I chose New Hampshire as my home because I am passionate about liberty and individual rights. Live free or die! (But rather not the latter!)
Born in South Africa under apartheid, I was raised in a diplomatic household, living in America, Sweden and Brazil as a youngster. I moved to the U.S. in 1996 after winning a green card in the Diversity lottery. I became a U.S. citizen in 2000.
I am a former attorney. I practiced law in South Africa where I worked on pro bono criminal defense cases for the underprivileged, which helped shape my views about criminal justice.
After moving to California, I worked in-house at Fortune 500 companies, starting as a paralegal at Apple while I took the California Bar Exam, then working for Logitech, and later, other tech startups in Silicon Valley.
After the dotcom bubble burst, my husband, Louis, and I backpacked through Southeast Asia, India and Africa. At the base camp of the 10th highest mountain in the world, Annapurna (see the pic I took--magnificent!), I had an epiphany: I no longer wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to pursue my passion for writing, and serve a higher purpose. When we returned to America, I earned my M.F.A. in creative writing from The City College of New York.
In 2008, Louis and I moved to New Hampshire as part of Free State Project, a movement to attract 20,000 liberty activists to the Granite State. I twice organized the Porcupine Freedom Festival (a.k.a. PorcFest), one of the world’s largest liberty gatherings. I became president of the organization in 2011.
From 2008-2012, I also worked part-time at the New Hampshire Writers’ Project at Southern New Hampshire University. I started as the program manager, organizing NHWP’s flagship Writers’ Day event and other regional literary festivals, and left as acting executive director. I also volunteered for other literary organizations, and worked on Concord Reads for several years.
In 2014, acting as plaintiff, I won a landmark First Circuit Court of Appeals case affirming the 1st Amendment right to film police encounters. That same year, I was honored to be named one of New Hampshire Magazine’s “Remarkable Women”.
In early 2016, two years ahead of schedule, I oversaw “triggering the move” by securing the 20,000th FSP signer. As I always said I would, I then stepped down as president, but remain on the board as president emeritus.
Seeking new challenges, I joined the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, a 501c3 educational nonprofit that educates Granite Staters about the benefits of peacefully seeking more independence from the federal government. Don't let this scare you! It's just about talking about new ideas and fresh approaches, like Brexit and Catalonia.
I write and speak on a variety of topics relating to individual rights, free markets, and liberty. I have been quoted in The Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, New York Times, Playboy, GQ, and elsewhere, and have appeared on CNN and WMUR.
In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, hiking, watching documentaries, reading, and traveling. I practice yoga and shooting, and I play a mean game of Scrabble. I am working on two books. I own a home in West Manchester, where I live with my husband of 23 years, and our rescued pooch, Nervous Nellie.
You can read more about my activism here.