Home » News » Happy Independence Day: Liberty + Leadership News July 3, 2019

Happy Independence Day: Liberty + Leadership News July 3, 2019


We hope you enjoy these top news stories about TFAS activities, alumni and events this week. Please visit us on social media for additional up-to-the-moment TFAS news and information and sign up for our newsletter to receive weekly updates.

Happy Independence Day: Continuing the Great American Experiment in Liberty

Dr. José Piñera proudly holds up his pocket copy of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution – a gift he always keeps with him and has given to more than 20 global leaders.

Did you know that every TFAS student receives a copy of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution when they participate in our programs? Provided by our friends at the Cato Institute, these pocket-sized principles follow students throughout their TFAS Journey and life beyond as a reminder of our founding principles and institutions that make the American experiment in liberty possible.

This past weekend, we held our TFAS Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. where the pocket-sized Declaration and Constitution were brought up by several of our keynote speakers and panelists, including alumni who continue to hold on to their copies.

Dr. José Piñera, who brought American principles and free-market economics to Chile as the country’s minister of labor and social security, proudly pulled a copy out of his pocket during our Thursday evening keynote on “Lessons from the Founding Fathers to the World of Today.” He told the crowd that he always carries it with him and has given it to more than 20 global leaders.

I believe the Founding Fathers are not exclusive to America, I believe their principles can work around the world.” – Dr. José Piñera

Left: TFAS students read their pocket Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitutions at the TFAS Welcome Ceremony. Right: TFAS Alumnus Cpt. Thomas Chandler ’10 shares a message from the cockpit of a C-17 Globemaster, saying, “Still have mine – 200 hrs, 4 deployments and 50 countries later!”

During a professor-led panel on “How TFAS Teaches Freedom Around the Globe,” Dr. Nikolai Wenzel spoke about the rewarding experience of teaching American institutions and free-market economics to students from throughout Asia, many of whom are being introduced to the ideas for the very first time. Before ending the panel, Dr. Wenzel asked conference attendees to also examine our nation’s founding ideas by re-reading the Declaration of Independence this Fourth of July, an assignment he gives to all of his students.

Today, we pass that assignment on to you and ask that you read it as an annual reminder of the important work you are doing. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” – these are the ideas that you are helping us teach to a future generation of leaders.

Piñera and Wenzel’s remarks are a small snapshot of the engaging and timely discussions that took place at our Annual Conference. We look forward to sharing more details, videos and photos with you in the weeks ahead.

Johan Norberg Tells Students: Socialism Didn’t Work in Sweden and it Won’t Work in the U.S.

Johan Norberg warns D.C. interns to learn from Sweden’s failed socialist experiment during a TFAS Capitol Hill Lecture.

Swedish author Johan Norberg arrived on Capitol Hill on June 20 to deliver a message to Sen. Bernie Sanders and his colleagues in Congress. “No Bernie, Scandinavia is Not Socialist!” proclaimed Norberg to a crowd of more than 130 D.C. interns who gathered for the TFAS Capitol Hill Lecture.

The documentary filmmaker and Cato Institute Senior Fellow told attendees that despite being used as an example of socialism’s success, his home nation of Sweden has embraced capitalism since being nearly destroyed by socialists policies in the 70s and 80s.

Free markets and a small government made Sweden rich. Our experiments with socialism almost destroyed it.” – Johan Norberg

Students ask Norberg questions concerning Sweden’s economic and political system.

Thanks to market economic reforms in the 1990s, Sweden is once again a prosperous country with abundant opportunity and fewer than 9 percent of Swedes supporting socialism after experiencing its failures.

You can read more about the event and Norberg’s account of how free-market reforms saved Sweden from it’s failed socialism experiment in The Federalist.

The annual TFAS Capitol Hill Lecture Series on “Free Markets, Individual Liberty and Civil Society” is a free educational opportunity for Washington, D.C., interns to hear firsthand from today’s leaders in liberty. The series is held in partnership with the Office of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and made possible through the generous support of the Einhorn Family Foundation. Last week, America’s Future Foundation, named the series to their “Washington, DC Bucket List” for summer interns. To learn more about the series, visit TFAS.org/CHLS.

