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 30 staff and more than 40 contractors with a budget of $10 million in 2018.

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 231 state policy reforms in 40 states, ultimately meaning that 9.5 million individuals will move off welfare. Millions more will have access to better jobs and bigger paychecks thanks to our efforts to remove government barriers to opportunity.

We get the politics. We know the policy. We prepare you to win. To achieve this success, we use a proven three-pronged strategy:

1. Knowledge

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.

2. Execution

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 achieving these reforms.

3. Partnership

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

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 six years since its founding, the Foundation for Government Accountability has grown into one of the nation’s leading public policy organizations, passing reforms in 34 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 multistate 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 six years, FGA has helped 4.5 million people in 34 states, but has never lost sight of its goal: to give individuals the opportunity to experience the freedom of work.

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.

We’re driven by the proven results of the power of work. By the individuals whose lives have changed after being freed from the welfare trap. By the future generations who will succeed as a result of escaping the cycle of dependency.