Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: Nov. 15, 2019

Liberty + Leadership News: Nov. 15, 2019


TFAS Reflects on Lessons from the Berlin Wall and it’s fall 30 Years ago

Rediet Degefa ’19 holds a piece of the fallen Berlin Wall in her hand – a gift of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s gala dinner.

Thirty years ago this month, world history was profoundly changed with the fall of one of Europe’s most physically and ideologically divisive barriers – the Berlin Wall. On Nov. 9, 1989 the fall of the Berlin Wall prefaced the downfall of the Soviet Union and, consequently, decelerated the spread of anti-democratic principles across Europe during the Cold War. During this polarizing time, the United States stood as a beacon of hope for the promise of freedom through its enduring example of a democratic society. TFAS students had the opportunity to attend two events last week examining this milestone event and its subsequent impact on the world.

Student Rediet Degefa ’19 attended the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s gala dinner on Nov. 8, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Tonight, we celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism, marking the democratic start for Eastern Europeans. We remembered the millions of lives claimed by the murderous communist regimes. Cheers to fighting all communists, socialists and ‘democratic socialists.’ Remember kids, Never voluntarily exchange your liberty for security.” –Rediet Degefa ’19

Visit TFAS.org/BerlinWall30 to read more reflections from TFAS, including an op-ed by TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 on “Learning the lessons of the fall of the Berlin Wall” in The Hill.

Alumni Say Continuing Education Programs Provide Vital Network and Learning for Policy Leaders

TFAS alumni panel discusses continuing education programs
TFAS alumni discuss the impact of our continuing education programs.

Why are the values of economic freedom, intellectual curiosity and responsible governance necessary to instill in our nation’s policy leaders? How do TFAS continuing education programs contribute to the longevity of these values in our society today? D.C.-area alumni discussed these questions and shared the impact of the TFAS Journey on their professional development during a panel discussion in Washington, D.C.

Through fellowships and academic seminars, TFAS continuing education programs engage alumni throughout their professional careers.

We walked away with this bond that really set the tone for the entire year… It created this network of people who are all going through the same experiences and trying to figure out how to make an impact in this city, and how to develop skills and talents to ultimately advance the things that they feel so passionately about.”– Kevin Seifert ’06, PPF ’11 

During the panel, alumni Melanie Benit ’14, ’15, PPF ’18, Clara Jace ’16 and Kevin Seifert ’06, PPF ’11, explored how these programs provide a network and means for policy leaders to be lifelong students of American principles. Visit TFAS.org/ContinuingEduPanel19 to learn more and watch a video of their discussion.

Help Us Reach the Best And Brightest Young Leaders for 2020 TFAS Summer Programs

TFAS students receive upper-level economics course credit through our partner, George Mason University.

As we gear up for 2020, TFAS invites yout to nominate outstanding students to participate in TFAS Academic Internship Programs in Washington, D.C., and TFAS International programs in Hong Kong and Prague.

TFAS remains committed to promoting the principles of economic freedom, individual responsibility and liberty in the U.S. and around the world. By sharing information about our programs and nominating young leaders, you will play an integral role in helping future generations foster a greater understanding of limited government, free-market economics and honorable leadership. Learn more at TFAS.org/Nominate2020.

Video of the Week

Watch Venezuelan political activist Jorge Galicia share his real-life story of how socialism devastated his once-prosperous country and forced him to leave his life and family behind. TFAS has launched a new initiative to send Jorge and fellow Venezuelan Andrés Guilarte on a college campus speaking tour to warn young people about the dangers of growing government control. Visit TFAS.org/Venezuela to learn more.

Quick Links


Herbert Stupp ’70 interviews former diplomat Jochen Wolter about his family’s daring escape from East Berlin in The Epoch Times.

LCC International University features an interview with TFAS alumni Serhiy Sokyrka ’18 and Julia Dyadyuk ’19 about the “life-changing experience” of attending the TFAS Prague program.

Dr. Anne Bradley, TFAS George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and academic director, speaks to the Napa Institute on how economic freedom is the path to human flourishing.

Elise Amez-Droz, PPF ’19, opines on “the infectious lunacy of socialized medicine” for the Washington Examiner.

TFAS speaker Karith Foster talks to Fox News about the new documentary, “No Safe Spaces,” sharing many of the same lessons she conveys to TFAS students during our D.C. Summer Programs Welcome Ceremony.

TFAS Trustee Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), congratulates Purdue University on receiving the APLU 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity award in The Lafayette Leader.

Amber Phillips ’07 is a guest reporter on The Washington Post’s livestream report of the impeachment hearings.

Andrew Cline, Novak ’98, president of New Hampshire’s Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, is quoted in Inside Sources about New Hampshire topping the Fraser Institute’s ‘Economic Freedom’ list.

Jared Keller ’08 writes in Task and Purpose on special operation forces testing a new lightweight combat armor.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, writes that “the agreement to delay government shutdown is on shaky ground” in The Washington Times.

Laura Vanderkam ’99, Novak ’06, says weeknight family dinner won’t make or break your children in a piece for Medium.

Frank Donatelli ’70 opines for Deseret News on America’s “endless wars.”

TFAS Trustee Emeritus Mitch Daniels asks for more than two candidates in the general election presidential debates in The Washington Post.

Haley Britzky ’16 reports for Task and Purpose on army intelligence soldiers’ security concerns over “mandatory” app that collects their personal information.

Wes Parnell ’17, ’18 has his first solo byline in the New York Daily News this week with a piece on a Vietnam veteran encouraging others to serve their communities.

Tanja Porcnik ’04, ’05, PPF ’07, reports for Romania Insider on data showing notable economic liberalization of Romania three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Faysal Itani ’03, ’06, a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, speaks about structural problems facing Lebanon for The Beirut Banyan podcast.

“Set Free,” a new book co-edited by Dr. Anne Bradley, TFAS George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and academic director, makes the case for why religious freedom must be restored for people of all faiths.

Dina Aboughazala ’05, ’08 reports for the BBC on the U.S. mediating a dam dispute between Egypt and Ethiopia.

TFAS Board of Visitors member Randy Barnett speaks to NPR about President Trump’s mark on the Federal Judiciary.

James Kirchick, Novak ’09, opines in The Washington Post on potential hate speech laws in America.

Curt Mills, Novak ’18, moderates a panel on “How to End the Failed American Era in the Middle East” during The American Conservative’s Foreign Policy Conference.

Jamie Brown Hantman ’89 appears on the “Two Broads Talking Politics” podcast to discuss compromise, bipartisan issues and her new book, “Heels in the Arena: Living Purple in a Red/Blue Town.”



Recent Posts


Deception and the Fight for Truth with Senator Rand Paul

This week, another exceptional guest joins us on the Liberty + Leadership Podcast: Senator Rand Paul.

Exploring Liberty from Budapest to Washington, D.C., with Anna Smith Lacey

This week, another exceptional TFAS alumna joins us on the Liberty + Leadership Podcast: Anna Smith Lacey '07, '08, PPF '12, executive director at the Hungary Foundation.

Remembering Thomas (Tom) L. Phillips

It is with great sadness we share news that TFAS Trustee Emeritus Thomas (Tom) L. Phillips passed away at his home in Newport Beach, California, last week. Tom was a generous man who supported TFAS for many years, including a $1 million gift in memory of TFAS…