Melanie Benit serves as the Activism Manager at the Institute for Justice, where she mobilizes grassroots activists in legislatures, city halls and in the streets across the country to defeat abuses of government power. She equips communities with the tools and strategies necessary to defend their constitutional rights and provides guidance to government officials at all levels on how better to serve the public.
An experienced campaigner and public speaker, she helps form grassroots coalitions across IJ’s pillars of private property rights, educational choice and economic liberty, trains principal members of the community, and uses strategic communications to educate the public to enact change. She helped save an elderly neighborhood in Yorktown, Indiana, from being demolished for a private downtown developed, is working with farmers in Roseau, Minnesota, to save their land from being flooded for a misguided public works project, and continues to support legislation across several states to make it easier for cottage food producers, food truck vendors and home gardeners to earn an honest living without onerous government regulation.
Melanie holds an M.A. in Government, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security from the Lauder School of Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya, Israel. As a graduate research assistant, she studied how poor governance contributes to the global struggle against terrorism, leading her to pursue policies that uphold free societies and promote limited government. A proud Ragin’ Cajun, she double majored in political science and marketing with concentrations in pre-law and international relations at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.