TFAS Mourns Loss of Former President and Trustee Emeritus George Lawrence

This portrait of TFAS Trustee Emeritus and former President George Lawrence hangs in TFAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

TFAS suffered a great loss with the passing of TFAS Trustee Emeritus George H.C. Lawrence at the age of 81.

A constant presence and support for TFAS over the last 48 years, George served as president of what was then called the Charles Edison Memorial Youth Fund from 1971 to 74, stepping in at a crucial time when then-President David Jones could not serve.

“George’s tenure as president was briefer by comparison to that of his two successors, but his support of its mission and programs spanned half a century,” said TFAS Chairman Randal C. Teague.

“George was firmly grounded in where Governor Edison’s vision of badly-needed university level programs intersected with the American values of individual liberty and free markets,” said Teague. “He knew what was needed to assure success. That’s why he was steadfast in his own financial support and encouraged so many others to support scholarships for students. This assures his legacy will extend far into the future.”

George is survived by his wife Pud (Margaret), a dear friend of TFAS, as well as seven children and five grandchildren. His family has generously included TFAS as a place to make memorial gifts.

All of us at TFAS offer our deepest condolences to the Lawrence family and all those whose lives have been touched by George. You can read more about his life and legacy here.

Post of the Week

Before speaking at the TFAS Annual Conference, Dr. José Piñera delivered the Neal B. Freeman Lecture to students participating in our D.C. Summer Programs. “It’s not vague, well-intentioned ideas that change the world. You have to study rigorous concepts, you have to understand economics and sociology, and you have to use poetry to share and spread these concepts,” Piñera told students. Following his remarks, he was surrounded by students thanking him for his message and wanting to learn more.

Quick Links

Bryan Wood ’06, PPF ’10, is named deputy chief of staff for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Stephanie Slade, Novak ’16, says “Bad Ideas Are Spreading Like the Plague,” in a piece for Reason Magazine where she cites socialism, economic nationalism and measles as proof that previously debunked ideologies are making a return.

Stephanie Cook ’18 discusses how her participation in our FTE Economics for Leaders program sparked a passion for behavioral economics.

Claudia Teran ’93 is named executive vice president and corporate general counsel for Fox Corporation.

TFAS International Programs Associate Alexander Archuleta was able to connect with TFAS alumni at the Atlas Network’s Latin America Liberty Forum in the Dominican Republic last week.

During the forum, Archuleta listened to remarks by Armando Regil Velasco ’07, a former TFAS Capital Semester student and the founder and president of i2Co: School of Transformative Leadership, during a discussion of creative ways to re-imagine the freedom movement.

Archuleta was also happy to discover that he was seated next to TFAS alumnus Rafael Rota Dal Molin ’16 during one of the Forum’s event. Dal Molin attended the TFAS program in Santiago in 2016 and is now the COO of the Instituto Mises Brasil.

Former TFAS Professor Dr. Steven F. Hayward opines in The Wall Street Journal about the University of Colorado Boulder’s Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought program. Many TFAS faculty and friends have received the honor, including Dr. Hayward and next year’s visiting scholar, Dr. Colleen Sheehan.

Nicholas Ballasy’s ’07 interview with Rep. Rashida Tlaib is featured on “Fox News @ Night” with Shannon Bream.

Blaise Misztal ’00 says “Poland could play a pivotal role as leading American ally in Europe” in The Hill. Misztal also appeared on CNBC last week to discuss President Trump’s decision to call off a retaliatory strike on Iran after the country downed a U.S. Navy drone.

Johannes Schmidt ’13 writes about the Hispanic roots of the American Revolution for the Washington Examiner.

Courtland Culver ’18 advises Americans to “Heed James Madison—Not Candace Owens and Trump—on Free Speech” in an article for FEE.org.

TFAS Senior Scholar Dr. Jim Otteson is awarded the 2019 Charles G. Koch Outstanding IHS Alum Award.

Dan McKeever ’08 is an assistant professor at Binghamton University School of Management.

Daniel Strauss ’18 is a Markets Fellow for Business Insider.

Jessica Peck ’99, Novak ’10, is interviewed by 9News in Denver about a new mental health task force in Colorado.


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