Please welcome our new public safety policy fellow

Center of the American Experiment announced today the creation of a new Policy Fellow position in the area of public safety and criminal justice that will be filled by experienced FBI agent and lawyer Jeff Van Nest. Van Nest is a 20-year veteran of the FBI, serving in Los Angeles, Washington, Pakistan and most recently in Minnesota. His experience includes counterterrorism, genocide war crimes and general investigations. His most recent position with the FBI was Chief Division Counsel, serving as the top FBI lawyer in the Minnesota/Dakota region.

Before joining the FBI, Van Nest received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin and served as a lawyer in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, teaching legal writing. 

“With public safety emerging as one the most important topics in Minnesota, we are pleased to add it as a policy focus and could not have found a stronger, more experienced candidate than Jeff Van Nest to fill this new role,” said John Hinderaker, President of Center of the American Experiment. “Jeff’s years of service at the highest levels of law enforcement will bring immediate credibility to his research, writing and analysis.”

In addition to his policy fellow role at American Experiment, Van Nest will also contribute to the Upper Midwest Law Center as a lawyer.   

“This new focus on public safety is a necessary response to the sense of lawlessness occurring in Tim Walz’s One Minnesota,” added Hinderaker. “Minnesota’s Think Tank got a lot stronger today with our commitment to public safety and the addition of Jeff Van Nest.”

Van Nest is a native Minnesotan and received a B.A. degree from the University of Minnesota. He lives in the western suburbs with his wife and two children. His official start date at American Experiment is Jan. 3, 2022. He can be reached at [email protected].