Andy Puzder served as CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the popular fast-food chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, from 2000–17. Now a member of the national advisory committee to the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) , he also holds positions at a number of conservative institutions, including serving as board chairman at 2ndVote Advisers, an anti-ESG investment firm; a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation, where his work is focused on anti-ESG activism; a senior fellow at the public policy school at Pepperdine, the private Christian research university in Malibu, California; and a senior fellow at the America First Policy Institute.
Puzder told Bloomberg that he “credits David Black, founder of the conservative website 2ndVote, and Black’s wife, former US Congresswoman Diane Black, with his philosophy on corporate activism and keeping social causes out of company decisions.”
After winning the 2016 presidential election, Trump nominated Puzder as his labor secretary despite his outspoken opposition to worker protections such as paid sick leave and expanded eligibility for overtime pay, The president-elect then withdrew his nomination after it became clear that Puzder wouldn’t secure enough votes to be confirmed. In 2012, the businessman was an economic adviser for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and served as a delegate at the Republican National Convention.
A frequent public lecturer on business, Puzder has contributed anti-minimum wage content to the online “school” Prager University, where he’s also on the advisory board, and has written a number of books promoting free market principles. He began his career as a commercial trial lawyer after earning a law degree at Washington University in St. Louis.
In 2022, the SFOF presented Puzder with its Honors Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Co-authored Other People’s Money: How Progressives Hijacked Your Investments to Achieve Their Aims (2023) with Stephen Soukup (10/3/23)
- Participated in the “All-Star Economists” panel at the 2023 SFOF National Meeting and Economic Summit with OJ Oleka, Stephen Moore, Dr. Arthur Laffer, Brian Wesbury, and Cathie Wood (8/30/23)
- Spoke on the panel titled “The New Axis of Evil: Soros, Schwab, and Fink” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with Sean Spicer, former President Donald Trump’s first press secretary, and Charles McCall, Oklahoma Speaker of the House (3/3/23)
- Spoke on the panel “What’s Behind the Drive to Promote ESG Investing and What You Need to Know” with Consumers’ Research Executive Director Will Hild, West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore, and SFOF CEO Derek Kreifels at the 2023 Awakening meeting of The Heritage Foundation (1/6/23)
- Spoke as part of a workshop titled “How States Fight Back Against ESGs” at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 2022 States and Nation Policy Summit with Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, and Jessica Anderson of Heritage Action where he compared the fight against ESG investing to that against the Nazis or socialists (11/30/22)
- Drafted Heritage’s State Pension Fiduciary Duty Act (11/21/22)
- Participated in a Reason Foundation webinar titled, “ESG trends and impacts on public pensions,” with Paul Atkins, a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and founder and chief executive of Patomak Global Partners (9/20/22)
- Spoke on a panel at The Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Resource Bank meeting moderated by Andy Olivastro, vice president of outreach at Heritage, titled “Taking on the ESG Overlords” with Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research; John Murante, Nebraska State Treasurer; and Vivek Ramaswamy, founder and executive chairman of Strive Asset Management (6/1/22)
- Drafted ALEC’s State Government Employee Retirement Protection Act with SFOF Senior Policy Advisor Jonathan Williams and SFOF CEO Derek Kreifels (4/22/22)
- Spoke on a panel at The Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Awakening Conference on “Defeating the Moral Attack on Free Market Capitalism” moderated by Andrew Olivastro, director of Coalition Relations at Heritage, and featuring Samuel Gregg, research director at the Acton Institute (1/8/22)