Come together to celebrate “The Future of Liberty + Leadership” during the 2019 TFAS Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., this summer. We’ll put you face to face with the change-makers who are leading the fight to protect freedom today and introduce you to the rising young leaders TFAS programs are preparing to carry the torch into the future.
Held during our TFAS D.C. Summer Programs, this year’s conference will show you firsthand how the TFAS Journey is cultivating the critical thinking and leadership skills necessary to create a brighter, more prosperous future for us all. View our full conference schedule below.
Tickets and Sponsorship Opportunities
Online ticket sales have ended. Please contact Jane Mack at 202-986-0384 or jmack@TFAS.org if you would like to register.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for conference events. These sponsorships include complimentary registration(s), name or logo recognition in conference materials, as well as other benefits and opportunities. Click here or call 202.986.0384 to learn how you can become a 2019 Annual Conference sponsor today!
Marriott Metro Center
775 12th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
Book your room today: You may make your reservations online or call the Marriott Metro Center at 202.737.2200 and ask for a room with The Fund for American Studies to take advantage of our special room rate of $169 per night for a standard room.
Confirmed Featured Speakers
Managing Editor of the Washington Examiner Magazine and TFAS Alumna
Panelists: Dr. Nikolai Wenzel, V. Hackley Chair for the Study of Capitalism and Free Enterprise and Distinguished Professor of Economics at Fayetteville State University; Dr. Bradley Thompson, BB&T Research Professor at Clemson University and the Executive Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism
5 – 6 p.m.
Leadership Scholars Orientation (LSP Only)
Room: London II
6 – 7 p.m.
Room: Grand Ballroom Foyer
7 – 9 p.m.
Room: Salons ABC
Speaker: José Piñera, Former Chilean Minister of Labor and Social Security
Topic: Lessons from the Founding Fathers to the World of Today
Alumni Award Presentations: Jeremy Harrell ’07, PPF ’10, Managing Director of Policy for ClearPath; and Mary Elizabeth Taylor ’10, PPF ’12, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Legislative Affairs
Friday, June 28, 2019
8 – 8:30 a.m.
Leadership Scholars Breakfast (LSP Only)
Room: London II
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
12 Tips for the Successful Young Professional (LSP Only)
Room: London II
Speaker: Katy Gambella, Network Engagement Manager at Talent Market
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Room: Salons ABC
9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
TFAS Alumni’s Impact Around the Globe
Hear from TFAS alumni who are leading the fight for free markets and liberty around the globe.
Room: Salons DE
Moderator: Shane Mazzella, Vice President of TFAS U.S. Programs
Speakers: Peter Feldman ’04, PPF ’07, Law ’07, Commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Nick Ballasy ’07, Political Correspondent for PJ Media; and Anna Smith Lacey ’07, ’08, PPF ‘12, Executive Director of The Hungary Initiatives Foundation
10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Board of Regents Meeting (Members Only)
Room: Capitol Hill Room (Second Floor)
10:45 a.m. – Noon
How TFAS Continuing Education Programs Cultivate Leaders
Learn how TFAS continuing education programs are educating future policy leaders on the philosophical underpinning of the American Experiment.
Room: Salons DE
Moderator: Brenda Hafera, Director of TFAS International and Continuing Education Programs
Are labor markets different from other markets? This activity examines labor markets and answers that question. Students are either employers or employees (skilled or unskilled) and learn derived demand, marginal product and supply. Variations of this activity included economic fluctuations, public assistance and overqualified workers (the Starbucks effect).
Room 2: Salon D
Speaker: Tom Rooney, Economics Teacher at West Leyden High School
Topic: Tic-Tac-Toe Tariff … Who Pays the Tariff?
In this interactive simulation, students are citizens in Country X and Country O. They are given a random “basket” of Dum Dum Pops and they trade with other students to get a more valuable “basket” by the end of the activity. But, in order to trade with people from Country X, citizens of Country O must pay the Tic-Tac-Toe Tariff which requires the playing of a game of tic-tac-toe and a visit to the customs officer for approval. Through the course of the simulation, students experience gains from trade and explore the impact of tariffs.
Room 3: Salon E
Speaker: Greg Caskey, Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at George Mason University
Topic: In the Chips
This highly interactive simulation teaches students the concepts of equilibrium price (or Market Clearing Price), supply, demand and competition. Understanding how markets work and the role of prices within markets is an important key to being able to explain and predict economic behavior. In true markets, prices are determined by the interaction of buyers and sellers.
