NEW ORLEANS, La. (June 14, 2018) – Today, the Pelican Institute for Public Policy (Pelican Institute) announces the hiring of Emily Davenport as vice president and Alyssa “Aly” Rau as external affairs manager. Both Davenport and Rau are Louisiana natives with deep, professional experience in the fields of government affairs and public policy.

As vice president, Davenport will direct the Pelican Institute’s policy and legislative strategy and will work closely with the organization’s allies to advance free-market initiatives.  Her familiarity with Louisiana’s political landscape and the state’s legislative process will undoubtedly be an asset to the organization.

Prior to joining the Pelican Institute, Davenport served as Director of DCI Group’s field division in Washington, D.C.  She worked with state-based advocacy teams across the country to develop and execute grassroots campaigns for clients representing a variety of industries including energy, transportation, education and healthcare.

“I’ve lived all over the country, but my heart has always belonged in Louisiana,” Davenport said.  “There is no doubt our great state is in the midst of a crisis, and I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work on solutions that will create jobs and provide economic opportunities to benefit all Louisianans.”

In her new role of external affairs manager, Rau brings years of grassroots and fundraising experience in Louisiana.  She studied political science at the University of New Orleans, and throughout the years, has dedicated her time serving in a variety of philanthropic leadership roles. Most recently, Rau was named leader of the New Orleans chapter for America’s Future Foundation.

“I have never been more certain that now is the time for the fundamental reforms Louisiana so desperately needs,” Rau said. “Working with Pelican Institute provides me the opportunity to bring awareness to the power of free markets and ultimately bring economic prosperity back to our state.  As the mother of a young child, the success of Pelican Institute will deeply impact the opportunities our state will one day provide my son.”

Daniel Erspamer, Pelican Institute’s chief executive officer, said he values the depth of experience Davenport and Rau will bring to the Pelican Institute, adding that he is also enthusiastic about the continued expansion of the organization’s team.

“Louisiana is at a crossroads, and it is imperative we bring bright, energetic and passionate professionals to the conversation,” Erspamer said.  “I am confident that with the additions of Emily and Aly to Pelican’s team, our organization will be the leading voice in the months and years to come as we work to promote economic liberty and government accountability in Louisiana.”


About the Pelican Institute for Public Policy

The Pelican Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan research and educational think tank and the leading voice for free markets in Louisiana. The Institute’s mission is to conduct research and analysis advancing sound policies based on free enterprise, individual liberty and constitutionally-limited government.  The Pelican Institute was founded in 2008 by Kevin Kane, who led the organization until his untimely death in October of 2016. A well-respected leader on free-market public policy, his work, alongside other partners in the state, led to the passage in 2017 of landmark criminal justice reforms.

For more information on the Pelican Institute’s team or on its mission, visit or follow Pelican Institute on Facebook and Twitter.