Ashley Landess, President
E. Ashley Landess is President of the South Carolina Policy Council, a Columbia-based nonprofit research and educational institute promoting principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty and responsibility. Since Ashley’s appointment as president in 2008, SCPC has become a major force in South Carolina’s policy debates by relentlessly highlighting the lack of accountability in state government, “legal corruption” at the highest levels, and the dire need for greater freedom in South Carolina’s education and health care markets. Under Ashley’s leadership, the Policy Council in 2010 launched The Nerve, a news website focusing on government that has been widely credited with restoring investigative journalism to South Carolina’s news media.
Born in Spartanburg and an eighth-generation South Carolinian, Ashley has lived and worked in Dallas, Washington, DC, and Chicago. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism, and her twenty-year career in communications includes public policy work as well as consulting for private businesses and charitable organizations.
Ashley’s writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and every top-tier newspaper in South Carolina. Her commentary has been featured in USA Today and the Washington Post, and she has appeared on Fox & Friends, The Daily Show, National Public Radio, and on scores of network news channels and radio programs in South Carolina.
Prior to assuming SCPC’s presidency she served as the organization’s Vice President for Public Affairs from 1998 to 2008. She has testified before numerous committees in the South Carolina General Assembly on topics ranging from tax policy and school choice to government transparency and ethics reform.
In an effort to bring accountability to the state’s then new Lottery Commission (created in 2001), Gov. Mark Sanford appointed Ashley to serve as a commissioner in 2003. Currently she is a member of the advisory board of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
Ashley’s father was the literary critic and Reagan White House official Tom Landess. She lives in Columbia with her dogs Monroe and Clara.
AshleyL (at) scpolicycouncil (dot) org