The liberty movement is bursting at the seams with academics and professionals well versed in the ideas of freedom. While physically bringing speakers to college campuses is often prohibitively expensive, geographic constraints are now a thing of the past thanks to the internet.
Through SFL’s Virtual Speakers Bureau, student groups can apply to host a speaker through Google Hangouts at one of their campus meetings and can choose from topics including economics, philosophy, entrepreneurship, literature, foreign affairs, law & civil liberties, drug policy, professional development, activism & student organizing, and others!
The Virtual Speakers Bureau provides a unique opportunity for groups to interact with key figures in the liberty movement more closely. In order to host a speaker, applicants are expected to bring out at least ten students to attend and must have access to a webcam and projector.
The application for students to host a Speaker’s Bureau event is below, and bios and topics of expertise for each speaker are at the bottom of the page.
If you are an academic or professional interested in becoming a speaker for this project, feel free to email Elizabeth Hayes at [email protected].
Speakers by Topic:
Antony Davies is an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University and Mercatus Affiliated Senior Scholar at George Mason University. His primary research interests include econometrics, public policy, and economic psychology. Davies has authored op-eds in over thirty newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and New York Daily News, is a regular columnist for US News and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and is a regular commentator on Wilkow! (TheBlaze TV). He is a frequent lecturer at policy conferences on Capitol Hill and at state capitals. In addition to teaching at the undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. levels, Dr. Davies was Chief Analytics Officer at Parabon Computation, President and co-founder at Paragon Software (now Take-Two Interactive), and co-founder and Chief Analytics Officer at Repliqa (now Zoo Entertainment). Dr. Davies earned his B.S. in Economics from Saint Vincent College, and Ph.D. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany.
- The Benefits of Economic Freedom
- Financial Health of the Federal Government
- Minimum Wage
- Value of Higher Education
- Does Stimulus Spending Work?
- Can We Balance the Budget by Taxing the Rich?
Dr. Mikayla Novak is Australiaʼs leading female economist in the classical liberal tradition. She has contributed to the research efforts of various think tanks, including The Centre for Independent Studies (Australia), Institute of Public Affairs (Australia), The Cato Institute (United States), The Foundation of Economic Education (United States), and Center for a Stateless Society (United States). Dr. Novak is a prolific contributor to policy debates in her own country, with over 100 opinion articles on public finance, government administration, regulation and social policy issues, articles in applied policy journals, and numerous contributions to books on issues in classical liberalism. She has been widely recognised for her work in benchmarking taxation burdens, as well as for developing Australia’s first sub‑national economic freedom index. Dr. Novak was awarded a doctorate in economics at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia), the ‘George Mason University’ of the southern hemisphere, and a First Class Honours economics degree at The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). Her research interests include public sector economics, social policy, economic freedom, individual rights, economic history, history of economic thought, economic sociology, and classical liberal philosophy.
- Economic Consequences of the Size of Government
- Economic and Non-Economic Implications of Economic Freedom
- Impacts and Costs of the Regulatory State
- Addressing Inequality Issues From Classical Liberal Perspectives
- Libertarian Feminism and Gender Identity
Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the Vice President of Economic Initiatives at the Institute for Faith Work and Economics. She is a visiting professor at Georgetown University, the Institute for World Politics and George Mason University and teaches academic programs for the Foundation for Economic Education and The Fund for American Studies. . She is currently a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy. She served as the Associate Director for the Program in Economics, Politics, and the Law at the James M. Buchanan Center at George Mason University. – Her research interests include: income inequality and mobility, stewardship and economic freedom, and the economics of al-qaeda.
- Income Inequality and Value Creation
- The Impacts of Economic Freedom
- Income Mobility and Prosperity
- Creativity and Markets
- Cronyism and Economic Freedom
- Market Trade and Poverty Alleviation
Dr. Diana Thomas is an assistant professor of Economics at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. A German native, she earned her Diploma in Business Administration from Fachhochschule Aachen and her BS in Finance from George Mason University. After gaining some experience as a junior portfolio manager at a mutual fund management company in Frankfurt, Germany, Dr. Thomas returned to George Mason University to complete her MA and PhD in Economics. She moved to Utah State University in the Fall of 2009 and has since then primarily taught classes in International Economics. Her primary fields of research are in the areas of public choice and Austrian economics. In her work, Dr. Thomas explores the role political entrepreneurs play in changing the formal and informal rules that govern economic exchange in society. She has published papers on the regulation of late medieval German beer markets, regulation of child care markets, prohibition repeal, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the role political entrepreneurs play in bringing about institutional change more generally.
