January 23, 2020

Amy O. Cooke, known across the United States for her innovative efforts to defend and advance freedom, is returning to her family’s North Carolina roots to lead the John Locke Foundation. Her arrival comes as JLF approaches its 30th anniversary as North Carolina’s most respected voice on behalf of limited, constitutional government that supports economic freedom and personal liberty.

As Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Amy will lead a team of nearly two dozen researchers, writers, and outreach professionals who provide nonpartisan public policy analysis to lawmakers, elected and appointed officials, and news media. She also will serve as Publisher of Carolina Journal. Across its print, online, and broadcast platforms, the Carolina Journal franchise reaches more than 1 million people each month.

“My great, great, great grandmother, for whom I am named, was born and raised in North Carolina, and now I’m bringing our name back to her birthplace,” Amy said. “I can’t think of a greater honor than to lead the talented staff of one of the most well-respected state-based free-market think tanks in the country. As we usher in the John Locke Foundation’s fourth decade, I look forward to meeting people in every corner of the state, telling our story, and expanding personal and economic freedom so that all North Carolinians thrive and live their dreams.”

Amy begins her tenure as CEO and Publisher on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. She is one of only four people who have held the CEO position since the John Locke Foundation opened its doors in 1990. She follows Marc Rotterman, John Hood, and Kory Swanson.

Amy comes to North Carolina from Colorado, where she served as Executive Vice President of the Independence Institute (II), Colorado’s free-market think tank. She was also Director of the Energy and Environmental Policy Center at II. Amy spent 16 years with the organization, where she racked up victories in public policy and media and streamlined foundation operations. For 10 years she hosted the award-winning Amy Oliver Show on News Talk 1310 KFKA and received accolades from the Colorado Broadcasters Association.

It was Amy’s impressive resume and stellar reputation that caught the attention of the JLF presidential selection team, which conducted a national search and interviewed dozens of potential leaders. John Hood, who chairs the John Locke Foundation board of directors, said she stood head and shoulders above the rest. “Amy is a strong, creative leader committed to expanding the John Locke Foundation’s influence and effectiveness — and to expanding freedom in North Carolina.”

As an advocate for sound energy policy in Colorado, Amy founded the Coalition of Ratepayers, which advocated for small businesses and residential utility customers. Following the 2016 presidential election, she was appointed to President Trump’s Transition Team for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Amy is a sought-after voice in the country’s freedom movement. She is a former senior fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum, has written op-eds for numerous national and state newspapers, and has been a guest on Fox News. Follow Amy on Twitter, where her handle is @TheRightAOC and friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRightAOC

Amy is a mom of three, stepmom of two, and a devoted Colorado Rockies fan. Her husband, John, is a Colorado state senator and a retired Colorado sheriff.

The John Locke Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders. The John Locke Foundation is a 501(c)(3) research institute and is funded by thousands of individuals, foundations, and corporations. The Foundation does not accept government funds or contributions to influence its work or the outcomes of its research.