3 – 4 p.m.
Breakout Sessions with TFAS Faculty: A Day in the Life of a TFAS Student
Experience economics as TFAS students do as faculty from our TFAS D.C. Summer Programs teach an abbreviated version of one of their classes.
Room 1: London II
Speaker: Dr. Anne Bradley, George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and TFAS Academic Director
Topic: The Hidden Power of Markets
The economic way of thinking provides a powerful addition to our analytical toolkit. It gives us the conditions and constraints of purposeful human action and helps us navigate how to best make decisions that not only advance our own well-being but make contributions to human flourishing. The hidden power of markets lies in incentives, choices and trade-offs which are grounded in human agency.
Room 2: Salon D
Speaker: Richard Benedetto, Retired White House Correspondent for USA Today and TFAS Professor
Topic: How the Trump Administration and the News Media Interact
What is the role of media in coverage of government? How does the White House manage (or manipulate) the media? How tough are the media on this administration? Are they watchdogs or the opposition party?
Room 3: Salon E
Speaker: Dr. Gary Armstrong, Professor of Political Science at William Jewell College and TFAS Professor
Topic: The Hinge
An examination of the way America debates our role in the world – pivoting the arguments between Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.
Topic: “The Future of Liberty + Leadership” Campaign Update
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Optional Afternoon Tour of Museum of the Bible
400 4th St SW, Washington, DC 20024
Museum of the Bible Highlights Tour – $20 Per Person: Visit the major attractions and exhibits in this orientation tour. You will be introduced to the rich collection of artifacts and features on each floor to better guide your experience at Museum of the Bible. Engage with the top don’t-miss artifacts in the museum. Explore different exhibits to discover some of the treasures of their collection.
3 – 4:30 p.m.
Ford’s Theater Tour (LSP Only)
511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC
Meet in Lobby (Near Starbucks at 2:45 p.m.)
6 – 8 p.m.
Outdoor BBQ with TFAS D.C. Summer Programs Students
George Washington University Yard
H Street Between 20th and 21st Streets NW
Sunday, June 30, 2019
8:30 – 11 a.m.
Farewell Breakfast Buffet (Optional)
Room: Salons ABC
For more information, please contact Jane Mack at jmack@TFAS.org or 202.986.0384.
Helen Andrews, Novak ’17, is managing editor of the Washington Examiner magazine and a 2017 TFAS Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.
From 2012 to 2017, she lived in Sydney, Australia, working as a think tank researcher for the Centre for Independent Studies. Before that, she was an associate editor at National Review.
She served for three years as a policy analyst for the Centre for Independent Studies, a leading conservative think tank in suburban Sydney, Australia. Previously, she was an associate editor at National Review. She has written for First Things, The Weekly Standard, National Review, the Claremont Review of Books and American Affairs.
Originally from North Carolina, Andrews earned a degree in religious studies from Yale University, where she served as speaker of the Yale Political Union.
Dr. Gary T. Armstrong ’84 teaches American Foreign Policy for TFAS U.S. Programs in Washington, D.C. He is professor of political science at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and with a Ph.D. from Georgetown University.
He has served as research assistant to Francis Fukuyama – a political scientist, political economist and author – and teaching assistant to former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He joined the William Jewell College faculty in 1992 and now serves as chair of the department of political science and director of the international relations major. The William Jewell student body has voted him “Professor of the Year” four times.
Armstrong is also an alumnus of the TFAS Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems.
Nick Ballasy ’07 is a political correspondent based in Washington, D.C. He has conducted on-camera interviews with political figures and celebrities that have appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Drudge Report and more. In addition, the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Washington Times, USA Today, Newsweek and others have featured his reporting.
Ballasy has interviewed an array of national political leaders including former President Bill Clinton, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney, 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, President Donald Trump, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Secretary of State John Kerry, White House advisor Kellyanne Conway, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former House Speaker John Boehner, Gen. David Petraeus, former President Barack Obama, Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Vice President Joe Biden, to name a few.
He has also interviewed some of the most recognized names in Hollywood and music such as Oscar winners Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss; film directors George Lucas, James Cameron, Michael Moore; film stars Kelsey Grammer, Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria; television host Dr. Phil McGraw; Grammy award-winners Gloria Estefan, Quincy Jones, Dave Matthews and Stevie Wonder, among others.
