Advancing American Freedom (AAF) is a conservative advocacy and policy group founded in 2021 by former vice president and presumptive 2024 presidential candidate Mike Pence. It seeks to bolster the “pro-freedom policies” of the Trump administration and “prevent the radical Left from enacting its policy agenda,” which “would threaten America’s freedoms.” Since its inception, the group has promoted anti-trans, anti-abortion, anti-ESG, and pro-privatization positions.
AAF’s 40-member advisory board is comprised of right-wing operatives, former politicians, and media pundits. These include conservative activists, politicians, and former Trump allies Betsy DeVos, Kellyanne Conway, Newt Gingrich (as well as his wife, Callista), Rick Santorum, Doug Ducey, and Scott Walker. Also on the board is Lisa Nelson, CEO of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and an SFOF board member; Ed Feulner, a founding trustee and past president of The Heritage Foundation; Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America; Marjorie Jones Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America; Mike Farris, former CEO and general counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF); and Andrew R. Wheeler, the climate-denying, Trump-appointed former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On October 25, 2022, AAF’s foundation held an “Unleashing American Energy” summit that featured a panel on “ESG & State Leadership.” AAF’s Brian Schmitt shared the questions/prompts by email to Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder‘s office. State Financial Officers Foundation CEO Derek Kreifels and Texas Public Policy Foundation‘s Jason Isaac participated in the panel alongside Schroder.
In February 2023, AAF announced a six-figure ad campaign in Arizona and Montana opposing ESG policies. That same month, AAF spearheaded a coalition letter to Congress asking it to “overturn the Biden administration’s dangerous ESG rule through the Congressional Review Act.”
The Associated Press also reported in February 2021 that AAF will spend $1 million on an Iowa campaign against trans-affirming policies in schools.
- Advisory Board Member Jessica Anderson
- Advisory Board Member Lisa Nelson
- Former Vice President Mike Pence
- Executive Director Paul Teller
- The Concord Fund: $1,500,000 (2020-2021)
- DonorsTrust: $380,000 (2022)
- James and Joan Lindsey Family Foundation: $300,000 (2022)
- American Economic Freedom Alliance: $100,000 (2021)
Note: AAF is not required by law to disclose its donors.
- Total Revenue: $7,697398
- Total Expenses: $4,686,007
- Net Assets: $3,011,391
Source: 2021 IRS 990 filing
For more information, visit the AAF page on SourceWatch.