It all started with a vision—and a vacation.

The Foundation for Government Accountability President and CEO Tarren Bragdon had a vision for tangible, nationwide change. Based on his years of public service as a member of the Maine Legislature and involvement with state-based think tanks, Bragdon knew that nationwide change would begin in the states. After a family vacation (or two) to Southwest Florida, he saw an opportunity. An opportunity to make a big impact in an even bigger state. His vision carried his family from Maine to Florida, where, with the help of several policy-minded friends and supporters, the Foundation for Government Accountability was born.

Just nine years since its founding, the Foundation for Government Accountability has grown into one of the nation’s leading public policy organizations, passing reforms in 40 states that seek to free individuals from the trap of government dependence and to let them experience the power of work.

Though FGA was originally founded with a sole focus on reform in Florida, Bragdon quickly realized that the problems facing Floridians were the same problems facing citizens in every other state: increasingly unaffordable health care costs; broken state budgets; families trapped on welfare, unable to free themselves from government dependency.

Rather than utilize the one-size-fits-all solutions that policymakers were offering for these problems plaguing the nation, FGA saw another way—reducing government dependency through the power of work.

By adapting proven reforms to a multi-state model, FGA was able to equip states with best-practice policies that would improve the lives of citizens and strengthen communities across the nation.

In 2021, FGA introduced the Center for Excellence in Polling, conducting market research and messaging analysis to inform policymakers and the public about voters’ opinions, attitudes, and concerns on critical public policy issues.