ALA students can earn a maximum of five credits through webinars, though students are welcome to view as many as they choose.

This webinar originally aired on August 24th, 2017

In today’s fight for freedom, courage and bravery to face opposition are job requirements. Leaders of free-market think tanks often face criticism ranging from unfriendly media to death threats. How do leaders stay the course despite discouragement from all sides? In our upcoming webinar with Darcy Olsen, former CEO of the Goldwater Institute, Olsen will speak on how to lead while under tremendous pressure. Her brave leadership on tax reform in Arizona received intense backlash but she effectively weathered the storms and emerged stronger than ever. In this webinar, she will share her leadership and management know-how, bringing a wealth of experience to the table.

Darcy Olsen’s teachers routinely sent her to the back of the classroom for talking too much. She is happy to now have a career where her inquisitive mind and communication skills can be fully appreciated.
Olsen served as CEO of the Goldwater Institute for sixteen years before stepping down in 2017. “Darcy Olsen turned the Goldwater Institute from a troubled operation into what many hold to be the nation’s premier conservative think tank, and, indeed, America’s best-run, and dollar for dollar, most consequential and emulated center-right outfit,” writes the National Review.
When Olsen took the helm of the Institute, a handful of members were keeping the modest facility afloat. She revamped the Institute’s structure to parallel a private company focused on results, added litigators to its arsenal, and expanded operations from one state into fifty, creating a national powerhouse. “The Goldwater Institute is simply in the liberty business,” George Will observed, “and there’s no institution in the country that performs that business better.”
Of the more than 300 reforms implemented during her tenure, Olsen may be best known for the Right to Try. In 2015, she published The Right to Try: How the Federal Government Prevents Americans from Getting the Lifesaving Treatments They Need. The “Right to Try” movement became one of the most swift and successful in American history. Thirty-seven states have adopted the law, saving countless lives.
Olsen is a recipient of the Bradley Prize (2014) and the national Roe Award (2006). One of her most unexpected awards came when Hockey News Magazine named her the “64th most powerful person in hockey” for her leading role in blocking a multimillion-dollar subsidy to an NHL team.

Olsen embarked on her work in public policy as an editor for Regulation magazine at the Cato Institute. During her four years at Cato, she went on to serve as a policy analyst and opened and directed the Institute’s Division of Education and Child Policy.
Olsen earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a master’s degree in International Education from New York University. She has been a foster mother to six newborns and one toddler, and is the adoptive mother of three. Olsen loves early morning running when the moon is still out, desert monsoons, and her greatest weakness is the chocolate honey-dipped donut from Dunkin’ Donuts.
Reach her at