Director of Development
As Reason Foundation’s director of development, Melissa Mann spends her days chatting up folks about free minds and free markets and hunching over her computer, where she creates a steady stream of informational letters, funding proposals, and marketing prose that shares Reason’s award-winning public policy research and broadcast journalism with a growing supporter base. A fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s individualist philosophy from the time she could toddle, Melissa read Rose Wilder Lane’s The Discovery of Freedom at a very early age and subsequently began to chew through every book on liberty available in Bakersfield, California’s woefully inadequate public library. She graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles (where future President Barack “Barry” Obama had smoked pot only five years previously!) and did graduate work in public policy and law at the Universität des Saarlandes in Saarbrücken and Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, both in what was then West Germany. She returned to the States to become a community volunteer and homeschooling mom to her special little millennial snowflake Sally before joining Reason Foundation in 2001. In her copious free time, Melissa writes occasionally for lifestyle publications and has done a fair bit of voiceover work for commercials, videogames, and telephone answering systems. In addition to faking at least a dozen accents, she speaks passable German and is committed to improving her bad Spanish. After losing her husband to cancer in 2014 she started writing Maxims From My Dead Husband, a book about the transformative experience of widowhood. Mostly, though, she’s just trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.