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Liberty + Leadership News: October 15


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!

TFAS Creates “Ambassadors of Liberty” Through Summer 2021 Croatia Program

TFAS International programs bring together students from around the world as they explore fundamental issues related to economic and political liberty. Despite challenges and travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, TFAS was thrilled to welcome 25 young leaders from the Americas, Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East to TFAS Croatia 2021.

The 2021 TFAS Croatia program welcomed 25 students from 13 countries to the University of Dubrovnik in July for a two-week program on political economy and government responses to crises.

The two-week program was held at the University of Dubrovnik from July 17-31 and examined the economic foundations of a free society and how governments respond to crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. The cohort representing 13 countries traveled to Dubrovnik for the unique experience and immersed themselves in Croatian culture.

Nikoloz Ckhaidze ’21, a student at the International Black Sea University in Tbilisi, Georgia, shared that the program gave him a new perspective on the world by allowing him to have important conversations on transnational issues with his peers.

“The experience in Croatia was unlike anything I have experienced before,” Ckhaidze said. “The overall atmosphere and the conversations that I had with the staff, professors and my peers were remarkable.”

A native of the country of Georgia, Ckhaidze recommends TFAS programs to young people who hope to transform their worldview and gain exposure to the ideas of liberty.

The experience in Croatia was unlike anything I have experienced before. The overall atmosphere and the conversations that I had with the staff, professors and my peers were remarkable.” – Nikoloz Ckhaidze ’21

“I was surrounded by hardworking people and ambassadors of liberty and, for me, that is the highest honor,” Ckhaidze shared. “You can already [see] how effective this organization is in terms of changing the view of youth for the better. I encourage everyone to take part in TFAS programs.”

Read more about the program at TFAS.org/CroatiaRecap.

Elevating Economic Education: High School Mentor Teacher Malhaz Jibladze

The grandson of a KGB captain in Soviet-occupied Georgia in the 1980s, mentor teacher Malhaz Jibladze had a unique position in the world. He enjoyed a fairly normal childhood with many privileges. Growing up, he could see what was happening in Georgia but didn’t fully comprehend the complexities and consequences of communism. It was not until he left Georgia as a teenager after the collapse of the Soviet Union that he realized the harsh realities of Soviet rule.

Malhaz Jibladze first encountered TFAS high school division, the Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE), in 2006. Fifteen years later, Jibladze has instructed thousands of high school students and teachers in the “economic way of thinking.”

At age 16, Jibladze came to the U.S. for the first time. He stayed with a host family and attended the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin, Texas. Economics fascinated him, and his experiences shaped his particular passion for economic development. This led him to study the subject at the University of Texas at Austin.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Jibladze secured a job as a teacher at his high school alma mater. It was here that he first encountered TFAS high school division, the Foundation for Teaching Economics. In 2006, he participated in his first FTE conference. Immediately hooked by the professionalism and structure of the program, Jibladze thoroughly appreciated FTE’s approach to instilling an understanding of how economic freedom sparks human ingenuity and prosperity. He participated in more seminars and conferences every year until 2011 when FTE offered him a position as a mentor teacher.

“I knew that economics was something I was interested in, but I was hooked by the fact that FTE provided such a professional program,” Jibladze said. “It was something very valuable, not just for the classroom, but for the individual.”

Read more about Jibladze’s experience with FTE at TFAS.org/Jibladze.

TFAS Welcomes New Cohort of Public Policy Fellows

TFAS is pleased to welcome a new cohort of policy professionals to the 2021-2022 Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C. This outstanding group hails from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast, so they bring a diverse set of backgrounds and viewpoints to the table. A majority of the Fellows have experience working on Capitol Hill and many were inspired to pursue careers in policy based on their upbringings and hometowns. Several in the group are alumni of TFAS Academic Internship programs.

Tim Carney, Novak ’03, joined TFAS Public Policy Fellows in September for their first session on American civil society.

The Fellowship provides a structured space for young professionals in the policy arena to learn, explore, network and grow. Monthly meetings foster space for conversation, the exploration of ideas, vigorous debate and a genuine learning experience in pursuit of what is true. The first of these occurred in September with an in-depth conversation on American civil society.

TFAS’s new manager of continuing education programs, Ryan Wolfe oversees the planning and curriculum of the Public Policy Fellowship. He says he is excited to be working with his first group of Fellows and is encouraged by their commitment to a free society.

“This year’s class of Public Policy Fellows are a selective group of young professionals interested in not only deepening their understanding of liberty, limited government and free markets, but also working as courageous leaders to advance these principles in their careers,” Wolfe said.

Meet the 2021-22 cohort at TFAS.org/PPF21Sept.


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TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Devine discusses his time in the Reagan administration and his new book, “The Enduring Tension,” in an interview with The Optimistic Curmudgeon.

TFAS professor Donald Boudreaux analyzes how the writings of Mises and Hayek prove the difference between socialist outcomes and market outcomes in a piece for the American Institute for Economic Research.

Corey Goldstone’s ’11 new role as a public relations specialist at Amazon is featured in Politico Playbook.

Whit Whitaker ’78 shared the importance of having gratitude in his commencement remarks at his alma mater, Darlington School.

Forrest Walker Conner ’21 discusses his time as a participant of the TFAS D.C. Academic Internship program this past summer in the Digital Journal.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for Washington Times on the gradual decline of internet freedom in the U.S.

Kylee Zempel ’17, PPF ’19, writes for The Federalist about how the labor shortage in the U.S. is affecting retirement plans.

Peter Suderman, Novak ’10, writes for Reason about the importance of remembering economic concepts when spending package legislation is introduced.

Allie Rodriguez ’19 is now the press secretary for Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida.

TFAS friend Lady Blanka Rosenstiel shared remarks at the Institute of World Politics’ 2021 commencement ceremony in September.

TFAS trustee Paula Dobriansky co-authors an opinion piece for Fox News on China’s increasing power within the United Nations.

Connect with @TFASorg on social media!


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