About Us

What We Do

Our Mission

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.

New Economy Program

An underlying assumption of the national conversation about economic problems and political alienation is that if only America could create more jobs, and people could produce, or acquire, more goods, our quality of life would improve and many of our woes would disappear.

That assumption is wrong. As a nation, we have enough food, homes, cars and “stuff” for everyone, though we don’t distribute it as evenly as we ought to. The quest to keep making more in the same old ways has left us with ecological and social challenges that obscure the vast potential of our society.

Our quality of life will only improve when we accept that economic growth doesn’t automatically deliver happiness, and begin to make decisions, both in and beyond the economic realm, to support meaningful lives. We need to build communities that facilitate social connections, support family caregivers, restore the beauty in our neighborhoods, and enable people to pursue what brings them satisfaction. Frontier Group’s New Economy Program is dedicated to developing policy that acknowledges our material abundance and helps make real the possibilities of our 21st-century world.

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.


Evan Preston

Evan Preston is New Economy Program Director at Frontier Group. Evan focuses on policy development to enable more people to flourish, reduce economic anxiety and expand individuals’ freedom to pursue what is meaningful to them. Prior to directing the New Economy Program, Evan directed the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (ConnPIRG) where his policy research included curbing sales of unsafe automobiles (CarMax: Endangering Lives in Connecticut). Evan’s public interest advocacy has shaped legislation in multiple states and has been covered by the Associated Press, NBC News, National Public Radio, The Hartford Courant and The Oregonian. A native of rural central Illinois, Evan graduated with honors from Pomona College.


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.


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.


Alana Miller

Alana Miller is a policy analyst with Frontier Group, focusing largely on transportation and global warming issues. Alana joined Frontier Group after working on transportation policy in New York City with Transportation Alternatives, the city's leading advocate for safe walking, biking and transit options. Before that, she was a fellow with PennPIRG in Philadelphia, working to close corporate tax loopholes and protect consumers. Alana graduated with honors from Smith College and has a master's degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. She lives and works in Denver.


Elizabeth Berg

Elizabeth Berg is a policy associate in Frontier Group's Boston office. Originally from New York City, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016 with a double major in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and Literature. Her thesis research, which focused on mercury pollution in the Lake Superior region, aimed to identify and resolve inconsistencies between national mercury emissions inventories. While in college, she also interned with Environment America, working on their solar energy campaign.


Abi Bradford

Abi Bradford is a policy associate in Frontier Group’s Boston office. Originally from Maine, she graduated from the University of Maine, Orono in 2015 with a B.S. in Earth and Climate Sciences and Climate Systems concentration. Upon graduation, she worked as a scientific research assistant for the New England Sustainability Consortium conducting GIS and field work. She then worked as a field organizer for NextGen Climate in New Hampshire leading up to the 2016 election.


Rachel Cross

Rachel Cross is a policy associate in Frontier Group’s Denver office. Rachel joined Frontier Group in 2016 after a year of service as an AmeriCorps Member. She has worked as an environmental educator in Costa Rica and her home state of Kansas. Rachel graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in English and minors in Economics and Latin American Studies, and was selected as a keynote speaker for the 2014 KU Research Symposium for her work on sustainable ecotourism in Latin America. She lives with her dog in Denver.   

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.