Home » News » Liberty + Leadership Podcast – Bryce Mitchell on Service and Leadership

Liberty + Leadership Podcast – Bryce Mitchell on Service and Leadership


Bryce Mitchell ’14 is an Air Force Captain and staff officer at the Department of Defense, a National Security Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, an undergraduate ambassador for Service to School. Bryce is a TFAS mentor, speaker and a member of the Alumni Engagement Committee. He is also a Defense Ventures Fellow at the Defense Ventures Program. Bryce received a bachelor’s degree in international history from the U.S Air Force Academy, a master’s degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Espionage and Surveillance from King’s College in London and attended TFAS’s International Affairs program in 2014.

In this week’s Liberty and Leadership Podcast, Roger and Bryce discuss his time at the Air Force Academy, working for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as a TFAS intern, his experience as an intelligence officer in South Korea during the height of nuclear tensions, the nexus between the DoD and Silicon Valley and his passion for mountain climbing.

The Liberty + Leadership Podcast is hosted by TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 and produced by kglobal. If you have a comment or question for the show, please drop us an email at podcast@TFAS.org.

*Bryce’s comments do not represent the positions of the U.S. Air Force, the Department of Defense, or any part of the U.S. government.*

Episode Transcript

The transcript below is lightly edited for clarity.

Roger Ream [00:00:00] Hello and welcome. I’m Roger Ream and this is the Liberty and Leadership Podcast, a conversation with TFAS alumni who are making a real impact in politics, public policy, government, business, philanthropy, law, and the media. Today I’ll be speaking with Bryce Mitchell. Bryce was a member of the TFAS International Affairs Program in 2014. As a United States Air Force captain and a mentor to students and young professionals, his work really has brought him around the world. Bryce, thank you so much for joining me today. I’m really looking forward to hearing about your career and what you’ve been doing since you attended a TFAS program in 2014.

Bryce Mitchell [00:00:46] Thank you, Roger. Thank you for inviting me.

Roger Ream [00:00:49] Yeah, well, I think this is going to be a great conversation, partly because of your great service in the U.S. Air Force, which we appreciate very much, your passion for climbing mountains and biking, the work you do in the volunteer sector and many other topics that we’ll be covering. And so we’re definitely proud of you as someone we claim as an alum of The Fund for American Studies program. Why don’t we start with can you tell us a little bit about, you know, where you grew up and kind of what led to your decision to go to the U.S. Air Force Academy?

Bryce Mitchell [00:01:33] Sure. Well, I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both of my parents were air force veterans. They both served for about four or five years each. And so public service was something that they always championed. I remember the first time visiting Colorado Springs. I must have been eight years old. We were driving on the highway I25. My dad went over to the academy. You could just make out the spires of chapel. And he said, Oh, that’s a very tough school to be accepted into. And I always remembered that. And I said, Well, maybe I should work towards that. And actually, a few years later, I was sitting in a library in high school, and I learned of a cadet named Henry O. Flipper. He was the first African-American to graduate from West Point, and I was fascinated by his story. I think it was 1874, and that really resonated with me. And I decided to apply to all of the academies, and I was accepted to the Air Force Academy. So that’s where I went.

Roger Ream [00:02:30] Well, wonderful, wonderful. That’s a great honor to get in there. I know it’s a very competitive process and you excelled there academically and in all other extracurricular ways. Was it a great experience for you? I know that first year can be a tough one, but overall, I assume you had a great experience at the Academy.

Bryce Mitchell [00:02:52] I did have a great experience. That first year was always tough, but I find that during that first year, that’s where you make your friends, that’s where you make those bonds because you’re going through something pretty tough. So I was a track and field athlete, and that’s where a lot of my friendships were on that team. But yeah, just living in Colorado, you can’t beat that. Skiing, cycling, not being able to run on the track team, and then I’m just having the opportunity to go to a school like that where they bring in speakers from all across government, all across the Air Force. And it was a great time. It was definitely a highlight.

