LI Welcomes New Staff Members

March 22, 2011 | By

The Leadership Institute has welcomed three new staff members to its Arlington, Virginia headquarters, the Steven P.J. Wood Building, in the past few weeks: Gabriel Conger, Danielle Savoy, and Brennan Ward.

Brennan Ward

New Hampshire native Brennan Ward has joined LI's Grassroots Department directly from the office of Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL). In his new position as Grassroots Coordinator, Brennan explained, he will "teach, organize, and coordinate conservative grassroots training programs across the country."

Brennan graduated the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Psychology, then went on to George Washington University’s School of Political Management for his Master's degree.

During the 2010 election cycle, Brennan served as the Pennsylvania Republican Party state liaison, coordinating efforts between congressional and statewide candidates. He oversaw his volunteers making one of the largest victory efforts in the entire country.

"The Leadership Institute has provided me an opportunity to train and network with likeminded conservative activists," said Brennan, adding, "The position has awarded me the chance to travel the country and teach campaigning. This is extremely rewarding to see students take these tools and techniques and apply them to their own political campaigns."

Robert Arnakis, the Institute's Senior Director of Domestic and International Programs, said, "Brennan's political experience and can-do attitude will be a welcome addition to the Grassroots team. 2011 and 2012 will be two very crucial years for conservatives. Having Brennan on board at LI means more conservatives will get the training they desperately need."

Gabriel Conger

A Wisconsin native, Gabriel recently joined the Institute as Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations. In his new position, Gabriel explained, he will "communicate LI’s mission and information regarding the Institute’s programs to foundations and corporations that make grants, drafting proposals, reports, and other correspondence to individuals at those organizations."

Prior to joining LI, Gabriel worked as Development Assistant at the Heritage Foundation. While there, "all the interns I supervised spoke very highly of the training they received here [LI] and always returned to work enthusiastic to put that training into action," Gabriel said, adding, "I was curious to learn more about an organization that did such a superb job motivating and teaching young conservatives."

"To be completely honest when I came to work at LI, I was not fully aware of the extent and scope of the training programs and outreach efforts on college campuses," Gabriel continued. “LI’s training programs, work on college campuses, and the employment service program combined reach virtually every organization in the conservative movement in one way or another.  LI is truly the H.R. department for the movement.”

Gabriel attended Creighton University in Nebraska and received a B.A. in History. Having lived in the D.C. area for a few years now, Mr. Conger has had some interesting encounters. One includes a chance meeting with former Vice President Dick Cheney: "One day I was stepping out of an elevator at the Heritage Foundation on my way to work out at their gym and literally bumped into former Vice President Dick Cheney. The Secret Service agents surrounding Vice President Cheney were less than thrilled with the gym bag I was carrying, but luckily, they let me go!"

Danielle Savoy

Danielle Savoy joins Gabriel in LI's Development Department from Louisiana as a Donor Relations Officer. "My focus is on maintaining and strengthening LI’s relationships with donors and prospects," said Danielle, adding, "A large part of this endeavor involves providing information about our programs and achievements to donors so that they can see exactly how their donations are making a difference."

Danielle graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology from Louisiana State University, and then pursued a law degree from LSU's law school. While a law student, Danielle fostered the relationship that would ultimately lead her to the Institute.

"My mentor and law professor, Professor John S. Baker, was instrumental in helping me develop a sound understanding of the Constitution and a strong conservative philosophy.  During my third year of law school, he helped me make the decision to move to DC to become a part of the conservative movement.  Professor Baker had wonderful things to say about Morton Blackwell, whom he knows personally, and he suggested that I enroll in one of the Leadership Institute’s training schools," Danielle explained.

Prior to coming to LI, Danielle worked for Louisiana Congressman Rodney Alexander as a staff assistant and then his scheduler; as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk for U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt; and as an attorney in private practice and corporate counsel.

It was during the Institute's job fair at CPAC this February that Danielle learned about job opportunities with the organization. "I attended the CPAC job fair, where I learned that LI was recruiting for this position.  After speaking to Director of Regional Development Seth Nichols, I knew it was the right position for me.  Just ten days later, I began working at LI!"

Steve Sutton, LI's Vice President of Development and Campus Programs, was "pleased" and "excited" by the addition of the new development staff members. In particular, Mr. Sutton commended "their youthful exuberance, their experience, their intelligence, and their proven track records of success as conservative activists." He added, "I am excited that LI can benefit from their extensive experience."

Please welcome Gabriel, Danielle, and Brennan as new staff at LI.