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 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 outlets from National Public Radio to the Financial Times. He is the lead author of A New Way Forward and 50 Steps Toward Carbon-Free Transportation, which together lay out a vision and policy roadmap for decarbonizing America’s transportation system, as well as numerous other reports and white papers. 

Prior to joining Frontier Group in 2001, 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 on environmental issues in New Jersey. Tony holds a Master's degree in print journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science in public service from Penn State University. A native of Pittsburgh, he now resides in Boston with his family.

Find Tony on Twitter and Medium.

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Elizabeth Ridlington

Elizabeth Ridlington is associate director and senior policy analyst with Frontier Group. She focuses primarily on global warming and clean vehicles, and has written dozens of reports on these and other subjects. Her 2018 report Trouble in the Air found that millions of Americans regularly breathe air polluted by smog and particulate pollution, and was covered in the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and National Public Radio. Her report Moving America Forward assessed the impact of state and national policies to reduce global warming emissions, and she has written 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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Gideon Weissman

Gideon Weissman is a policy analyst with Frontier Group. Since joining Frontier Group in 2014, he has written on subjects including energy, climate, transportation and consumer finance, and his research has been covered in outlets including The New York Times and Bloomberg. Gideon also develops interactive charts, maps and other online tools to make Frontier Group’s research and analysis more accessible to the public. Before joining Frontier Group, Gideon spent two years with Public Interest GRFX, where he managed and drafted political communications for groups in The Public Interest Network, and two years with New Jersey PIRG, where he organized campaigns around toxics, health care, and campaign finance. Gideon graduated from Cornell University in 2008 and lives in Cambridge, Mass.

Find Gideon on Twitter and Medium.

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Alana Miller

Alana Miller is communications director and a policy analyst at Frontier Group where she focuses on transportation, cities and climate. Her work includes reports showing how transportation policies can help address global warming (A New Way Forward; The Road to Clean Transportation) and public health concerns (Complete Streets for St. Pete), as well as the promise of – and hurdles facing – electric transportation (Plugging In; Electric Buses). Her work has earned coverage in media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, and the Denver Post. Prior to joining Frontier Group in 2015, she did transportation policy and advocacy work 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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R.J. Cross

R.J. Cross is a policy analyst focusing on tax and budget policy, government transparency, consumer protection and democratic reform. She was the lead co-author of Driving Into Debt, which documented the recent rise in indebtedness for cars, earning coverage on American Public Media’s Marketplace and on CNBC. She also wrote one of the first national reports examining spending transparency in special taxing districts, which was covered in Governing magazine (Following the Money 2017). She joined Frontier Group in 2016 after having graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in English and economics. In addition to her current home of Boston, R.J. has lived in Denver and southern California, and will always consider herself a Kansan at heart.

Find R.J. on Twitter and Medium.

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Abi Bradford

Abi Bradford is a policy analyst at Frontier Group focusing mainly on zero waste (Trash in America) and renewable energy (Making Sense of Energy Storage; Solar Homes). Her work has been covered in The New York Times, Clean Technica and other national and regional outlets. Abi previously worked as a campaign director for Environment Maine, a campus organizer for NextGen Climate, and as a scientific research assistant for the New England Sustainability Consortium. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science degree in earth and climate science. Abi lives in her home state of Maine and works in Portland.

Find Abi on Twitter and Medium.

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Meryl Compton

Meryl Compton is a policy associate in Frontier Group's Denver office. Her areas of interest include conservation and oceans, as well as higher education. Her recent work on the health and safety hazards posed by gas pipelines was highlighted in a recent post at FracTracker. Meryl recently graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College, where she completed her capstone on the effectiveness and economic viability of international climate change agreements. She is a Colorado native.

Find Meryl on Twitter and Medium.

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Jon Sundby

Jon Sundby is a policy associate in Frontier Group's Denver office. His areas of interest include agriculture, health care and energy policy, and his work has been covered in Greentech Media. Prior to coming to Frontier Group, Jon worked as an English teacher in Nanjing, China, and he is a recent graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, where he studied political science and was an editor of the campus newspaper, The Scarlet and Black. He is a native of Minnesota and a recent transplant to Denver.  

Find Jon on Twitter and Medium

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Trevor Stankiewicz

Trevor Stankiewicz is a policy associate in Frontier Group’s Denver office. After graduating from Cornell University in 2015, Trevor’s original play about the genocide in Darfur was performed off-Broadway in New York City before making its international debut in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Following his return to the United States, Trevor served as the Community Outreach Director for Great Books Summer Program, a literacy and scholastic enrichment organization based in Connecticut. He is a fast reader, a world traveler, and a dessert innovator.

Find Trevor on Twitter.