Mission of the Center

The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan, independent think tank focused on state and local public policy issues that affect the quality of life for New Hampshire’s citizens. The Center has as its core beliefs individual freedom and responsibility, limited and accountable government, and an appreciation of the role of the free enterprise system. The Center seeks to promote policy that supports these beliefs by providing information, research, and analysis.

Josiah Bartlett

“Josiah Bartlett could not have been better suited to the task of restoring public faith to the institutions of government.”
Professor Jere Daniell, Experiment in Republicanism, 1970.

The Center is named for Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795), a distinguished New Hampshire patriot. Bartlett was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a distinguished physician, founder of the New Hampshire Medical Society, a Colonel of the Militia, and Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. He served as chief executive of New Hampshire from 1790-1794. After the 1793 revision of the constitution, he became the first constitutionally elected chief executive of New Hampshire to bear the title of governor.

According to a modern account, “Bartlett took his ideas of limited government seriously. In 1792 he told members of the legislature that they had carried out their duties so well that he could not think of anything for them to do. They packed their bags and went home.” The same article noted that, “Bartlett was a reluctant politician, and in any case he was more public servant than politician.”


The Center is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization supported entirely by private donations. Donations are welcome and tax deductible.


Emily M. Mead, Etna
Emily Mead began a life long interest in public policy and politics at Barnard College. Following graduation, she was only one of a dozen in the room with Thomas Dewey when he lost his presidential bid.  The granddaughter of a Congressman from her native Iowa, Emily worked on numerous campaigns, including  John V. Lindsay’s successful  campaign for Mayor of New York. In addition to her political activities, she also volunteered for several; charities in Manhattan.  Later in life, New Hampshire became the recipient of her energies where her efforts have ranged from flipping pancakes for Executive Councilor Ray Burton to a bid for state Representative. In the culmination of a dream, she was brought on board by the George H.W. Bush Administration to work in the Domestic Policy office at the White House.The Josiah Bartlett Center was launched in 1992, following Bush’s loss to Arkansas Governor  Bill Clinton – Emily’s late husband Edgar and daughter Mary Mead attended an ultimately auspicious talk given at the Heritage Foundation. The speaker urged those present interested in effecting lasting change to “get out of Washington and head back to your states.”  Soon after, they both presented her with the challenge: start a non-partisan public policy center in New Hampshire to harness her considerable energy and intelligence. Thus the Josiah Bartlett Center was born.

Edgar T. Mead, Etna

Board of Directors

James Sununu, Chairman, Business Owner, North Hampton
Eugene M. Van Loan III, Past Chairman, Wadleigh, Starr & Peters, Manchester
Peter Angerhofer, Businessman, Durham
Marc Brown, New England Ratepayers Association, Newfields
Edward Dupont, The Dupont Group, Concord
Tom Eaton, Former Senate President, Keene
Dan McGuire, investor, former state representative, Epsom
Sara Shirley, Shirley Farm, Goffstown
Emeritus, Gov. John H. Sununu, Former Governor, Hampton Falls

Founding Trustees

Stephen P. Farrar, Guardian Industries Corporation, Auburn Hills, MI
Joan P. Fowler, Hanover
Janice B. Kitchen, Small Business Development Center, Gilford
Johannes Kuttner, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Dennis E. Logue, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ledyard Financial Group
Mary H. Mead, Artist, Warner
Mark Lennon, New London