Home » News » Liberty + Leadership News: Feb. 14, 2020

Liberty + Leadership News: Feb. 14, 2020


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.

Check out our “Quick Links” to see TFAS alumni, staff, faculty and friends who are writing and making today’s headlines. 

TFAS Surpasses $25 Million Campaign Goal

On the 53rd anniversary of TFAS’s founding, President Roger Ream ’76 raised his glass in a toast and announced the successful completion of our 50th Anniversary Liberty + Leadership Campaign.

Generous support of our 50th Anniversary campaign launched the TFAS Leadership Scholars program, providing full scholarships to allow the best and brightest students to attend TFAS D.C. Summer Programs and participate in yearlong continuing education seminars. Read alumni testimonials about the impact of campaign-funded programs at TFAS.org/CampaignImpact.


Two years ago, following the conclusion of our 50th anniversary year, TFAS undertook a strategic evaluation and announced the largest fundraising effort in the organization’s history – a comprehensive goal to raise $25 million over two years to accelerate our growth, extend our reach and deepen our impact. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of TFAS supporters, alumni and volunteers, we surpassed our $25 million goal.

Campaign Chairman Eric Tanenblatt ’87, himself an alumnus of TFAS programs, reflected on this momentous achievement as it was announced during the TFAS Founders’ Day celebration on Feb. 6 at the Fairmont in Washington, D.C.

“I was honored to be asked to chair the Liberty + Leadership Campaign as a way to give back to the organization that has meant so much to me,” said Tanenblatt. “The campaign allowed us to launch a new scholarship initiative for our summer programs, expand our educational offerings for young professionals, introduce new on-campus programs, and reach thousands more students with our transformational programs … But, more importantly, it helps to ensure the next 50 years of TFAS.”

Over 3,700 individuals supported the TFAS 50th Anniversary Liberty + Leadership Campaign. We are so grateful to those who contributed and helped us reach our goal. Thank you for investing in young leaders and helping us to teach them the lessons of liberty and leadership. You can learn more about the campaign’s achievements, including testimonials from alumni whose lives were directly impacted by the campaign, at TFAS.org/50thGoal.

TFAS Novak and Rago Fellows Network and Share Expertise During DC Retreat

The 2019 Novak Fellows Serena Sigillito, Grace Stark, Mene Ukueberuwa, Chris Moody, Benjamin Weingarten and Alexandra Hudson accept their Fellowship awards at the 26th Annual TFAS Journalism Awards Dinner.

On Jan. 24, our current Robert Novak Journalism Fellows and our Joseph Rago Memorial Fellow at The Wall Street Journal came together for a one-day retreat at TFAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The gathering allowed Fellows to learn from one another through a cross-pollination of ideas and professional development, reinforcing one another in the battle of ideas and the struggle to uncover the truths about the day’s most pressing stories.

Speakers included Tim Carney, Novak ’03, commentary editor of the Washington Examiner; Katherine Mangu-Ward, Novak ’05, the editor-in-chief of Reason; Curt Mills, Novak ’18, a senior writer at The American Conservative; Jacob Heilbrunn, the editor of the foreign-policy journal The National Interest; Cato Institute Vice President Gene Healy; and F.H. Buckley, the Foundation Professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 and TFAS Grewcock Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Devine also participated in the retreat’s conversations. Read more about the retreat at TFAS.org/JRetreat120.

Applications for the 2020-21 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowships will open later this month. For more information, visit TFAS.org/Novak.

Video of The Week

Watch Professor Brian Brenberg and TFAS Senior Scholar Dr. Donald Boudreaux discuss how stories can win the battle of ideas during our  “Liberty + the Future” lecture in New York City.

Quick Links

Gracy Olmstead, Novak ’15, and Helen Andrews, Novak ’17, are named top authors to look out for in 2020 by Penguin Random House’s senior editor Bria Sandford in an interview for the Kirk Center.

Alexandra Hudson, Novak ’19, discusses how a decline in the newspaper industry is affecting local journalists in an article for Quillette.

TFAS alumni Kamau Louis ’19, Andrew Mendoza ’19 and Arrian Ebrahimi ’19 reconnected at Harvard’s Public Policy Leadership conference.

Do you have an alumni reunion photo? Share it with us: TFAS.org/AlumniUpdates.

Meg McDonnell, Novak ’11, spoke at Princeton University on dating in the technological world.

Bethany Weaver ’19 was honored at Eastern Florida State College’s Board of Trustees meeting for Outstanding Service to the College.

Marianne March ’16 discusses the meaning of the film “Little Women” in an interview for the “Pop & Locke” podcast on Libertarianism.org.

TFAS supporter Ambassador Aldona Wos was nominated by President Trump to serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to Canada.

Ben Nuelle ’14 reports for Agri-Pulse on the new White House proposal to eliminate drug addiction in rural areas.

Daniel McAdams, Novak ’98, opines for the Ron Paul Institute on President Trump’s effect on Middle Eastern foreign policy.

Michael Brendan Dougherty, Novak ’09, assesses social media’s contribution to the spread of false information regarding the global coronavirus outbreak in an article for National Review.

Graham Kilmer ’15 reports for the Urban Milwaukee on a local public museum’s new contract provision requiring workers to have their medical data tracked.

Melanie Benit ’14, ’15, PPF ’18, is featured in a blog post alongside her coworkers on their experiences working in activism at the Institute for Justice.

Ryan Lovelace, Novak ’17, reports for The Washington Times on the state of U.S. counterintelligence in 2019.

TFAS alumni Anthony Elghossain ’07 and Carmen Geha ’08 were featured on the Beirut Banyan podcast to discuss tensions in Lebanon.

Deganit Paikwosky ’04 shared her thoughts on the future of space exploration at Calcalist’s Industry and Economy conference in Tel Aviv.

Peter Suderman, Novak ’10, opines for Reason Magazine on Ben Lerner’s novel, “The Topeka School.”

TFAS director of Journalism + Communications and U.S. Programs, Joseph Starrs, was featured in The Heritage Foundation’s Q&A on C-SPAN to discuss undergraduate journalism programs in the U.S.

Naomi Schaefer Rilely, Novak ’01, opines for The Wall Street Journal on “opportunity deserts” across the U.S. causing young adults to struggle with gaining economic independence.

Laura Vanderkam ’99, Novak ’06, shares financial advice in her podcast “Best of Both Worlds.”

Elise Amez-Droz, PPF ’19, co-authors an article on healthcare reform for the Washington Examiner.



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