Badger Institute growth continues

Institute adds public affairs associate, corrections consultant, visiting fellow to team

CONTACT: Michael Jahr, Badger Institute senior vice president, at 262-442-5208 or at

May 30, 2019 — The Badger Institute continues to grow its team and expand its expertise with the addition of free-market policy advocate David Fladeboe as public affairs associate, former Department of Corrections Assistant Deputy Secretary Patrick Hughes as a corrections consultant and national transportation expert Robert W. Poole Jr. as a visiting fellow.

“These three possess a wealth of expertise,” said Badger Institute President Mike Nichols. “David brings both broad policy acumen and legislative experience. Patrick knows the inner workings of Wisconsin’s corrections system. And Bob is one of the preeminent experts on transportation issues. We’re fortunate to have them on our team.”

David FladeboeFladeboe will serve as the institute’s primary liaison to policy-makers in the Capitol, sharing research and reporting findings with officials and their staff. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fladeboe worked in both the state Senate and Assembly, including serving as policy director to Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford).

In 2012, Fladeboe became deputy state director and in 2015 state director of Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, focusing on issues including right to work, the prevailing wage and tax relief. He later moved to AFP's national office in Arlington, Virginia, to serve as director of strategy and innovation.

Most recently, he served as senior account executive for the consulting firm Persuasion Partners in Madison.

“It is an honor to join the team at the Badger Institute and to continue my mission to advance the cause of free markets, opportunity and prosperity in Wisconsin,” said Fladeboe. “I am hoping my experience advancing good public policy will expand the great work already being done by the team here.”

Hughes will provide analysis and technical support related to the Badger Institute’s research activities and strategic objectives in the corrections and criminal justice areas. He served as administrator of the Division of Management Services within the DOC from 2017-'19. Before that, he served as deputy assistant secretary in DOC. From 2012-'16, Hughes was a senior policy advisor to Gov. Scott Walker.

Robert W. Poole Jr.Poole, director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, has worked with the Badger Institute on transportation and tolling issues for nearly a decade. In 2011, he authored a Badger Institute report titled Rebuilding and Modernizing Wisconsin’s Interstates with Toll Financing. He has written and participated in public events for the institute several times since. An MIT-trained engineer, Poole advised the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations on infrastructure issues.