Jim Pugh

Director of Advancement

Jim Pugh is a public affairs innovator in Wisconsin and has been on the forefront of First Amendment issues throughout his career.

Jim joined WILL in 2019, after 22 years at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, where he was the top fundraiser in the history of the organization for issue advocacy programming.  He played a leadership role in turning around WMC’s member recruitment efforts.

Jim helped establish WMC’s issue advocacy program was involved in two corporate free speech cases that went to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  He has a degree in Journalism from UW-Madison and worked as a reporter; the First Amendment is his passion.

Jim has provided strategic guidance to CEOs in all sectors on public affairs and policy and encourages philanthropy for freedom and liberty to business executives and others.

Jim has been deeply involved in issue advocacy campaigns from the Village Hall to the Governor’s mansion, the Supreme Court, two Attorneys General and the Legislature.

James was part of the economic reform team that developed and successfully advocated for passage of a series of pro-growth reforms — lawsuit reform, tax cuts, and regulation relief.

Jim served on Governor-elect Scott Walker’s transition team and wrote his first inaugural address, featuring the frugality clause of the state’s constitution as a centerpiece for the administration’s vision.

At WILL, Jim works with the WILL board and executive leadership to secure the funds to grow and expand our legal and policy efforts.

James is a father of three adult children, and the retired coach to their baseball, softball and soccer teams.  He is in avid fan of the symphony and Brewers baseball.

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