The Freedom Center of Missouri (FCMo) believes that freedom is the birthright of all human beings and that the brightest, most prosperous future for citizens of our nation and state depends on securing “life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.” Everything we do is aimed first at helping citizens and those in positions of power to understand and respect the importance of individual liberty, and second at persuading courts to enforce our constitutional protections for the freedoms enumerated in the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions. By helping people cultivate a newfound appreciation for individual liberty, we believe that Missouri can experience a rebirth of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens.
The Freedom Center is a tax-exempt, non-profit, non-partisan organization and we focus our research and public interest litigation in six key areas: freedom of expression, economic liberty (the right to earn a living), property rights, religious liberties, limited government, and government transparency.
Jenifer Zeigler Roland is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Freedom Center of Missouri. She grew up in Mexico, Missouri, and attended Truman State University before earning her Master’s in Public Administration and law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While in school, Jenifer worked as a legislative aid in the Missouri Senate. Upon graduation she moved to Washington, DC, to serve as a legal and policy analyst for the Cato Institute, where her research areas included welfare reform, poverty, Medicaid, and faith-based initiatives. Jenifer left Cato in 2005 to become the legislative affairs attorney for the Institute for Justice, where she worked tirelessly to help states reform their eminent domain laws in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. New London. In 2007, Jenifer returned to Missouri to become the Director of Policy for the Show-Me Institute before co-founding the Freedom Center in 2010. She lives in her hometown of Mexico, Missouri, with her husband, Dave, and their two children. Jenifer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave Roland is the Director of Litigation and co-founder of the Freedom Center of Missouri; he also serves as the Secretary for the Freedom Center’s Board of Directors. Dave earned undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University before studying law and religion at Vanderbilt University, where he received his law degree and a Master’s in Theology in 2004. While at Vanderbilt, Dave wrote a series of essays for the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center about the First Amendment and public education, and he clerked for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in Washington, DC. Following law school, Dave spent more than three years in the nation’s capital as an attorney with the Institute for Justice, where he litigated school choice, economic liberty, and property rights cases in state and federal courts. His work has been discussed in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, on Fox News and MSNBC, and other major media outlets nationwide. Since moving to Missouri in 2007, Dave has become a familiar presence on radio shows and in newspapers across the state. He has traveled widely in the state of Missouri, arguing before the state supreme court, speaking to elected officials, student groups at colleges and law schools, Federalist Society chapters, and community groups about education, property rights, health care reform, constitutional protections for liberty, and the American Founders’ conception of virtue. Prior to founding the Freedom Center, he spent three years working as an attorney and policy analyst for the Show-Me Institute. Dave also previously served as the Director of the Theodore L. Stiles Center for Liberty at the Freedom Foundation in Olympia, Washington. He has been admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Missouri, Tennessee, and Washington, as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri, the Western District of Missouri, the Western District of Washington, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He lives in Mexico, Missouri, with his wife, Jenifer, and their two children. Dave can be reached at email@example.com.
Brent Haden is the President of the Freedom Center’s Board of Directors. Haden was born and raised on a farm at Mexico, Missouri. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Haden graduated from Harvard Law School in 2002, where he was a member of the Federalist Society and served on the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. In 2002, Haden joined Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP, where his practice focused on construction and environmental litigation. In 2004, Haden joined the Kansas Livestock Association, one of the nation’s oldest agricultural associations, as assistant counsel. While at the Kansas Livestock Association, he worked in both a traditional legal capacity and as a lobbyist on issues involving environmental regulation, property rights and eminent domain disputes, and tax policy. In 2007, Haden joined Graves Bartle Marcus & Garrett, LLC where he continued to represent agricultural clients and defend clients in white collar criminal cases. Haden then served as Chief of Staff to Kansas Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal in the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions before moving to Columbia to form Haden & Haden in 2011. He lives in rural Callaway County with his wife Connie and his two sons.
Dr. Carli Conklin is the Treasurer for the Freedom Center’s Board of Directors. Conklin was born and raised in Kirksville, Missouri. She received her B.S. in English (Magna Cum Laude, 1997) and M.A.E. in Education (1999) from Truman State University. From 1999-2000, Conklin worked as an Intern and then Education Policy Assistant at Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. She then entered the Joint Degree Program in Legal History at the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was selected as a Dillard Fellow. Conklin graduated from Virginia with her J.D. in Law and M.A. in History in 2003, receiving the Roger and Madeleine Traynor Prize for outstanding written work by a graduating law student. From 2003-2007, Conklin served as Assistant Professor of History and Co-Director of the Pre-Law Professional Program at John Brown University (JBU), where she was also the faculty founder and sponsor of JBU’s Campus Chapter of International Justice Mission. While at JBU, Conklin received the Alpha Chi Rookie of the Year Award for excellence in teaching, a Shipps Scholar Grant for research, and the JBU Faculty Excellence Award. In 2007, Conklin returned to the University of Virginia to pursue her Ph.D. in History, with a focus on American Legal History. While at Virginia, she served as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of History and was selected as an Honoree for the Seven Society Graduate Fellowship Award for Superb Teaching. In 2009, Conklin returned to her home-state of Missouri, where she now serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Her courses include Non-Binding Methods of Dispute Resolution, Negotiation, and International Human Rights Law. Conklin’s research interests are in the fields of Dispute Resolution and Early American Legal History. Her article on early American dispute resolution was published in the American Journal of Legal History. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the historical meaning of the language “the Pursuit of Happiness” in the Declaration of Independence.