After 24 Years as IJ’s One & Only President Chip Mellor Elevated to Board Chairman in 2016

Matt Powers
Matt Powers · March 10, 2015

Arlington, Va.—Since its founding in 1991, the Institute for Justice has thrived as the national law firm for liberty under the steady leadership of its one and only president and general counsel, Chip Mellor. Mellor announced this week that in January 2016 he will succeed IJ’s only board chairman, David Kennedy, who is retiring, and that Mellor will be succeeded as president by IJ Senior Attorney Scott Bullock.

“It’s a time of unprecedented activity and growth,” Mellor said. “Simultaneously, we have charted new opportunities and goals for IJ through very intensive planning involving the entire organization. These plans will enable us to enhance our efforts across all of our areas of litigation and to pursue new cutting-edge legal theories that advance our issues in bold and exciting ways. The stage is set for success.”

Mellor explained why this transition is taking place now: “In January 2016, I will have just turned 65. My wife, Alison, and I long ago set that age as the point where I hoped to cut back to enable us to do the things we’ve never had time to do. Accordingly, next January, I will step down as IJ’s president and will become chairman of IJ’s Board of Directors. I will continue to lead IJ’s strategic planning. I will also be involved in donor relations and in litigation development and select projects. But I will not be involved on a day-to-day basis.”

Mellor said, “In addition to our stalwart donors, IJ has flourished for 24 years by attracting and retaining very talented people who pursue a clear mission with focused and joyous determination. Along the way, these talented people have continually grown and mastered every new challenge. They are the past and the future of IJ.”

Scott Bullock has been at IJ since its first day and most recently led the Institute’s initiative challenging civil forfeiture.

“I am excited and honored to become president of IJ and to continue our fight for individual liberty throughout the nation,” said Bullock.  “We have a tremendous team in place that will make this a seamless transition.”

Helping Bullock during the transition and beyond will be the same solid management team that worked with Mellor for years: Litigation Director Dana Berliner, Executive Vice President Steven Anderson, Vice President for Institute Growth and Integration Deb Simpson, and IJ Senior Attorney Bert Gall. Between them, this team has more than 85 years of experience at IJ. IJ Vice President for Communications John Kramer, a 22-year IJ veteran, will continue to guide the organization’s award-winning communications team. Vice President for Development Beth Stevens and Director of Development Melanie Hildreth will apply more than 20 years of experience with IJ donors to ensure that all donors are kept informed of all that their support makes possible.

As has been the case throughout his tenure, Mellor assured that this transition will be done “The IJ Way”—well-planned, well-executed and transparent at every step, thus giving IJ supporters and clients the confidence that the Institute for Justice will not only continue to vindicate the principles of liberty, but also grow ever-more effective at doing so.