Institute for Reforming Government Expands, Adding More Key Leaders
September 22, 2022

Tamira Musgrave



  • The IRG policy team grows more robust with the addition of Elizabeth Evenson and Patrick Hughes.
  • Evenson to be Senior Policy and Operations Advisor, Hughes to be Fellow in Corrections and Public Safety.
  • President and CEO of the IRG, CJ Szafir, commented about bringing the two aboard, “Elizabeth and Patrick bring great experience and expertise to the team and will be instrumental in helping grow our already wide policy footprint.”

The policy team has brought on some valuable key players with extensive executive branch experience, furthering the rebuild of their already strong policy shop. 

The new additions were announced by the IRG, including Elizabeth Evenson as Senior Policy and Operations Advisor and Patrick Hughes as Fellow in Corrections and Public Safety. Both hires are cabinet-level officials within Governor Walker’s administration. In addition, Patrick Hughes is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University Law School. 

Elizabeth Evenson has a lengthy background in state government experience. She’s worked in former Governor Scott Walkers’ administration as Appointments Director, as a Division Administrator for Policy Development at the Wisconsin Dept. of Safety and Professional Services, and also served in a cabinet-level position at the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. She has also worked in the private sector of recycling management concerning healthcare providers with a specialty in vendor accountability and compliance. 

Strong Policy Solutions for Wisconsin

President and CEO of the IRG, CJ Szafir, commented about bringing the two aboard, “Elizabeth and Patrick bring great experience and expertise to the team and will be instrumental in helping grow our already wide policy footprint. Will both of their robust administrative backgrounds, they will provide an invaluable perspective on developing reforms on some of the most pressing issues of the day. IRG is at the forefront of conducting comprehensive research and analysis of state agencies, developing reforms that can expand opportunities for Wisconsinites while making Wisconsin a national leader in conservative governance. Adding these two great minds expands that expertise.”

In just a short time, the Institute for Reforming Government has grown from one full-time employee to an expansive board of directors, staff, and policy and law team. CJ Szafir mentioned that their success is only as great as it is because of the generosity of IRG supporters and the leadership of the Board of Directors. 

Elizabeth Evenson spoke about joining the IRG, “I am thrilled to be on the team at IRG. Looking ahead, Wisconsin has numerous policy challenges we are ready to take head-on to ensure every Wisconsinite can succeed. As the economy struggles, IRG will be ensuring positive policy solutions are proposed.” 

Patrick Hughes also spoke about his new position with the Institute for Reforming Government, “I am excited to bring my background of public safety and administrative expertise to IRG. Wisconsin is facing a rising crime problem due to a misguided approach by the government, and it’s going to take real policy solution to get us back on track.”

Other members of the Institute for Reforming Government include:

  • Ivan Gamboa (board member)
  • Bill Johnson (treasurer and board member)
  • Rob McDonald (chairman of the board)
  • Alison Prange (board member)
  • Nicole Schneider, Ph.D. (board member)
  • Jim Villa (board member)
  • Chris Reader (executive vice president)
  • Madison Hartmann (director of external affairs)
  • Alex Ignatowski (director of state budget and government reform)
  • Quinton Klabon (senior research director)
  • Ed Eberle (director of environmental policy and project manager)
  • Benjamin Garbedian (hamilton roddis student fellow)
  • Michael Brickman (senior fellow in education)
  • John Gray (policy fellow)
  • Gov. Scott Walker (former national honorary chairman) 

The IRG focuses on removing onerous boundaries and red tape separating the individual from an efficient and functioning government. Through the means of diligent research and effective outreach, the IRG works to remove obstacles that have created a slow, inefficient, and expensive behemoth of governance that works against the people of Wisconsin. 

They also aim to educate and inform Wisconsinites about all levels of government, offering valuable information concerning what’s working and what’s not. Including topics like the state budget, government accountability, and K-12 education. 

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