Lindsay Young Craig is the President of National Review Institute, the non-profit William F. Buckley Jr. founded in 1991 to complement the efforts of National Review magazine and promote the ideals of a free society he championed. Under Lindsay’s leadership, NRI has established sound fiscal footing, even as NRI has become the parent company for NR, Inc., significantly expanded and enhanced its existing programs while establishing new ones, and broadened its partnerships with policy organizations and policy makers across the country. She remains active in the broader conservative movement, organizing events, serving on advisory boards, and speaking at conferences. Lindsay serves on the Board of Trustees for The Fund for American Studies and on the Board of Advisors for Young Voices.
Prior to joining NRI in August of 2013, Lindsay spent 16 years at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, one of the country’s leading domestic-policy think tanks. As vice president of communications and marketing, she oversaw the development of the public-relations department, social-media and web development, and strategic marketing. In addition to her communications department duties, Lindsay spearheaded numerous other Manhattan Institute projects—leading special initiatives such as launching the Young Leaders Circle, organizing major conferences, and overseeing MI’s internship program.
A Connecticut native, Lindsay lived in New York City for over 30 years, after she moved there to study photography and graphic design at School of Visual Arts with a focus on political art. She graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Politics. She lives just outside New York City with her husband and young daughter.
Regional Development Lead, Southwest
Stephanie Cates is NRI’s Regional Development Lead in the Southwest. Based in Phoenix, she fosters relationships with NRI friends and donors throughout the Southwestern U.S. Prior to NRI, Stephanie spent 24 years directing the marketing and communications for a consumer packaged goods manufacturer in Spokane, Washington.
Stephanie is excited to meet new people who are equally passionate about promoting the conservative movement, while being closer to family in Arizona and Southern California. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading, wine tasting, and exploring the unique beauty of the desert Southwest. She graduated from Grove City College with a B.A. in Communications, and laments that she missed having William F. Buckley Jr. as her commencement speaker by one year.
Director of Regional Development
Chris Ciancimino is the Director of Regional Development at National Review Institute, responsible for managing relationships with NRI friends and donors in the Midwest. Prior to joining NRI, Chris spent 13 years directing annual campaigns and major gift efforts for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a 27,000-student public research University. Chris has served on a wide range of boards in his community, including organizations focusing on veterans’ affairs, education, and animal welfare. A Wisconsin native, Chris graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (B.A. in Criminal Justice) where he first discovered the writings of William F. Buckley Jr. He also has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He currently lives outside of Milwaukee with his wife, two daughters, and beagle.
Campus Outreach and Events Manager
Amanda Herbert is the Campus Outreach and Events Manager at National Review Institute. Prior to joining NRI, Amanda spent 6 years working at Virginia Commonwealth University where she completed her Master’s in Public Administration and Certification in Government Management. Amanda has previously worked for the National Rifle Association, Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, and the Virginia House of Delegates. She is a lifelong Virginian and resides in Richmond with her husband Tommy.
Vice President of Development
Peter Johnson is the Vice President of Development at National Review Institute, responsible for advancing charitable support and donor relations for the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Prior to joining NRI, Peter oversaw fundraising and community relations for St. Matthew’s House, a human-services agency in Southwest Florida. Before that, he was an External Relations Officer for the Acton Institute and served in various capacities for the Boy Scouts of America. He also lived for one year in West Africa, and spent more than two years working as a beekeeper in rural Paraguay.
Peter is a graduate of New York University and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). He serves on the Estate Planning Council of Naples, Florida, where he makes his home with his wife and three children.
Vice President of Finance and Operations
Tom Kilkenny is the Vice President of Finance and Operations at National Review Institute. Tom was most recently the Senior Vice President and Controller of McGraw-Hill Education, Inc. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and Controller of Core Media Group, an entertainment company, and he was Chief Financial Officer of Perseus Book Group. He previously held a number of positions at S&P Global (formerly McGraw-Hill) after beginning his career at Ernst & Young. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University, holds an MBA from New York University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He serves on the Board of Directors for Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, a NYC homeless organization.
Development Operations Coordinator
Karlene Maharaj is the Development Operations Coordinator at National Review Institute, responsible for managing the direct mail program, providing financial reporting and campaign analysis, and assisting the development staff in outreach, logistics, marketing, follow-up, and events. Karlene has worked in the development arena for almost 10 years. Her passion for fundraising began when she worked for an organization that served veterans and their families, a mission very close to her own story. Throughout her career, she has worked vigorously to connect donors to the stories of “why one gives” and to the messaging of an organization’s mission.
As both a wife and mother, Karlene pursued her academic goals online, attending the School of Professional Studies, CUNY in New York for her B.A. in Business Administration. Her personal and professional affiliations include sitting on the board of her children’s private school PTA since 2008, first as the PTA president and then as the Parent Teacher Liaison. She has also been a participating member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP).
Director of External Affairs
Miranda Melvin is the Director of External Affairs at National Review Institute. She has spent the majority of her career working in the grassroots departments of the National Rifle Association and the National Federation of Independent Business. She was born and raised in Ohio and like many young conservatives, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work at the Leadership Institute. At LI she trained college students to start independent publications on their campuses. Prior to that, she worked on several advocacy and political campaigns in Ohio, Texas, and Colorado. Before beginning her work in politics, she was a Reporter at the Toledo Free Press in Ohio and was Managing Editor of her college newspaper at Bowling Green State University, where she studied Print Journalism and Political Science. Currently, she resides in Richmond, Virginia with her husband Robert, who is a lobbyist, and their daughter.
