Farewell to Christy Horpedahl

We are both happy and sad that Christy Horpedahl has left her role as Assistant Director of the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics. She begins a new position as an Editor for Liberty Fund, a private educational foundation established to enrich the understanding and appreciation of the complex nature of a society of free and responsible individuals. Liberty Fund publishes insightful books, conducts engaging conferences, and offers thought-provoking online resources. These programs focus on the intellectual heritage of individual liberty from ancient times up to our own.

Christy Horpedahl came to ACRE almost seven years ago as ACRE’s Program Manager. Her ability to run programs, guide strategy, and conduct operations ultimately led to her becoming Assistant Director. A large part of her job at ACRE was to figure out concrete ways to make our dreams for Arkansas happen. When team members came up with new ideas, Christy had a knack for figuring out how to make them reality. She championed the minimum viable product as a way to validate the idea. If the idea held up in the early stages, she would envision and initiate the many small steps it takes to turn complex ideas into real products. In terms of strategy, Christy is the person who asks about the alternative return on investment. The question of how to best utilize our resources and people to produce the best possible work is always at the forefront of her mind. 

Christy had a strong hand in almost all ACRE’s publications. Writing, editing, graphic design-she did it all and did it well. She also helped to expand our research areas and increase the quality of work through her insight into quality research and her operational assistance. That’s not surprising given her educational background. Christy holds degrees from St. John’s College and from the University of Chicago.

Christy is also a champion of property rights. It was Christy who led the charge on civil asset forfeiture projects, heir property, and eminent domain issues. She assisted ACRE researchers and other partners in getting critical information in Arkansas by using Freedom of Information Act requests, and navigated the complex stakeholder relationships surrounding the issue as the Arkansas legislature debated forfeiture reform bills. 

She has always understood that ACRE could be even more effective with the right partnerships. To that end she created and strengthened partnerships with other organizations including the Arkansas Policy Foundation, the Institute for Justice, among others. Christy always thought about how our work in Arkansas fits into larger conversations and issues.

She developed and executed a variety of new educational programs for Arkansas learners. For example, she introduced and spearheaded the ACRE Cubs program for Biz@Bear students, an interdisciplinary, business-focused extracurricular program for freshman students of the Biz@Bear residential college. She also acted as a mentor to a handful of UCA women, including ACRE student worker and research assistant Alex Tatem and past ACRE fellows Maleka Momand and Terra Aquia.

Momand said on her mentorship from Christy:

“Christy was an incredible mentor and influence during my time at the University of Central Arkansas. Her love of reading is infectious, and I remember fondly our regular coffee chats at the ACRE house. I think what is most remarkable about those conversations is that her advice was never pedantic, and she always emphasized my freedom to choose my own path. She is a champion of curiosity and wit and helped me get started down the path I’m on today. For that, I’m incredibly grateful.”

Maleka Momand is the CEO of Esper, a software company that helps government agencies create and manage public policy. She was recently named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Recipient.

While we will all miss working with and learning from Christy Horpedahl, we are so excited to watch her flourish in her new role! Thank you for everything Christy!