Atlas Network’s Center for the U.S. and Canada is part of a proven strategy for improving the effectiveness of think tanks and other players in the freedom movement.
The United States and Canada represent more than a quarter of the world’s economy, and together they have an even greater role on the world stage as beacons of free enterprise and individual liberty. To ensure that the 21st century is marked by peace and prosperity, civil society organizations in these two countries must provide leadership in defense of free enterprise and limited government.
By leveraging Atlas Network's strengths in training programs, competitive grants, media outreach, and events, and by building new capacity through coalition engagement, the Center will engage a peer-to-peer network that is advancing innovation and idea diffusion and multiply the impact of those working for a freer, more prosperous future.
A special priority of the Center is to seek solutions for achieving a more inclusive prosperity in American and Canadian communities via an engagement strategy that has yielded successes for Atlas Network in other countries. We seek to transcend traditional ideological divides and focus on the important role of the individual, not the state, in carving a path out of poverty.
John Tillman, Director
John Tillman is one of the nation’s most prominent leaders in advancing free-market public policy. As CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, John leads a talented team of leaders, experts and advocates to advance reforms that can spur Illinois’ comeback story. His leadership has been instrumental in making the Illinois Policy Institute an important voice on criminal justice reform, pension reform, budget and tax policies, and issues concerning jobs and growth.
In addition to leading the relaunch of the Illinois Policy Institute 501(c)(3) in 2007, John founded Illinois Policy 501(c)(4) and the Liberty Justice Center, a 501(c)(3) public-interest law firm. In 2011, John won the State Policy Network’s prestigious Roe Award for his leadership, innovation and accomplishments in the world of public policy. This annual award pays tribute to those in the state-based public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced free-market philosophy.
Niels Veldhuis, Co-Director
Niels Veldhuis is President of the Fraser Institute, Canada’s top ranked think-tank and among the top 20 globally, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tanks Report. Niels has written six books and more than 50 peer-reviewed studies on a wide range of economic topics. In 2011, he was awarded (along with his co-authors) the prestigious Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for the best-selling book, The Canadian Century. Niels is in high demand for his opinions and perspectives on major economic and social issues, appearing regularly on radio and television programs across Canada and in the United States. He has written more than 200 articles that have appeared in over 50 newspapers including the Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal, National Post, and the Economist. Niels is best known for his ability to explain matters of government policy in a down-to-earth manner, making them easily understandable. He travels widely across North America, speaking to business groups, corporate gatherings, voluntary organizations, and students. In 2011, Niels led a discussion between former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at the Surrey Economic Forum. Niels holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with joint majors in business and economics, and a Master’s Degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University. In 2010 he was named one of Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 by Business in Vancouver.