On January 18, TFAS celebrated the accomplishments of 16 graduates of its 2011 TFAS Leadership Fellows program and welcomed a new class for 2012 at a reception held at TFAS Headquarters. This yearlong networking and educational program, which was first held in 2007, is designed to develop young leaders with a shared commitment to helping improve public policy.
At the reception, 2011 Fellow Jameson Lamie (AIPES 08) gave a testimonial on his experience with the program.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Jameson Lamie, and I am a proud member of the TFAS Leadership Fellows Class of 2011. I have the honor to speak on behalf of my friends and welcome the new class of Fellows.
Now I have to ask you: how did your TFAS journey begin? I ask because as I have learned, being a part of the TFAS family goes much deeper than just attending the same summer program. The organization instills a sense of duty and commitment in all of us, which is probably why many of you are here today.
I know that’s part of the reason why I am here. My TFAS journey began in the Czech Republic three and a half years ago. While attending AIPES, I met brilliant students from around the world as we studied capitalism and American government in the heart of Prague. It was a summer I won’t soon forget. Learning alongside Serbians, Estonians, and Georgians changed my whole perspective on the world, and I developed a stronger sense of what it means to be an American.
My TFAS journey continued in Washington, D.C., following my graduation from college. As a new officer in the Air Force, I was fortunate enough to be assigned to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. I signed up for the fellows program not knowing what to expect, and I had the bar set pretty high based on my experience in Prague. Will I enjoy this program as much as AIPES? Will I be able to connect with all of these “inside the beltway” folks? Will I gain enough from being a fellow to make it worth my while?
I answer all those questions with a resounding yes! It’s been one incredible year as a Leadership Fellow. From learning about the battle and address in Gettysburg to seeing a bowtie-less Tucker Carlson at the TFAS Annual Conference to asking “Who is John Galt?” it’s certainly been a memorable year. But as you know, the people are the best part of any TFAS program, and the fellows are no different. I have made friends that I will stay in touch with for years to come, and I wish all of my classmates the best of luck as they continue their careers here in D.C. Thank you for all of the memories.
Of course, all of these memories wouldn’t be possible without the very hard work of a few dedicated TFAS employees. Let me be the first person to thank our fearless leader, Emily Hill. I speak for all of the fellows when I say that your spirit and enthusiasm helped make for one amazing year, and it will be sorely missed. Also, I want to thank Jane Mack for all of her help with organizing and coordinating the major fellows events. And last but certainly not least, I want to thank Mr. Roger Ream for his leadership and vision of TFAS.
Fellows Class of 2012, you have no idea how much fun you are going to have the next 12 months. The fellows program brings together young professionals from a variety of facets of public policy, and in true TFAS fashion, lifelong connections and friends are made. I envy the opportunity that you have. You may be a little hesitant now, and I’m guessing that the bus ride to Gettysburg will be fairly quiet. But by the time you ride back from Pennsylvania, something tells me you will all bond as a group and be eager for the next fellows event. I know that I was. My advice to you is not to hold back. Make the most of every moment you have with the Fellows program, and go where your TFAS journey takes you next.