Nicole Neily is the president of Speech First, a litigation-focused campus free speech organization; prior to this role, she was the president of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, an investigative journalism nonprofit focused on highlighting abuses of power, cronyism, and government overreach in the states; in addition, she worked in the private sector as a senior vice president at Dezenhall Resources, a communications firm based in Washington DC.

Nicole has served as executive director and senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, created the Cato Institute’s department of external relations, and has worked as director of research analysis for the Winston Group, a public opinion and message design firm. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois, and a master’s of public policy from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. Originally from the Chicago suburbs, she now lives in Arlington with her husband Clark and two children.