Young America’s Foundation is excited to welcome Vic Bernson to the team as vice president and general counsel. He has been a happy warrior fighting on the front lines of the Conservative Movement for almost 30 years and is a seasoned veteran of First Amendment litigation battles. As general counsel, he oversees and advises on all legal issues, has primary responsibility for monitoring and ensuring compliance, and leads the Foundation’s legal efforts to protect student rights on high school and college campuses.
Prior to his arrival at YAF, Vic spent seven years as vice president and general counsel at Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and AFP Foundation, the most influential grassroots organization in the nation and its sister educational arm. Additional non-profit and private sector work history includes significant stints as a senior counsel at the Pew Charitable Trusts and general counsel at the global public relations firm, DCI Group, LLC.
Vic’s extensive government employment includes consecutive three-year terms as general counsel for the Office of Administration in the George W. Bush White House; director of legislative counsel in the Office of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon; and attorney advisor in the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys at the Department of Justice.
For more than a decade he served as an active duty officer in the U.S. Navy, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant commander, resided six years overseas in Italy and the Philippines, and deployed to the Persian Gulf as the lawyer for the USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63) aircraft carrier battle group.
Vic is a graduate of Brown University (BA, 1986), Boston University School of Law (JD, 1989), and the U.S. Naval War College (MS, 1996). He belongs to the Massachusetts, District of Columbia, and Virginia Bars. He has been an active leader in his community for many years, including 12 years on the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America Baltimore Area Council. He was appointed by Governor Bob Ehrlich of Maryland to multiple education leadership positions, including member roles on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and Governor’s Commission on Quality Education in Maryland.
In 2010 he ran for the Maryland House of Delegates as an unabashed and deeply proud, pro-life, Reagan conservative. After raising nearly $100,000 and personally knocking on nearly 5,000 doors in what proved to the most highly-contested House race in the state, he fell just short, losing by only 80 votes.
Vic is an avid sportsman and sports fan, prolific reader and book collector, animal lover, food and wine enthusiast, and seeker of adventure. He’s traveled to 49 U.S. states as well as 54 countries and territories. Vic has been very happily married to his wife, Helena, for just shy of 32 years, and they have two children, Alexandra and Bobby.
Vic considers himself truly blessed and is thrilled to join the great YAF team of colleagues, supporters, and activists all working together to bring the eternal principles of the American founding to the many thousands of our nation’s future leaders who are still exploring individual meaning and purpose on our high school and college campuses.