Today, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy (Pelican Institute) announces a significant expansion of its team, with the hiring of Renee Amar as vice president for government affairs, James Baehr as general counsel and Eric Peterson as director of policy. All three are experts in the fields of government affairs and public policy and have ties to and passion for Louisiana’s culture and people.

Renee Amar

As a former policy director at the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI), Amar will carry her rich experience with Louisiana policy into her new role of crafting the Pelican Institute’s legislative strategy and directing its government affairs activities. Amar’s familiarity with Louisiana’s political landscape and the state’s legislative process will serve her well in her collaboration with lawmakers to develop and advance free-market legislation and public education initiatives.

James Baehr

For the last four years, Baehr has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Currently holding rank as a major in the Marine Corps Reserves, Baehr serves as president of the New Orleans Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. He also previously clerked for Judge Edith Brown Clement of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as serving on active duty as a defense counsel judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps. Throughout his career, Baehr has stood up for the ideals of America’s founding fathers, and he will bring this passion for defending freedom and liberty to his new role as general counsel for the Pelican Institute.

Eric Peterson

Prior to assuming his new role as director of policy at the Pelican Institute, Peterson crafted state policy for a variety of organizations, including Americans for Prosperity and the Institute for Free Speech. During his time working on state policy issues, Peterson has fostered a passion for tax policy, occupational licensing reform and free speech, which have become hotly debated topics among Louisianans in recent years. His experiences in Louisiana began while attending Tulane University to major in political economy, and he says he is excited to return to the state to help further the Pelican Institute’s “A Jobs and Opportunity Agenda for Louisiana.”

Daniel Erspamer, the Pelican Institute’s chief executive officer, said he is thrilled to announce the doubling of the organization’s team, adding that now is a critical time in Louisiana’s history, which requires building the most dynamic, talented team possible to reject the broken status quo, make the case for freedom and free enterprise in Louisiana and forge a new direction for the state’s future.

“The Pelican Institute is working to blaze a bold, new path for a stronger Louisiana, and in order to do that, we need individuals with the talent to produce the best solutions and engage with and persuade citizens across Louisiana to join the movement for jobs and opportunity,” Erspamer said. “Renee, James and Eric are all among the best in their respective fields, and we are proud to welcome them to our already impressive team. We are confident that, together, we can bring jobs and opportunity back for all of Louisiana’s working families.”