MANCHESTER — Meg Hansen announced that she is leaving her position as president of the Ethan Allen Institute. In a release, Hansen outlined internal “rancor” and a contentious time in the position, and indicated that the EAI Board voted to replace her with Myers Mermel, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in the 2022 U.S. Senate race.
Hansen is also a former Republican candidate. In the summer of 2020 she sought the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, finishing second. She also ran for one of two Bennington state Senate seats that fall, finishing third.
Mermel, like Hansen a Manchester resident, finished third in the 2022 Republican U.S. Senate primary.
“During my interview in late 2021, I presented a five-year strategic vision and action plan to significantly expand EAI’s annual budget, staff, operational capabilities, followers, and influence. Under my leadership as president, we began a comprehensive process to rebuild the organizational infrastructure by implementing a) reliable and innovative technologies and b) data-driven and outcome-focused internal systems,” Hansen said in a release. “For example, we developed a new data center and online government accountability tool called VT Votes to provide easily accessible and carefully researched information about important bills and legislators’ voting histories.”
Hansen said the organization also created a formal grants program to allow EAI to build new national coalitions, grow funding sources, and engage with charitable foundations and other grant-making institutions by demonstrating how our policy research, watchdog reporting, and public education campaigns serve middle-class and blue-collar families and workers in Vermont.
“Change is difficult and dramatic change all the more so,” Hansen said. “It can be excruciating when one’s identity is entwined with the status quo. I thank EAI’s staff and Board of Directors (current and former) who worked together in pursuit of these transformational changes.”