Badger Institute seeks new public affairs, communications staffers

Institute also announces promotion of Michael Jahr to senior vice president, addition of Gail Hanson to Board of Directors

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

April 3, 2019 — As part of its effort to provide Wisconsin policy-makers and residents with sound, apolitical research and timely, insightful reporting, the Badger Institute has begun a search for a public affairs associate and a marketing and media coordinator to join its growing team.

“The Badger Institute is taking a quantum leap forward as the predominant source of common-sense, objective, non-political policy work that free-market adherents in the Badger State can rely on,” said Mike Nichols, president of the institute. “We’re engaged in many of the pivotal issues vexing this state, and we’re growing our team accordingly. Our goal is to reach more people who care deeply about our future and make sure our elected officials are guided by what’s right, not what’s politically palatable.”

The duties of the Public Affairs Associate include serving as the institute’s most frequent liaison to policy-makers in the Capitol. The candidate will bring substantial knowledge of the legislative and executive branches, interest in public policy and demonstrated success in messaging.

The duties of the Marketing and Media Coordinator include execution of the institute’s marketing and media strategies and outreach; defining and developing audiences; promoting content and engagement through social media, email marketing and website management; executing online campaigns related to core policy issues; and producing and disseminating short video clips and/or podcasts.

(Update: Both positions have been filled.)

Both positions will report to Michael Jahr, who is being promoted to senior vice president. Jahr previously served as vice president of outreach and special projects. Earlier in his career, he served as communications director at the Kern Family Foundation and vice president for communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He spent 10 years as communications director in a U.S. congressional office. 

The Badger Institute also welcomes retired Aurora Health Care CFO Gail Hanson to its board of directors. Prior to her role at Aurora, Hanson was deputy executive director for the State of Wisconsin Investment Board. Her career also included service as senior vice president, treasurer and CFO at Cobalt Corp. and Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin, and audit manager at Price Waterhouse.

“This is an exciting time to join the ongoing and increasingly impactful work of the Badger Institute,” said Hanson. “Their reputation as a cogent, reliable source on a wide range of policy issues is increasing both in Wisconsin and nationally. I look forward to working with the institute to advance free-market solutions to the challenges we face as a state.”