- Intro to Public Choice: Ignorance, Irrationality, and Intransitivity
- Market vs. Government Failure
- Institutions and Economic Performance
- Institutional Change and Political Entrepreneurship
- How Childcare Regulation Harms Women
- The Regressive Effects of Regulation
- Beer in the Beehive: Alcohol Prohibition in Utah
- Efficient Regulation? – Markets for Blood in the United States
- Hope and Change in the Obama Administration’s Antitrust Policies (First Term)
- The Brewer, the Baker, and the Monopoly Maker – How Regulation of Beer Markets in Late Medieval Germany Hurt Consumers
- School Choice – Basic overview over theory, policy, and empirics
Mark’s research interests lie at the intersection of politics, philosophy and economics with an emphasis on the implications of bounded rationality and imperfect knowledge for institutional design. He has a particular interest in the works of Hayek, public choice theory and related elements of the classical liberal tradition. His earlier work focussed on the political economy of environmental planning and regulation and explored the potential for property rights approaches to environmental problems. His more recent work has explored the implications of bounded rationality in the context of contemporary theories of deliberative democracy. His latest book is called Robust Political Economy: Classical Liberalism and the Future of Public Policy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (2011). This work examines challenges to market liberal theory derived from neo-classical economics, communitarian political theory and egalitarian ethical theory and applies the lessons learned in the context of the welfare state, international development and environmental protection. His previous books were Planning and the Political Market: Public Choice and the Politics of Government Failure (Athlone/Continuum 2000) and Liberating the Land (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2002).
- Free Market Environmentalism
- Classical Liberalism and Political Theory
- Green Political Economy
- The Political Economy of the Regulatory State
- Contemporary Democratic Theory
- Austrian Economics
- Public Choice Theory
- Public Policy and Behavioural Economics
Steven Horwitz is Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics and department chair at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. An Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA and a Senior Fellow of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, BC, Horwitz completed his MA and PhD in economics at George Mason University and received his A.B. in economics and philosophy from The University of Michigan. He is the author of two books, Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000) and Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (Westview, 1992), and he has written extensively on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, and macroeconomics. He has had several dozen articles published in numerous professional journals, is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, and has a series of popular YouTube videos for the Learn Liberty series from the Institute for Humane Studies. Horwitz co-edits the book series Advances in Austrian Economics and is a contributing editor at The Freeman. He also blogs at “Coordination Problem” and “Bleeding Heart Libertarians.” He was awarded the Hayek Prize in 2010 by the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order for his work on the economics of the family among other contributions. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, Horwitz has spoken to professional, student, policymaker, and general audiences throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America. His current research is on the economics and social theory of the family, and he is at work on a book on classical liberalism and the family.
- Capitalism and the Family
- Classical Liberalism’s Progressive Heritage
- Do We Really Need a Central Bank?
- The Great Depression: Myths and Realities
- The Great Recession: A Failure of Government not Markets
- Three Economic Myths
- Walmart to the Rescue: The Role of the Private Sector in Hurricane Katrina Recovery
Justin Pearson is the managing attorney of the Institute for Justice Florida office. He litigates economic liberty, property rights, school choice and First Amendment cases in federal and state court, both in Florida and around the nation. Throughout his career, Justin has served as lead counsel in trials in state and federal courts, as well as appeals and arbitrations, most often representing small business owners. In 2006, Justin formed his own law practice to advocate for small business owners, and Justin’s law practice was successful for many years before he made the decision to join IJ in 2012 in order to better fight against government power gone awry. Justin received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami in 2002, where he was the research and writing editor for, and was published in, the University of Miami Business Law Review. While in law school, Justin clerked for Miami Circuit Court Judge Gerald D. Hubbart. Justin received his undergraduate degree in business management from North Carolina State University in 1999.
- Economic Liberty: How Overregulation Harms Small Business Owners
Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. He has taught Philosophy at many New York universities and was selected as “Teacher of the Year” at both SUNY Purchase and Marymount College. He lectures regularly on college campuses, including at Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Yale University, the United States Military Academy at West Point, Columbia University, and numerous others. Internationally, he has lectured in Israel, England, Belgium, Norway, Guatemala, and additional countries. His areas of expertise include Objectivism, Ayn Rand’s novels, the nature of heroism, the history of capitalism and its moral superiority to other systems, and application of the principle of individual rights to a broad array of topical issues, including health care, abortion, gun ownership, immigration, and the war on drugs.
He is the author of The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic, and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire (University Press of America, 2005), Objectivism in One Lesson: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Ayn Rand (Hamilton Books, 2008), Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights (University Press of America, 2010), and Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas (Transaction Publishers, 2011). Additionally, he has published numerous essays, many in The Objective Standard, for which he is a contributing editor, and many in other publications, including op-ed essays for Forbes.com, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press. In 2013-14, he was the Hayek Research Fellow at the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson University, where he taught and, principally, researched and wrote the first draft of his forthcoming book, Heroes and Hero Worship: An Examination of the Nature and Importance of Heroism.
