December 4, 2023

RALEIGH – The John Locke Foundation is proud to announce Jessica Thompson as our new Director of Government Affairs and General Counsel. Jessica is returning to her roots in North Carolina after litigating at the Pacific Legal Foundation to uphold individual liberty across the nation. 

“Having Jessica Thompson on board is a major win for Locke and for North Carolina,” said Locke CEO Donald Bryson. “With her impressive legal experience and passion for defending liberty, I am confident she will fight to make this state an even better place to call home.” 

At Pacific Legal, Jessica tirelessly advocated for economic liberty and constitutional rights – including in North Carolina. She sued Governor Roy Cooper on behalf of Greenville-based Club 519, challenging his unconstitutional shutdown of businesses during the pandemic. She also defended Mark Shirley’s right to the fruits of his own labor against Farmville’s arbitrary protectionist ordinance aimed at shielding brick-and-mortar restaurants from having to compete with his BBQ food truck. 

Before joining Pacific Legal, Jessica worked for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, where she presented constitutional challenges to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and COVID-19-related executive actions. Prior to that, Jessica was counsel for the Cause of Action Institute, where she supported victims of government overreach by taking on the FTC and other agencies. 

A true Tar Heel, Jessica attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for both her undergraduate degree and law school. In 2017, she clerked for the Honorable Mark D. Martin, Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Jessica also interned at Locke during her time at university. We are elated to welcome her back. 

“I am incredibly excited to be back at Locke leading government affairs and joining a team dedicated to principles that I deeply believe in,” Thompson said. “I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work making North Carolina a freer place to live.” 

Jessica’s return is a significant homecoming. Her deep-rooted connection to our state, combined with her expansive legal experience and dedication to the principles of free markets, limited constitutional government, and personal responsibility, make her an ideal fit for the John Locke Foundation. We eagerly anticipate the impact she will have in her new role, championing the rights and freedoms of North Carolinians.