Garrett Ballengee is the inaugural executive director of the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy, a nonprofit research organization or “think tank” located in West Virginia.
A winner of the 2022 Buckley Award, member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network, and proud George Washington Statesmanship Fellow with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Garrett believes the foundational ideas of freedom will lead West Virginia to achieving a “West Virginia Miracle.”
Under Garrett’s leadership, the Cardinal Institute won one of two top prizes for the Atlas Network’s Investors Summit for Liberty “Smart Bets 2020” competition, became one of six worldwide finalists for the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award in 2021, and was a finalist for the Bob Williams Award for Outstanding Policy Achievement for Cardinal’s work on education choice in West Virginia. He considers the passing of the Hope Scholarship ESA program for K-12 education to be his proudest moment as a liberty advocate.
A native of Parkersburg, W.Va., Garrett graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Finance from West Virginia University, Honors College, in 2009. Garrett was also a recipient of the WVU Foundation’s prestigious “Outstanding Senior” award, an award given to no more than the top 1% of graduating seniors from West Virginia University. He received his M.A. in Financial Economics from Ohio University in 2011.