Roger Ream [00:03:32] Well, yeah, that’s for those who are listening and don’t know. TFAS has had a relationship with the Air Force Academy since the mid 1980s, and it seems that every summer they select some of their very top students to attend our programs. Programs in Washington, D.C. in the summer and programs overseas. And so it’s been just great to have this relationship with the Air Force Academy. The students bring so much to the program, partly because you have made that commitment to service in the military. And I think it reflects well on you. And then you’re in a program where you can talk with other students about that decision you made to take up military service. When you’re at a TFAS program, you can be a positive influence. But you were selected in 2014. You came to our International Affairs Program and you took full advantage of it. I’m so happy that you were able to intern for Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the late Don Rumsfeld, in his office in Washington. That must have been a special time for you.

Bryce Mitchell [00:04:47] Sure. But if I could go back about a year because my journey to TFAS really grew out of well at the time, what I thought was kind of in my athletic career a tragedy because I ended up having an injury going through my sophomore year. That took me out for pretty much the rest of the season. And for the first time in my life, I visited Washington, D.C. that spring break and I was amazed by the city and definitely if I ever got a chance, I would like to intern here. And so that was in the back of my mind. And then later on that summer, also around the same time, I was accepted to a trip to Israel. So these two really formative experiences went through the Air Force Academy and met up with ten other cadets from the Naval Academy, West Point. And we had a full tour of Israel, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, down to the Negev Desert and through the IDF, learning a bit about some of the security situation. So it was with that experience that I applied for the TFAS program knowing that I wanted to work in D.C. and knowing that I wanted to intern as well. So that really grew out of that injury that I had on the track team. But my time with Senator Rumsfeld, was amazing. In fact, I knew that TFAS can pair you up with embassies and you could work in that space. So when I received the email from, I think it was I don’t know if it was Remly or Sarah who sent an email saying you’ve been selected as a potential candidate, we just have to interview you. I just remember going back, I knew who Secretary Rumsfeld was, but I knew that I had to do a bit more reading, bit more research, but that’s kind of what led to it. But my time with him was once by far the highlight of my time in D.C.

Roger Ream [00:06:47] Yeah. Well, that track and field injury reminds me of that old saying, you know, that when one door closes, another one opens somewhere. And, you know, you’ve had that track and field season ending abruptly, but it led to incredible opportunities. That visit to Israel must have really been something and very impactful for a military academy cadet to experience. Secretary Rumsfeld I know did a lot in his office. He’s generally always writing books. I had a nephew who interned in his office when he was writing his biography, and then he wrote Rumsfeld’s Rules and other books. What kind of office was it like when you were there?

Bryce Mitchell [00:07:42] Well, the main task that we worked on the first was myself and another TFAS intern, Kyle. We were charged with archiving some of his personal papers for the Library of Congress. So that was a fascinating experience going through reading and understanding how he thought helping some of the correspondence. And then the second piece, it was really research because if anyone knows Secretary Rumsfeld, he was famous for snowflakes. So even in his office, he would task out taskings via the snowflake method, which if someone doesn’t know what a snowflake is, but essentially it was a memo system that he used at the Pentagon. He said it must have millions. Probably millions of these things throughout his career in government. You would receive one. You have to have a question. You would have to research it, get it done. And it also would have a date you’d have to respond back. So even in that office environment with only six of us, he still liked to use that system. And of course, he had his Central Asian Fellows program, because he really wanted to build up a leadership category in Central Asia, continue to build linkages, ties between a lot of the Central Asian countries. So being able to help out there as well as the military charities side, so those four tasks with a small team, constant interaction with Secretary Rumsfeld, which I just remember thinking, wow, that’s his stand up desk. That’s what he used. That’s where a lot of his monumental decisions were made at the Pentagon that you can still see in his office.