Ballasy is a magna cum laude graduate of Rider University where he doubled majored in communications and political science. He has worked as a video journalist in Washington, D.C., since 2008, reporting for CNS News, The Daily Caller and PJ Media, primarily covering Congress and national politics. He also works as a contributing reporter to the Washington Examiner. He interned at ABC-7 in New York City, ABC’s World News Tonight and CNN’s White House Unit. During his college years, Ballasy created, produced and hosted a public affairs show called “On the Issues” on public access television, which was awarded “Best Public Affairs Show” by the National Broadcasting Society in 2007. His sit-down interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace won a Telly Award in 2008. He is a member of the honor societies Alpha Lamda Delta, Lambda Pi Eta (communications) and Phi Sigma Alpha (political science). Ballasy is a graduate of The Fund for American Studies’ D.C. Summer Programs Journalism + Communications track in Washington, D.C.
Professor Richard Benedetto teaches the Journalism Internship Seminar for TFAS U.S. Programs in Washington, D.C. Benedetto served as the White House and national political correspondent for USA TODAY as well as a political columnist for Gannett News Service. He has reported on government and politics on the local, state and national levels for the past 34 years.
As a native of Utica, New York, Benedetto began his journalism career with the Buffalo Evening News and held government reporting positions with the Utica Daily Press and Observer-Dispatch. He also worked in the Albany bureau of Gannett News Service, covering state and government politics during the administration of Governor Hugh Carey.
He is a founding member of USA TODAY, joining the newspaper in Washington, D.C., in 1982, prior to its debut. He wrote the paper’s first front-page cover story on its initial day of publication.
In addition to reporting on the White House and national politics, Benedetto writes a weekly political column for the Gannett News Service, which serves the Gannett Company Inc.’s 102 daily newspapers. The column also appears on the USATODAY.com website.
He has covered the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has covered every national political convention since 1972 and every presidential campaign since 1984.
Benedetto received his bachelor’s degree from Utica College of Syracuse University and holds a master’s in journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication. Syracuse University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1992.
He has lectured at colleges and universities across the country and has received numerous journalism awards. In 2005, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Colorado and St. Bonaventure University. He also taught news writing and reporting as an adjunct professor at Utica College. He was honored in 1998 with the National Italian-American Foundation Media Award for his projection of a positive image for Italian-Americans.
Benedetto wrote a memoir of his long reporting career, “Politicians Are People, Too,” that was published in 2005 by University Press of America.
Melanie Benit ’14, ’15, PPF ’18, serves as the activism manager at the Institute for Justice (IJ) where she mobilizes grassroots activists around the nation to defeat abuses of government power. A trained campaign manager and parliamentary debater, she provides expert guidance and testimony to state and local officials on how to better serve their constituents. She was previously selected as a graduate research assistant to a global think-think, where she analyzed how poor governance relates to the worldwide struggle against terrorism. Her knowledge in foreign affairs and grasp of the political process supports IJ in creating real and current policy changes for those who need it most.
Melanie holds an M.A. in government, counter-terrorism and homeland security from the Lauder School of Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herzliya, Israel. She double majored in political science and marketing with concentrations in pre-law and international relations at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
DR. ANNE BRADLEY
Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and the academic director at The Fund for American Studies (TFAS). Through this position, Dr. Bradley works to enhance the impact and reach of TFAS economic education programs through courses, seminars, videos and social media. She also delivers lectures around the country and oversees curriculum development and evaluation for economics courses. In addition to her role as a fellow and academic director, Dr. Bradley continues to teach impactful economics courses to TFAS students and consistently receives outstanding marks in students’ post-program evaluations.
Previously, Dr. Bradley served as the vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, where she continues research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. In addition to her work with TFAS, she is a professor of economics at The Institute for World Politics and Grove City College. She is a visiting professor at George Mason University and has previously taught at Georgetown University and Charles University in Prague. She is currently an Acton Affiliate scholar and a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy. She is a lecturer for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education.
She served as the associate director for the Program in Economics, Politics and the Law at the James M. Buchanan Center at George Mason University. Dr. Bradley’s academic work ranges on the question of income inequality and economic freedom as well as the political economy of terrorism, with specific emphasis on the industrial organization of al-Qaeda. Her academic research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes. She is currently working on a book that analyzes the political economy of al-Qaeda post 9/11. Based on her academic research, she also worked as an economic analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Terrorism Analysis.
