Gary D. Bass
Executive Director
Gary D. Bass became the executive director of the Bauman Foundation in July, 2011. In 1983, he founded OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that promotes greater government accountability and transparency and increased citizen participation in public policy decisions, and directed it until moving to the Bauman Foundation.
An expert on federal budgetary, program management, regulatory and information policy issues, Gary has published extensively, testified before Congress, appeared on national television and presented to groups across the country. Gary has led many advocacy campaigns—often in coalition with local, state and national groups—in pursuit of a government that promotes social justice and responds to community needs. He led OMB Watch in challenging a number of provisions in the Contract with America and successfully stopped proposals that would have undermined our society's safety net. Working with a wide variety of public interest organizations, he stopped: a “no money, no mandates” measure that would have resulted in state and local governments being exempted from complying with federal laws; a constitutional amendment to balance the U.S. budget that would have seriously harmed human service delivery; a variety of regulatory provisions that would have undermined health, safety and environmental protections; and various efforts to silence the advocacy voice of charities across the country.
He has received numerous awards, including being selected as one of the NonProfit Times Power and Influence Top 50 11 times, between 1999-2008 and again in 2010; and in 2011 he received the Chairperson’s Award from the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities for his leadership and dedication in national public policy.
In addition to his role at the Bauman Foundation, Gary is an affiliated professor at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute where he teaches about nonprofit advocacy and social change. He has served on numerous boards and has been an advisor to many organizations. Prior to founding OMB Watch, Gary was president of the Human Services Information Center; director of liaison for the International Year of Disabled Persons; worked as a consultant on several projects in special education and the mental health of children and youth, most notably the preparation of the first annual report to Congress on the implementation of the Education of All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142), now called the Individuals with Disability Education Act; and served as special assistant to Wilbur Cohen, then chair of the Michigan Governor's Task Force on the Investigation and Prevention of Abuse in Residential Institutions.
Gary received a combined doctorate in psychology and education from The University of Michigan, along with the University's highest award for graduate student teaching and several awards for academic excellence.
Adrien Schless-Meier
Program Associate
Adrien Schless-Meier began working at the Bauman Foundation in August 2014. Raised in Denver, Adrien got her first experience in advocacy working on voter outreach campaigns and canvassing. She has worked at both the grassroots and policy levels on anti-hunger and anti-poverty initiatives in Portland, OR, Pittsburgh, PA, and Washington, D.C. Most recently, she developed a grant program to build advocacy capacity among 200 food banks in the Feeding America network. Adrien was also the Deputy Managing Editor for Civil Eats, a daily news website on sustainable food and agriculture, from 2012-2015. Adrien received her B.A. in sociology from Reed College in 2012.