Roger Ream [00:09:26] Yeah. He had quite an office. I’ve gone there for tours where he’d show you all the things hanging on the walls, the photos, the letters, the honors he’d received in his career. So you then went back and finished your education at the Academy, and now you’ve had quite a series of experiences in your Air Force career. I think it’s taken you to the Korean Peninsula. If I’m not mistaken, you did work on Africa maybe from London. Went to graduate school, been at the Department of Defense. That’s a lot in a short period of time. I’d love to talk a little about South Korea because I know that led you to also be working with refugees there. So if you could speak to that experience in South Korea, I mean, it’s obviously a very tense place to be working in the military for our country. You probably can’t tell us everything, but talk a little bit just about the experience being there. And I should mention I know we’ll get into this in a little bit, but you’re an avid mountain climber. And so I’ll come back to all these places to talk about some of the mountains you’ve climbed in your life. But first, let’s talk more of the military side of South Korea.

Bryce Mitchell [00:10:53] I’d be happy to. So I was going through intelligence training at San Angelo, Texas, about 2017. If you remember, July 4, 2017 is when the North Koreans launched ICBM. The reason they chose that day for a reason was a definite message to Washington. That was a week before I found out that I had been selected for a position in South Korea. I’d be working with the Army second Infantry Division, where I would be helping to train essentially the rock forces are looking for resources as well as the US army on all things Air Force aerial hives or intel collection aircraft. So that was going to be my first position and as I prepared to leave, which I ended up getting on the ground there around August, October timeframe. I could just see that this was going to be a very tense time. You could see the discussions in Washington. The tensions were very high. And just to be a fly on the wall during these major exercises where almost every single one was one of the largest of the alliance, because we were surging. We were really a show of force trying to deter the North Koreans from taking any other steps and really trying to force them to do a diplomatic off ramp. That diplomatic off ramp team. There was essentially in the spring with the Pyeonchang Olympics. So to go from high tensions, training the Korean forces, going to these major exercises to the Olympics where you see three summits within a few months. It was a very impactful experience for me. Think about Korea. One of the reasons I think it was a colonel that told me before I left says it’s strategic and tactical. It’s got everything. You’re working on tactical mission. You have to become an expert. But at the same time, you’re in the theater of operations, but every decision you make or potentially could make could have strategic implications. So it’s a combination of both. You can understand the tactical side of your job, but at the same time, you know that 60 miles north of you, there are extreme consequences and it becomes strategic very quickly. So it was, I’m sure, could have been a better first year as an officer.

Roger Ream [00:13:40] Yeah. Were you able to take in any of the Olympic Games?

Bryce Mitchell [00:13:45] I did actually I watched the first gold medal. It was a guy named Richard. I think he was a snowboarder. His last run. He ended up sticking it and winning gold. First gold medal in the Olympics. So that was definitely pretty awesome.

Roger Ream [00:14:04] Good. Now, while you were there, you also did some work with refugees, is that correct? Or did that come later?

Bryce Mitchell [00:14:14] That’s true. I was there for two years. So the second year I stumbled across an organization called Teach North Korean Refugees. I didn’t realize this, but the challenges for North Korean defectors, if they don’t end right when they leave their country, in fact, in some ways, it becomes a bit more difficult. They’re away from their family. They don’t know what’s happening to their family back in North Korea. In some cases, it’s taken them 5 to 7 years after they cross the Yellow River in the north to make it to China, make it to Southeast Asia, and finally find it in South Korea. The embassy takes them to Seoul, but once they do, they realize that you have to become a contributing citizen. And one of the ways you can do that is to quickly learn English. So they teach North Korean refugees English. So it’s a nonprofit and essentially it helps teach those skills, English skills to do to North Korean defectors, because it’s really unfortunate because it’s a very, very tough community. It just really is, to be able to help them. And I was able to work with one, Susan. She’s 35 years old from North Korea. The main thing she wanted to do was actually learn how to sing Disney songs. So I remember the one song she brought was Elsa. So this is what she wanted to learn how to sing from the movie. So I was helping her sound out these words. I don’t think I had much pitch or anything.

Roger Ream [00:15:56] Well, don’t worry. I won’t ask you to sing it today.

Bryce Mitchell [00:16:02] Yeah, please don’t. In some ways, she knew that. That’s what I wanted to do. So that was a pretty amazing experience.

Roger Ream [00:16:10] Did you have the opportunity to hear about some of their experiences of life in the North? I imagine it’s pretty meager.

