Empowering people to forge a brighter future

Yankee Institute Board

Ken Boudreau, Chairman

Ken Boudreau is a private investor. Founder, President, and CEO of CGS Staffing Services, Inc, he sold the corporation to an NYSE-listed company, remaining through 1998. Mr. Boudreau has been affiliated with a wide range of charitable organizations, including serving as former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, CT Chapter of the National Association of Staffing Services; Past President of the Board of Trustees, The Mark Twain House, Hartford, CT; Past Director, CT Business and Industry Association; Past Trustee, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Hartford, Hartford, CT; Past Trustee, Hillstead Museum, Farmington, CT; Past Trustee, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; Past Trustee, Northwest Catholic High School, West Hartford, CT; Past Trustee, Archdiocese Board of Education, Archdiocese of Hartford, CT. Currently, Mr. Boudreau serves as a Trustee of the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, and was a Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Gerald Gunderson

Gerald Gunderson, working with Rich Sweetzer of Norfolk, founded  Yankee Institute almost 40 years ago. Early on, he wrote and promoted educational choice, which has developed into one of Yankee’s signature issues. He served on the Governor’s panel on public school equity and funding, commonly called the Sheff panel. Professor Gunderson holds a PHD in economics earned under the supervision of Douglas North, Nobel laureate in economic history. He has written on entrepreneurship and economic growth and published two books on the history of the American economy. He recently retired as the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of American Business and Economic Enterprise at Trinity College.

Carol Platt Liebau

Carol has worked as an attorney, author, political and policy advisor, and media commentator. In addition to practicing law, she has served as legislative assistant to Senator Christopher S. “Kit” Bond of Missouri; as a consultant to the U.S. Senate campaigns of John D. Ashcroft of Missouri (1994) and Congressman Tom Campbell of California (2000 and 2010); and as law clerk to Reagan appointee Judge David B. Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. 

She has been a guest radio talk show host for programs including the nationally-syndicated “Hugh Hewitt Show” and for KABC radio in Los Angeles. Carol is also the author of Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!), published by Hachette Book Group (formerly Time Warner) in 2007, and has contributed to the editorial pages of papers including The Hartford Courant, The Los Angeles Times, the Washington Times, The Orange County Register, The Sacramento Bee, and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She has appeared on PBS, the Fox News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC. 

Carol is a graduate of Harvard Law School — where she served as the first female managing editor of The Harvard Law Review — and Princeton University, where she was editorial chairman of The Daily Princetonian

Tom Lasersohn

Tom Lasersohn was a lawyer briefly before spending the bulk of his career in the financial services industry. He also served for five years on the Board of Finance in Westport, Connecticut. He is currently a private investor.

Betsy McCaughey

Betsy McCaughey is a patient advocate and former Lt. Governor of New York State. In 2004, she founded and is now Chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths (RID), a nationwide educational campaign to stop infections in nursing homes and hospitals. Ms. McCaughey is also a syndicated columnist, weekly columnist for the New York Post, and author of The Next Pandemic, from Encounter Books. In 2016 McCaughey was named to President-elect Trump’s transition Economic Advisory Committee. From 1995 to 1998, she served as Lt. Governor of New York State.

Ms. McCaughey earned a Ph.D. in constitutional history from Columbia University.

Mark Nielsen

Mark D. Nielsen is Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Frontier Communications, a national telecom company headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut with 2020 sales of $7.2B.  In this position, Nielsen has leadership responsibility for the Company’s legal and regulatory affairs, real estate operations, and corporate communications.

Nielsen started his legal career in 1990 as an associate lawyer at the Hartford law firm of Murtha, Cullina, Richter & Pinney. From 1993 to 1999, he served in the Connecticut Legislature, one term in the House followed by two terms in the Senate. Later, Nielsen served as Mitt Romney’s legal counsel, and then chief of staff, when Romney was Governor of Massachusetts (2003-2007).

Before joining Frontier in 2014, Nielsen served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Raytheon Company from 2007 to 2009, and Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Praxair, Inc. from 2009 to 2014.

Nielsen is an honors graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He serves as a member of the adjunct faculty of Columbia Law School.

Penny Young

Penny Young has been actively involved in and held leadership positions in community organizations and issues at local, regional and state-wide arenas. 

Mrs. Young has served as an elected member of the New Canaan Town Council since 1997. She co-founded the Elder Care Council and chaired the effort to develop and expand the Lapham Community Center to provide support, recreational and educational programs for adults. She serves as an advisor to the Getabout (transportation system) and Staying Put (reside at home) as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Waveny LifeCare Network. Statewide, Penny serves as President of the CT Area Agencies on Aging and on the CT Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity. She has long served as Secretary of New Canaan’s non-partisan League of Women Voters. She also serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Stamford Symphony.

David Tohir

David Tohir is a co-founder and Chairman of Hecate Energy LLC, one of the largest private renewable power development companies in the U.S.  Prior to founding Hecate in 2012, Mr. Tohir co-founded, built and sold several other independent power development companies, and has held various management positions in the power industry starting in 1990. Prior thereto, Mr. Tohir was employed as an investment banker.

Mr. Tohir has lived with his family in CT since 1994, and has previously served on the New Canaan Utilities Commission.  He earned two Bachelor of Science degrees – Electrical Engineering and Economics – and a Master of Science degree in Management, all from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.