Lawrence W. Reed has been president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy since its founding in 1988. The Mackinac Center is the largest of nearly 40 state-based free enterprise research institutes in the United States.

Reed holds degrees in economics and history from Grove City College and Slippery Rock State University in Pennsylvania and an honorary doctorate in public administration from Central Michigan University. He taught economics at Northwood University from 1977 to 1984, serving as chair of the department from 1982 to 1984. Since 1990, he has been a member of the board of directors of the State Policy Network (SPN) and served as SPN president in 1994-95.

Reed is author of over 800 columns and articles which have appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, Policy Review, The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, and dozens of other publications in the U. S. and abroad. In addition, he has written or edited five books and delivered over 800 speeches in 40 states and 10 foreign countries. His interests in political and economic affairs have taken him as a freelance author to 56 countries on six continents since 1985.

Reed is currently serving a third year as chairman of the board of trustees of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in Irvington, New York. He is a regular columnist for FEE's monthly journal, Ideas on Liberty.