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Heather Pfitzenmaier

Age

29

Location

University of Michigan

BIO

As director of the Young Leaders Program, Heather Pfitzenmaier oversees The Heritage Foundation’s efforts to reach out and promote the think tank’s mission to the next generation of Americans. Herself an alum of Heritage’s intern program, Pfitzenmaier joined Heritage in 2007. She was the 2012 recipient of the Young Conservatives Coalition’s Buckley Award. Also in 2012, Forbes magazine named her one of “30 Under 30” young Americans who are making the greatest impact on law and policy.

 

 

Why is it important that at this particular point in time, right-of-center youth become involved publicly, whether in politics, media, their communities, or another capacity?

Whether it’s the state of our health care system and our economy or foreign affairs, the decisions made today will affect our kids, our grandkids, and us more than they will affect our parents and grandparents. We need to engage in the policy process, discuss the challenges we face, and voice our principles. And getting our voices heard requires working and participating in every field, from politics to media to the arts.

 

What must elected officials and others in positions of leadership do to make a right-of-center message resonate with the Millennial generation?

Show up! Elected officials need to make time to visit campuses, attend young professional events, and take the time to be present with Millennials. Like all Americans, officials should first engage on issues where individuals agree, talk with them about that issue, and then talk about other issues. Whether it’s innovation, individual freedom and choice, or education policy, there are a number of issues where many Millennials agree with our principles and policy solutions.

 

Where would you like to see the conservative movement in 10 years — and how can it get there?

In 10 years, I’d love to see the conservative movement sustain tremendous growth in politics, the media, the academy, arts, business, and other fields. With more engaged, articulate conservatives in each area, the movement will be even more dynamic and effective. Investing in young conservative leaders, and encouraging them to work in the fields of their interest, will ensure a more diverse conservative movement.

Thirty Under Thirty – 2014

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