Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: Dec. 6, 2019

Liberty + Leadership News: Dec. 6, 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.

Don’t forget to visit our “Quick Links” to see TFAS alumni, staff, faculty and friends who are writing and making today’s headlines. 

TFAS Leadership Scholars Engage in Weekend of Learning and Leadership at Atlanta Retreat

TFAS Leadership Scholars spent a three-day weekend retreat in Atlanta, Georgia, this fall seeking solutions to today’s most pressing issues through the lens of economic reasoning.

Leadership Scholars explore Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown Atlanta.

The enthusiastic group of young alumni are part of the 2019 Class of TFAS Leadership Scholars, a group of outstanding students selected to receive a full scholarship to attend our D.C. Summer Programs and participate in additional TFAS programming for one full year.

Continuing lessons from the TFAS classroom, the scholars spent the weekend attending lectures led by TFAS professors and local scholars and participating in professional development activities with members of the TFAS Alumni Network.

Lydia Kotowski ’19, a Ball State University Honors College senior studying political science, health policy and economics, said the retreat provided her with a greater understanding of free-market economics and individual responsibility – topics she believes are vital for her peers to understand.

“It’s important for young people who are entering the workforce and starting families to know what freedom and free markets are,” she said. “Having that vocabulary, becoming educated and being aware of opportunities is important because when people are aware of the choices, they tend to make better decisions.”

To read more about the weekend retreat, visit TFAS.org/LSAtlanta19.

TFAS Legacy Society 100th Member Doug Todd on the Lasting Impact of Planned Giving

Doug Todd gives remarks at a TFAS Scholarship Awards Dinner in 2010. After witnessing the power and growth of TFAS programs over the last 20 years, Todd became the Legacy’s society’s 100th member this year.

The TFAS Legacy Society surpassed 100 members this year. This distinguished society recognizes generous supporters who have included TFAS in their estate plans, ensuring strong and influential TFAS programs for many years to come. In celebration of this milestone, we spoke with our 100th member Doug Todd to talk about the lasting impact of his commitment and why planned giving with TFAS makes a difference.

“After making sure my family will be financially secure, I want to make use of good estate planning to include fine organizations such as The Fund for American Studies,” said Todd. “If you believe in an organization and its mission, planned giving is a great way to support its mission, philosophy and beliefs making sure it continues in perpetuity and is managed well going forward. TFAS is a great legacy opportunity to leave a lasting imprint on young people. I want to help that legacy continue.”

To read more about what motivated Todd to become a Legacy Society member, visit TFAS.org/Legacy100.

We invite you to join Todd by becoming a member of this distinguished group that is setting an example for others. Becoming a member is easy: Just let us know TFAS is part of your estate plan by contacting Ed Turner at 202-986-0384 or eturner@TFAS.org. Visit TFAS.org/Legacy to learn more.

TFAS Students Attend Exclusive Briefing at the U.S. Department of State

TFAS students visit the State Department’s marble lobby where flags of U.S. diplomatic partners hang.

As the sun began to set over the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial on a Friday evening, TFAS students embarked on a memorable and educationally enriching visit to our nation’s first executive department – the U.S. Department of State. After shuffling through the security protocol and checking in with the registration desk, Capital Semester on Leadership + the American Presidency students stirred with excitement over the opportunity to tour a building in which the most esteemed diplomats and government officials have discussed influential trade agreements and salient foreign policy matters.

The tour of the State Department was an amazing and unique opportunity to experience. As a college senior that is interested in a career in foreign affairs, I appreciated the chance to talk to employees and foreign service officers to gain more insight on what the job entails on a daily basis. Furthermore, the tour reminded me of why I decided to pursue an interest in international development and inspired me to continue my journey in hopes of eventually obtaining a job in the State Department as well.” – Ebony Tyson ’19

The private tour began with a brief walk through the marble lobby decorated with flags representing each country with whom the United States has diplomatic relations. Special assistant to the secretary and TFAS summer program mentor Victoria Ellington then led students up the elevators to the 7th floor of the department, where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s office is located. The floor opens into a large room furnished with oil portraits of former secretaries of state. The portrait collection lines the corridors of the 7th floor and spills into the Treaty Room Suite. It includes paintings of former secretaries from Thomas Jefferson up to Condoleezza Rice. TFAS students then had the opportunity to meet with immediate staff members of Secretary Pompeo, and learn about the role each of them plays in assisting the secretary.

