New Additions to Mackinac Center Board of Scholars

Three new faces join Center's Board of Scholars

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is pleased to announce that it is adding three new members to its Board of Scholars. This group of academics and business leaders supports and contributes to the Center’s mission of improving the quality of life in Michigan through high-quality, public policy research that promotes the benefits of free markets, limited government and the rule of law. They will be joining 47 other Board of Scholar members, rounding out the Board to an even 50. The three new scholars have distinct and diverse experiences in media, academia, law and public policy. They are profiled below.

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Matt Coffey is an attorney with 26 years of statewide practice in the areas of auto negligence, insurance defense, creditors rights and commercial litigation. He is also a 19-year member on the faculty of Central Michigan University, where he is a lecturer in the Finance and Law Department of the College of Business Administration.

Coffey is an expert on auto insurance regulation in the state of Michigan. He wrote a policy brief published by the Mackinac Center in 2017, which argued for reforming Michigan's extraordinarily expensive auto insurance system. He also testified in support of a bill that would have reduced premiums for almost all Michigan drivers. Coffey lives in Midland.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Dalmia is a columnist at The Week and writes regularly for Reason magazine. She also writes frequently for The Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications such as the Times of London, Time, USA Today, Bloomberg View and The Daily Beast. She previously served as a columnist for Forbes and the Washington Examiner. She was co-winner of the first Bastiat Prize for online journalism in 2009 for her columns in Forbes and Reason.

From 1996 to 2004, Dalmia was as an award-winning editorial writer at the Detroit News, covering a variety of policy issues, including the environment, immigration, Social Security, welfare reform, health care and foreign policy. She also worked as a reporter for the Patriot, a national daily newspaper based in New Delhi, India, where she grew up and earned her B.S. degree in chemistry and biology from the University of Delhi. She currently lives in metro Detroit.

Chris Surprenant is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of New Orleans and founding director of the Alexis de Tocqueville Project, an academic center for research and programming focusing on issues at the intersection of ethics, individual freedom and the law. In 2012, he was recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the "Top 300 Professors" in the United States, and, in 2014, was selected by Questia as one of their "Most Valuable Professors," awarded to three professors in the country who "have made lasting impressions on the education and lives of their students."

His work focuses on topics in the history of moral and political philosophy; contemporary issues in criminal justice reform, including the ethics of punishment; the connection between human well-being and entrepreneurship; and the importance of open inquiry and free exchange to the proper functioning of a free society, both in academic institutions and the community as a whole. He will soon publish a book titled "Justice, Inc.: How Financial Incentives Corrupted and Can Fix the US Criminal Justice System," which argues that meaningful criminal justice reform requires recognizing the existing profit incentives connected to many aspects of our current approach to justice and punishment and then modifying these incentives to better serve the interests of justice. Suprenant received his B.A. from Colby College and his Ph.D. from Boston University.


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