March 22, 2023

RALEIGH – The John Locke Foundation is proud to announce the recent hiring of Kelly Lester and Kaitlyn Shepherd to its research department. 
Kelly Lester has joined the organization as a Policy Analyst at Locke’s Center for Food, Power, and Life. With a focus on agriculture, she will work to ensure that North Carolinians have access to affordable foods and that government regulations do not impede the agricultural economy, our state’s top industry.  
Before joining Locke, Kelly worked as a research associate at the Cato Institute, a think tank based in Washington D.C.. She received her BA in economics from Pace University in New York City. 
Kaitlyn Shepherd has joined the organization as a Policy Analyst at Locke’s Center for Effective Education. At Locke, Kaitlyn will work toward expanding educational options for North Carolina’s children and improving the effectiveness of the state’s education system. 
Previously, Kaitlyn served as a research assistant with the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Center for American Education and as a research assistant for legal and policy studies with the Family Research Council. Kaitlyn is a graduate of Evangel University and Regent University School of Law. 
“We are thrilled to welcome Kelly and Kaitlyn to the John Locke Foundation research department,” said Brian Balfour, Locke’s Senior Vice President of Research. “Their experience and commitment to a freer North Carolina will help Locke continue to provide quality research and analysis on issues affecting our state and the nation.” 

To schedule an interview with Ms. Lester or Ms. Shepherd, please reach out to Brenée Goforth, Media Manager and Communications Associate, at [email protected]