About Us

The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) was founded in 2011 and has experienced rapid growth, from $50,000 in seed funding in June 2011 to a team of 40 staff and more than 40 contractors with a budget of $12.5 million in 2021.

Our success is determined by the number of policy reforms enacted and lives impacted as a result of our work. Since 2015, FGA has achieved 283 state policy reforms in 40 states and 20 federal policy reforms impacting 868 state policies, ultimately meaning that millions of individuals will move from welfare to work. Millions more will have access to better jobs and bigger paychecks thanks to our efforts to remove government barriers to opportunity. And our focus on integrity in social programs and elections helps limit government power and keep it accountable to the people.

To achieve this success, we use a proven, three-pronged strategy:


FGA’s quality research and first-of-its-kind tracking studies quantify the real-world impact of our reforms. This research also informs which policy initiatives best move individuals from welfare to self-sufficiency, enabling our team to focus on the reforms that will maximize impact and effectively lift millions out of dependency.


FGA’s team is savvy. We get what’s happening on the ground and deploy broad outreach and education initiatives to inform and equip key stakeholders with the best messages and methods to achieve these reforms.


FGA successfully partners with state and federal policymakers, equipping them with ideas, research, and best practices to maximize the impact of these reforms.

FGA partners with principled leaders like Governor Kim Reynolds, Governor Dunleavy, Governor Noem and Secretary Ashcroft on issues like unemployment and election integrity.

We get the politics. We know the policy. We prepare you to win.

Our Story

It all started with a vision—and a vacation.

FGA President and CEO Tarren Bragdon had a vision for tangible, nationwide change. Based on his years of public service as a member of the Maine Legislature and involvement with state-based think tanks, Bragdon knew that nationwide change would begin in the states. After a family vacation (or two) to Southwest Florida, he saw an opportunity. An opportunity to make a big impact in an even bigger state. His vision carried his family from Maine to Florida, where, with the help of several policy-minded friends and supporters, the Foundation for Government Accountability was born.

Just nine years since its founding, the Foundation for Government Accountability has grown into one of the nation’s leading public policy organizations, passing reforms in 40 states that seek to free individuals from the trap of government dependence and to let them experience the power of work.

Though FGA was originally founded with a sole focus on reform in Florida, Bragdon quickly realized that the problems facing Floridians were the same problems facing citizens in every other state: increasingly unaffordable health care costs; broken state budgets; families trapped on welfare, unable to free themselves from government dependency.

Rather than utilize the one-size-fits-all solutions that policymakers were offering for these problems plaguing the nation, FGA saw another way—reducing government dependency through the power of work.

By adapting proven reforms to a multi-state model, FGA was able to equip states with best-practice policies that would improve the lives of citizens and strengthen communities across the nation.

And the idea worked.

Over the past nine years, FGA has helped millions of people in 40 states, but has never lost sight of its goal: to give individuals the opportunity to experience the American Dream.

FGA came alongside governors and lawmakers during the Covid-19 crisis and helped them craft 72 policy solutions to protect small businesses and create a path back to work for everyday Americans like Saloon on Calhoun.

In some states, this means stopping dysfunctional welfare that traps people in dependency. In others, it means working to remove barriers for people who want to work. But it always means using work to lift people out of dependency, to restore dignity and self-sufficiency, and to empower them to take control of their futures.

Part of that empowerment is making sure people have confidence in how their leaders are chosen, and being able to hold them accountable to enact good policies that promote work and opportunity. It’s essential that Americans have the confidence that their voice can be heard at the ballot box, and that the process is fair and accurate. For that reason, FGA also took on the issue of ballot integrity, and is working with partners all across the country to restore that confidence.

Work. Integrity. Accountability. Opportunity. That’s what we’re all about.

Interested in learning even more? Read our annual reports.