Our America Initiative

Redefining the liberty movement in America!

Our America Initiative Civil Liberties


Brendan D. Dooley

Advisory Council Member 

Brendan D. Dooley is Lecturer of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland and serves as the Director of the Oral History Criminology Project.  His research focuses on the development of scholarship within criminology and criminal justice, and on the evolution of criminology as a science.  Dooley completed in 2011 his dissertation on the state of criminology's paradigm (Whither Criminology?) from the University of Missouri - St. Louis. Previously Dr. Dooley held an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science at St. Augustine's College, a small historically black college in Raleigh, North Carolina prior to his current position. Dr. Dooley also has conducted applied work at both the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (studying probation and parole) as well as the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children. His work has appeared in outlets such as The Advances in Criminological Theory series, Journal of Criminal Justice, and the Journal of Criminal Justice Education.




Nick Dranias

Advisory Council Member 

Nick Dranias is Vice President of Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc. which is a 501(c)(3) charity that focuses on educating citizens and statesmen about the power of interstate compacts to achieve constitutional amendments and other reforms. He also serves as a Board Member of Compact for America, Inc., a 501(c)(4), and as a Civil Liberties Advisory Council member for Our America Initiative, also a 501(c)(4). He previously served as General Counsel and Constitutional Policy Director for the Goldwater Institute. Dranias led the Goldwater Institute’s successful challenge to Arizona’s system of government campaign financing to the U.S. Supreme Court. He remains "of Counsel" for the Institute in representing the City of Tombstone in a fight to protect its 130 year old municipal water supply from U.S. Forest Service overreach. Dranias also serves as a constitutional scholar, authoring articles dealing with a wide spectrum of issues in constitutional and regulatory policy. His articles have been published by leading law reviews, bar journals and think tanks across the country. Dranias’ latest works are In Defense of Private Civic Engagement (forthcoming), Introducing "Article V 2.0:" The Compact for a Balanced Budget (Heartland Institute/Federalist Society); Recognizing Pension Fund Insolvency: A Catalyst for Reform (Goldwater Institute with Dr. Byron Schlomach) and Moving Forward: A Roadmap for Choice and Competition (Goldwater Institute with Drs. Andrew Kleit and Byron Schlomach).




Jimmy LaSalvia

Advisory Council Member 

Jimmy LaSalvia is a political strategist, commentator and speaker based in Washington, DC. In 2009, Jimmy founded GOProud to represent gay conservatives and their allies; he served as its full-time executive director until 2013. Under his leadership, GOProud became one of the highest profile gay political organizations in the country. Prior to GOProud, he served on the national staff of Log Cabin Republicans first as Grassroots Outreach Director, then as Director of Programs & Policy. Jimmy helped to build the organization across the country and lobbied to pass legislation in numerous state capitols and in Washington, DC. A long- time conservative activist, Jimmy has held volunteer and professional staff positions in political campaigns and party organizations in South Dakota and Kentucky.  




Allen F. St. Pierre

Advisory Council Member 

Allen F. St. Pierre is Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).  Mr. St. Pierre has written, debated, and lectured extensively on the topic of cannabis, its prohibition, and ugly little stepchildren (such as):  asset forfeiture, theban on Hemp,   mandatory minimum sentencing, drug screening,  the use of the military in domestic law enforcement, and numerous other legal sophistries concerning the prohibition of cannabis.  Mr. St. Pierre has been cited in hundreds of international, national and local news publications and has appeared on hundreds of nationally televised news programs.  Allen has a 1989 BA in Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst.