Dr. Bradley received her Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in 2006, during which time she was a James M. Buchanan Scholar.
Brianna Bucinell ’11 is a strategic communicator with keen business acumen that combines her entrepreneurial spirit and over seven years of experience to develop forward-thinking PR strategies that spur business growth. She fundamentally believes that smart PR is smart business and works with globally recognized brands in the retail, technology, health, finance and policy industries every day to launch their products, protect their brand, amplify their messages and activate their audiences.
Brianna leads media relations and event teams for clients such as Naturipe Farms and a Fortune 10 company. Every day Brianna works with leading journalists that count on her as a reliable source of vital information and stories. She has placed hundreds of client stories and secured interviews in top news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Associated Press, NPR and Sirius-XM. Additionally, Brianna trains executives for media interviews, including lobbyists, lawyers and leadership at a multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company, leads social media influencer campaigns and has served as a crisis media advisor for Dole Food Company.
Brianna previously served on communications teams for Cause, a nonprofit supporting wounded military members, and Academy Health, a healthcare research association. She is a graduate of Medaille College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Media Communications. She is an alumna of TFAS D.C. Summer Programs track on Journalism + Communications.
Greg Caskey has taught “Historical Economics” for the last five years at the Delaware Military Academy, located in Wilmington, Delaware. Caskey is currently enrolled in the Ph.D. economics program at George Mason University, where he is a graduate fellow within the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Mercatus Center.
A 2017 graduate of the Masters in Economics & Entrepreneurship for Educators program at the University of Delaware, Caskey is the founder of HipHoponomics. He has written, produced and recorded two albums, “HipHoponomics Vol. 1: Views from the Academy” (June 2016) and “HipHoponomics Vol. 2: The Man, The Myth, Adam Smith” (May 2017). The most recent album gained media attention in various newspapers, radio stations, podcasts and TV stations, including a nationally syndicated column by renowned economist Dr. Walter E. Williams.
Having taken numerous FTE courses, Caskey loves producing economics content for other educators to use and has produced “Hot Topics” for TFAS’s Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) programs.
Randy DeCleene has over 20 years of experience working in both the private sector and government with expertise in communications, marketing, branding, strategic planning, economic development, public affairs and public policy. He started with kglobal in May 2011 and has been a Partner at the firm since October 2014.
In addition to serving as Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy press secretary at the White House, special assistant to the secretary of the army at the Pentagon and as a senior advisor to the commanding general of the Third Infantry Division in northern Iraq, Randy has held significant positions at leading consulting firms. Randy’s work has taken him throughout the United States and he has spent significant time in Europe and Russia, as well as Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
Randy spent most of 2010 in Tikrit, Iraq, at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, as a senior advisor for international politics and strategic communications to Major General Tony Cucolo, the commanding general of more than 21,000 troops in the Third Infantry Division and Task Force Marne.
From May 2008 until January 2010, Randy worked in the Pentagon as a special assistant (SES) to the secretary of the army, former Congressman Pete Geren. In this capacity, he handled key projects and priorities on behalf of Mr. Geren, providing him daily counsel.
For his service at the Pentagon and in Iraq, Randy was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism and two Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Awards.
At Ogilvy and Ketchum, from April 2005 until May 2008, Randy worked on various domestic and international projects. His client roster included the Louisiana Recovery Authority, Delta Air Lines, Russian Federation, Gazprom and Global Health Initiative of the World Economic Forum, among others.
As deputy press secretary to Vice President Cheney in 2004 and 2005, Randy was a member of the team that designed and implemented communications strategies for the vice president and his senior staff. During his tenure, Randy traveled to 31 states with Cheney on Air Force Two.
Before moving to Washington, D.C., Randy was press secretary and chief grant writer for the St. Joseph County (IN) district attorney and held numerous other political and government positions in Indiana and Illinois. Randy has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University (Bloomington), J.D. from the Valparaiso University School of Law and a masters in writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Randy is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Colorado for their CU in DC program, a board member at The Fund for American Studies and a member of the National Press Club. Previously, he hosted a political history podcast called “The 202” and wrote for Camden Chat, an SB Nation site that covers the Baltimore Orioles.
