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(born February 4, 1951) is the director of research of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.
He received a Bachelor of Arts from Carroll University in 1973 and a Juris Doctor from the Duke University School of Law in 1977. He was a faculty member at Northwood University, where he taught business law, economics, and logic. He was later a vice-president at the John Locke Foundation and director of the Pope Center until the Pope Center became an independent nonprofit in 2003.
Leef is the author of Free Choice for Workers: A History of the Right to Work Movement and editor of Educating Teachers: The Best Minds Speak Out. From 1996 through 2012, he was the book review editor of The Freeman, alibertarian journal published by the Foundation for Economic Education. He has published articles and book reviews in The Wall Street Journal, Regulation, Christian Science Monitor, The Cato Journal, and other publications.
Leef describes himself as a libertarian who is skeptical about governmental programs and policies that aim at improving the welfare of the people, seeing that they so often turn out to benefit only a few people at the expense of the many. He frequently elaborates on his views about education and public policy on his Forbes page, where he has been a contributor since 2013, and he blogs at Phi Beta Cons.