- Introduction to Objectivism
- Religion vs. Morality
- Rational Self-Interest as the Moral Basis of Benevolence
- Is Money the Root of All Evil?
- Objectivism Versus Kantianism in The Fountainhead
- The Mind as Hero in Atlas Shrugged
- Rational Egoism in The Fountainhead
- Global Capitalism: The Cure for World Oppression and Poverty
- The Moral Basis of Capitalism
- The Moral and Practical Case for Second Amendment Rights
- The Case for Drug Legalization
- The Moral-Practical Case for (Generally) Open Immigration
- The Educational Bonanza of Privatizing Government Schools
- Black Innovators and Entrepreneurs Under Capitalism
- The Heroes of Capitalism
Matt Zwolinski is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Diego, and co-director of USD’s Institute for Law and Philosophy. He is the editor of Arguing About Political Philosophy (2nd edition forthcoming with Routledge in 2014), the founder of the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog, and author (with John Tomasi) of A Brief History of Libertarianism (forthcoming with Princeton University Press in 2014), along with numerous papers on various theoretical and practical issues of exploitation.
- Exploitation, Capitalism, and the State
- The Ethics of Sweatshop Labor
- The Ethics of Price Gouging
- Bleeding Heart Libertarianism
- Various topics in the history of libertarian thought
Michael Huemer received his BA from UC Berkeley in 1992 and his PhD from Rutgers University in 1998. He is presently professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author of more than 50 academic articles in ethics, epistemology, political philosophy, and metaphysics, as well as three brilliant and fascinating books that everyone should buy: Skepticism and the Veil of Perception (2001), Ethical Intuitionism (2005), andThe Problem of Political Authority (2013).
- Drug legalization
- Gun control
- Political authority
- Jury nullification
- Irrationality in political thought
- The (non) value of equality
- Moral and political progress over history
Peter Jaworski is an Assistant Teaching Professor teaching business ethics and Principled Leadership at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He is a Senior Fellow with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, and a Director of the Institute for Liberal Studies. He has also been a Visiting Research Professor at Brown University. Peter’s academic work has been published or is forthcoming in several journals including Ethics, the Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, the Journal of Business Ethics, and Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. Along with Jason Brennan, Peter is the author of “Markets without Limits: Moral Virtues and Commercial Interests” published in 2015. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, Peter was a visitor in the Philosophy department at the College of Wooster, and was an instructor in Philosophy at Bowling Green State University.
- Markets Without Limits
- Immigration and the Refugee Crisis
Isaac Morehouse is an entrepreneur, thinker, and communicator dedicated to the relentless pursuit of freedom. He is the founder of Praxis, an intensive ten-month program combining real world business experience with the best of online education for those who want more than college. Isaac previously worked at the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy where he created and directed Students for a Free Economy. Morehouse loves connecting people and helping them discover and realize their dreams. He’s been involved in several business and non-profit start-ups, run a taxpayer advocacy group, and played in a very mediocre band in college. Isaac writes, speaks and teaches on economics, philosophy, freedom, communication skills, how to change the world and an assortment of other topics. He holds a master’s degree in economics with a focus on the Austrian School from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from Western Michigan University.
- Politics is not the answer (Intro to public choice theory)
- Entrepreneurs can save the world
Jeffrey Tucker serves as distinguished fellow of the Foundation for Economic Education, Executive Editor of Laissez Faire Books, and research fellow of the Acton Institute. He is the founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, serves as economic consultant to the popular podcast Let’s Talk Bitcoin, and writes a fortnightly column for Crisis Magazine. He is author of Bourbon for Breakfast, It’s a Jetson’s World, and A Beautiful Anarchy. Following his 15 years as editor and builder of the website Mises.org, he now curates and writes editorial introductions to the product offerings for the Laissez Faire Club, and is also working on a new commercial venture to be announced later this year.