Bryce Mitchell [00:16:23] Very meager existence. Always constantly looking behind your back. It’s hard to trust others. And just knowing that. We weren’t supposed to pry into that aspect of their life. Honestly, it seems like a good way for you to make some money on the side. As a North Korean defector is to work with the north of the South Korean military, provide briefings on life in North Korea. And it seems like at times they just want to stop talking about it and focus on their other studies because their other job to address these issues and constantly have to discuss it. But she did share that her family was still in North Korea.

Roger Ream [00:17:15] Yeah, I’ve had the chance to hear some of those defectors speak who’ve come to the U.S. and I know it’s quite a testimonial they deliver when you hear them talk about life there and the transition.

Bryce Mitchell [00:17:30] Many of them were actually taught through the program.

Roger Ream [00:17:33] Yeah. Well, I imagine that. That’s right. And I imagine the transition must be extremely difficult if you’ve been raised in the kind of society that North Korea is like. And then you went in your career, then took you to London and you got a masters at the King’s College there. Am I allowed to say what your master’s was in? Espionage, is that right?

Bryce Mitchell [00:18:01] Sure. It’s essentially the intel studies. That’s just what they call it.

Roger Ream [00:18:06] Yeah.

Bryce Mitchell [00:18:08] The university calls it.

Roger Ream [00:18:09] Was that a very international experience? The master’s program there?

Bryce Mitchell [00:18:19] So for me it was I was living in Cambridge and for the two years that I was there during the pandemic lockdown. So most of the programs were distance learning. So while working with our British partners, whether it’s through their GHQ and all their intel agencies, we found that they really wanted to learn more about some of their history and then also the parallels between the USIC and the British Rising. And that’s why I wanted to study intel studies from East London, King’s College, London. And it was largely because of those interactions that I was having with the British IC on a day-to-day basis with my job over at Africa.

Roger Ream [00:19:09] And now you’ve returned to the US. You’re here in Washington, D.C., working at DOD. But you’re also doing a fellowship, a defense venture fellows program. Tell us just if you could, a little bit about that, whatever you can. That sounds like an interesting mix of different people from different places.

Bryce Mitchell [00:19:31] Sure. The Ventures Program is an awesome program for anyone who’s a DOD civilian, guard, active duty or reservist enlisted to officer. And it’s essentially a program for eight weeks. They give you the opportunity to work with either a defense tech company, startup level seed, pre-seed and sometimes series A that size or a venture capital fund that’s focused on investing in defense tech or will use tech as both a commercial gain, commercial benefit and then a government benefit at the same time. So I’ve been paired with a company called Mark Work Ventures. The managing directors, formerly managing directors for the company Venture Capital Corporation, got over to Chapman and it’s been an amazing experience, really. Just understand how, what are the incentives for the venture community, how can the government incentivize them to invest in deep tech and the critical technologies that we really do need. And programs like these are really great because you really do need a conduit between the DOD, Washington and the Valley, whether it’s the investment side or the startup side. So it’s just great to work with the team.

Roger Ream [00:21:03] Well, good. That’s great. And it was interesting to read about that program. Well, let’s shift back. You know, I think it was at the graduation from the Air Force Academy when I came out there and we had a small luncheon at the superintendent’s house afterwards and had the chance to have testimonials from the cadets that we hear every year. But I remember you telling me around that time that you were heading off to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. And if memory serves me right, you went there with your father and your brother. Is that, right?

Bryce Mitchell [00:21:36] Actually, iit was a few friends from the academy.

Roger Ream [00:21:40] Okay. I’m sorry. I have that wrong. Were you already into climbing mountains at that time?