DR. DONALD DEVINE
Dr. Donald Devine is the Grewcock Senior Scholar at The Fund for American Studies. Devine served as President Ronald Reagan’s civil service director during the president’s first term in office. During that time, the Washington Post labeled him Reagan’s “terrible swift sword of the civil service” for cutting bureaucrats and reducing billions in spending. Today, Devine travels the country teaching Constitutional Leadership Seminars to young people and speaking to groups about reviving the Constitution and saving the marriage between libertarianism and traditionalism. He is also a regular columnist for Newsmax Insiders, The American Spectator, The Imaginative Conservative and the Library for Law & Liberty.
Before and after his government service, Devine was an academic, teaching 14 years as associate professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland and for a decade as a professor of Western civilization at Bellevue University. He is a columnist and author of nine books, including his most recent “America’s Way Back: Reclaiming Freedom, Tradition and Constitution.” Devine served as an advisor to Reagan from 1976 to 1985, to Sen. Bob Dole from 1988–1996 and to Steve Forbes between 1998–2000.
MICHAEL BRENDAN DOUGHERTY
Michael Brendan Dougherty, Novak ’09, is a senior editor at National Review and was formerly an editor at The Week. His first book, “My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son’s Search for Home,” will be published in April 2019.
His work has appeared in Politico, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN Magazine and The American Conservative. He is a 2009 TFAS Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.
Peter A. Feldman ’04, PPF ’07, Law ’07, is a commissioner at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). He was nominated by President Donald J. Trump, and confirmed by the United States Senate, to complete the remainder of a term expiring in October 2019. Mr. Feldman was re-nominated, and confirmed to a subsequent seven-year term that will expire in October 2026. He began serving as a commissioner on October 5, 2018.
Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Feldman served as senior counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In that role, he served as a key advisor on consumer protection, product safety, data security and privacy issues to U.S. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.
During his tenure, Mr. Feldman was instrumental in drafting and negotiating bipartisan legislation and conducting oversight and investigations of CPSC, the Federal Trade Commission and private sector firms.
Mr. Feldman led the Commerce Committee’s efforts on numerous bipartisan legislative initiatives, including the Consumer Review Freedom Act, the Better Online Ticket Sales Act and the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act.
As the Senate Commerce Committee’s senior sports attorney, Mr. Feldman also worked to expand and modernize the United States Anti-doping Agency, conducted investigations into the United States Olympic Committee and various National Governing Body organizations following the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal and served as lead negotiator on the bipartisan Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act.
As a staffer for former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine of Ohio, Mr. Feldman worked directly on the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, a landmark safety bill that addresses safety regulations to protect young children.
Mr. Feldman attended Colgate University and graduated with a B.A., cum laude. He received his J.D., cum laude, from American University’s Washington College of Law. Mr. Feldman is a member of the Maryland Bar.
Frank Garrison is a staff attorney at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. Previously, he was a legal associate in the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. Before that, he was a law clerk for the Pacific Legal Foundation and a judicial intern for Frank A. Shepherd of Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal. Garrison holds a Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law and a Master of Laws from American University’s Washington College of Law.
Paul Gigot is the editorial page editor and vice president of The Wall Street Journal, a position he has held since September 2001. He is responsible for the Journal’s editorials, op-ed articles and Leisure & Arts criticism and directs the editorial content of its editions globally. He is also the host of a weekly news program, the “Journal Editorial Report,” on the Fox News Channel.
Gigot joined the Journal in 1980 as a reporter in Chicago, and in 1982 he became the Journal’s Asia correspondent, based in Hong Kong. He won an Overseas Press Club award for his reporting on the Philippines. In 1984, he was named the first editorial page editor of The Asian Wall Street Journal, based in Hong Kong. In 1987, he was assigned to Washington, where he contributed editorials and a weekly column on politics, “Potomac Watch,” which won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. Gigot is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Brittany Hackett ’07, PPF ’15, is an experienced communication professional with over 10 years of experience in Washington, D.C. She currently works as the web communication manager for the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), where she oversees the association’s web strategy and content governance. Prior to SfN, Brittany worked for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, POLITICO Pro and the Advisory Board Company. Brittany is a TFAS D.C. Summer Programs 2007 alumna and actively volunteers for TFAS as a member of the Alumni Council and mentor. She lives in Virginia with her husband, Seamus, and English bulldog, Sir Reginold.
Clara Jace ’16 is an alumna of the 2016 TFAS D.C. Summer Programs during which she interned at the Hudson Institute. She enjoys carrying on her involvement with TFAS by mentoring summer students and assisting TFAS Academic Director Dr. Anne Bradley with her summer course on international economic policy as a teacing assistant. Originally from Minnesota, Clara is a current Ph.D. student in economics at George Mason University. When not reading voraciously on family economics or public choice, she loves running on the Mount Vernon Trail, discovering new art museums and teaching catechism to 4th-graders at her local parish.
