Pence Hires Atkins as Policy Director
Excerpt from Howey Politics
Pence made his first significant policy hire, bringing on Chris Atkins as his policy director. Atkins previously served in the administration of Gov. Mitch Daniels as general counsel and policy director in the State of Indiana’s Office of Management and Budget. “I am grateful to have someone of Chris Atkins’ experience and integrity on our team,” said Pence. “His knowledge of the accomplishments and progress Hoosiers have made during the Daniels Administration will be invaluable as we work to build an even better Indiana in the years ahead.”
Campaign spokesman Matt Lloyd called Atkins “a big hire.” Sources close to the Pence campaign noted, “We were looking for continuity. The success he’s done with the budget and getting Indiana back where it needs to be is important.”
At OMB, Atkins advised the Gov. Daniels and senior administration officials on tax and fiscal policy and helped to develop and implement Governor Daniels’ tax and fiscal policy agenda. He was part of the leadership team that designed and implemented Governor Daniels’ historic property tax reform plan that cut property taxes and capped homeowners’ property taxes at 1 percent of assessed value. Atkins also helped to design and implement Governor Daniels’ legislation for the automatic taxpayer refund and corporate tax reform.
Before joining the Daniels administration, Atkins was senior tax counsel and director of state fiscal projects at the Tax Foundation, where he specialized in analyzing federal, state and international tax policy from a legal and economic perspective. While at the Tax Foundation, Atkins testified before many tax and budget committees in state legislatures and co-authored the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, several amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous studies on state tax reform and multi-state business tax issues. Atkins’ work at the Tax Foundation received citations in numerous media sources, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Detroit News, BBC World, and State Tax Notes.
Before joining the Tax Foundation, Atkins was director of tax and fiscal policy at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), where he worked with state legislators nationwide to develop and implement fiscal policies consistent with the Jeffersonian principles of free markets and limited government.
He is an Anderson native and graduated from Wabash College in 1997 with a B.A. in economics and political science, and received a law degree and masters in public affairs from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2001. He is a member of the state bar of Indiana.