Office Services Coordinator
Steven J. Palma is the Office Services Coordinator at National Review Institute, responsible for providing administrative support and assisting with the direct mailing program. Steven graduated from Baruch College with a BBA in Economics.
Kristen Welch is the Executive Assistant at National Review Institute, responsible for maintaining Lindsay Craig’s schedule and for completing administrative tasks around the office. Kristen graduated from Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics.
Board of Trustees Liaison
Lydie White is the Board of Trustees Liaison, responsible for updating, coordinating with, and providing information to NRI’s board. Previously, she worked as the Director of Finance and Operations at NRI, overseeing internal operations, accounting, and event planning and providing administrative assistance directly to NRI’s president. Prior to joining NRI, Lydie worked in operations and finance for the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Originally from Georgia, Lydie earned her B.A. in History from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina and her J.D. from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. She and her husband, John Anderson, reside in Georgia.
Regional Development Lead, Northwest
Jason Wise is the Regional Development Lead for the Northwestern United States, managing and facilitating donor outreach and development. Having read National Review since the early days of the website, his association with the magazine started in 2002 when he sailed the Mediterranean on what was to become the first of many NR cruises—now up to 17. He served as an NRI trustee from 2005 to 2015. Prior to joining NRI, Jason worked as an equity trader in the hedge fund industry for 19 years in San Francisco, New York City, and Connecticut. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington. He now lives in his hometown of Seattle.
Accounting and Operations Manager
Ilana Wolf is the Accounting and Operations Manager at NRI. In this role she is responsible for NRI’s accounting and finance, manages human resource-related functions, and supports management and development operations. Ilana came to NRI from Airline Pros in New York City, where she was responsible for all accounting duties for many of their foreign and domestic entities. She has payroll and HR-related experience with former employers. She majored in Accounting at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ilana lived in Russia and Israel before moving to the U.S. She and her family live in New Jersey.
Manager, Burke to Buckley Fellowship Program
Lynn Gibson serves as the Manager of the Burke to Buckley Fellowship Program—a multi-session program that consists of in-person meetings around the country, as well as two levels of virtual courses. Her professional career has spanned the academic, governmental, nonprofit, and private sectors. She currently works for a small family foundation. Her previous employers and/or consulting clients have included the National Math and Science Initiative, The Philanthropy Roundtable, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Senate, The Heritage Foundation, and her alma mater, Grove City College. Lynn has a B.S. in Biology from Grove City College and a Master’s degree in Student Personnel from Slippery Rock University. She is from Youngstown, Ohio.
Regional Coordinator, Burke to Buckley Fellowship Program, Philadelphia
James DiBartolo serves as the Regional Coordinator for Burke to Buckley in Philadelphia. James comes to NRI with more than 9 years of professional experience. He has expertise in financial services and recent accomplishments have included positions at Goldman Sachs, Lazard and Barclays. James is a member of the Young Friends of the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Racquet Club of Philadelphia and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. He resides in Washington Square West with his wife and son. James received a bachelor’s degree in finance and history from New York University and an MBA from Yale University.
Regional Coordinator, Burke to Buckley Fellowship Program, Miami
Francisco Gonzalez serves as the Regional Coordinator for Burke to Buckley in Miami. He is the founder and CEO of Fearless Journeys, a community for aspiring and ascending entrepreneurs as well as travel enthusiasts. As host of the Agents of Innovation podcast since 2015, Francisco has had engaging conversations with over 100 entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and artists. He is passionate about connecting people with role models, mentors, and stories of entrepreneurial journeys to learn from. He was previously Director of Philanthropy for National Review Institute (2017-2021). In 2021, he moved to Guatemala City, where he has been a visiting professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin, teaching courses on entrepreneurship and innovation. Born in Miami and living in various places around Florida, Francisco has traveled to 24 countries and 47 U.S. States. Through his journeys, he has learned that travel helps us get out of our comfort zone and allows us to see the world from a fresh perspective. It emboldens the mission of the innovative soul. A student of history, Francisco has degrees from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Maryland.
Regional Coordinator, Burke to Buckley Fellowship Program, New York City
Kate O’Connor serves as the Regional Coordinator for Burke to Buckley in New York City, having participated as a Fellow in 2020. She currently leads Strategy and Operations for a healthcare technology company and has advised numerous early stage startups on fundraising and launch strategy. Previously, she was a management consultant in the health practice at Ernst & Young, assisting clients with business transformation and operational improvement. She hails from Michigan and attended the University of Michigan for undergrad, where she earned a BA in Economics with a minor in Romance Languages. She also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in Economics and Strategic Management. Kate enjoys golf and yoga, traveling and spending time with family.
Regional Coordinator, Burke to Buckley Fellowship Program, Dallas
Lathan Watts serves as the Regional Coordinator for Burke to Buckley in Dallas. In that role, he is responsible for recruiting the Dallas Fellows and managing the program locally. Lathan is the Director of Legal Communications for First Liberty Institute, responsible for all efforts to increase First Liberty Institute’s profile in local and national markets. His focus is on expanding public awareness of First Liberty’s mission, legal matters, and educational projects by coordinating communication with community leaders, influencers, policy makers, and the public at large.
Prior to joining First Liberty Institute, Lathan served in various campaign and official staff positions for U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, U.S. Senator John Cornyn, and Texas Governor Rick Perry. His executive leadership roles in non-profit organizations specializing in political affairs and community outreach contributed to the election of numerous members of the U.S. Congress, multiple state legislators, and governors. His work in and around the political process served him well in the four years he spent as a City Councilman in Lewisville, TX. Lathan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi where he served two terms in the student senate, one as President Pro Tempore. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Harding University, where he was a member of multiple honor societies and the University Concert Choir.