A special thank you to TFAS mentor Victoria Ellington for arranging the tour.

Quick Links

Brenda Hafera, TFAS director of international and continuing education programs, writes in The American Mind about her alma mater Villanova University’s faltering dedication to free speech.

TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Devine says contrary to media reports, religious affiliation and churchgoing have not fluctuated dramatically over the last decade in a piece for The American Conservative.

Sarah Smerling, Law ’19, talks about her call to service and participation in the TFAS Summer Law Fellowship in a profile by George Mason University. Smerling is a third-year student at GMU’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

Rediet Degefa ’19 is profiled in the Napa Valley Register about her TFAS experience in the Capital Semester on Leadership and the American Presidency.

Jason Willick, Novak ’17, interviews historian David M. Kennedy on whether America still has a common creed in The Wall Street Journal’s weekend interview.

Kari Travis ’12, Novak ’18, reports for Carolina Journal on gerrymandering case’s impact on 2020 primaries in North Carolina.

Ashley McGuire, Novak ’11, says Thanksgiving has become less about gratitude and more about family political divides in a piece for the Institute for Family Studies.

Frederico Bartels, PPF ’18, co-authors a piece The Washington Times about Congress’ inability to deliver timely budgets.

TFAS Professor Dr. Josh Mitchell writes for the City Journal’s Autumn 2019 edition on the effects of globalization on local cultures.

Matthew Continetti, Novak ’08, opines on the broken Chinese model and why a weak and broken China is also more dangerous in The Washington Free Beacon.

John Lettieri ’03, PPF ’08, president and CEO of Economic Innovation Group, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship on a proposed federal ban for non-compete agreements.

Katherine Timpf, Novak ’12, says Sen. Kamala Harris’s attack on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for having criticized President Obama during his time in the White House is what is wrong with America in a piece on Yahoo News.

Eric Tanenblatt ’87 is interviewed in a WABE piece on whether or not Georgia is a battleground state for the 2020 elections.

Michael Brendan Dougherty, Novak ’09, welcomes Christmas early this year as “a relief from the toxic stew of politics and social media” in the National Review.

Zachary Resater ’19 is profiled in the Tribune Chronicle about his TFAS experience as a student in the Capital Semester on Leadership and the American Presidency.

Madison Iszler, Novak ’17, reports for San Antonio Express-News on “silver tsunami” expected to flood the housing market.

Tricia Beck-Peter ’15 joined the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) as their new events communications coordinator.

Chris Wilson ’90 opines in The Washington Post on why getting rid of microtargeting in political advertising is a terrible idea.

Jennifer Kabbany, Novak ’02, reports for The College Fix on backlash after Grand Valley State University’s student government vote to remove the pledge of allegiance from meetings.

Amber Phillips ’07 reviews the Rep. Devin Nunes-Ukraine allegations in The Washington Post.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for The Washington Times on a recent speech on civility made by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Federalist Society.

Matt Continetti, Novak ’08, writes in the National Review about the difficult task of balancing varying viewpoints of Republican voters.

Alex Gleason ’13 is vice president at Crossroads Strategies.

TFAS Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Boudreaux shares data evidence indicating an improving state of humanity in TribLive.

Suzanne Youngblood ’15 joins Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office as digital director. She previously served with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for Ranking Member Sam Graves.

Mollie Hemingway, Novak ’04, says Republicans won the first phase of impeachment in piece for The Federalist.

Elliot Kaufman, Rago ’18, opines for The Wall Street Journal on Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry’s firing following remarks considered “politically incorrect.”

Jared Keller ’08 writes for Task & Purpose about new legislation introduced in the House to create a monument “to honor the valiant service” of Medal of Honor recipients in Washington, D.C.

TFAS Welcome Ceremony speaker Karith Foster appears on Fox News to discuss tweet by fellow comedian Rob Schneider that argued ‘free speech is ALL speech.’

Curt Mills, Novak ’18, opines on the return of former national security advisor John Bolton to the limelight in The National Interest.

TFAS Journalism Fellowships Director Dan McCarthy weighs in on Winners and Losers from the Democratic Debate in The New York Times.



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