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Liberty + Leadership News: December 2

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We hope you enjoy these news stories about TFAS activities, alumni and events this week. Sign up to receive TFAS updates, and visit us on social media for additional up-to-the-moment TFAS news!

29th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner Honors Courage and Prestige in Journalism

2022-23 Robert Novak Journalism Fellows.

More than 200 supporters, alumni, journalists and friends gathered at the 29th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner on Nov. 15, 2022 in New York. TFAS introduced a new class of Novak and Rago Fellows, and honored two courageous journalists at the Metropolitan Club in Midtown Manhattan.

TFAS welcomed the 2022-23 Robert Novak Journalism Fellows as they enthusiastically shared their year-long fellowship projects and Carine Hajjar ’22, accepted the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism.

Paul Gigot, vice president of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Pages presented and accepted the Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Courageous Journalism for Jimmy Lai, in honor of his commitment to democracy and the rule of law. Lai couldn’t attend as he is currently incarcerated in Hong Kong, awaiting trial for charges related to his pro-democracy activism.

The evening concluded with American political commentator and author Dana Perino, who presented the Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award to her former White House colleague and friend William (Bill) McGurn, opinion columnist for The Wall Street Journal.

Read more about the ceremony here.


Jimmy Lai Faces Communist Justice in Hong Kong

Upon presenting Jimmy Lai the Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Award for Courageous Journalism at the 29th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor Paul A. Gigot delivered powerful remarks in support of Lai. This week, The Journal printed Gigot’s remarks on the front page of their Editorial Pages. 

Throughout his remarks, Gigot expressed his support for Lai’s life work and his unwavering support of democracy, even when faced with persecution and threats from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Jimmy risked everything to speak democratic truth to Communist power. That is real courage.” – Paul Gigot, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page Editor 

Read Gigot’s full remarks in The Wall Street Journal.

He shared Lai’s commitment to promoting democracy in Hong Kong, and the autonomy that China had promised.

“He and others succeeded so well that millions of Hong Kongers, especially the young, began to organize and vote for democracy,” Gigot said. “But this was something the Communist Party in Beijing saw as a profound threat. So they passed a national security law that became the excuse to arrest Jimmy and others who had protested silently in the streets for freedom.

TFAS congratulates and continues to support Lai’s fight for democracy and stands with all who keep the unwavering courage to report the truth in all circumstances.

Read Gigot’s his full remarks in The Wall Street Journal, or watch them here.


Aubree Eliza Weaver Accepts 2022 Young Alumnus Award

Dana Faught, director of Student Recruitment and Alumni Engagement (left) presents Aubree Eliza Weaver ’11, PPF ’16 (right) with the 2022 Young Alumnus Award.

TFAS was proud to present Politico Legislative Affairs Editor Aubree Eliza Weaver ’11, PPF ’16 with the 2022 Young Alumnus Award at TFAS’s Volunteer Open House on October 26. Aubree is rightfully deserving of this honor, as the Young Alumnus Award is given to an alumnus/a who has achieved a considerable amount of success in their professional field.

Aubree has spent nine years building a successful career with Politico and currently oversees Politico’s legislative reporters, edits in-depth bill analysis and legislative content and coordinates legislative committee and floor coverage for Politico Pro subscribers.

She has given back to TFAS in several ways, including as a program advisor for TFAS’s Journalism and Communications program and as a longtime volunteer. She has served as a mentor and speaker for TFAS students, most recently as the opening ceremony keynote speaker for the 2022 TFAS Virtual Summer Program.

Read more about Aubree’s TFAS journey here.


Ibrahim Al-Marashi on Leadership Through Passion

Ibrahim Al-Marashi ’01 is an associate professor of Middle East History at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and a visiting professor at IE University in Spain. Ibrahim graduated from UCLA majoring in Middle Eastern History, received his master’s degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and his doctorate in Modern History from Oxford College. Ibrahim attended a TFAS international program in 2001 and teaches at the TFAS summer programs in Prague.

In this week’s Liberty and Leadership Podcast, Roger and Ibrahim discuss Ibrahim’s time as both a TFAS student and teacher, the nuances of teaching conflict resolution, leadership through passion rather than power, the importance of good grammar, and how one of his articles was plagiarized by British Intelligence in what later became the “Dodgy Dossier,” leading some to incorrectly label him the “mastermind behind starting the Iraq war.”


Video of the Week: TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner

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