Annette Meeks is founder and CEO of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, an independent, non-profit, education and research organization that develops and actively advocates the principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, economic freedom, and limited government. Prior to founding the Freedom Foundation, Meeks spent nine years at another Minnesota think tank , first as director of government affairs and public programs and the final two years as president/CEO.
Annette’s previous experience was in Washington, D.C. where she was appointed by Congressman Newt Gingrich to serve as a Deputy Chief of Staff upon his historic swearing in as the 50th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to serving in the speaker’s office, Meeks worked with Gingrich for seven years in a variety of leadership positions in Washington, D.C. and Georgia.
Meeks has a wide range of demonstrated dynamic and creative leadership. She has served as a congressional chief of staff, managed a multi-million dollar congressional campaign, and was involved in the earliest discussions of what would eventually become known as “The Contract with America.”
Meeks has assumed various leadership positions throughout Minnesota, including serving on Governor Tim Pawlenty’s transition advisory committee; the Governor’s Stadium Screening Committee; the Governor’s Commission to End Long-Term Homelessness; and, the Board of Directors of Citizens Against Gambling Expansion.
On March 3, 2003, Governor Pawlenty appointed Annette to serve a four-year term as the Seventh District representative to the Metropolitan Council. The Minnesota Senate confirmed her appointment to this position on May 16th, 2004. In 2007, she was re- appointed by Governor Pawlenty to serve another four-year term on the Metropolitan Council. Meeks served as chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee and also served on the Community Development Committee.
On April 30, 2010, Meeks received Republican endorsement at the State GOP convention to serve as their candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Her running mate was Representative Tom Emmer. The Emmer/Meeks ticket lost the November 2nd general election by less than ½ of one percent, the second closest gubernatorial election in Minnesota.
A frequent and popular public speaker throughout the state of Minnesota, she also frequently provides political commentary on local television and radio shows.
She is married to Jack Meeks, CEO of The Walker Group. They live in downtown Minneapolis.