Tech_States: 2021

JW Marriott Grande Lakes
Palazzo Ballroom Salon F-G, Lobby Level

Monday, August 30th


Will Rinehart

Will Rinehart is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, where he specializes in telecommunication, Internet, and data policy, with a focus on emerging technologies and innovation.

Rinehart was formerly the Director of Technology and Innovation Policy at the American Action Forum and before that a Research Fellow at TechFreedom and the Director of Operations at the International Center for Law & Economics.

Rinehart’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Wired, Morning Consult, The Hill, Forbes, Reason, Marginal Revolution, Overlawyered, and on BBC Radio and NPR, just to name a few. He speaks regularly on topics related to tech policy, has been cited in regulatory orders from the FCC, and has been featured in Supreme Court petitions.

In 2009, Rinehart was a Koch Summer Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation. In 2008, he was a Research Associate at the Illinois Policy Institute, where he studied state-level budget, energy and tax issues. Additionally, he worked for the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement at the University of Illinois

Rinehart received his MS in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University and his BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois.

Chris Koopman

Christopher Koopman is the Executive Director at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. He specializes in regulation, competition, and innovation. His research and commentary has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, and NPR. He is also a contributor at The Hill, and was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 2016 for law and policy.

Prior to joining the Center for Growth and Opportunity, Koopman was a senior research fellow and director of the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He is currently a Senior Affiliated Scholar with the Mercatus Center and a member of the IT & Emerging Technology Working Group at the Federalist Society’s Regulatory Transparency Project.

Parker Jeppesen

Parker Jeppesen is the External Relations Director for the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. A Political Science and Journalism/Communications graduate of Utah State University, Parker spent time on Capitol Hill, working for Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and for the Washington D.C.-based consulting firms Bennett Consulting Group and American Capitol Group.

Prior to his role in external relations, he was the Director of Communications for the Center for Growth and Opportunity. Parker’s experience working in public policy communications, external relations, PR, and marketing began at Strata Policy — a think tank in Logan, Utah.



Mia Love

Mia Love is the National Outreach Director at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University where she drives the national coalition-building efforts in immigration, the environment, and technology & innovation. A former two-term U.S. Representative (R-UT04), Mia was the first Republican black woman to serve in The United States Congress.

During her time in office, Mia was a champion for reducing burdensome regulations and a steadfast leader in the push for immigration reform. Prior to her time in Congress, Mia served on the city council and was elected mayor in her hometown of Saratoga Springs, Utah.

Mia is currently a CNN correspondent, has been serving as a non-resident senior fellow at The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and is a fellow of the Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, Mia is also a wife and mother of three.

Josh Smith

Josh Smith is a Research Manager for the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. He researches immigration policy in the US and his writing has been published in several national outlets including Newsweek, The Hill, and Yahoo News. He graduated with a Master’s in Economics from Utah State University in 2018.






Eli Dourado

Eli Dourado is a senior research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University. He focuses on the hard technology and innovation needed to drive large increases in economic growth—speeding up infrastructure deployment, eliminating barriers to entrepreneurs operating in the physical world, and getting the most out of federal technology research programs. He has worked on a wide range of technology policy issues, including aviation, Internet governance, and cryptocurrency. His popular writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Foreign Policy, among other outlets.

Prior to joining the CGO, Eli was the first policy hire at a supersonic aviation startup. Before that, he was a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and director of its technology policy program. He also served as an advisor to the State Department on international telecommunication matters. He received a PhD in economics from George Mason University and a BA in economics and political science from Furman University.


John Samples

John Samples is a Vice President at the Cato Institute. He founded and now directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies freedom of speech, the First Amendment and other aspects of American political institutions. He is currently working on an update to his monograph, ‘Why Government Should not Regulate Content Moderation of Social Media.’ He is also the author of ‘The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History,’ and ‘The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform,’ as well as the co-editor with Michael McDonald of ‘The Marketplace of Democracy.’

Prior to joining Cato, Samples served as Director of Georgetown University Press for eight years, and before that, as Vice President of the Twentieth Century Fund. He has published scholarly articles in journals including Society, History of Political Thought, and Telos along with numerous contributions to edited volumes and has been featured in publications like USA Today, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. Samples received his PhD in political science from Rutgers University.

Jessica Melugin

Jessica Melugin is director of the Center for Technology & Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Her research focuses on technology issues including antitrust, online privacy, Internet taxation, telecommunications, social media content and net neutrality regulation. Her writings have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, Bloomberg Law, National Review, Forbes, Fortune, The Hill, Washington Examiner, The Washington Times,,, various regional papers.

She has been cited in The Washington Post, Politico, U.S. News and World Report and Variety, among many other publications. Ms. Melugin has appeared on Fox News, CSPAN’s Washington Journal, CNBC’s Power Lunch, and Varney & Co. on Fox Business Network. She’s been featured on NPR’s Marketplace, The David Webb Show on SiriusXM, and is regularly interviewed on terrestrial radio programs.

Ms. Melugin graduated magna cum laude from Claremont McKenna College, with a degree in government and art history. Her honors thesis explored the development of American antitrust law as it pertains to the Microsoft trial. She lives in Virginia’s horse country with her children.

Ian Adams

Ian Adams joined ICLE as Executive Director in April 2020. He is responsible for ICLE’s strategic planning, programmatic implementation, and organizational growth. Ian’s substantive policy work focuses on the disruptive impact of burgeoning technologies on law and regulation, with a particular concentration on automation and the future of work, privacy and insurance.

Earlier in his career, Ian was Vice President of Policy at TechFreedom. Before that, he worked as Associate Vice President of Government Affairs at the R Street Institute and held staff roles in the California and Oregon state legislatures. Ian is also a public policy attorney at the international law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Ian is a graduate of Seattle University, with bachelor’s degrees in history and philosophy, and received his juris doctor from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the California, District of Columbia, and Illinois bars.

Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson is the Director of Policy for the Pelican Institute, joining the team in February of 2019. Prior to Pelican, Eric worked on state policy for a variety of organizations including Americans for Prosperity and the Institute for Free Speech. At these organizations, Eric cultivated a passion for tax policy, occupational licensing reform, and of course, free speech. Eric’s writings have appeared in numerous outlets including the Washington Post, National Review, and Forbes.

A native of the Land of Lincoln, Eric was fortunate to attend Tulane University where he majored in political economy and cheering on the olive and blue. He looks forward to attending his adoptive home and being in the stands for Tulane football once again.


Nathan Leamer

Nathan Leamer served the past several years as a Policy Advisor to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Before working at the Commission, he was a Senior Fellow at the R Street Institute where he managed the institute’s government relations and wrote extensively on emerging technology, intellectual property and privacy. Prior to these roles he worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill.

CGO scholars and fellows frequently comment on a variety of topics for the popular press. The views expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center for Growth and Opportunity or the views of Utah State University.