Yankee Institute Staff
Carol Platt Liebau
PresidentIt’s a privilege to serve as President of the Yankee Institute because every day I get to fight for what I’ve believed my entire life: That all of us deserve the opportunity to use our God-given talents and freedom to create and build the lives of our choosing. I’ve been an attorney (sorry!), author, political advisor and commentator. Raised near St. Louis, I’ve worked for Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond and future Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, in both D.C. and Missouri. I also clerked for Reagan appointee Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, before practicing law in St. Louis. After marrying a third-generation Californian, I moved to the Left Coast, where I guest-hosted radio talk shows, including the nationally-syndicated “Hugh Hewitt Show” and programs on KABC radio in Los Angeles. I also wrote Prude, published by Hachette Book Group in 2007. I’ve been published by editorial pages throughout the country, including The Hartford Courant, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Orange County Register, The Sacramento Bee and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and appeared on PBS, CNN, the Fox News Channel — and even MSNBC (hey, I’ll go anywhere I can get a hearing!). In a strange twist of fate, I survived the first Obama administration as an editor of The Harvard Law Review (before becoming the Review’s first female managing editor the next year). I first lived on the East Coast as an undergraduate at Princeton, where my work as Editorial Chairman of The Daily Princetonian was profoundly irritating to campus lefties. Now, my home is Connecticut! I live in New Canaan with my husband, our children and our highly opinionated Westie, Winston.
Tamara Tragakis Barry
Director of DevelopmentAs Yankee’s director of development, I foster relationships between our organization and its thousands of individual donors, on whose generous support we rely. Before coming to Yankee, I was executive director of an emerging children’s museum, and prior to that I had been engaged in fundraising activities for more than seven years, including as director of development for the Housatonic Youth Service Bureau. I have also held a variety of other positions, including a fellowship here at the Yankee Institute, a staff reporter at The Litchfield County Times, a ranch manager in Montana and a multimedia development director for an educational software publisher in Fairfield. I earned my undergraduate degree in pre-law from Pennsylvania State University and now reside in Harwinton with my husband and our growing Christmas tree farm and gardens.
Director of Policy and Legislative OutreachI’m the director of policy and legislative outreach. I’ve lived in six states and I was born in Canada so I bring a lot of perspective to living and working in Connecticut. In my work for the Yankee Institute, I get to write about taxes, transportation, education, energy policy, and more. In addition to policy research and writing, I have the privilege of representing taxpayers at the state capitol. I work with lawmakers, testify at hearings, and advise my colleagues at Yankee on what issues to expect. Previously, I worked as a journalist and researcher. Highlights include covering the Wyoming state legislature for the Associated Press, reporting on the 2008 presidential primary for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and working as an assistant at Good Morning America Weekend. I survived the Ivy League with my principles intact, while earning a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University. I also have a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University. Now I live with my family in South Windsor.
Director of Operations
I recently moved from New Hampshire to Simsbury and bring with me over 25 years of experience as an operations manager and owner of an award-winning small business. I graduated with a degree in communications from Dean College in Franklin, Mass., before moving to Canterbury, N.H., where I purchased and expanded my family business specializing in the New England tradition of curing and smoking meats and cheese. I come with first-hand knowledge of the crippling effect that high taxes and government regulation have on small businesses and hardworking employees. I am excited to join the Yankee Institute and be a small part of a team that advocates for free-market, limited-government public policy solutions in Connecticut.
Director of External AffairsAs director of external affairs, I make connections for the Yankee Institute. Whether it is reporters, local leaders or frustrated taxpayers, I want to be a resource. I started at the Yankee Institute in 2010 as its first investigative reporter and founder of Raising Hale, our investigative reporting blog. For years, I wrote extensively about waste, fraud and abuse in state and local government. I serve on the board of the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and work closely with the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. In 2014, I was a visiting member of the Hartford Courant’s editorial board for six months. I live in Plantsville with my wife and two children.