Michelle Jeffress Le ’95, ’96 is a two-time alumna of The Fund for American Studies’ programs. She attended TFAS D.C. Summer Programs in 1995, participating in the Communications + Journalism track and interning with the Military District of Washington as a staff reporter. The following year, she participated in the TFAS’s international program in Prague, Czech Republic. She is also an Institute for Humane Studies graduate. In 1997 she returned to TFAS, this time serving as a program assistant for the international programs. In 1998, she joined the TFAS staff full time. Le currently works as the vice president of international and alumni programs for TFAS.
Le is originally from Independence, Missouri. She earned her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in political science with minors in history and French from Missouri State University. She completed her master’s degree in international economics and European studies at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She spent her first year of graduate school overseas in Italy, studying at the SAIS Bologna Center.
Le currently lives with her husband and daughter in Arlington. She enjoys traveling and has been to five continents. While she is not particularly interested in braving icy Antarctica just to add another continent to the tally, Le is always up for further visits to her favorite spots abroad.
DR. KEN LEONARD
Ken Leonard received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle, his M.Ed. from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington, and his bachelor’s degree from LaVerne College, LaVerne, California. He has taught high school economics in California, served on the faculty at Whitworth College and Seattle Pacific University and served as a vice president at Seattle Pacific.
Leonard currently works as associate vice president with TFAS Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) programs. Leonard also runs a fundraising and management-consulting firm and has developed many programs, curriculum units and activities for teaching economics. His work appears in materials published by FTE, the National Council on Economic Education and The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition.
He has been recognized for his work with awards from the Freedoms Foundation and the National Council on Economic Education.
Daniel McCarthy is the director of the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program, as well as the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism. He also serves as editor of Modern Age.
Previously, he was editor of The American Conservative magazine, where he worked with and published many Novak Fellows. McCarthy began his career in journalism as a reporter, with Robert Novak as one of his heroes.
Over the years, his writing has appeared in a wide variety of publications, from The New York Times and USA Today to Reason, the National Interest and The Spectator. His experience in broadcast media includes interviews on the BBC, NPR and the Fox Business Channel.
Outside of journalism, he has served as a board member of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters and worked as a senior editor of ISI Books, the publishing arm of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.
He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied classics.
Cheryl Miller, Novak ’07, is director of the Hertog Foundation. Previously, she served as program manager at the American Enterprise Institute and as head news clerk and editorial researcher at The New York Times. She served as deputy director of research in the Office of Presidential Speechwriting. Her work has appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Weekly Standard and the Claremont Review of Books. She graduated from the University of Dallas with bachelor of arts degrees in english and politics.
DR. JOSÉ PIÑERA
As Minister of Labor and Social Security of Chile (1978-1980), Dr. José Piñera was the architect of Chile’s successful private pension system. Now, Dr. Piñera promotes the creation of pension systems based on personal retirement accounts all over the world.
Bill Clinton invited Piñera to speak at the White House Summit on Social Security and George W. Bush invited Piñera to his home in Austin to explain his Chilean reforms. Piñera testified at the Social Security Committee of the UK House of Commons and the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
Piñera addressed the U.S. Business Roundtable and shared a panel with the Labor Ministers of France and Germany at the Davos World Economic Forum. He has given keynote speeches at Cato Institute Conferences in Beijing, Shanghai, Moscow, St. Petersburg, London and Tokyo, and has spoken at conferences sponsored by private corporations, think tanks and universities. He contributes opinion articles to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Wired and several other publications.
Piñera holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in economics from Harvard University, has published numerous articles and has written eight books.
ANDREW F. PUZDER
Andrew F. Puzder is the former CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”). He earned a Juris Doctorate in 1978 from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as senior editor on the Law Review. While practicing law in St. Louis, Puzder met Carl N. Karcher, the founder of the Carl’s Jr. quick-service restaurant chain. Puzder relocated to California to work with Karcher. Puzder worked to create the Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, a conglomerate of restaurant chains, and served as the company’s CEO. He then served as executive vice president and general counsel for CKE before being named president and CEO of CKE. CKE currently owns, operates and franchises popular restaurant brand Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito and Red Burrito.
