Our People

Jennifer West

Executive Director

Long-time advocate, Jennifer West, previously served as owner of the California-based J. West Group, an independent marketing, public relations and political campaign consulting firm. She advocated on behalf of numerous organizations including educational institutions, civic groups, non-profit entities and business clients. The recipient of numerous professional awards, Ms. West also served on the board of directors of several local organizations.

Ms. West served as a spokesperson before numerous local planning commissions, City Councils, School Boards, County Board of Supervisors, the media and the public. She led award-winning campaigns that led to improved schools, roads and infrastructure.  Ms. West is currently on the Board of Directors for the Washington DC based Coalition Against Insurance Fraud and is a member of their Government Affairs Committee.  In Tallahassee Ms. West is a volunteer Guardian ad Litem, advocating on behalf of abused, neglected or abandoned children in the court system.   She also sits on the Board of Directors for Child Advocates II which supports the Second Judicial Circuit Guardian ad Litem Program.

David Rasmussen

Director

David W. Rasmussen is the James H. Gapinski Professor of Economics at Florida State University.  He joined the FSU faculty in 1968 as an assistant professor and was promoted to professor in 1979. He served as director of the Policy Sciences Program from 1991 to 1998 and directed the DeVoe L. Moore Center for the Study of Critical Issues of Government and Policy from 1998 to 2003. Dr. Rasmussen served as dean of the College of Social Science and Public Policy from 2003 to 2016.  He received his Ph.D. from Washington University, St. Louis in 1969 and his B.A. from Earlham College in 1964.

Dr. Rasmussen is an award-winning teacher and has served as a consultant to domestic and international government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Rasmussen’s scholarly research and policy evaluation studies have addressed important public policy questions, including economics of inequality, urban and regional economic development, crime and substance abuse policy, and housing. He has written (or co-authored) five books and published more than 75 articles in leading professional journals. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the LeRoy Collins Institute, the Florida State University Panama Foundation, and the FSU International Programs Association.

Shawn Kantor

Director

Shawn Kantor is the L. Charles Hilton Jr. Distinguished Professor of Economics and Director of the Hilton Center for the Study of Economic Prosperity & Individual Opportunity at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL.  He additionally holds appointments as a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, and as a Fellow of the TIAA-CREF Institute in New York, NY.  He received his Ph.D. in Social Science from the California Institute of Technology and B.A. in Economics and History from the University of Rochester.

Dr. Kantor is the author of numerous books and articles primarily focused on the role that laws and regulations play on the development of the United States economy, both historically and today.  His research has been extensively funded by external granting agencies, primarily the National Science Foundation, and has won numerous national prizes for excellence.  His current research interests include the study of how the regulatory environment impacts consumers’ choices and the prices they pay for the goods they desire.