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About the Staff

Jane Shaw

Jane S. Shaw joined the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2006 as executive vice president and became president in 2008. Shaw spent 22 years with PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, where she was a senior fellow and director of communication.

Earlier in her career, Shaw was a journalist. Before joining PERC, she was an associate economics editor of Business Week, working in New York City. Previously, she was a correspondent for McGraw-Hill Publications in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Shaw received her bachelor's degree in English literature from Wellesley College.

With Michael Sanera she coauthored Facts, Not Fear: Teaching Children about the Environment (Regnery 1999). She coedited A Guide to Smart Growth: Shattering Myths and Providing Solutions (Heritage Foundation, 2000) with Ronald Utt. She initiated a Greenhaven Press book series for young people, Critical Thinking about Environmental Issues and was an author of two books in the series.

Shaw is a member of the Board of Visitors of Ralston College, a college under development in Savannah, Georgia, and a trustee of the Philadelphia Society. She is a past president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and a senior editor of Liberty. She is married to the economist Richard Stroup.

Portrait of Jane Shaw

George Leef
Director of Research

George Leef holds a bachelor of arts degree from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. He was a vice president of the John Locke Foundation and director of the Pope Center until the Pope Center became an independent entity in 2003.

Previously, Leef was on the faculty of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, where he taught courses in economics, business law, and logic. He has also worked as a policy adviser in the Michigan Senate and was book review editor of The Freeman from 1996 to 2012.

Leef is the author of Free Choice for Workers: A History of the Right to Work Movement (2005) and editor of Educating Teachers: The Best Minds Speak Out (2002). Leef has published widely, with articles and reviews appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Regulation, the Christian Science Monitor, the Detroit News, the (Raleigh) News & Observer, the Cato Journal, and other publications. He has testified before committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and the legislatures of Michigan and North Carolina and has made numerous TV and radio appearances.

Leef is a regular columnist for, as well as National Review’s Phi Beta Cons, and

Portrait of George Leef

Jay Schalin
Director of Policy Analysis

Jay Schalin joined the Pope Center in August 2007. A Philadelphia native, he began his writing career as a freelance journalist for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey and wrote for several other papers in New Jersey and Delaware. He also worked as a software engineer for Computer Sciences Corporation. Schalin has a B.S. in computer science from Richard Stockton College in New Jersey and an M.A. in economics from the University of Delaware.

His articles have appeared in Forbes, The Washington Times, Fox News Online, U.S. News and World Report, Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, and American Thinker. His op-eds have been published by the McClatchy News Service and the Raleigh News & Observer. He has been interviewed on ESPN, National Public Radio, and UNC-TV, and his work has been featured on ABC News and Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.

Schalin is a regular columnist for

Portrait of Jay Schalin

Jenna Ashley Robinson
Director of Outreach

Jenna Ashley Robinson joined the Pope Center in January 2007. She was previously the E.A. Morris Fellowship Assistant at the John Locke Foundation, where she worked since 2001.

Robinson graduated from N. C. State University in 2003 with a major in political science and French. She has studied at the University of East Anglia School of American Studies in Norwich, England. She received her master's degree in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005 and her Ph.D. in political science, with a concentration in American politics and a minor in methods, from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. Robinson is also a graduate of the Koch Associates Program sponsored by the Charles G. Koch Foundation.

Robinson's work has appeared in American Thinker, Human Events, Carolina Journal, the Lincoln Tribune, the Hickory Daily Record, the Gaston Gazette, the Mountain Express, and the (Raleigh) News & Observer. She has taught courses in American politics at UNC-Chapel Hill, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Wake Technical Community College. In 2013, she testified before Congress on the federal Pell grant program.

Robinson lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband, son, and three cats.

Portrait of Jenna Ashley Robinson

Carolyn Zahnow
Communications Manager

Carolyn Zahnow is a Raleigh, North Carolina, native who has also lived in southern California and North Texas. She joined the Pope Center in December 2006.

Zahnow has degrees in marketing management from San Diego City College and in communications from North Carolina State University. Past working experiences include Nokia Mobile Phones in Texas, substitute teaching in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Cooper Tools in Apex, North Carolina.

She is the author of Save the Teens: Preventing Suicide, Depression and Addiction. She speaks publicly on these topics throughout North Carolina as well as writes articles and a blog. Zahnow also is the founder of The Shore Grief Center located in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Portrait of Carolyn Zahnow

Jesse Saffron

Jesse Saffron joined the Pope Center in the summer of 2013 as a writer and editor. He is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and the College of Charleston, where he studied economics. Saffron has also studied at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

In addition to writing articles and editing website content, Saffron manages the Pope Center's summer internship program. He also is a frequent contributor to the National Review’s higher education blog, Phi Beta Cons.

Saffron plays classical guitar, hikes, and watches basketball during his leisure time.

Portrait of Jesse Saffron

Harry Painter

Harry Painter joined the Pope Center in 2014. He has a B.A. in English from Saint Mary's College of California and an M.A. in political science from the American University in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his work with the Pope Center, Harry writes part-time for Judgepedia, a project of the Lucy Burns Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. Previously, he has written about music for Consequence of Sound, a Chicago-based blog. While living in Washington, he worked as an intern in social media and research at the Institute for Humane Studies and at the Cato Institute. He also worked part-time educating middle- and high-school students at conferences for Envision Experience.

Harry is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Portrait of Harry Painter

Karen Noon

Karen Noon joined the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in March 2014. She is responsible for the accounting and employee benefits aspects of the Pope Center.

Prior to spending the last few years at home with her children, Karen was a corporate accountant with Lenovo in Morrisville, North Carolina; Centennial Communications in Wall, New Jersey; and Dugan Valva Contess in Morristown, New Jersey. Karen graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in accounting and a minor in economics and earned her CPA license in March 2000. She is married with three children and lives in Raleigh, NC.

Portrait of Karen Noon

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