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Institute Team

The Bill of Rights Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization that teaches civics and equips students and teachers to live the ideals of a free and just society.

Board of Directors

The Bill of Rights Institute is thankful for the support of its Board of Directors:

Mark Humphrey · Ryan Stowers · Todd Zywicki


Institute Executive Team

Institute Staff

Adam Brickley

BRI Staff TeamManager, Civic Engagement Projects

Prior to joining BRI in 2021, Adam worked for eleven years as an events professional in the Heritage Foundation’s Lectures and Seminars department. He also helped launch several educational programs for interns, and authored a successful political blog during the 2008 presidential election. Adam holds a B.A. in political science with a focus on global politics from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and is passionate about civil discourse, international politics, and forging creative coalitions across political and ideological lines. Contact Adam at abrickley@mybri.org.

Anthony Simone

BRI Staff TeamSenior Director, Development

Anthony started at the Bill of Rights Institute in February of 2022, bringing extensive accomplishments developing and implementing strategic sales and marketing plans, coaching and leading sales teams and creating trusted relationships with relevant stakeholders, in both non-profit and for-profit settings. Anthony employs a leadership style that is empathetic and inclusive. He has had long tenures at trade associations, insurance and securities firms, and in the non-profit sector as a manager, developer, and volunteer leader. Anthony’s passion for the mission of The Bill of Rights Institute stems from a youth spent wandering the battlefields of the American Revolution in the Northeast, receiving a degree with a concentration in Federal American History, and maintaining a strong interest in developing an ever-deeper understanding of and appreciation for the ideals of the American Experiment. Anthony has been a syndicated columnist and writes frequently on American history, music and prose. Contact Anthony at asimone@mybri.org.

Becky Leakway

BRI Staff TeamDevelopment Associate

Becky joined BRI as an intern in Fall 2020 and has now joined the Development team where she works on data organization, moves management organization, and gift acknowledgement. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with an MA in Museum Studies and Certificate in Nonprofit Management, and of Millersville University of Pennsylvania with a BA in History and German. Prior to her role at BRI, Becky worked for 5 years in the title insurance industry. Contact Becky at bleakway@mybri.org.

Christopher Janson

BRI Staff TeamManager, Outreach and Communications

Before joining BRI full time in May of 2017, Chris worked for seventeen years in sales and marketing for The Washington Post’s Newspaper in Education program. He has also done marketing, public relations, and fundraising for several small theater companies in Washington, D.C., has worked as an education aide and consultant for The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery and has written curriculum for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s TeachUNICEF program. Chris has a B.A. in History and Drama from Thomas More College in his native state of Kentucky, and an M.A. in Theater History, Literature, and Criticism from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Contact Chris at cjanson@billofrightsinstitute.org

Emily Trapani

BRI Staff TeamProgram Specialist, Teacher & Student Programs

Emily Trapani joined the BRI education team in July 2021 as a programs specialist for teacher & student programs. Prior to joining BRI, she worked as a classroom teacher in Beaufort County, South Carolina. During her time as a teacher, she taught U.S. history, law education, government, AP psychology, and IGCSE global perspectives. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Integrated Social Studies and an M.Ed. in Secondary Education. Contact Emily at etrapani@mybri.org.

Haley Watson

BRI Staff TeamProducer and Content Manager

Haley became a part of the Bill of Rights Institute team in the Fall of 2019 bringing a background in content management and business development focused on technology application. Her experience ranges from magazine publication to broadcast television production to digital media distribution. Having graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in History and a minor in Law and Society, she has always been fascinated by the past and present issues the nation faces and values the importance of preserving a truly free society. Contact Haley at hwatson@mybri.org.

Joe Schmidt

BRI Staff TeamDirector, Teacher & Student Programs

Joe Schmidt joined the Bill of Rights Institute in 2022 after spending seventeen years working in social studies and civics education. In his role as Director of Programs he designs, manages, and leads educational programs for teachers and students across the country. Joe has served in the classroom as a high school teacher and college professor for elementary pre-service teachers. He has also held roles in district and state-level leadership in support of both rural and urban schools. Throughout his career, Joe has served in a variety of leadership positions with numerous social studies related organizations across the United States including the National Council for the Social Studies, iCivics, Learning for Justice, the National Council for Geographic Education, and ThinkerAnalytix. Joe is always looking to support educators in providing inspiring and impactful civic instruction in their classrooms. He has a B.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and an M.A. in Education from Viterbo University. His first book, Civil Discourse: Classroom Conversations for Stronger Communities is available from Corwin. Contact Joe at jjschmidt@mybri.org.

Kelly Haynes

BRI Staff TeamAssociate, Educator Engagement

Kelly joined the BRI team in November 2019 assisting the Education team with research, collecting and analyzing data, and planning in-office events. Growing up right outside of Washington D.C, Kelly enjoyed history from an early age, making many trips to museums and historical sites on the East Coast. While at the University of Mary Washington getting her Bachelors in History and minoring in Museum Studies, she interned at the Surratt House in Clinton, MD and the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library in Fredericksburg, Virginia as a Bowley Scholar. Contact Kelly at khaynes@mybri.org.

Kerry Flanagan

BRI Staff TeamManager, Digital Education Products

Prior to joining BRI, Kerry worked for a decade as an educator in the Houston area. After teaching high school World Geography, U.S. History, and AP US History, Kerry transitioned to supporting teachers as an instructional coach. Following her campus experiences, Kerry was a curriculum coordinator where she managed social studies curriculum for grades 5-8, led professional development, and provided district level instructional support. Kerry has a B.A. in History from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and earned her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. Email Kerry at kflanagan@mybri.org.

Kevin Hart

BRI Staff TeamSenior Director, Communications

Kevin joined the Bill of Rights Institute in 2021. As Senior Director of Communications, he oversees internal and external communications for BRI. Kevin has more than 20 years of experience working in communications leadership roles for some of the largest education organizations and publishers in the United States. He also previously served as Senior Director of Digital Media Strategy for Points of Light, the foundation established by former President George H.W. Bush. Kevin completed his undergraduate studies at Colgate University and has a master’s degree in technical communication from Utah State University. Contact Kevin at khart@mybri.org.

Remembering Gary Colletti

BRI remembers the legacy of our colleague, Gary Colletti.

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Do you want to join our team?

The Bill of Rights Institute offers a variety of exceptional career opportunities in a small entrepreneurial environment. The Institute is always looking for talented individuals who have a passion for educating people about the Constitution.

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