Editorial board adds a strong conservative

01/14/2014 5:53 PM

01/14/2014 5:54 PM

It’s time — an exciting one for us — to introduce Star-Telegram readers to a new member of our Editorial Board, editorial writer/columnist Cynthia M. Allen.

You’ll be seeing Cynthia’s columns, and you may notice her influence on our editorials, beginning Thursday.

Cynthia comes to the Star-Telegram from a job as senior media manager for the National Federation of Independent Business in Washington, D.C., where she’s worked for the past three years.

If you know NFIB, you know the organization is passionate in its support of small businesses across the U.S., often from a conservative, government-hands-off point of view. Cynthia’s personal philosophy fit well in that role.

After graduating in 2003 from The College of William and Mary (B.A., government and women’s studies), she was assistant to the director of the Justice Department’s Office of Public Affairs, then left in 2004 to work for the Bush-Cheney presidential re-election campaign in Arlington, Va.

That effort having gone well for Bush-Cheney, Cynthia went back to DOJ for the president’s second term. That included a variety of assignments, including 11 months in Baghdad (she was there from September 2007 until July 2008) working on efforts to develop the rule of law in Iraq.

After the Bush-Cheney team left office in 2009, Cynthia went to work for the United Nations Development Programme as an independent consultant for a project in Amman, Jordan.

She helped develop a conference for 50-plus female members of the Iraqi judiciary and interviewed 30 Iraqi judges to assess the state of the judiciary and the role of women in Iraq.

From late 2009 through 2010, Cynthia worked in the communications office of the Pew Charitable Trusts, devoting much of her efforts to Pew’s financial reform advocacy campaign. Then she went to NFIB.

A little more than a year ago, she married a Department of Justice colleague and Texas native, who brought her to his beloved Fort Worth.

As I’ve said, the NFIB job was a good fit for Cynthia and her outlook on how the world should work. She’s also a good fit for what we were looking for as a new voice on the Star-Telegram Editorial Board, a strong, thoughtful conservative who is exceptionally skilled at expressing her point of view.

Here’s how she describes her philosophy:

“As the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of immigrants who instilled in me strong faith in God, family and hard work, I came to an early conclusion that government has an important and distinct purpose, but a role that is both finite and limited.

“The larger the government grows, the smaller the individual becomes, and consequently there is less space for personal liberty and civil society (e.g. families, charities, religious and community groups) — which is better suited to meet the needs of a diverse community — to flourish.

“My years in D.C. reinforced a lot of what I believed about the world: Large federal programs often hurt the very people they are designed to help; a freer and more competitive marketplace that incentivizes work and spurs growth is the most effective way to lift people out of poverty and empower them to succeed; and while every person should be assured equal opportunity, success should be the reward for hard work, creativity and value created (regardless of one's race, sex, creed, or socio-economic background).

“I am a conservative feminist because I believe that the very qualities that make women distinctive from men are also qualities that empower women and make society stronger and more stable. At the same time, women must also acknowledge that being a woman comes with important and unique responsibilities.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Fort Worth community and looking forward to engaging in issues that matter to the people who have made this city, county and state a great place to work and live.”

Read her first column in Thursday’s Star-Telegram: “The moral hazard of extending unemployment benefits.”

About Mike Norman

Mike Norman

@mnorman9

Take an issue that's full of sometimes-complicated details like Texas public school finance, throw in an element of urgency like the need for better transportation solutions in Dallas-Fort Worth, add a healthy helping of local interest spiced with some controversy and you have the perfect assignment for Mike Norman to examine in depth. Mike is the newspaper's editorial director.

Email Mike at mnorman@star-telegram.com.

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