Lisa Knepper


Director of Strategic Research

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Lisa Knepper helps manage the Institute’s strategic research initiative, which creates policy and social science research on issues central to IJ’s mission—school choice, private property rights, economic liberty and free speech.

Knepper co-authored IJ’s reports Streets of Dreams: How Cities Can Create Economic Opportunity by Knocking Down Protectionist Barriers to Street Vending and License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing.

Before working as a director of strategic research, Knepper served as the Institute’s director of communications, securing news coverage in outlets nationwide, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, USA Today, CBS Evening News and National Public Radio.

Knepper joined the Institute in December 2001 from Hill and Knowlton, a global communications firm, where she specialized in public relations for technology companies, including Compaq and Sony PlayStation.  She also worked as a media relations and promotions adviser for several entertainment and technology companies in Los Angeles.  Prior to working in communications, Knepper worked for the Institute for Humane Studies as a program coordinator.

Knepper graduated from The Ohio State University, where she majored in political science and economics with a minor in philosophy.

In the News

Research and Reports

  • February 1, 2015    |    Scholarly Articles

    Regulating work

    Measuring the scope and burden of occupational licensure among low- and moderate-income occupations in the United States

    This study examines the scope and burden of occupational licensing laws in the United States for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations. Findings indicate that the licences studied require of aspiring workers, on average, $US209 in fees, one exam, and about nine months of education and training, plus minimum grade and age levels. Data also indicate…

  • May 1, 2012    |    Strategic Research

    License to Work

    A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

    License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing is the first national study to measure how burdensome occupational licensing laws are for lower-income workers and aspiring entrepreneurs. The report documents the license requirements for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations—such as barber, massage therapist and preschool teacher—across all 50 states and the District…

  • October 1, 2011    |    Strategic Research

    Inequitable Justice

    How Federal "Equitable Sharing" Encourages Local Police and Prosecutors to Evade State Civil Forfeiture Law for Financial Gain

    This report examines a federal law enforcement practice known as “equitable sharing.” It enables—indeed, encourages—state and local police and prosecutors to circumvent the civil forfeiture laws of their states for financial gain. Civil forfeiture is the government power to take property suspected of involvement in a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture—used to take the ill-gotten gains…

  • July 1, 2011    |    Strategic Research

    Streets of Dreams

    How Cities Can Create Economic Opportunity by Knocking Down Protectionist Barriers to Street Vending

    Street vending is, and always has been, a part of the American economy and a fixture of urban life. Thanks to low start-up costs, the trade has offered countless entrepreneurs—particularly immigrants and others with little income or capital—opportunities for self-sufficiency and upward mobility. At the same time, vendors enrich their communities by providing access to…

Liberty and Law

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