Leadership to Ensure the American Dream (LEAD) is a new initiative born out of a time-tested idea: that America is a force for good and that the pursuit of the American Dream is as essential today as it has been at each critical juncture in the development of our nation. 

We aim to foster a discussion about how the American Dream manifests in individuals, families, groups, and private enterprises. LEAD brings forward stories of how the achievement of dreams and the journeys chasing them have shaped our country and our people. Our focus is on the foundation of the American Dream. 

The bedrock the American Dream is built upon is the freedom for all Americans to succeed. Freedom must be secured and protected as a fundamental value and understood to be inherently fragile. LEAD addresses current top policy issues facing the nation from the free, hope-filled, solution-oriented, people-centered, limited government perspective. Our overarching philosophy is to lead the conversation with leaders and people impacted by critical public policy issues and provide a space for in-depth analysis. LEAD creates a platform to address the complex issues we must face as families, communities, states, and as a country that impacts the American Dream above the political crossfire.  

LEAD believes in fostering the American Dream and empowering people by illustrating the positive, far-reaching impacts that achieving those dreams can have in our lives and the lives of others both today and tomorrow. The ability to achieve the Dream lies in the power of working together as one nation.  

LEAD Board of Directors

Laurie Michel

Laurie Michel

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan

Laurie Michel is retired from a career as a senior government relations professional and advocate.  She most recently worked as Director of Federal Affairs for The Port Authority of NY & NJ where she was responsible for identifying issues and advocating policy and legislative positions affecting the Port Authority’s business objectives, operations, programs and facilities to the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch. Prior to joining the Port Authority, Laurie was Senior Director & Counsel for Federal Policy and Government Relations at Merck.  She was responsible for shaping the federal legislative and policy environment for vaccine financing and access; patent reform and domestic intellectual property; research regulation; legal reform; and environmental legislation. 

Prior to joining Merck, Laurie was Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Pasteur/Merieux/Connaught.  She began her Washington career as Legislative Assistant to Cong. Ed Derwinski (R-IL) and as staff assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs of the U.S. Treasury.  She then headed the Washington Office of Nabisco Brands, Inc. for four years before joining the Philadelphia law firm of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll, where she was a member of the Public Finance and Legislative Practice groups.  Laurie returned to legislative practice in Washington at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson before going to Pasteur/Merieux/Connaught.

Ms. Michel is a graduate of Smith College (A.B., in American Studies and Government) and George Washington University Law School (J.D.). 

Laurie and her husband, David Norcross, live in Alexandria, VA.  They have two adult children and four grandchildren who are in grade school and high school. The future success and happiness of our children and grandchildren depends on our work today to promote, foster and build a civic environment to ensure The American Dream.

Allan Filip, Treasurer

Allan Filip, Treasurer

Like all generations, we face challenges unique to our times. As has always been the case, the solution to our challenges lies in the values of freedom, community, and economic opportunity. It is an honor to be part of the LEAD initiative to highlight the power of the American spirit and policies that advance peace and prosperity.

Allan Filip is currently Senior Vice President at a cross-partisan organization co-founded by military veterans dedicated to leadership and civility in elected public service. As a part of the overall effort to highlight the importance of veterans and veteran issues, he supports principled military veterans in Congress and helps amplify their cross-partisan agenda that finds solutions for the American people. Allan works with veteran running for Congress, helping them organize their campaigns and build a winning strategy. He also works with members of congress to advance issues of national security and veterans issues. 

Previously, Allan served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Mike Rogers. Allan interfaced between the congressman’s personal office and Intelligence Committee, helped develop legislative priorities, and oversaw political and fundraising strategies. Allan also served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Mike Bishop, who served on the powerful Way and Means Committee. In 2006, Allan was appointed to the US Selective Service System by President George W Bush, serving 10 years on the regional board.

Prior to entering the public sector, Allan worked as CDO for Work Skills Corporation in Brighton, MI. He also worked several years for International Paper as a national project manager. He received his B.B.A. from Athens State University.

Tom DiNanno, Secretary

Tom DiNanno, Secretary

This is important work that Chairman Rogers has embarked upon and I’m happy to be a part of it.

Thomas DiNanno is currently an adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He has a long record of accomplished service in the Executive Branch having held five senior executive appointments across the State Department, White House and Department of Homeland Security since 2001. He was most recently a professional staff member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as a senior executive at the State Department where he led the U.S. government’s investigation to determine the origins of SARS-COV2 as it pertained to Chinese compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention. 

Thomas DiNanno most recently served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Bureau. In this role he oversaw the implementation and oversight of all arms control treaties agreements and cooperation with international partners and stakeholders on behalf of the Secretary of State. Mr. DiNanno led the Bureau in the renegotiation of the New Start Treaty with the Russian Federation and led bureau efforts related to the Open Skies Treaty, Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological Weapons Convention, and Outer Space Treaty. He oversaw over 100 federal employees and foreign service officers in two U.S. missions in the Hague and Geneva.  In this diplomatic role Mr. DiNanno lead U.S. delegations with over a dozen countries including China, Japan, NATO, India, and throughout Europe. 

From 2017-2018 Mr. DiNanno served as Assistant Administrator at the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency where he oversaw nearly $5 billion in counter-terrorism programs and national preparedness initiatives that focused on resilient public safety communications systems, national continuity planning, and cyber-security initiatives. 

Mr. DiNanno also served as Senior Fellow for Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection at the International Assessment and Strategy Center from 2008-2017. From 2004-2007 Mr. DiNanno served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Critical Infrastructure Protection at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where he was responsible for Homeland Security initiatives to identify and protect the nation’s critical infrastructure. These projects included: leadership of the National Cyber Security Division programs; development and implementation of regulations to identify and protect high risk chemical sites; management of the National Communications System; the creation of a multi-year grant program to identify and secure high risk sites; security initiatives to protect at-risk infrastructure including dams, commercial properties, and iconic targets. He also represented the United States in bilateral initiatives involving cooperation between the private sector and government counter-terrorism initiatives both in Latin America, Canada and in Europe. He was also involved in the development and execution of Operation Liberty Shield – the national mobilization of Homeland Security and Public Safety resources in the lead-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004.

Mr. DiNanno served in the White House Office of Homeland Security as Director of Corporate Relations from November 2001 to March 2003 and Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff at the US Small Business Administration from Feb. 2001 to October 2001.

Mr. DiNanno received his MS in Business and Urban Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999, an MA in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate in International Relations the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in 1993. He received the BA in Economics and Latin American Studies from Middlebury College in 1989.