About the Director

Richard Nelson is the executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center. He currently serves on the Pennyrile Christian Community Board and previously served on the Trigg County Hospital Corporation Board and also the Trigg County Fiscal Court as magistrate.

Richard’s articles and opinion pieces have appeared in several newspapers including the Lexington Herald-Leader, Cincinnati Enquirer, and Louisville Courier-Journal. He’s been a guest on Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET) Kentucky Tonight program. He hosts an hour-long, live weekly radio program that reaches much of Western Kentucky and produces the Commonwealth Minute—a daily radio commentary aired on dozens of stations. He is also a regular guest on radio shows throughout the state. He is available to speak to churches, governmental bodies and civic groups across the Commonwealth.

He served as a policy analyst with The Family Foundation of Kentucky from 1997-2012. Previous employment includes: Field biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jamestown, ND; Research assistant in the Wisconsin State Capitol; Policy analyst for Family Research Institute of Wisconsin: and Board of Directors for Pro-life Wisconsin. He graduated with a BS in triple majors of biology, wildlife management and resource management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1992 and earned a Master of Arts in public policy from Regent University in 1995. He is certified by the Wildlife Society as a wildlife biologist and certified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a secondary education teacher in environmental science.

Richard is an outdoors enthusiast and formerly ran an award-winning taxidermy studio in Cadiz, KY. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with his family at Land between the Lakes. Father of three girls and a boy, he resides in Cadiz with his wife Kari of 26 years on their farm where they keep cattle, horses, two dogs, two cats and a llama named Charlie.

Brandon Porter is the Media Director of the Commonwealth Policy Foundation and Assistant Director of the Commonwealth Policy Center.  He is a board member of Next Step, a non-profit ministry serving low income families in Glasgow, KY, and he serves on the Nominations Committee of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. 

His weekly half hour radio program called, The Commonwealth Matters, is heard across the state and can be found on our website.  His responsibilities with CPC vary as he is called on to be a utility player.  He is available to speak at churches, and for governmental bodies and civic organizations.

Brandon has served as a pastor in local churches since 1994 holding a number of different roles over the years.  His previous ministry position was that of Senior Pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Glasgow, Kentucky.  In addition, Brandon has a background in broadcasting as he’s worked in the news departments of several news/talk radio stations.  He also worked as an anchor and reporter at WBKO-TV in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2001.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Kentucky University, a Master’s Degree from The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master’s Degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Along with his responsibilities of preaching and leading in the local church setting, he’s also been trained as a Biblical Counselor.  He has spent almost ten years helping individuals and families approach challenging situations from a Biblical perspective.

Brandon is married to Monica Porter.  In 2017 they will celebrate 20 years of marriage.  They have five children and are raising them in Cave City, Kentucky.  His hobbies are music, sports and reading.  In 2006, he sang in a Christmas program at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  He has sung in a number of gospel quartets and his singing of Johnny Cash songs is often requested by his children.