Bryce Mitchell [00:21:52] Yeah. Honestly, that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to live in Colorado. Served in the Air Force Academy. But the Rocky Mountains, I’m an Eagle Scout fishing, camping. Not so much skiing, picked it up later at the academy. But yeah, that is something that I’ve always liked to do. And in a way I find that it helps me grounded as well as work life balance is so important. So I would always look forward to training. Really one of the best times is when you’re training for an objective like that, you know, that it’s high stakes. I’m not a marathoner. I ran a few triathlons. But when you’re climbing a mountain like that, you know that you have to be physically fit. Because if you start moving slow up at altitude, that’s where danger exits and that’s where actions can occur. So it’s high stakes training. So you really focus up until the very first time and in Africa started ice climbing in South Korea and things maybe go back to that South Korea climbing story. But I essentially joined a Seoul mountaineering club. I spoke a little bit of Korean, so I started to learn some of the climbing lingo in Korea because none of these guys spoke English and we climbed multiple times throughout the day. Essentially, it’s the mountains, north Seoul. You ever seen photos of just tons of mountains north of the city. So we would climb multiple times a day, just enough to ice climb with them as well. And yeah, so it’s definitely something that I like to do on the side, but I’m not working on the Air Force issue.

Roger Ream [00:23:43] Have you been able to find the time still to keep doing your climbing?

Bryce Mitchell [00:23:54] Not so much in D.C.

Roger Ream [00:23:57] We don’t have any mountains to climb here.

Bryce Mitchell [00:23:59] Trips to the Alps.

Roger Ream [00:24:01] Five trips to the Alps?

Bryce Mitchell [00:24:02] Yeah. There’s an area in West Virginia. Five trips to the Alps, just three or four day weekends if ever given those. So not long. Slovenia, Austria. And then a trip to Italy. Two times.

Roger Ream [00:24:22] Have you tackled many 14,000 plus peaks? I know Colorado has quite a few.

Bryce Mitchell [00:24:35]  I’ve actually climbed 30 of them.

Roger Ream [00:24:39] Okay. 30?

Bryce Mitchell [00:24:40] Got to be.

Roger Ream [00:24:42] I don’t know. I’ve got one on my list. It’s in Colorado, along Speke, which is in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s about 14,260, I think. But I’ll share my experience because you reminded me of it when you said you got to keep moving because you get into trouble when you don’t. I got up to the top of the mountain. And, you know, it was probably a half an hour of sitting, eating half a sandwich, apple juice, and then all of a sudden, like the altitude sickness set in and I started throwing up, I said, I’m never going to get down from here. They’re going to send a helicopter up to rescue me. But I, I found the will to make it back down. But I think I should have just turned around when I got to the top after a five minute break and headed back down, because it wasn’t a pleasant feeling when I got up there and started feeling sick. But you do have that sense of accomplishment that comes with, you know, achieving something like that. And you said you’ve climbed 30, 14,000 plus peaks. That, right? That’s remarkable.

Bryce Mitchell [00:25:59] Yeah.

Roger Ream [00:25:59] Yeah. And he’s climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa and in Asia and the U.S. And you said the Alps. That’s great. Keep that passion. Go. You also like biking, don’t you? You a biker?

Bryce Mitchell [00:26:18] Yes. Started that about ten, 15 years ago. For me, England is pretty flat. You go up to Scotland or you go up to the lake district. It changes. But I cycle. I started a groups, me and a buddy of mine, and we ended up just every Saturday we would cycle somewhere, whether it was to a local coffee shop or something like that, but one of the best places to cycle. Cambridge. It’s relatively flat, but it’s such beautiful countryside.

Roger Ream [00:26:55] Well, look, can you talk some about, you know, TFAS in this broadcast about liberty and leadership. You’re clearly a leader, someone who has gone to the the Air Force Academy and serving in the military and the kinds of things you’ve done in your life already. Do you think we’re still developing strong leaders, the kind that this country needs? What kind of thoughts do you have about leadership development that you can share with us today? I’d love to hear your thoughts about that because that’s kind of what all we’re about is, you know, developing courageous leaders because leaders have to have courage, of course. And you’ve had the opportunity work with Dom Rumsfeld, certainly a leader in his career. Do you have any thoughts you could share with us about leadership?