Puzder, who many call a “poster CEO for the regulatory reform effort,” often appears on business news programs including “Varney & Co.,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” “Mornings with Maria,” “Squawk on the Street” and “Live with Stephanie Ruhle.”
Puzder is a prolific author on economic and legal issues in periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investors’ Business Daily, Real Clear Politics, CNBC, The Hill and the Orange County Register. He is a frequent lecturer on economics and politics for various groups and associations as well as at colleges and universities.
In 2010, he co-authored the book, “Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.” His second book, “The Capitalist Comeback,” came out in 2018.
Roger Ream ’76 is president of The Fund for American Studies and an alumnus of the TFAS D.C. Summer Programs. Ream joined the TFAS team after 15 often frustrating years thinking he could make the world a better place by working in politics and public policy. He came to realize that politics is indeed downstream from culture and changing the world required changing the ideas in the minds of young people. In 1991, he was ready to answer his mentor David Jones’ call to work with him at TFAS. Ream became president in 1998, following David’s untimely death.
During Ream’s tenure, TFAS has expanded its programs internationally to three continents and has more than doubled the number of collegiate program offerings in Washington, D.C. Under his leadership, TFAS has extended its reach at both the high school and professional level by adding the Robert Novak and Joseph Rago Fellowships for working journalists, the Public Policy Fellowship for young D.C. professionals and making the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) programs for high school students and teachers a part of the TFAS Journey.
In addition to his work with TFAS, Ream is chairman of the board of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and serves on the boards of Donors Capital Fund and the U.S. Air Force Academy Foundation. He is a founding member and secretary of the Frank S. Meyer Society, past president of the Philadelphia Society and member of the Mont Pelerin Society.
Ream traces his passion for the ideas of freedom and free markets to his father, a minister who stressed the moral underpinnings of individual liberty and the connections between freedom and human flourishing. A Wisconsin native, Ream is a shareholder and fervent fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Ream received his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Mary Kay, have three daughters and two grandsons. He calls them his investment in the future.
Tom Rooney just finished his twenty-third year of teaching at West Leyden High School in the near western suburbs of Chicago. He has taught economics to seniors for twenty-two of those years, and he has also taught U.S. history to juniors (15 years), sociology to seniors (10 years), global studies to freshmen (9 years) and European history to sophomores (6 years).
In 2001, Rooney was the national winner of the Foundation for Teaching Economics’s (FTE) Excellence in Economic Education Award, and he became an FTE Mentor Teacher in 2004.
In 2005, after completing master’s level work in economics, he taught microeconomics at Northern Illinois University.
Rooney also served six years as the mayor of Rolling Meadows, Illinois, and two years as a senator in the Illinois legislature where he was a consistent voice for the application of economic principles.
Kevin Seifert ’06, PPF ’11, is a senior advisor to former House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Chief Operating Officer of At Ease Advisors, a political consulting and government affairs firm. Seifert has spent the last 11 years working in a variety of managerial roles for political organizations and for members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
From 2015 to 2018, Seifert was the executive director of Team Ryan, Paul Ryan’s national political organization, where he was responsible for electing House Republicans, helping advance a bold legislative agenda, acting as a liaison to the RNC and the NRCC and raising funds for political committees and candidates around the country.
When Ryan served as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Seifert served as the chief of staff for his Washington, D.C., office and as press secretary during Ryan’s chairmanship of the House Budget Committee. He worked as a senior advisor on Ryan’s 2014 re-election campaign and was the campaign manager in Wisconsin’s 1st District when Ryan was tapped to serve as Governor Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee in 2012.
Seifert began his career on Capitol Hill as a caseworker and legislative assistant to former Congressman Tom Petri (WI-06). He is an alumnus of The Fund for American Studies and the Les Aspin Center for Government and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Marquette University.
Ilya Shapiro is the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/adviser to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule-of-law issues and practiced at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb.
Shapiro is the co-author of, “Religious Liberties for Corporations? Hobby Lobby, the Affordable Care Act, and the Constitution,” (2014), and editor of 11 volumes of the “Cato Supreme Court Review (2008-18).” He has contributed to a variety of academic, popular and professional publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Review and New York Times Online. He also regularly provides commentary for various media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and Telemundo, the Colbert Report, PBS NewsHour and NPR.
