Yankee Institute Staff

Carol Platt Liebau


It’s a privilege to serve as President of the Yankee Institute – every day I get to work on behalf of what I’ve believed my entire life: That all of us deserve the opportunity to use our God-given talents and freedom to create and build the lives of our choosing.

Raised near St. Louis, I worked for two U.S. Senators and clerked for for a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit before practicing law. After marrying a third-generation Californian, I moved west, where I guest-hosted radio talk shows, including the nationally-syndicated “Hugh Hewitt Show” and programs on KABC radio in Los Angeles. I also wrote Prude, published by Hachette Book Group in 2007. My work has been published by editorial pages throughout the country and I have appeared on PBS, CNN, the Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.

In a strange twist of fate, I served in the first “Obama administration” as an editor of The Harvard Law Review (before becoming the Review’s first female managing editor the next year). I graduated from Princeton, where I was Editorial Chairman of The Daily Princetonian. Now, I feel fortunate that my home is Connecticut! I live in New Canaan with my husband, our children and our highly opinionated Westie, Winston.

Tamara Tragakis Barry

Director of Development

As Yankee’s director of development, I foster relationships between our organization and its thousands of individual donors, on whose generous support we rely. Before coming to Yankee, I was executive director of an emerging children’s museum, and prior to that I had been engaged in fundraising activities for more than seven years, including as director of development for the Housatonic Youth Service Bureau. I have also held a variety of other positions, including a fellowship here at the Yankee Institute, a staff reporter at The Litchfield County Times, a ranch manager in Montana and a multimedia development director for an educational software publisher in Fairfield. I earned my undergraduate degree in pre-law from Pennsylvania State University and now reside in Harwinton with my husband and our growing Christmas tree farm and gardens.

Suzanne Bates

Director of Policy and Legislative Outreach

I’m the director of policy and legislative outreach. I’ve lived in six states and I was born in Canada so I bring a lot of perspective to living and working in Connecticut. In my work for the Yankee Institute, I get to write about taxes, transportation, education, energy policy, and more. In addition to policy research and writing, I have the privilege of representing taxpayers at the state capitol. I work with lawmakers, testify at hearings, and advise my colleagues at Yankee on what issues to expect. Previously, I worked as a journalist and researcher. Highlights include covering the Wyoming state legislature for the Associated Press, reporting on the 2008 presidential primary for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and working as an assistant at Good Morning America Weekend. I survived the Ivy League with my principles intact, while earning a graduate degree in journalism from Columbia University. I also have a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University. Now I live with my family in South Windsor.

Marc E. Fitch

Investigative Reporter

As Yankee Institute’s investigative reporter, I uncover waste, fraud and abuse in state government. I have been published in The Federalist, World Net Daily, American Thinker and Lifezette. I am also the author of the books, Shmexperts: How Power Politics and Ideology are Disguised as Science and Paranormal Nation: Why America Needs Ghosts, UFOs and Bigfoot. In addition to my non-fiction and journalism work, I am the author of several novels and have published numerous short stories. I received my Master of Fine Arts from Western Connecticut State University and in 2014 received the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship for my work on Shmexperts. I live in Harwinton with my wife, four children and three goats.

Matthew Fox

Director of Operations

I recently moved from New Hampshire to Simsbury and bring with me over 25 years of experience as an operations manager and owner of an award-winning small business. I graduated with a degree in communications from Dean College in Franklin, Mass., before moving to Canterbury, N.H., where I purchased and expanded my family business specializing in the New England tradition of curing and smoking meats and cheese. I come with first-hand knowledge of the crippling effect that high taxes and government regulation have on small businesses and hardworking employees. I am excited to join the Yankee Institute and be a small part of a team that advocates for free-market, limited-government public policy solutions in Connecticut.

Joe Horvath

Assistant policy director

I serve as the Yankee Institute’s assistant policy director and, after a short stint battling wasteful spending and bad tax policy in Washington, D.C., couldn’t be happier to be home. I was raised in Shelton and earned my two undergraduate degrees from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. I went on to earn a JD and MBA from Western New England University, where I also worked at its Small Business Clinic. Shortly after graduation I interned on Capitol Hill and later went on to find my niche working tax, fiscal and labor public policy issues. My previous experience includes working as a research associate for the Institute to Reduce Spending and analyst for the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Center for State Fiscal Reform. I now live in the beautiful farm country of Ellington.

Zach Janowski

Director of External Affairs

As director of external affairs, I make connections for the Yankee Institute. Whether it is reporters, local leaders or frustrated taxpayers, I want to be a resource. I started at the Yankee Institute in 2010 as its first investigative reporter and founder of Raising Hale, our investigative reporting blog. For years, I wrote extensively about waste, fraud and abuse in state and local government. I serve on the board of the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and work closely with the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. In 2014, I was a visiting member of the Hartford Courant’s editorial board for six months. I live in Plantsville with my wife and two children.
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