Skip Navigation

Jim Lakely

Jim Lakely is the Vice President and Director of Communications of The Heartland Institute.

Reporters, editors, producers, and hosts can reach Jim to book a Heartland interview at or via text/call to his mobile: 312-731-9364.

 Backup contacts: Keely Drukala (email), Andy Singer (email)

Heartland's Board of Directors elected Jim Lakely as Vice President of The Heartland Institute in March 2020. He has been Director of Communications for Heartland since 2010.

Prior to joining Heartland in 2008, Lakely spent 15 years in daily-deadline journalism, including covering Capitol Hill and the White House for The Washington Times for five years, participating in two news-making Oval Office interviews with George W. Bush.

Lakely has appeared on C-SPAN, the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, and many national and local television and radio news programs. He’s been a reporter for the Tribune-Review in Pennsylvania; an editorial writer and columnist for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia; and an editorial writer for The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, California. He got his start in journalism covering the Sewer Board, County Commissioners and "courts and cops" in McKean County, Pennsylvania at The Bradford Era in 1993.

Lakely often serves as “master of ceremonies” at The Heartland Institute's public events, and manages the planning and production of Heartland's major conferences — such as the International Conferences on Climate Change, the America First Energy Conferences, and Heartland's annual benefit dinners. Lakely also led Heartland's 2015 contingents to Rome to bring climate realism to Pope Francis, the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, and COP-25 in Madrid in 2019.

Lakely can speak with authority on environment and climate issues from a “climate realist” perspective, as well as liberty and technology policy, as he has to various audiences around the world.

His opinion pieces flying the Heartland banner have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Examiner, American Thinker, BreitbartDaily Caller, and many other publications.

Lakely is executive producer of Heartland's podcasts, which listeners downloaded more than seven million times in 2020. He supervises the production of Heartland's public policy videos and participates in Heartland's “In the Tank” podcast on YouTube — which is also available on all your favorite audio podcast platforms. He is also the editor-in-chief of Heartland's blog, Freedom Pub, and a contributing author at Ricochet.

Born in New York City, Lakely spent his formative years in Dayton, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1992 with a degree in English Writing. Lakely is an avid fan of the Steelers, Penguins and his beloved Pitt Panthers.

Follow Lakely's personal tweets on Twitter (@jlakely). Also follow @HeartlandInst on Twitter, as well as Heartland's Facebook page, YouTube Channel, and Instagram account to keep up with the organization.

Recent Articles and Publications

view all by this author
September 27, 2022
By James Taylor, David T. Stevenson, Jim Lakely
“With only a little more than 300 right whales alive today, this endangered species is in dire need of protection, and the Virginia Wind Project lies directly in their annual migration path.”
September 27, 2022
By Jim Lakely, Anthony Watts
Feed directly from the National Weather Service WSR-88D NEXRAD network available on Heartland’s YouTube channel for free embedding
July 27, 2022
By Anthony Watts, H. Sterling Burnett, James Taylor, Jim Lakely
Official NOAA temperature stations produce corrupted data due to purposeful placement in man-made hot spots
July 21, 2022
By H. Sterling Burnett, James Taylor, Jim Lakely, Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer
Climate Change Weekly #441
January 11, 2018
By Jim Lakely
President Donald J. Trump's America First Energy Plan, unveiled on the campaign trail in 2016.
January 20, 2012
By Jim Lakely
A 2012 map of various pipelines over and around the Ogallala Aquifer, including the controversial proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.Copyright: Pennwell MAPSEARCH
October 29, 2010
By Jim Lakely
On November 2, Californians will have an unprecedented opportunity to vote on a ballot measure that will protect their jobs and their quality of life.
May 5, 2010
By Jim Lakely
The usual suspects on the left — notably Free Press — is going nuts over reports that Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski appears to be backing off his plans to impose strict net neutrality rules via a simple majority vote of his agency.

2018 By the Numbers

See what sets Heartland apart:
82% of state elected officials read Heartland publications
of state elected officials read one or more Heartland newspapers "sometimes" or "always."
45% of elected officials say Heartland led to a change in policy
of state elected officials say a Heartland publication influenced their opinions or led to a change in public policy.
3.2 Million
the number of times Heartland's six podcasts were downloaded in 2018
184 issues
of weekly e-newsletters sent to subscribers across the country
158 events
that Heartland hosted, attended, or spoke at, reaching over 34,000 guests in 2018.
100,000 fans
on Facebook posting and reposting over 1 million times a week