Bryce Mitchell [00:27:49] Yes, definitely. Tough times do call for courageous leaders with integrity. In fact, in preparation for this podcast, I was thinking back to my time. I remembered how Professor Rumsfeld, each intern he would have us read Adlai Stevenson address to the Princeton class of 1954. That was the year that he graduated from Princeton. And there’s a line in there. I ended up rereading it a few days ago, and there’s a line that I really wanted to take out and focus in on, because I think it explains kind of why leadership is so important, why you need people to stand up when times are tough. So it’s on the second page. If those young Americans who have the advantage of education, perspective and self-discipline do not participate to the fullest extent of their ability, America will stumble. And if America stumbles, the world falls. Written 1954 during a time of great change as America stepped into this clear global role as a global leader. I think it resonates even today. So I’m fully appreciative of the TFAS experience because I know that it’s the leadership piece that I really gained. The honorable leadership, integrity and then the mentorship piece, because you do have to go out and find and support that next generation of the folks that are coming in. So that’s why I wanted to write when I was back at D.C. I want to get back involved with the TFAS mentorship program and start working identifying students who are who are interested in public service, military, government, nonprofit, local level, national level. But yeah, I appreciate some of the experiences that Mr. Rumsfeld provided me.

Roger Ream [00:30:01] Yeah, well, we’re grateful to you and many of our other alumni who have served as mentors in our program. And it was interesting this summer, it didn’t really occur to me till I was at Mentor evening we did. I’ve forgotten if you were there, but I think you were. Where they went through a slideshow of about 35, 40 mentors, alumni. And many of them, more than I would have expected, had served in the military. Some had gone to academies, but others had just served later in the military. Some were still serving. But, it reflects, you know, a positive message there of your willingness to teach those lessons of self-discipline, of integrity, honorable leadership, and share them with the generation coming up right behind you. So we’re grateful to you for the mentoring you’ve done for us, and I hope we’ll continue to do. It’s a feature we added to our programs about ten years ago. And the students are eager to have mentors who can help give them advice from their experiences in life. So I think that quote captured it. When you talked about self-discipline, honorable leadership style has been very important. Courage is something that we’ve kind of put in the equation now because our country does need those kinds of leaders. And, you know, I’m quick to point out to and I like to mention it, you know, that you can be a leader without necessarily serving in the military. I mean, I appreciate and say thank you to to Bryce, to you and to others who do choose to defend our country, take the oath of office to uphold our Constitution, serve in the military because we need bright, young, courageous leaders in our military. But it’s important for students, all our students, to know, you know, even those not going into military careers that leadership’s needed in the business world and finance and government, especially honorable leadership, integrity. I mean, that’s where I think when we fall down in our country today, it’s because our leaders lack integrity. They lack that kind of courage and discipline, self-discipline that you’ve touched on. So you got me going here, Bryce. I think that’s right on target. I appreciate what you had to say. Do you get the chance to go back to the academy or interact at all with the Air Force Academy or students there? Or are you just too busy in your Air Force career to do that?

Bryce Mitchell [00:32:38] I haven’t been back in a few years. I currently use a program that allows graduates and alumni to mentor, virtually mentor a few cadets. So I’m taking part in that program. But I haven’t been able to make it out to Colorado. I actually will be speaking to the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets in about three weeks. I’m mainly going to be discussing honorable leadership in the Air Force intel field. And I’m hoping that after I leave, there’s a bunch of interested Roxy Cadets headed for the Intel Revealed.

Roger Ream [00:33:20] Yeah. Well, we did have a young woman this summer in our program who was in the Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech. So she may be in your audience when you speak to them.

Bryce Mitchell [00:33:32] She’s actually behind the scenes, she’s the reason that I’m heading over there.

Roger Ream [00:33:37]  Oh, good, good. That’s wonderful. I’m glad that was a connection through TFAS. Excellent.

Bryce Mitchell [00:33:45] Well, that was a TFAS connection.

Roger Ream [00:33:46] Yeah. Well, as I mentioned at the outset, we’ve had Air Force cadets coming to our program since sometime in the 1980s. And the Coast Guard Academy has been very active in the past 15 years, thanks to a donor of ours was a Coast Guard Academy graduate. We have West Point cadets coming. We haven’t really struck up a lasting relationship with the Naval Academy. So if you run across some Navy people in your career at the Pentagon, maybe you can talk up our program and we get more regular phone calls.