- How the Market is Reinventing Money
- Intellectual Property as a Vestige of Mercantilism
- The Foundations of Private Property
- The Human-Built World: Markets and Civilization
- The Creative Genius of Commerce
- The Market Origins of 100 Wonderful Things
- Why Nothing Government Does Is or Can Be Creative
- From the Heart: The Legacy of Ayn Rand and Leonard Read
- Music and the Free Market: A 2,000 Year Survey
- The Modern History of Religious Liberty
Michael Strong is the Chief Visionary Officer and co-founder of Freedom Lights Our World (FLOW), Inc. Michael is the lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems. Michael is currently working on the entrepreneurial creation of legal systems based on his 2009 article “The Legal Autonomy of the Dubai International Financial Centre: A Scalable Strategy for Global Free Market Reforms.” Michael’s work is featured in academic journals (Journal of Business Ethics, Economic Affairs, Critical Review, etc.), specialty publications (Microfinance Insights, Policy Innovations, Carnegie Ethics, etc.) and in popular media (the New York Times, Bloomberg, the Huffington Post, RealClearPolitics, Barron’s, etc.). He serves on the board of The Seasteading Institute and the advisory boards of the Lifeboat Foundation, Trilinc Global, the Moorfield Storey Institute, and is a mentor for developing world entrepreneurs for the MIT Legatum Center for Entrepreneurship and Development. Prior to his work with FLOW, Michael spent fifteen years as an educational entrepreneur, creating several high-performance private and charter schools, including one which was ranked thirty-sixth on the Washington Post’s Challenge Index of the best public schools in the U.S. The author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice, Strong has consulted for hundreds of schools around the world. Michael was educated at Harvard, St. John’s College, and University of Chicago.
- Startup Cities
- Poverty Alleviation
- Education Reform
Dr. Amy H. Sturgis specializes in the fields of Science Fiction/Fantasy and Native American Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University, serves as the Department Chair for Literature and Language at the Mythgard Institute at Signum University, and also
teaches in the Liberal Studies program at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Sturgis serves on various awards committees for the Libertarian Futurist Society, has been featured in multiple LearnLiberty educational videos created by the Institute for Humane Studies for YouTube, and is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society. Sturgis has authored four books on Native American studies and U.S. presidential history and edited five books on science fiction and fantasy topics, and she has published more than 40 scholarly and mainstream book chapters, articles, and essays. A regular speaker at universities, think tanks, and genre conventions across North America and Europe, Sturgis has more than 200 professional presentations to her credit. In 2006, she was honored with the Imperishable Flame Award for Achievement in Tolkien/Inklings Scholarship. She also contributes regular “History of the Genre” features to and narrates contemporary science fiction stories for the UK-based podcast StarShipSofa. In 2010, it became the first podcast in history to win the prestigious Hugo Award. Her official website is http://www.amyhsturgis.com.
- Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Liberty
- The Dystopian Tradition and Its Relevance Today (Huxley, Orwell, etc.)
- The Contemporary Political Relevance of Young Adult Fiction (The Hunger Games, etc.)
- Native America and U.S. Policy
- The Literature of Liberty
- General topics in U.S. history
Sarah Skwire is a Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation and the author of the college writing textbook, Writing with a Thesis, which is in its 12th edition. Sarah has published a range of academic articles on subjects from Shakespeare to zombies and the broken window fallacy, and her work has appeared in journals as varied asLiterature and Medicine, The George Herbert Journal, and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. She writes a regular book review column, Book Value, for the Freeman Online. Sarah’s work on literature and economics has also appeared in the Freeman and in Cato Unbound, and she is an occasional lecturer for IHS, SFL, and other organizations. She has won prizes for her poetry which has appeared, among other places, in Standpoint, The New Criterion, and The Vocabula Review. She graduated with honors in English from Wesleyan University, and earned a MA and PhD in English from the University of Chicago.
- Liberty and Art
- Literature and the Market
- Literature and Liberty
- Why Libertarians Should Care About the Humanities
- Why it Matters How We Talk about Work
- Bleeding Heart Libertarianism
- Libertarian Feminism
Amir Ahmad Nasr
Described by The Economist as “puckish” and by WIRED as a “formidable speaker,” Amir Ahmad Nasr is a sought-after consultant and culture hacker who regularly sheds light on one of the most important emerging trends of our time: how tech-savvy Millennials are hacking business, culture, religion, and politics. He’s passionate about helping more brands, non-profits, and free enterprises grow and become a force for good. Known as the cheeky voice behind the acclaimed sociopolitical blog The Sudanese Thinker—which he wrote anonymously until the revelation of his identity five years later during the Arab Uprisings of 2011—Amir has shared the stage with Nobel Peace Laureates, former presidents, and fellow activists, and has been featured by The New York Times, The Guardian, The Weekly Standard, The New Yorker, BBC, Al Jazeera, and France24, amongst many others. He is a member of the US-based Young Entrepreneurs Council, and is the co-founder and CEO of a technology and education company. He resides in Southeast Asia and travels internationally very regularly.
- Tech Entrepreneurship
- Islam in the Digital Age
- The Arab Uprisings
Law & Civil Liberties
Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/advisor to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule of law issues and practiced international, political, commercial, and antitrust litigation at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Shapiro has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications. Shapiro has provided testimony to Congress and state legislatures and, as coordinator of Cato’s amicus brief program, filed more than 100 “friend of the court” briefs in the Supreme Court. He lectures regularly on behalf of the Federalist Society and other groups, is a member of the Legal Studies Institute’s board of visitors at The Fund for American Studies, was an inaugural Washington Fellow at the National Review Institute, and has been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School.
Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, while living in Mississippi and traveling around the Deep South. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School (where he became a Tony Patiño Fellow). Shapiro is a member of the bars of New York, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a native speaker of English and Russian, is fluent in Spanish and French, and is proficient in Italian and Portuguese.
- Constitutional law
- Supreme Court
- Campaign finance
- Voting rights and election regulation
- Legal challenges to Obamacare
- Same-sex marriage
- The Second Amendment and the right to armed self-defense
- International law, national sovereignty, and individual liberty
- Rule of law and economic development
Greg Lukianoff is an attorney and the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and CNET, in addition to dozens of other publications. He is a regular columnist for The Huffington Post and has frequently appeared on television, including “CBS Evening News,” “Fox & Friends,” and “Stossel.” He received the 2008 Playboy Foundation Freedom of Expression Award and the 2010 Ford Hall Forum’s Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award on behalf of FIRE. He is a graduate of American University and Stanford Law School. Outside of his work at FIRE, Greg serves on the board of directors of Philadelphia’s Theatre Exile and runs the Genetic Music Project, which turns genetic code into music. His first book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, was released on October 23, 2012.
- Unlearning Liberty
Randal John Meyer
Randal John Meyer is a legal associate in the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. Previously, he was a research fellow at Brooklyn Law School and the chief legal researcher for Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News. His work has appeared in popular outlets such as Forbes, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, Newsweek, The Hill, The Orange County Register, The Daily Beast, The American Spectator, RealClearPolicy, The Federalist, and academic outlets, such as the Brooklyn Law Review. Meyer is an attorney and counselor at law in the state of New York, and holds a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, where he served as an articles editor on the Brooklyn Law Review. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Binghamton with a double major in General Philosophy and Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL).
- Constitutional Law
- Constitutional History
- Progressivism: Now and Then
- Free Speech
- Due Process
- Criminal Justice Reform
- How to Be a College Activist
Josh is an Assistant Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law who specializes in constitutional law, the United States Supreme Court, and the intersection of law and technology. Josh is the author of Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare. Josh is the founder and President of the Harlan Institute, the founder of FantasySCOTUS.net, the Internet’s Premier Supreme Court Fantasy League, and blogs at JoshBlackman.com. Josh clerked for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and for the Honorable Kim R. Gibson on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Josh is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law.
- The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare
Nick Dranias is President & Executive Director within the Office of the President of Compact for America Educational Foundation, Inc., and also maintains a limited side practice of law and policy analysis. He previously served as General Counsel and Constitutional Policy Director for the Goldwater Institute, where he held the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and directed the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government. Dranias led the Goldwater Institute’s successful challenge to Arizona’s system of government campaign financing to the Supreme Court. Dranias also serves as a constitutional scholar, authoring scholarly articles dealing with a wide spectrum of issues in constitutional and regulatory policy. Dranias’ latest significant works are In Defense of Private Civic Engagement and Introducing “Article V 2.0:” The Compact for a Balanced Budget (Heartland Institute/Federalist Society). Prior to joining the Goldwater Institute, Dranias was an attorney with the Institute for Justice for three years and an attorney in private practice in Chicago for eight years. In law school, Dranias served on the Loyola University Chicago Law Review, competed on Loyola’s National Labor Law Moot Court Team, and received various academic awards. He graduated cum laude from Boston University with a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy.
- Article V Convention of States
- Tenth Amendment
- Interstate Compacts
- Local Liberty Reform
- Economic Liberty
- Donor Privacy
Josh House is an attorney with the Institute for Justice. He joined IJ in August 2015 and litigates constitutional cases protecting economic liberty, property rights, school choice, and other civil liberties. Before joining IJ, Josh clerked for Justice Michael A. Cherry of the Nevada Supreme Court. Josh is a 2012 graduate of The George Washington University Law School. While in law school, he was a finalist in the 2011 National Religious Freedom Moot Court competition. In addition to clerking at IJ for two semesters, Josh worked as a legal intern at both the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Josh received a B.A. in the History of the Near East from the University of California, San Diego. He is originally from California’s East Bay.
- Legal Protections For Religious Liberty
- History of Economic Liberty
- Licensing and Overregulation of Alcohol
Evan Bernick is the Assistant Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement at the Institute for Justice, the national law firm for liberty. He works to educate the public and persuade judges about the need to enforce all of the Constitution’s limits on government in every case. Before joining IJ, Evan was a Visiting Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, where he focused on the problem of overcriminalization—the use of the criminal law to target conduct that most people wouldn’t expect to be illegal in the first place. He chronicled stories of victims of overcriminalization and wrote op-eds, issue briefs, and legal memoranda about constitutional law, sentencing policy, and police militarization, among other subjects. Evan’s work has appeared in such places as Time, USA Today, Fox News.com, The Washington Times, The Chicago-Sun Times, National Review Online, and The Daily Signal. Evan received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2011. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2008.
