What We Do

Our Mission

Frontier Group provides information and ideas to help citizens build a cleaner, healthier 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. The quest to keep making more things in the same old ways has left us with ecological and social challenges that undermine the vast potential of our society. And with respect to distribution, such a wealthy nation clearly has enough food, homes, and “stuff” for everyone, if we chose to distribute what we have more evenly.

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.

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

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Susan Rakov

Frontier Group was founded in 1996 to investigate issues that highlight the problems of abundance, with a focus on bridging the gaps between academia, advocacy and citizen participation. As founding director, Susan built a team of analysts to make concrete and timely contributions to the national conversation. She spearheaded the development of the analytical approach that characterizes the organization's hundreds of reports, white papers, conference presentations, op-eds and journal articles, setting and maintaining the high standards of accuracy and integrity for which the organization is known. An expert editor and mentor, Susan works closely with analysts to stake out positions, hone messages and develop capacity. She also acts as a consultant to other organizations on messaging, strategic development, and staff recruitment and training. Prior to starting Frontier Group, she was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Public Interest Network. 
 
Susan lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband and two children. She is also a singer/songwriter.

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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.

Find Tony on Twitter and Medium.

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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.

Find Evan on Twitter and Medium.

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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.

Find Elizabeth on Twitter and Medium.

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Nathan Proctor

Nathan Proctor is the Associate Program Director for Frontier Group's New Economy Program. His 12-year advocacy career with the Public Interest Network includes work on early education, sustainability and waste reduction, and corporate taxation and incorporation policy. Nathan's writing and coverage of his work has been featured in the Boston Globe, New York Times, CBS Money Watch and dozens of other media outlets. A graduate of Tufts University, he lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

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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.

Find Gideon on Twitter and Medium.

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Alana Miller

Alana Miller is communications director and a policy analyst at Frontier Group. Her work includes highlighting how transportation policies in cities can help address global warming (A New Way Forward) and public health concerns (Complete Streets for St. Pete), as well as a visualization of climate impacts in the United States (Hitting Close to Home). Prior to joining Frontier Group, she worked on transportation policy in New York City with Transportation Alternatives, and previously was a fellow for PennPIRG in Philadelphia. Alana graduated with honors from Smith College and has a master's degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. A San Diego native, she now lives in Denver.

Find Alana on Twitter and Medium.

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Rachel J. Cross

Rachel (RJ) Cross produces research and writing on a number of policy areas to help shape a better public discussion of the kind of world we want to live in. Her areas of interest include urban design, government and tax and budget policy. Rachel co-authored one of the first reports to examine the financial transparency of special district governments, earning coverage in Governing magazine. Her other work has been covered in both local and national outlets such as The Miami Herald and Politico. A Kansas native, Rachel lives in Santa Barbara with her dog.

Find Rachel on Twitter and Medium.

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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.

Find Elizabeth on Twitter and Medium.

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Abi Bradford

Abi Bradford is a Policy Associate in Frontier Group’s Boston office. Her main areas of interest and expertise are zero waste, energy storage and global warming. Abi has co-authored reports on these topics and more, and her work has been covered in the New York Times and many other national and regional outlets. 

Find Abi on Twitter and Medium.