1979. After decades of work in politics, Blackwell served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1984. Blackwell is one of the nation’s most influential conservative figures, and through his Leadership Institute training programs he has helped to prepare thousands of politicians, journalists, and activists.
Wendy Borcherdt, Director
Wendy Borcherdt, Director, is a former special assistant to the President for Public Policy and associate director of Presidential Personnel in the White House under President Reagan. She also served as acting Deputy Under-Secretary of Education in the Reagan administration. Mrs. Borcherdt is on the board of overseers, trustee emeritus, at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and she serves on the executive committee of the Parents Television Council. In addition, she is a board member and executive committee member of the Trinity School for Ministry in Pittsburgh and a board member at the School for Public Policy at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Mrs. Borcherdt holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Stanford University.
Edwin Meese III, Director
Edwin Meese III served as the seventy-fifth Attorney General of the United States from February 1985 to August 1988. Before serving as Attorney General, he was counselor to President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985. In this capacity he functioned as the president’s chief policy adviser and had management responsibility for the administration of the cabinet, policy development, and planning and evaluation. During the time he held both these positions, Meese was a member of the president’s cabinet and the National Security Council.
Mr. Meese served as Governor Reagan’s executive assistant and chief of staff in California from 1969-1974 and as legal affairs secretary from 1967-1968. Before joining Governor Reagan’s staff in 1967, he served as deputy district attorney of Alameda County California.
Mr. Meese is a distinguished fellow and holder of the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation; a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; a member of the Board of Regents of the National College of District Attorney; and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Institute of United States Studies, University of London. He has authored many scholarly books on American government, most recently The Heritage Guide to the Constitution.
He earned his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
David A. Leedom, Director
David A. Leedom, Director, was trained as an engineer at the University of California. He has been a government employee, small-business owner, and large-business vice president, and he currently works in consulting and project management. He has a background of working with the military and is active in community and military affairs. He has worked for many conservative causes and has supported the American Civil Rights Union since its founding.
Kenneth A. Klukowski, General Counsel
Kenneth A. (Ken) Klukowski is General Counsel and a Fellow with the American Civil Rights Union. He is also Senior Counsel and Director of Strategic Affairs at Liberty Institute, and Legal Editor for Breitbart News Network. Klukowski has served as Special Deputy Attorney General of Indiana, and worked on faculty at Liberty University School of Law. His columns have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and other national publications, and his amicus briefs and eight law review articles have been cited by various federal courts and top legal journals.
He has participated in numerous Supreme Court cases, and lectured and debated at over seventy law schools nationwide. A national bestselling author, his most recent book is Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America, published by Simon & Schuster. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, studied history at Arizona State University, earned his law degree from George Mason University, and served as a law clerk to Judge Alice Batchelder on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Robert H. Knight, Senior Fellow
Robert H. Knight is a Senior Fellow with the American Civil Rights Union. He was a journalist for 15 years, including seven as an editor and writer at the Los Angeles Times. A regular weekly columnist for the Washington Times, Townhall.com and OneNewsNow.com, he has a B.S. and an M.A. in Political Science from American University, and was a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He held senior positions with the Heritage Foundation, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Media Research Center, and Coral Ridge Ministries (now D. James Kennedy Ministries). He has authored five books, co-authored another, and written hundreds of reports and articles, and appeared on nearly all major TV and radio news and talk programs.