- Law Enforcement Unchecked: How Courts Have Enabled Out-Of-Control Policing— and What to Do About It
- Economic Liberty: The Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time
- Enforcing the Constitution: The Role of Courts in Protecting Your Liberty
Diana Simpson is an attorney with the Institute for Justice. She joined the Institute’s headquarters office in 2013 after working as a constitutional law fellow in the Arizona office. Diana litigates cases to promote economic liberty, protect free speech, secure property rights and support school choice. She is part of the team representing grassroots speakers in Mississippi and Arizona who wish to engage in core political speech but whose rights have been infringed by campaign finance laws foisting a host of burdensome registration, reporting and disclosure requirements on speakers. Diana’s work has been featured by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Arizona Republic, Reason, Stossel, and other print, radio and television outlets. She co-authored Arizona’s Profit Incentive in Civil Forfeiture: Dangerous for Law Enforcement, Dangerous for Arizonans. Diana received her law degree from the Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, R.I., in 2011, where she was president of the Federalist Society. She received her undergraduate degree from Sweet Briar College in Virginia in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Affairs. Diana originally hails from Littleton, Colo.
- First Amendment
Jack Cole knows about the “war on drugs” from several perspectives. He retired as a Detective Lieutenant after a 26-year career with the New Jersey State Police—fourteen in narcotics, mostly as an undercover officer. His investigations spanned cases from street drug users to international “billion-dollar” drug trafficking organizations. Jack ended his undercover career living nearly two years in Boston and New York City, posing as a fugitive drug dealer wanted for murder, while tracking members of a terrorist organization that robbed banks, planted bombs in corporate headquarters, court-houses, police stations, and airplanes and ultimately murdered a New Jersey State Trooper. Jack is a founding member and for eight years was executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
For more LEAP speakers that you can host through SFL’s Virtual Speakers Bureau, click here.
Troy was formerly the Marijuana Policy Project’s top fundraiser and lead liaison to the legal cannabis industry. The dues paying members of MPP recently elected Troy to the board with more than 75% of the vote in a 3-way race. He co-founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy (now on over 200 campuses), and helped launch and serve as the first sales director at Renewable Choice Energy (recently named the #1 green power provider by the EPA). He is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. In his spare time Troy enjoys singing karaoke and planning and blogging about Burning Man.
Bill Glod is Program Officer of Philosophy at the Institute for Humane Studies. He is responsible for mentoring several dozen philosophy and political theory graduate students, and he also directs the Summer Graduate Research Fellowship at IHS. He received his PhD in Philosophy from Tulane University, and his main research interests are a classical liberal defense of public reason liberalism and arguments against coercive and libertarian paternalism. Bill has published articles in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Southern Journal of Philosophy, and HEC Forum.
- Tips for Applying to Grad School (And Why It’s a Worthwhile Choice)
- Libertarian Paternalism
Claire Kittle is the founder and executive director of Talent Market. Claire has a decade of experience in the talent development field and a passion for liberty. Claire operated her own headhunting firm for more than three years before transitioning into a career in the free-market nonprofit movement. She joined the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation where she served as the Program Officer for Leadership and Talent Development. While at Koch, Claire managed the hiring process for the Foundation and launched and managed two talent programs – the Koch Associate Program and the Koch Internship Program. Before launching Talent Market, Claire served as the Vice President and Director of Research of the Buckeye Institute, Ohio’s free-market think tank. Claire earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University. After spending years in our nation’s capital, Claire decided to stop and smell the roses in Charleston, SC. When she’s not fighting for free markets, free enterprise, and individual liberty, you can find her in the ocean kiteboarding, surfing, or paddleboarding.
- Creating a Solid Resume and Cover Letter for the Free-Market Nonprofit Sector
- Tips for a Career in the Free-Market Nonprofit Sector
- Interviewing Tips for the Free-Market Nonprofit Sector
- Salary Negotiations for the Free-Market Nonprofit Sector
- Growing a Network in the Free-Market Movement
Activism & Student Organizing
Ty Hicks currently serves as the National Field Director for Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Ty oversees YAL’s Field Program operations including YAL’s chapter network, State Chairs, and Regional Directors. Formerly, Ty served on Students For Liberty’s North American Executive Board as the Midwest Regional Director and was a participant in SFL’s inaugural Professional Advancement Fellowship. Ty has served in every leadership role for both YAL and SFL, having first started his activism upon forming his own YAL chapter his freshman year in college. Ty is active in advocating for a freer North Korea. He speaks on the topic and is currently organizing fundraising efforts to rescue North Korean refugees.
