Board of Directors

Elliot S. Berke (President and Chairman of the Board)

Elliot S. Berke is an attorney in Washington DC with a focus on political law. Prior to entering private practice full time, Berke served as the General Counsel of a top Washington, DC government relations firm. From 2004 to 2006, Berke served as the in-house counsel and ethics advisor to the Speaker and Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as the principal policy advisor on homeland security, judiciary, tort reform, and campaign finance issues. From 2002 to 2004, Berke served as Special Counsel to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). From 1999 to 2002, Berke served in the Office of the Independent Counsel, In Re: Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan Association (OIC), first as an Associate Independent Counsel and then as Senior Counsel. From 1998 to 1999, he served as Counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, where he oversaw white collar crime investigations, including investigations into Internet securities fraud and the exportation of stolen vehicles. From 1997 until 1998, he served as an Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and its Special Investigation into Campaign Fundraising Improprieties during the 1992 and 1996 Election Cycles. Originally from the Orlando area, Berke is a graduate of Wake Forest University and is President-Elect of the Wake Forest Alumni Association. He is also a graduate of Emory University School of Law, where he served as the Executive Articles Editor on the Emory International Law Review. He and his wife Lindsey live in Arlington, Virginia with their two children.

Michael Connolly (member of Board)

Michael Connolly is currently the Director of the Senate Republican Staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. Prior to that, he served as Communications Director of the Club for Growth in Washington. A D.C.-area native, Connolly has served as speechwriter or spokesman for national conservative leaders for more than a decade. He has worked for Congressmen Henry Hyde, J. Dennis Hastert, and Tom DeLay, Senator Jim DeMint, the RNC, and FEMA, in addition to a stint as a high-school history teacher. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech. Connolly and his wife, Ellen, live in Falls Church, Virginia with their four children.

Brett Shogren (member of Board)

From 1996-2005, Brett Shogren served as a senior Congressional staffer and policy advisor in Washington DC, focusing on national security, foreign affairs, health care, telecommunications and trade policy. He served as the policy director and national security advisor to the House Majority Leader where he was responsible for crafting and managing the congressional legislative agenda for the US House of Representatives. From 2006-2009, Shogren served as Senior Vice President of the Washington Group, one of the leading consulting and advocacy firms in Washington DC. Shogren currently resides in Washington DC where he continues to advise Members of Congress on policy and strategy as a consultant. He is a graduate of Amherst College.

John Meroney (member of Board)

John Meroney is a writer in Los Angeles. His articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Architectural Digest, The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is completing a book, Rehearsals for a Lead Role: Ronald Reagan in The Hollywood Wars, and is also at work on a documentary feature film on the same subject. Meroney provides the audio commentary, with director Vincent Sherman, for Ronald Reagan: The Signature Collection, a DVD set of several Reagan films, released by Warner Bros. He graduated from Wake Forest University.

How You Can Help

Please consider donating to this cause. An appropriate and necessary memorial to Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech stands at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Yet to date, no acknowledgment exists to pay tribute to President Ronald Reagan’s Evil Empire Speech – the most important Cold War address he delivered on U.S. soil. It is time to mark the historical significance of President Reagan’s speech so future generations can understand the need to face down tyranny with liberty and to face down moral relativism with moral clarity.

To build this memorial, the Foundation needs to raise the necessary funds. The Foundation was structured to keep all internal expenses low as possible. The Foundation has no employees – only volunteers who recognize the importance of this mission. The Evil Empire Speech Memorial Foundation is a private foundation recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization under the tax code. All contributions to the Foundation are deductible to the donor.