Our Mission

Frontier Group provides information and ideas to build a healthier, more sustainable America. Our experts and writers deliver timely research and analysis that is accessible to the public, applying insights gleaned from diverse fields of knowledge to arrive at new ideas for solving pressing problems.

We address the problems that emerge, paradoxically, from our nation’s material and technological wealth – the problems of abundance.

Modern material abundance has erased many of the hardships of the past. But our world’s prosperity is accompanied by linked crises of waste, pollution, the ravaging of land and species, and the fraying of our social fabric – crises that are exacerbated by the continued quest to grow the economy in the same old ways. As we move through the 21st century, these crises are only intensifying.

To ensure a future in which all people and all of our children can live healthy and meaningful lives, we need a new way forward.

At Frontier Group we use the tools of research and analysis to illuminate that new way. We work to promote and protect core elements of a happy human life: clean air and water, healthy and sustainable food, meaningful connections with one another and with the natural world that surrounds us, and institutions – from the marketplace to the government – that support flourishing communities.

And we strive to point out the opportunities afforded by a moment when profound change is both more possible and more urgently needed than ever.

In 2021, Frontier Group celebrated 25 years of work.

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.

Who we are

Susan Rakov

Managing Director, Frontier Group; Senior Vice President, The Public Interest Network

Susan directs Frontier Group, the research and policy development center for The Public Interest Network. Frontier Group’s work informs the public discussion about degradations to the environment and public health, threats to consumer rights and democracy, and the available routes to a better future. Susan lives in Santa Barbara, California; she has two children, a husband, and a dog, and is an amateur singer/songwriter.

Tony Dutzik

Associate Director and Senior Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

Tony Dutzik is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. His research and ideas on climate, energy and transportation policy have helped shape public policy debates across the U.S., and have earned coverage in media outlets from the New York Times to National Public Radio. A former journalist, Tony lives and works in Boston.

Elizabeth Ridlington

Associate Director and Senior Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

Elizabeth Ridlington is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. She focuses primarily on global warming, toxics, health care and clean vehicles, and has written dozens of reports on these and other subjects. Elizabeth graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in government. She joined Frontier Group in 2002. She lives in Northern California with her son.

R.J. Cross

Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

R.J. focuses on data privacy issues and the commercialization of personal data in the digital age. Her work ranges from consumer harms like scams and data breaches, to manipulative targeted advertising, to keeping kids safe online. In her work at Frontier Group, she has authored research reports on government transparency, predatory auto lending and consumer debt. Her work has appeared in WIRED magazine, CBS Mornings and USA Today, among other outlets. When she’s not protecting the public interest, she is an avid reader, fiction writer and birder.

James Horrox

Policy Analyst, Frontier Group

James Horrox is a policy analyst at Frontier Group, based in Los Angeles. He holds a BA and PhD in politics and has taught at Manchester University, the University of Salford and the Open University in his native UK. He has worked as a freelance academic editor for more than a decade, and before joining Frontier Group in 2019 he spent two years as a prospect researcher in the Public Interest Network's LA office. His writing has been published in various media outlets, books, journals and reference works.