Ann Stone

Advisory Council Member 

Ann Stone is a Founding Board member of the National Women's History Museum, founder of Republicans for Choice, and  president of The Stone Group,Inc., an award-winning direct marketing business. Ms. Stone has founded other businesses including a national bank and serves on the boards of Empowered Women International and The Washington Center (Women as Leaders).  She was an officer of The Association of Direct Marketing Agencies (ADMA).  She was chosen by the Governor to serve on the last Board of Historic Preservation for the state of Virginia before it was folded into the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA).  Ms. Stone speaks professionally in the United States and overseas on such topics as entrepreneurship, politics, women's history, women's issues, and much more. She has been listed in the Who's Who of Marketing and Advertising Executives and the International Edition of Who's Who as well as Outstanding Women in America. In 1992, she was chosen as one of 75 Women Who Changed Politics in America by C&E Magazine. She has been featured in many newspapers worldwide and appears on national television on a variety of issues. A graduate of George Washington University, with a double major in history and communications, Ms. Stone did graduate work in corporate finance and management at the Wharton School of Business consortium.




Abigail Thernstrom

Advisory Council Member 

Abigail Thernstrom was the vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 2001 to 2013, and is currently an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a member of the Massachusetts state Board of Education, and a member of the board of advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.  Thernstrom is the author of Voting Rights—and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections (AEI Press, June 2009). She is the co-author, with her husband, of No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning (Simon & Schuster, October 2003), named by the American School Board Journal as one of the best books of 2003.  They also collaborated on America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible (Simon & Schuster), which the New York Times Book Review, in its annual end-of-the-year issue, named as one of the notable books of 1997.  Thernstrom's 1987 work, Whose Votes Count? Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights (Harvard University Press) won four awards, including the American Bar Association's Certificate of Merit anad the best policy studies book of that year by the Policy Studies Organization (an affiliate of the American Political Science Association).  She frequently appears on the most popular news shows and in print in through a variety of journals, newspapers, and blogs.  Ms. Thernstrom received her Ph.D. in 1975 from the Department of Government, Harvard University. 




Michael Maharrey

Advisory Council Member

Michael Maharrey serves as the national communications director for the Tenth Amendment Center and the executive director for OffNow. Michael is the author of three books, Our Last Hope – Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty;Smashing Myths: Understanding Madison’s Notes on Nullification; and, with Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin, Nullification Objections: Dismantling the Opposition. Michael earned a degree in Mass Communications and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Kentucky. Michael has written and reported for several newspapers, including the St. Petersburg Times and the Kentucky Gazette, covering local and state politics and sports, winning in the process a pair of 2009 Kentucky Press Association awards.





John Kiriakou

Advisory Council Member

John Kiriakou is a former CIA officer, former senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former counterterrorism consultant for ABC News. In 2007, Kiriakou blew the whistle on the CIA's torture program, telling ABC News that the CIA tortured prisoners, that was official U.S Government policy, and that the policy had been approved by the President. He thus became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act- a law designed to punish spies. After being indicted, in 2012 Kiriakou was honored with the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, an award given to individuals who "advance truth and justice despite the personal risk it creates" and by inclusion of his portrait in artist Robert Shetterly's series "Americans Who Tell the Truth," which features notable truth-tellers throughout American history. He was later named "Peacemaker of the Year" by the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, California. He was awarded the prestigious PEN First Amendment Award from the PEN Center USA in August 2015.





Zaki Manian

Advisory Council Member

Zaki Manian is a civil liberties advocate and Silicon Valley entrepreneur. As a board member of Restore the Fourth, an organization of people from all political backgrounds who believe mass surveillance is an existential threat to democracy, Zaki leads its San Francisco chapter.  To address the problems of mass surveillance at the global, national and community scale, Mr. Manian has led protests for the Day We Fight Back, against NSA Backdoors, and Reset the Net.  Professionally, Zaki founded SKUChain, a stock keeping program that desires to bring cryptographic trust to the technological supply chain. He was also a System Integration Engineer at ReaMetrix, a biotechnology company focused on creating affordable diagnostics for less developed nations. Zaki is a 2015 Patriot Award winner sponsored by the Defending Dissent Foundation and Bill of Rights Defense Committee for "(trying) to operate at the intersection of software engineering, policy and social justice to try to preserve a mechanism for peaceful social change when the situation seems be becoming more adversarial by the moment."






(List of Civil Liberties, Our America Initiative Civil liberties, Civil Liberties Act)