- Leadership and Activism
- Communicating Liberty
- North Korea & the Refugee Crisis
James W. Lark, III is a professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering and the Applied Mathematics Program of the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. He has also served as a professor in the Department of Statistics and in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. He has served as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Va. Tech, the Dept. of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Dept. of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was an Earhart Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business at the Graduate School of Management at the University of Rochester. He is the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Self-Government and the secretary of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Individual Liberty. He is a member of the Board of Advisors for Students For Liberty and the Board of Advisors of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolnosci I Przedsiebiorczosci) in Poland. He currently serves as the Region 5 representative on the Libertarian National Committee (the Libertarian Party’s board of directors), and as a member of the LNC’s Executive Committee. He is the LNC’s representative to the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties. He served as chairman of the Libertarian Party during the 2000-2002 term, and as secretary pro tem during part of the 2012-2014 term. He previously served as an LNC member during the 1998-2000, 2004-2006, 2006-2008, 2008-2010, 2010-2012, and 2012-2014 terms. Dr. Lark is the recipient of the 2008 Thomas Jefferson Award (the LP’s highest honor, given for lifetime achievement). He is also the recipient of the 2004 Samuel Adams Award (given for outstanding activism) and the 2012 Thomas Paine Award (given for outstanding communication). He is the only person to win each of these awards. He currently serves as advisor to The Liberty Coalition and its constituent organizations at the University of Virginia. He also serves as national campus coordinator for the Libertarian Party, and advises college and high school libertarians.
- The Nuts and Bolts of Building a Campus Organization
- Strategies for Promoting a Libertarian Perspective on Campus
- Challenges to Liberty
- Risk, Regulation, and the Free Society
Sharon Harris is the former president of the Advocates for Self-Government, the organization which is responsible for the world-famous World’s Smallest Political Quiz and for providing Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) kits to libertarian students to help them dramatically grow their campus groups. A communication expert, she teaches libertarians how to be powerful and successful communicators of the ideas of liberty. A co-founder of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, she has been active in the libertarian movement for over four decades, and in 2012 she was awarded the Libertarian Party’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for “outstanding leadership, high character, and dedication to the principles and goals of the Party.” She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Educational Psychology and is the author of the upcoming book, How to Be a SUPER Communicator for Liberty.
- How to be a SUPER communicator for liberty (so you can turn just about anyone into a libertarian)
- How to make sure your outreach table is the most popular one on campus and is EXTREMELY successful
Prior to her engagement with SFL as Regional Leader for Asia, Yavnika Khanna served as the founder member and elected National Coordinator of Liberal Youth Forum- India (lyfindia.org). LYF is a youth organization promoting the ideas of liberty, market principles and self- governance in India since 2008. At LYF, she has been instrumental in conceptualizing designing and implementing outreach programs that promote ideas of liberty, leadership and responsibility. Since 2009, LYF has reached out to more than 3000 students through its various programs across the length and breadth of India. She has served as delegate and ambassador at various prestigious global platforms including International Students Committee, World Business Dialogue and South American Business Forum. She has been a presenter, delivering workshops about youth and leadership at many libertarian forums, including at the Asia Liberty and Economic Forum in Jakarta. She is a graduate of the International Leadership Academy, Germany. She is currently employed as a project manager at Capgemini Consulting. Besides a bachelor’s degree in Business Studies from Delhi University and an M.B.A from KJ Somaiya Institute of Management and Research (Mumbai University), she holds more than 5 years of professional experience with various international consultancies.
- Spreading Liberal Ideas in Transitioning and Difficult Regions
Dr. Tom G. Palmer is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and director of Cato University, the Institute’s educational arm. Palmer is also the executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009. Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.
- Why Liberty? (An introduction to libertarian ideas)
- The Morality of Capitalism
- After the Welfare State
- Peace, Love, & Liberty
- The History of Liberty
- The Origins of State and Government
- Immigration and the Refugee Crisis
Lawrence W. Reed became president of FEE in 2008. He was a founder and president for twenty years of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. A champion for liberty, Reed has authored over 1,000 newspaper columns and articles, dozens of articles in magazines and journals in the U. S. and abroad, as well as five books. Lawrence W. Reed holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Grove City College (1975) and an M.A. degree in History from Slippery Rock State University (1978), both in Pennsylvania. He holds two honorary doctorates from Central Michigan University (Public Administration—1993) and Northwood University (Laws—2008). He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, chairman of the board of the Prometheus Institute, a member of the board of Just Facts, an advisor to numerous organizations around the world, and a weekly columnist for The Newnan Times-Herald, the local paper in Newnan, Georgia where he resides. His spare-time interests include reading, travel, fly-fishing, hiking, skydiving, and animals of just about any kind.