Bryce Mitchell [00:34:19] It’s so close, I wonder why not.

Roger Ream [00:34:20] I think it’s hard in part because of their summer obligations on ships, make it a little more difficult for them to carve out the time for our program. But they had a few and they’re outstanding. Well, I know we don’t have a lot of time left, but I would like to ask you a bit more about kind of the future, what plans you might have, maybe in a role that you’re in. And the military, you can’t plan that long. But do you think you’ll be in D.C. for a while? Or you’re going to be sent somewhere else around the globe? Do you have some say in that decision?

Bryce Mitchell [00:35:06] I do every move every 2 to 3 years. What’s your dream sheet? Top places you would like to go. Honestly, this defense ventures program has opened up some pretty amazing doors into the venture and defense tech community. And I’m seeing how as you said you don’t need to be in uniform to serve. You can really find ways, whether it’s through idealizing on a tough issue that the government is trying to solve that answer could be in a startup in Silicon Valley. I’m fascinated by this new, it’s called American dynamism. That’s essentially the term. But it’s investing in companies that support the American interest. And in 16z, they’re the ones that are leading that one. But I think that there are lots of ways you can serve your country through other means. And in this case, China has a whole civil military fusion. We have private public partnerships here in the United States. And we need to make sure that our ecosystems, whether it’s Wall Street, Washington, Silicon Valley, continue to work together. So who knows that could be right where I was later in my career.

Roger Ream [00:36:31] Well, that’s wonderful. My guest today has been Bryce Mitchell. Bryce is an honorable leader. We appreciate your service to our country, Bryce. We certainly appreciate your service as well to The Fund for American Studies hope we can count on you to continue to serve as a mentor in the future. And one of these days we’ll find time to get out on our bikes together and bike the W&OD trail around Virginia. I’d love to do that some time with you. I don’t know if I can keep up with you, but I will give it a try.

Bryce Mitchell [00:37:07] I would like that.

Roger Ream [00:37:10] Thanks so much for being with us on the Liberty and Leadership podcast, Bryce Mitchell.

Bryce Mitchell [00:37:20] Thank you for having me.

Roger Ream [00:37:21] Thank you for listening to the Liberty and Leadership Podcast. Please don’t forget to subscribe, download like or share the show on Apple, Spotify or YouTube or wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you like this episode, I ask you to rate and review it. And if you have a comment or question for the show, please drop us an email at podcast at podcast@TFAS.org. The Liberty and Leadership Podcast is produced at kglobal Studios in Washington, DC. I’m your host Roger Ream and until next time show courage in things large and small.

About the Podcast

TFAS has reached more than 46,000 students and professionals through academic programs, fellowships and seminars. Representing more than 140 countries, TFAS alumni are courageous leaders throughout the world forging careers in politics, government, public policy, business, philanthropy, law and the media.

Join TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 as he reconnects with these outstanding alumni to share experiences, swap career stories, and find out what makes their leadership journey unique. With prominent congressmen, judges and journalists among the mix, each episode is sure to excite your interest in what makes TFAS special.

If you have a comment or question for the show, please email podcast@TFAS.org.

View future episodes and subscribe at TFAS.org/podcast.


Recent Posts


Beyond the Law: Fighting for Liberty When Justice Fails with Diana Simpson

This week, another exceptional TFAS alumna joins us on the Liberty + Leadership Podcast: Diana Simpson, 2009 TFAS alumna and attorney.

Gary and Aldona Robbins Scholarship Established for Economic Education

The Gary and Aldona Robbins Scholarship at TFAS was established in 2024 to honor the work of a husband and wife who together made outstanding contributions to the field of economic policy. Upon Aldona’s passing in May, TFAS regent and friend of Aldona,…

Maintaining Our Republic: Mitch Daniels Delivers Annual Neal B. Freeman Lecture

The 2024 cohort of D.C. Academic Internship Program participants welcomed former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels at George Mason University for this year’s annual Neal B. Freeman All-Student Lecture on June 11.