About us

Andrew Person, Executive Director

Andrew was born and raised in Helena. After obtaining his B.A. in Political Science at Gonzaga University, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. During his five years of active military duty, he graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger School, participated in a night-time airborne insertion into northern Iraq at the outset of the war, and served year-long tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

After leaving the military, Andrew earned a Master of Science in Foreign Service at Georgetown University and served five years as the military, veterans, and foreign policy aide to Senator Baucus in Washington DC. Andrew obtained his J.D. from the University of Montana Law School in 2014 and practiced law in Montana from 2015 until joining the Baucus Institute as its Executive Director in November, 2023. Andrew is passionate about the Baucus Institute’s mission to break down barriers so that Montana students can see, serve, and lead locally and throughout the world.

Mel Brittner Wells, Deputy Director

Mel Brittner Wells has fourteen years of nonprofit experience and describes herself as a Swiss Army knife of skills. With a master’s degree in book publishing, she began her career at Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon. She and her wife moved to western Montana in 2018 to return to the area they both grew up in. Her work favorites include well-formatted spreadsheets, collaborative growth, and a good story.