Press Releases

New Public Policy Institute Founded in Utah

Libertarian-leaning think tank’s mission is to “advance the cause of liberty in Utah”

Salt Lake City, UT, July 2, 2012 — Libertas Institute (pronounced lee-bear-tuss) announces its formation as a new non-profit organization, operating in Utah. The first and only such organization promoting a libertarian approach to public policy within the state, Libertas Institute’s focus is three-fold: individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise.

Connor Boyack, longtime political activist, blogger, and author founded Libertas Institute and serves as its president. “Having promoted the message of liberty for several years, I recognized that the time had come for an institutionalized effort to move that message forward further,” said Boyack. “This public policy organization provides us the opportunity to turn principles into solutions—turning ideology into ideas that can improve the lives of every Utahn.”

Within the institute are four policy centers, each of which specializes in and advocates for a specific set of issues. The Center for Individual Liberty, The Center for Private Property, The Center for Free Enterprise, and The Center for Tenth Amendment Studies are each led by an experienced and knowledgeable director.

Libertas Institute is governed by a board of trustees, chaired by John Pestana, co-founder of Omniture, which was sold to Adobe in 2009. Pestana’s business expertise and leadership experience provide a solid foundation for this new institution.

“Utah is a fantastic place to call home, and our state government has done many good things,” said Pestana. “But there is a lot of room for improvement, and few voices are correctly calling for principle-based solutions to protect the life, liberty, and property of each Utahn. Libertas Institute is positioned to best fulfill that need, and I am honored to be a part of it. I look forward to assisting in the important work we have planned.”

The Institute’s website,, is a highly functional and aesthetic compilation of resources used by the Institute to advance its mission. For example, Libertas Institute has compiled legislator indexes for the past three legislative sessions, ranking each Representative and Senator on how well they have voted in regards to the Institute’s focus of individual liberty, private property and free enterprise.

“Many politicians give lip service to things like liberty, limited government, and free markets, but their records often show something markedly different from their rhetoric,” said Boyack. “Offering these indexes helps the constituents of these legislators see exactly how well they’ve defended their liberty and worked to restrain the size and scope of government.”

Libertas Institute also has organized an essay contest, open to any adult in Utah, with a grand prize of $1,500 to be awarded in September. “We recognize that some of the best ideas and most valuable voices are those which are not currently given much attention. Our goal is to gather input from people around the state and incentivize their participation with this award.”