- My Favorite President: Grover Cleveland
- Witch-hunting for Robber Barons: The Standard Oil Story
- The Promise of Privatization
- Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy
- Great Myths of the Great Depression
- Learning the Lessons of Ancient Rome
- Adam Smith and the Birth of Economics
- Free Trade vs. Protectionism
- A Student’s Essay That Changed the World: Thomas Clarkson and the British Anti-Slavery Movement
- The Origin, Nature and History of Money
- The Silver Panic of 1893
- The Difference One Can Make: Unsung Heroes of History
- Liberty and Character
- Presidents and Poverty: Wisdom from 19th Century American Chief Executives
Nigel Ashford is senior program officer at the Institute for Humane Studies. He joined IHS from the United Kingdom where he was professor of politics and Jean Monnet Scholar in European Integration at Staffordshire University, England. Dr. Ashford has also directed the Principles for a Free Society Project at the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation in Sweden, and was a Bradley Resident Scholar at the Heritage Foundation and Visiting Scholar at the Social and Philosophy Policy Center in Bowling Green. He is a recipient of the International Anthony Fisher Trust Prize for published work which strengthens public understanding of the political economy of the free society. Dr. Ashford was also Chairman of the American Politics Group of the United Kingdom. He has lectured in 16 countries. He is author of Principles for a Free Society (Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, 1999, 2003), which is available in six languages. He is co-author of US Politics Today (Manchester University Press, 1999); Public Policy and the Impact of the New Right (St Martin’s Press, 1994) and A Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian Thought (Routledge, 1991), and numerous articles on how ideas influence US politics. Dr. Ashford works on many of the Institute’s educational programs, teaches at summer seminars, liaises with the IHS faculty network, produces regular academic newsletters for faculty and graduate students, and provides academic career advice to graduate students.
- Changing the World for Liberty: Ideas or Interests?
- Classical Liberalism v. Social Liberalism
- Human Rights: What They Are, What They Are Not
- The Role of Government: How Limited?
Elizabeth serves as Manager of Communications for Bitcoin Magazine and recently got elected to serve on the Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors. She additionally serves as Chair of the Bitcoin Foundation Education Committee. Having previously served as the Scheduler and Policy Assistant for a US Member of Congress, she has a background in public policy, grassroots activism, and a keen desire to promote decentralization and individual liberties. Elizabeth is fascinated with Bitcoin and the multiple opportunities for this peer to peer disruptive technology and movement to empower individuals around the world. Since getting involved in Bitcoin, Elizabeth views the cryptocurrency realm as a gateway to empower individuals around the world and provide an opportunity for long term financial success for the unbanked population. Bitcoin IS a decentralized solution to many centralized problems that plague societies around the world today. Elizabeth holds a BA in Political Science from Wheaton College (IL).
- Campus Activism: Grassroots Efforts are Key
- Bitcoin: Social, Political, and Economic Gamechanger
- The Value of a Decentralized Society
- Navigating Capitol Hill
- How to Get a Head Start in the Political World
- Women in Bitcoin and the Crypto Realm
- Bitcoin: Empowering individuals Around the World
- The Government Does NOT Know Best
Jasmin Guénette is vice president of the Montreal Economic Institute. Formerly, he served as director of academic programs at the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He is primarily interested in public policy matters in Quebec and Canada, and in the ideas of personal and economic freedom. He is the author of a book and of many articles published in various newspapers as well as by the MEI. He was designated as an ambassador of the Université du Québec à Montréal in recognition of his contribution to the development of that school. He is currently on the organizing committee of the Rentrée nocturne de la Place des Arts.
- Libertarian/free-market movement in Canada
- Canadian politics
Nicholas Buccola is Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science at Linfield College, where he is also the Founding Director of the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice. Dr. Buccola is the author of The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass: In Pursuit of American Liberty (New York University Press), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He is also the editor of Abraham Lincoln and Liberal Democracy (University Press of Kansas) and The Essential Douglass: Selected Writings and Speeches (Hackett Press). His essays have been published in scholarly journals including The Review of Politics and American Political Thought as well as popular publications such as salon.com, Reason, and The Claremont Review of Books. He has spoken about his work on libertarianism.org and the Kosmos podcast produced by the Institute for Humane Studies. He is currently at work on a book tentatively entitled The Radical and the Conservative: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, and the American Dream. Dr. Buccola received undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Political Science from Santa Clara University and his Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.
- Frederick Douglass on Liberty
- Frederick Douglass and His Contemporaries
- Frederick Douglass and the Anarchists
- Frederick Douglass on Self-Made Men
- Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln
- Abraham Lincoln and Liberty
- James Baldwin, William F. Buckley, and the American Dream