Politics & Government

Fort Worth’s Rollins joins Kushner-run White House post

President Donald Trump, looks to Brooke Rollins, President and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, as she speaks during a prison reform roundtable in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.
President Donald Trump, looks to Brooke Rollins, President and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, as she speaks during a prison reform roundtable in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. AP

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Fort Worth resident Brooke Rollins is headed to Washington to join a new White House office run by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Rollins, 45, is a former aide to Texas Gov. Rick Perry and a member of Trump’s economic advisory committee. Since 2002, she’s run the influential think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation, which lobbies on a host of conservative issues in Austin.

Rollins has been working closely with the office she’ll join, Trump’s Office of American Innovation. The office’s mission is to apply ideas from corporate America to solve the nation’s problems.

Kushner said in a statement he’s “grateful” to have Rollins join his team, where she’ll “continue executing on our key initiatives.”

Rollins already works closely with Kushner and his office on criminal justice reform, an issue she added to TPPF’s policy priorities and championed for more than a decade in Texas.

Rollins recently paired with the Koch network on a $4 million, multi-state criminal justice reform project.

Trump campaigned promising to take a tough-on-crime approach. Rollins said the White House has been receptive to TPPF’s ideas on the issue, and the think tank recently added staff in D.C. to work specifically on criminal justice.

“They’re business oriented people and they want results fast,” Rollins said of the Office of American Innovation last year. “They see an organization like ours… and we’ve been able to implement that in Texas, and they want to understand how to do that here.”

Rollins is a Glen Rose native, and lives in Fort Worth with her husband and four children. She will relocate to Washington for the new post next month.

In Texas, Rollins grew TPPF from a three-person think tank to roughly 100 employees across the country, including Washington D.C, where it opened a new office this year. Rollins told the Star-Telegram that office would work with the Trump administration on deregulation and state’s rights issues.

“This White House represents the opportunity to completely reinvigorate the idea that the states should be running themselves,” Rollins said in an interview.

Critics on the left say TPPF’s states rights crusade means shifting more power to the hands of statehouses that have been dominated by Republicans in recent elections.

Andrea Drusch: 202-383-6056, @AndreaDrusch

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