A face familiar to many Budget & Tax News readers has become the leader of an equally familiar pair of organizations. After an exhaustive search process, Duane Parde, an influential force in political and fiscal policy circles, has been named president of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) and National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF).
“All of us at NTU and NTUF are proud and honored to welcome Duane Parde as the new leader of our topnotch team,” said David Stanley, chairman of NTU and NTUF. “Duane has all the qualities that will strengthen our legacy of honest advocacy and education, and help us write bold, new chapters in the future history of the taxpayers’ movement.”
Both NTU’s 17-member board of directors and NTUF’s 10-member board of directors unanimously approved Parde as president and chief operating officer on December 3, 2007. He succeeds his friend and colleague John Berthoud, who died of natural causes at age 45 on September 27, 2007.
Former ALEC Director
Duane Parde is well known both in Washington, DC and in state capitals for his principled and effective work on behalf of limited government.
Before a recent stint in business, Parde was executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a bipartisan membership association for state lawmakers sharing a common belief in fiscal restraint, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty. He is the author of many articles, policy papers, and testimonies before state legislatures.
During more than a decade at the helm of ALEC (1995-2006), Parde dramatically expanded the organization’s influence while advocating goals NTU has long shared. These include a permanent federal ban on discriminatory state and local Internet access taxes; a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; tax simplification emphasizing lower, flatter rates; and Medicaid reform through cost controls and individual empowerment.
20-Year Policy Career
Parde’s ALEC tenure was part of a 20-year career in public policy that has included service as an aide to Kansas Attorney General Bob Stephan, as a legislative director (earlier at ALEC), and as state affairs director of the Council for Affordable Health Insurance.
In late 2004 U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell named Parde state and local government representative to the U.S. National Commission on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Parde said while no one could replace John Berthoud’s unique leadership, he is enthusiastically dedicated to carrying on the work of one of the nation’s oldest and most effective forces for limited government. But as he explained, carrying on is not enough.
“I am thankful to the boards of directors for giving me the opportunity to expand our outreach, step up our activities, and grow our membership,” Parde said. “I will dedicate all my energy to the single goal of putting taxpayers firmly and unequivocally in control of the government their hard-earned money pays for every day. All of this means that there are exciting times ahead for NTU and NTUF!”