Making Wisconsin The Heart of the American Dream

Madison, Wis. — The Institute for Reforming Government announced today three key additions to its growing team with backgrounds working for some of Wisconsin’s and America’s most prominent organizations and elected officials. John Gray joins IRG as a policy fellow, mostly recently serving as Deputy Assistant to President Donald Trump and Director of Policy for Vice President Mike Pence. Madison Hartmann, former communications director for Congressman Mike Gallagher, is joining IRG as director of external affairs and will be working across the state of Wisconsin to engage leaders who will help lead IRG’s conservative reform agenda. Chandler Swansen, who previously led fundraising efforts for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Gov. Scott Walker, and Congressman Sean Duffy, is also joining IRG to expand donor relations efforts.

“John, Madison, and Chandler are great additions to IRG as we continue growing the organization,” said C.J. Szafir, president of IRG. “John’s extensive experience in domestic policy with President Trump and Vice President Pence as well as his work in the Office of Management and Budget will be invaluable to IRG as we look to bring more economic growth to Wisconsin. Madison’s background in communications as well as external relations with non-profits will help push IRG’s conservative reform agenda to help Wisconsin families. Chandler has assisted numerous Wisconsinites and organizations to generate financial support and I have no doubt he will help take IRG to the next level.”

John Gray brings more than a dozen years of public policy and federal budget experience working on Capitol Hill and the Executive Office of the President. He most recently served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy for Vice President Pence. During that time, John worked on all domestic policy matters, including managing the Coronavirus Task Force for Vice President Pence. Prior to joining the Vice President’s Office, John was Acting Chief of Staff and Associate Director for the Office of Management and Budget at the White House. From 2011-2015, he served in the U.S. Senate as Legislative Director for Sen. Rand Paul. Previously, from 2007-2011, John served as Policy Advisor to Chairman Mike Pence at the House Republican Conference and Budget Analyst for Ranking Member Paul Ryan at the House Budget Committee.

Prior to joining IRG, Madison was executive communications manager for the American Medical Association, where she led strategic planning and outreach for AMA’s board of trustees and executive leadership at the height of the historic COVID-19 global pandemic. Before that she worked for Rep. Gallagher as his communications director on Capitol Hill and also served on the campaigns of Justice Rebecca Bradley and Gov. Walker. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Chandler Swansen is the owner of Swansen Strategies, a consulting firm based in Wisconsin. As director of grassroots advocacy and the Issues Mobilization Council for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Chandler led myriad successful fundraising efforts. He has also worked with Gov. Walker and Rep. Duffy as a finance director. Chandler is a graduate of Winona State University.

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