Coalition Chairman

Jay Heiler – Coalition Chairman

A lawyer, journalist and political analyst, Jay Heiler is a public affairs consultant in Arizona, serving the leadership of a wide variety of both private and public sector clients. He is founder, Chairman and President of Great Hearts Academies, a network of top-performing charter schools located around the Phoenix metro area and known across the country for successful creation of a rigorous liberal arts curriculum joined with a competitive athletics program. He was appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to the Arizona Board of Regents in 2012, and also serves as chairman of the Arizona Charter Schools Association. In 2013 the Arizona Chamber of Commerce recognized him as the state's Transformational Leader of the Year.

He is the former chief of staff to Arizona Gov. Fife Symington and directed both policy and communications for the Symington Administration from 1992 to 1997, where he developed and advocated legislation on such subjects as abolition of parole and establishment truth in sentencing; expansion of school choice and accountability and quality; reduction of income tax rates; conservation of open space in public lands; and others. He also served Arizona as a prosecutor, as assistant attorney general in the organized crime and racketeering division of the Arizona Attorney General's Office, from 1986 to 1989. He next moved to Richmond, Virginia to work as assistant editor of the editorial pages of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where he wrote hundreds of commentaries on a wide variety of subjects, including the economy and finance, environmental policy, criminal justice, law, jurisprudence and politics. He is admitted to the bars of both Arizona and Virginia.

Mr. Heiler graduated with honors in journalism from Arizona State University in 1983, and served there as editor-in-chief of the 45,000-reader campus daily, The State Press. He took his law degree at ASU as well, where he was awarded the Truman Young Fellowship and began his prosecutorial career while still in law school preparing and trying cases at the city, county, state and federal levels. His commentaries have appeared frequently in The Arizona Republic, as well as such other media as The New York Times and He has served on the boards of both the Goldwater Institute and the Morrison Institute, Arizona's two leading public policy think tanks, and hosted his own public affairs television program, Straight Answers. In 2009 readers of the Arizona Capitol Times voted him "The Person You Least Want as a Political Opponent."

His past community service includes a number of charitable and public boards and board presidency of Esperanza, a third-world medical care and public health organization headquartered in Phoenix. He has coached AAU, high school and youth basketball for 15 years.

He and his wife Carol have four sons and one daughter and reside in Paradise Valley.