Board of Directors

Mary Beth photoMary Beth Weiss has engaged in the free market, limited government movement for decades. She and her husband Dick donate to numerous conservative and libertarian organizations that share their mission of preserving freedom and liberty. Mary Beth is proud to represent donors’ interest on the boards of the Franklin Center, American Commitment, El Sueno Americano and For the Good of Illinois. She is a life time resident of the Chicago metro area and currently splits her time visiting family across the heartland, traveling internationally and managing their California avocado ranch.

“I’m excited Franklin has added reporters to follow policy issues aiding the state based investigative reporters in their coverage.”

– Mary Beth Weiss

John Miller photoJohn J. Miller is director of the Herbert H. Dow II Journalism Program at Hillsdale College as well as the founder of the Student Free Press Association, which promotes college journalism and publishes The College Fix, a news website. He is national correspondent for National Review and the author of five books. His personal website is

“As the mainstream media has abandoned journalism in America’s state capitals, the Franklin Center has stepped forward to make sure citizens remain informed about what their governments are doing. It’s an indispensable asset.” – John J. Miller

Erik Telford is the former president of the Franklin Center and publisher of Erik is a leading digital strategist, and has been recognized as a “Rising Star in American Politics” by Campaigns and Elections, as well as one of the “Top 10 People Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics” by Politics Online. A native of Connecticut, he holds a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies and an M.A. in Political Management, both from The George Washington University. He lives in Northern Virginia.

“We all know that bad things happen when nobody is paying attention. The work being done by Franklin Center and Watchdog is vital to restoring accountability at the state and local levels.”

– Erik Telford

Jack Fowler photo Jack Fowler serves as publisher for National Review, America’s premier conservative magazine. He has been with the magazine twenty-five years, where he was first hired in 1990 to serve as a congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C. Before that, he was managing editor for The Human Life Review, a journal published by the pro-life Human Life Foundation. A Bronx native, he is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and lives in Connecticut.

“Americans deserve consequential and unbiased state-based reporting. That’s exactly what they are getting thanks to Franklin and Watchdog. Its bureaus are homes to some of the nation’s most talented young writers and premier investigative journalists.”

– Jack Fowler

Ed McFadden  currently works in the corporate public affairs and external communications field in Washington, DC, after serving four years as a speechwriter in the George W. Bush Administration. However, much of his career was spent in journalism: first, right out of college as a writer and editor for The American Spectator, a writer and editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe editorial page, then as an editor for Reader’s Digest. Over the years he has also worked on a number book projects as a ghostwriter and editor, including books on the history of wine in America, the early days of Silicon Valley, and several political tomes that most likely remain productive today as doorstops and kitchen-table levelers. Beyond his service on the Franklin Center’s board, he also devotes time to the boards of Aquinas College (Nashville), the American Council on Germany, the American Veterans Center and Radio America. He and his family reside in northern Virginia.