Nicki Neily

Nicki Neily is the president and founder of Speech First, a nationwide membership association that defends students’ First Amendment rights through litigation and other means. Over the past two and a half years, Speech First has filed lawsuits against the University of Michigan, University of Texas, University of Illinois, and Iowa State University, which had policies on the books that were designed to chill student speech.

Nicki has worked at a variety of advocacy organizations throughout her career, serving as the executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, president of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, and creating the department of external relations at the Cato Institute. In college, Nicole joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) student group and passed out “know your rights” cards to over 8,000 sorority members. She’s also worked in the private sector as director of research at a polling firm and as senior vice president at a crisis communications firm.