Shapiro has testified before Congress and state legislatures and has filed more than 300 amicus curiae “friend of the court” briefs in the Supreme Court, including one that The Green Bag, selected for its “Exemplary Legal Writing” collection. He lectures regularly on behalf of the Federalist Society, is a member of the Legal Studies Institute’s board of visitors at The Fund for American Studies, was an inaugural Washington Fellow at the National Review Institute and a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute and has been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School. He is also the chairman of the board of advisors of the Mississippi Justice Institute. In 2015, National Law Journal named him to its 40 under 40 list of “rising stars.”
Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He holds an bachelor of arts from Princeton University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he became a Tony Patiño Fellow.
Stephanie Slade, Novak ’16, is managing editor at Reason magazine and a contributing writer at America magazine.
In 2016, she was selected as a TFAS Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient. In 2013, she was named a finalist for the Bastiat Prize for Journalism.
Previously, she worked as a pollster, a speechwriter and a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report.
Robby Soave, Novak ’17, is an associate editor at Reason. He enjoys writing about culture, politics, education policy, criminal justice reform, television and video games. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, U.S. News & World Report, The Orange County Register and The Detroit News. In 2016, Forbes named him to the “30 Under 30” list in the category of law and policy. In 2017, he became a Novak Fellow at The Fund for American Studies. He also serves on the D.C. Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Soave won widespread recognition for setting the record straight in two infamous cases of media malpractice: the 2014 Rolling Stone hoax article about sexual assault at the University of Virginia, and the 2019 incident involving Catholic high school students at the Lincoln Memorial. He won a Southern California Journalism Award for discrediting the former; his writings about the latter prompted several mainstream media outlets to apologize for having wrongly smeared the boys.
A Detroit native and a graduate of the University of Michigan, Soave now lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Carrie, and their two Yorkies, Caesar and Oliver.
His first book, “Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump,” will be out in June 2019.
DR. BRADLEY THOMPSON
Dr. C. Bradley Thompson teaches Political Theory and American Studies in the Institute for Leadership in the Americas (ILA) in Santiago, Chile.
Thompson is the BB&T Research Professor in the department of political science at Clemson University and the executive director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism.
Thompson has published five books, including the award-winning “John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty,” “Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea,” “The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams,” “Antislavery Political Writings, 1833-1860” and “Freedom and School Choice in American Education.”
In recent years, Thompson has also published essays on a range of topics such as children’s rights, natural law theory, Marxism, Progressive education and free-market education. He has lectured around the country on education reform and his op-eds have appeared in scores of newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. His lectures on the political thought of John Adams have twice appeared on C-SPAN and he has been a guest on television programs hosted by John Stossell and Glenn Beck.
He is currently completing two books: “America’s Revolutionary Mind: Understanding the Declaration of Independence” and the tentatively titled, “Our Killing Schools: How America’s Government Schools Are Destroying the Minds and Souls of Our Children.”
Thompson earned his doctorate at Brown University and has been a visiting scholar at Princeton and Harvard universities and at the University of London.
Dr. Nikolai G. Wenzel teaches the Political Economy in the TFAS Asia Institute for Political Economy (AIPE) in Hong Kong.
Wenzel is an economics professor at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. He has also taught at Flagler College and Florida Gulf Coast University and is the former Wallace and Marion Reemelin Chair in Free-Market Economics at Hillsdale College.
He has a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University and a bachelor’s degree cum laude in international affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.
Wenzel is a former foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department. He worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, where he was vice consul and special assistant to the U.S. ambassador. He later worked for various Washington, D.C.-area think tanks, including the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies, while completing his doctoral coursework and a dissertation on Argentina’s failed constitution and economy.
Wenzel’s research focuses on constitutional political economy and the institutions that promote human liberty and flourishing, with an emphasis on the role of ideology and culture, the history of ideas and the work of Austrian economist F.A. Hayek. His work has been published in 20-plus journals, including the Review of Austrian Economics, the Journal of Private Enterprise and the Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Religion. He is the co-author of a book on libertarianism versus conservatism, forthcoming from Stanford University Press.
He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and the Board of Scholars of the Foundation for Economic Education. He sat for four years on the executive committee of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, and was honored with the association’s Kent-Aronoff Award for Outstanding Service. He was recently inducted as a Friend of the Arts and Distinguished Member of the SAI Music Fraternity.
Are you in a Journalism, Communications or Public Relations Career? Connect and network with other TFAS alumni in your industry over drinks and appetizers in the Truman Lounge at The National Press Club on TFAS!