Susan A. Carleson, Chairman

Susan Carleson

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.

Amb. J. Kenneth Blackwell, Director

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell is a member of the Board of Directors of ACRU Action Fund and the Policy Board of ACRU. Mr. Blackwell has had a vast political career. He was mayor of Cincinnati, Treasurer and Secretary of State for Ohio, undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He has served on the congressionally appointed National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform and the board of the International Republican Institute. He was Co-Chairman of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board from 1999-2001.

He has received many awards and honors for his work in the public sector. These accolades include the U.S. Department of State’s Superior Honor Award for his work in the field of human rights which he received from both the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2004, the American Conservative Union honored Mr. Blackwell with the John M. Ashbrook Award for his steadfast conservative leadership.

Ken’s commentaries have been published in major newspapers and websites: The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TheNew York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, and Investor’s Business Daily.  In addition, he has been interviewed by many media outlets including CBS’s Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, and Fox News Sunday.  He is a national bestselling author of three books: Rebuilding America: A Prescription For Creating Strong Families, Building The Wealth Of Working People, And Ending Welfare; The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency; and Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.

His continuing education has included executive programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. Mr. Blackwell has also received honorary doctoral degrees from ten institutions of higher education. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Xavier University in Ohio, where he later served as a vice president and member of its faculty. In 1992, he received Xavier’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted into Xavier’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

Lori Roman, President

Lori Roman, President ACRULori 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.

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.

Michael Bowman, Director

Experience and a passion for policy is the history of Michael Bowman, President of ALEC Action. Michael has more than twenty-five years of state legislative and policy experience.  He has successfully run non-profit policy organizations, professionally managed political state campaigns, consulted and ran Federal and state Political Action Committees and served as a Legislative Director in the California Assembly and Senate.

Michael’s is a strong defender of Federalism, a champion for free markets and a crusader to protect individual liberty.  Michaels gifting is creating left-right coalitions that protect, empower those who have been victimized, trapped or ruined by government laws, programs or institutions.