Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: April 9, 2020

Liberty + Leadership News: April 9, 2020


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.

TFAS alumni, staff and faculty continue to provide coverage of COVID-19.  Read their analysis, information and tips by visiting this week’s “Quick Links.”

TFAS Senior Scholar Shares Insight into Reagan White House Over Video Meeting With Spring Class

What was it like to work in the Reagan White House? Capital Semester students gained a firsthand account from TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Devine. The columnist and author joined students via video chat last week to discuss his role in the Reagan Administration and share advice on establishing a successful career in public service.

If you want to have an effect, if you want to do something, you have to take chances.” – TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Devine

Capital Semester Spring 2020 Opening Ceremony D.C.
Capital Semester students from Australia and the U.S. are finishing the semester virtually due to COVID-19.

During the discussion, students had the opportunity to ask questions and share what they enjoyed most about working in Washington and studying with TFAS this semester. Due to COVID-19, Capital Semester students are completing their TFAS courses online and participating in virtual discussions, lectures and professional development seminars.

Read more about Devine and his advice to the class during the virtual lecture at TFAS.org/DevineSpringCS.

Encourage Young Leaders in D.C. to Apply for Public Policy Fellowship

Fellows participate in Socratic-style discussions on “The Experiment in Self-Government.”

TFAS is now accepting applications for its networking and continuing education program in Washington, D.C.

Through the TFAS Public Policy Fellowship, young leaders examine the challenges and questions a free society must address in order to flourish – as well as the unique advantages it can enjoy – with curriculum on “The Experiment in Self-Government.” 

Mike Torounian, PPF ’19, an associate at The CONSILIO Group, says he is proud to be a part of the 2019-20 Fellowship and that the program has been one of the best opportunities he could take part in a young professional.

“Unlike most programs, the TFAS Public Policy Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to network with people throughout the fields of government and public policy, while engaging in a thought-provoking dialogue on political philosophy and current events,” he said.

The program is open for young professionals with two to ten years’ professional experience. Learn more and encourage young leaders to apply at TFAS.org/PPFapply20.


As the spread of COVID-19 causes high schools across the country to close their doors, TFAS is providing resources to help our teachers and parents continue the important task of educating our nation’s future leaders. Each week, we’ll feature a different lesson from our high school programming division – the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE).

Download lesson plans and slides on our High School Programming website – FTE.org.

This week’s lesson is “Open Markets.” During the lesson, students make connections to their real-world interactions in markets to better understand the role competition and prices play in guiding market outcomes. Fun video clips and a mini-activity help students discover how open competitive markets can promote economic growth. At the end of this lesson students will be able to:

  • Use supply and demand models to illustrate changes in real-world market conditions.
  • Contrast how buyers and sellers are motivated by price.
  • Explain how competition regulates market outcomes.
  • Identify the conditions necessary for markets to function.
  • Describe the relationship between open markets and economic growth.

Downloadable lesson guides and slides provide instructions. TFAS offers a plethora of online lesson plans, readings, handouts, video demonstrations and hands-on activity guides to teach the “economic way of thinking” in engaging and relatable ways. Visit TFAS.org/FTELessons for a one-stop guide to our available resources.

TFAS Director Opines on How Lack of Political Freedom Gave Rise to Coronavirus Crisis

Alumni Students of Liberty
Brenda Hafera (left) moderates panel discussion between D.C. area alumni.

TFAS Director of International and Continuing Education Programs Brenda Hafera penned an argument in The Hill last week on the interdependent relationship between economic and political freedom, citing how initial silencing of speech in China influenced the spread of COVID-19.

In the piece, Hafera explains how America’s ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit – opposite China’s totalitarian regime and techniques of intimidation – will be the differentiating factor of how the two nations combat the crisis.

The enterprising spirit of Americans, fostered by political freedom, will be an advantage in fighting the virus. That spirit traces its origins to the western frontier but found permanency in the American character, as was the intention of the Founding Fathers.” – Brenda Hafera, The Hill 

Read more in The Hill.

Post of the Week

Tune in for a 15 minute discussion on how the principles of economics, innovation and entrepreneurship can be unleashed to combat the coronavirus pandemic in episode one of the TFAS “Liberty and Leadership” Podcast.

TFAS Alumni + Friends Cover COVID-19 Concerns


TFAS regent emeritus Dr. Lee Edwards opines for Fox News on remembering the “forgotten Americans” during times of crisis.

TFAS supporter Frayda Levy calls for transparency from American leadership on future of business during the COVID-19 pandemic in a piece for The Washington Times.

Graham Kilmer ’15 reports for Urban Milwaukee on rising unemployment numbers in the U.S.

Tim Alberta, Novak ’18, shares the different types of fear Americans are feeling amid growing COVID-19 pandemic in his “Letter to Washington” for Politico.

Jennifer Kabbany, Novak ’02, discusses how she has bonded with her family during the coronavirus lockdown in California for the College Fix.

John McCormack, Novak ’11, emphasizes the importance of social distancing amid news of Italy’s growing death toll in a piece for National Review.

TFAS professor Dr. John Samples opines for The National Interest on the free speech implications of the global coronavirus “war.”

Kari Travis ’12, Novak ’18, shares how North Carolina mom-and-pop businesses are trying to stay open during the coronavirus crisis in a co-authored article for the Carolina Journal.

Carrie Sheffield ’06, Novak ’06, writes for Just The News on U.S. Surgeon General’s efforts to encourage young people to donate blood amid shortages due to COVID-19.

Naomi Schaefer Riley, Novak ’01, shares how the COVID-19 outbreak will impact America’s foster care system in a piece for City Journal.

Oriana Pawlyk ’10 remembers the first identified military COVID-19 victim as a passionate first-responder and patriot in an article for Military.com.

Laura Vanderkam ’99, Novak ’06, shares advice on time management during the national coronavirus lockdown in a piece for The Washington Post.

Chris White, Novak ’13, discusses how local governments are reacting to church efforts to stream services virtually in an article for The Tablet.

Michael Brendan Dougherty, Novak ’09, reflects on life in America without sports in a piece for National Review.

Tony Mecia ’92, ’93, Novak ’01, shares which industries job seekers should consider as unemployment numbers continue to rise.

Tiffany Owens, Novak ’13, writes for Beyond Voting on how the coronavirus pandemic has illustrated the importance of charity in American culture.

Alexandra Hudson, Novak ’19, interviews with Fox 5 on the importance of altruism in times of crisis in our country.

Will Weatherford ’02 is spearheading a fundraising campaign in Florida to help people in need during the coronavirus crisis. Read more about his charitable efforts in this Florida Politics article.

Michelle Martinelli ’10 interviews an Olympic swimmer on the postponed Olympic Games and how he’s preparing to compete in 2021.



Brent Skorup, Law ’10, PPF ’13, and Connor Haaland ’18 discuss the future of global drone commercialization in a co-authored piece for Government Technology.

Carolina Bernal ’12, ’13, is an associate with Latham & Watkins in New York City.

Ken Rosen, Novak ’18, analyzes the history of the bulletproof vest in Smithsonian Magazine.

TFAS lecturer Brad Birzer reviews TFAS Santiago professor Brad Thompson’s latest book in the American Conservative.

TFAS professor Richard Benedetto writes for the Observer Dispatch about the significance of Holy Week.

Aaron Wilmore ’19 has accepted a job as an AM Creative Services Writer and Producer for FOX 17 in West Michigan.

Katherine Mangu-Ward, Novak ’05, opines for Reason on the future of the “American Dream.


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