Board of Directors and President

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 presidential 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.

Lori Roman, President

Lori Roman is the President of the American Civil Rights Union. Her diverse career exemplifies her expertise in management, public policy, strategic planning, and public relations. She is the former President of the Salt Institute, an industry trade association. She is also the former Executive Director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a public policy organization of state legislators, members of U.S. Congress, and British and European Parliaments. Formerly, she served as the Deputy Director/Chief of Staff of the White House Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education, where she was responsible for strategic planning and management of resources to achieve the goals outlined in the President’s Management Agenda. She also served as the Director of School Choice and Senior Advisor on Family Educational Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. She began her career in management at General Motors and she has also assisted many businesses and non-profits as a consultant over many years.

An accomplished speaker and writer, Ms. Roman has been featured in many major radio and television outlets, as well as magazines and newspapers. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Administration.