Renee Wessels serves as an Associate Executive Director at the Buffett Institute. She joined the Institute at its inception in 2013 and has worked closely with Founding Executive Director Samuel J. Meisels to form and shape the Institute’s focus and work. She functions as the Institute’s chief strategy officer and oversees external affairs and public policy. With more than 30 years of experience in public affairs, communications, and public policy issues, Wessels has worked with and helped to lead some of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children, including Save the Children, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the National Commission on Children. She also has operated her own consulting firm, Renee Wessels and Associates, and served as a senior managing director of Hill and Knowlton, a Fortune 500 public affairs firm where she was responsible for the company’s social marketing practice. In addition, she has worked in the U.S. Congress and in the Nebraska Legislature and Governor’s Office. Wessels holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and a graduate degree in international and comparative politics from the London School of Economics.