Jim Lakely

Vice President and Director of Communications

Reporters, editors, producers, and hosts can reach Jim to book a Heartland interview at [email protected] or via text/call to his mobile: 312-731-9364.

 Backup contacts: Keely Drukala (email), Andy Singer (email)


Heartland’s Board of Directors elected Jim Lakely as Vice President of The Heartland Institute in March 2020. He has been Director of Communications for Heartland since 2010.

Prior to joining Heartland in 2008, Lakely spent 15 years in daily-deadline journalism, including covering Capitol Hill and the White House for The Washington Times for five years, participating in two news-making Oval Office interviews with George W. Bush.

Lakely has appeared on C-SPAN, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, and many national and local television and radio news programs. He’s been a reporter for the Tribune-Review in Pennsylvania; an editorial writer and columnist for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia; and an editorial writer for The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California. He got his start in journalism covering the Sewer Board, County Commissioners and “courts and cops” in McKean County, Pennsylvania at The Bradford Era in 1993.

Lakely often serves as “master of ceremonies” at The Heartland Institute’s public events, and manages the planning and production of Heartland’s major conferences – such as the International Conferences on Climate Change, the America First Energy Conferences, and Heartland’s annual benefit dinners. Lakely also led Heartland’s 2015 contingents to Rome to bring climate realism to Pope Francis, the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, and COP-25 in Madrid in 2019.

Lakely can speak with authority on environment and climate issues from a “climate realist” perspective, as well as liberty and technology policy, as he has to various audiences around the world.

His opinion pieces flying the Heartland banner have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Examiner, American Thinker, BreitbartDaily Caller, and many other publications.

Lakely is executive producer of Heartland’s podcasts, which listeners downloaded more than seven million times in 2020. He supervises the production of Heartland’s public policy videos and participates in Heartland’s “In the Tank” podcast on YouTube – which is also available on all your favorite audio podcast platforms. He is also the editor-in-chief of Heartland’s blog, Freedom Pub, and a contributing author at Ricochet.

Born in New York City, Lakely spent his formative years in Dayton, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992 with a degree in English Writing. Lakely is an avid fan of the Steelers, Penguins and his beloved Pitt Panthers.

Follow Lakely’s personal tweets on Twitter (@jlakely). Also follow @HeartlandInst on Twitter, as well as Heartland’s Facebook page, YouTube Channel, and Instagram account to keep up with the organization.

Jim Lakely Contributions

January 11, 2023
  • Environment & Energy