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Chris Cargill

Chris Cargill is the Founder, President and CEO of Mountain States Policy Center. 

For more than 20 years, Chris has worked in communications and public policy, including for more than a decade at the Washington Policy Center. Chris has deep roots in our region. He grew up in Eastern Washington and North Idaho, spending summers on Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Pend Oreille River. His late grandfather was previously stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base.


Chris is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a degree in broadcast communications and political science. He worked in television news for 10 years before joining the free market think tank world in 2009.

Chris' work has been published in the Idaho Statesman, The Coeur d'Alene Press, The Helena Independent Record, the Spokesman-Review, The Seattle Times, the Tri-City Herald and Real Clear Policy, as well as many other regional newspapers. He is also a familiar voice on radio stations throughout the region.


Chris has led the Free Markets Destroy campaign – an effort to call attention to the ability of the free market to destroy problems and improve lives. An immediate success, the campaign reached 12 million Millennials and Gen Z’s and was nominated as one of the best branding efforts by any state policy think tank in 2021.

Chris & his wife Lisa are the proud parents of two boys, including one who has special needs - one of the many reasons why he is so passionate about school choice options for families. 


In his spare time, Chris serves on his local city council. He also spends whatever down time he can in the great outdoors on his family property in North Idaho.




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