Libertas Institute

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Learn more about how the State Policy Network aids ALEC and spins disinformation in the states.

The Libertas Institute(LI) is a state think tank member of the State Policy Network, a web of state pressure groups that drive a right-wing agenda in statehouses nationwide. The non-profit was founded by Connor Boyack in 2011. The group defines its mission as advancing "the cause of liberty in Utah using a holistic approach that includes accountability for elected officials, liberty-based legislation, strategic litigation, and effective and widespread education."[1]


Libertas Institute Sued Utah Over Donor Disclosure Legislation

The Libertas Institute, along with the Utah Taxpayers Association, sued the state of Utah over a law passed in 2013 that required non-profits to disclose information on donors contributing over $750 a year.[2] The state decided to settle after Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes decided that sections of the law were "constitutionally problematic."[2]

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that, "Under the settlement, the state will not enforce the law against nonprofit groups 'engaging in constitutionally protected political advocacy and political issues advocacy,' according to the plaintiffs' statement. 'The state agreed that doing so would be unconstitutional, unless those organizations are political action committees or political issues committees.'"[2]

The Liberty Cap Award

Each year, the Libertas Institute distributes an award to an individual "whose efforts have furthered the Institute’s objectives in a recognizable and significant fashion."[3]

Previous Winners[3]

  • 2015: Christine Stenquist
  • 2014: Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy
  • 2013: John Dougall
Koch Wiki

Charles Koch is the right-wing billionaire owner of Koch Industries. As one of the richest people in the world, he is a key funder of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on Charles Koch and his late brother David include: Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Stand Together Chamber of Commerce, Stand Together, Koch Family Foundations, Koch Universities, and I360.


In 2014, the Libertas Institute received $60,600 from the Donors Capital Fund and DonorsTrust, funding groups with deep ties to the Koch brothers.

Core Finances

Libertas Institute


  • Total Revenue: $475,320
  • Total Expenses: $460,886
  • Net Assets: $32,027


  • Total Revenue: $309,187
  • Total Expenses: $316,293
  • Net Assets: $12,665


  • Total Revenue: $130,210
  • Total Expenses: $121,410
  • Net Assets: $19,771


  • Total Revenue: $30,752
  • Total Expenses: $19,781
  • Net Assets: $10,971


As of September 2018:[7]


  • Connor Boyack, President
  • DJ Schanz, Vice President
  • Nichelle Aiden, Director of Communications
  • Chris Jones, Director of Development
  • Michael Melendez, Director of Policy
  • Molly Davis, Policy Analyst
  • Catherine Hess, Director Development
  • Josh Daniels, Policy Advisor
  • Jonathan Hayes, Operations Manager
  • Lynée Fife, Children’s Entrepreneur Market Manager

Former staff

  • Audrey Mortensen, Policy Analyst
  • Lilli Hartvigsen, Administrative Assistant

Board of Trustees

As of September 2018:[8]

  • John Pestana, Chairman
  • Jonathan Johnson, Trustee
  • Jeffrey Harmon, Trustee
  • D. Ty Brewer, Trustee
  • Connor Boyack, Trustee

Former Trustees

  • Ryan Money, Trustee

Contact Information

Libertas Institute
785 East 200 South
Suite 2
Lehi, UT 84043
Phone: 801-901-0310

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

Related PRWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. Libertas Institute, About, Libertas Institute, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Christopher Smart, Utah gives in to First Amendment lawsuit, Salt Lake Tribune, July 18, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Libertas Institute, Liberty Cap Award, Libertas Institute, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Libertas Institute, [paper copy 2015 990], Libertas Institute, November 14, 2016.
  5. Libertas Institute, 2013 990, Libertas Institute, April 18, 2014.
  6. Libertas Institute,2012 990, Libertas Institute, July 25, 2013.
  7. Libertas Institute, Staff, Libertas Institute, 2016.
  8. Libertas Institute, Board of Trustees, Libertas Institute, 2016.