Chicago Regional Conference

Saturday, October 19th - Hosted by the Loyola University Students For Liberty

Join Students For Liberty at Loyola University, Chicago on Saturday, October 19th for the 2013 Students For Liberty Chicago Regional Conference. As one of the oldest of Students For Liberty’s Regional Conferences, we are expecting a record-breaking attendance this year.

By attending the conference, you will hear from top speakers in the libertarian movement, network with other pro-liberty students, discover countless opportunities for jobs, internships, conferences and seminars, and have a lot of fun with other students. This day-long event will feature tremendous speakers, panels, and breakout sessions on the ideas behind a free society and the actions necessary to implement them. In addition, three free meals and drinks at our evening social are included with your FREE registration. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of the student movement for liberty! Register at the bottom of this page!



Keynote Speaker – David Boaz, Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute

David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981. He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer, described by the Los Angeles Times as “a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas,” the editor of The Libertarian Reader, and co-editor of the Cato Handbook For Policymakers. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, CNN’s Crossfire, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, John McLaughlin’s One on One, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media. His latest book is The Politics of Freedom.


Keynote Speaker – David Kelley

David Kelley is a professional philosopher, teacher, and writer. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 1975, he joined the philosophy department of Vassar College, where he remained until 1984. He has also taught at Brandeis University as a Visiting Lecturer. Among his books are Unrugged Individualism: The Selfish Basis of Benevolence; The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand; The Evidence of the Senses, a treatise on epistemology; and The Art of Reasoning, one of the most widely used logic textbooks in the country. With Roger Donway, he co-authored Laissez Parler: Freedom in the Electronic Media, a critique of government regulation. He is also the author of A Life of One’s Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State, a critique of the moral premises of the welfare state and defense of private alternatives that preserve individual autonomy, responsibility, and dignity.


Antony Davies

Institute for Humane Studies Speaker Series

Antony Davies’ research interests include forecasting, consumer psychology, and public policy. His research focuses on the mathematical modeling and empirical analysis of human behavior. He holds a joint appointment as Mercatus Affiliated Senior Scholar at George Mason University and is a frequent lecturer at policy conferences at the U.S. House of Representatives and at state capitals. In addition to teaching at the undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. levels, he was Chief Analytics Officer at Parabon Computation (Fairfax, VA), 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.


Sarah Skwire

Sarah Skwire is the author of the college writing textbook, Writing with a Thesis, which is about to appear in its 12th edition. Sarah has published a range of academic articles on subjects from Shakespeare to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and her writing has appeared in journals as varied as Literature 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 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. Her current research focuses on  literature and economics, Sarah is also a full-time Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation.


Professor P.J. Hill

Institute for Humane Studies Speaker Series

P.J. Hill is professor emeritus of economics at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and a Senior Fellow at PERC. An economic historian by training, Hill has written on institutional change and the evolution of property rights. His book with Terry Anderson, The Not So Wild, Wild West, challenged many of the traditional theories of how the West was settled. Rather than a place of anarchy and violence, it was characterized by local groups forming to solve collective action problems. Born and raised on a family ranch in eastern Montana, Hill has maintained an interest in cattle ranching while pursuing an academic career. He received his B.S from Montana State University, and his Ph.D from the University of Chicago.



Bill Kline

Bill Kline is an associate professor of Liberal Studies at the University of Illinois, Springfield (UIS).  His academic interests include curriculum development, philosophy of business, and business ethics.  He has published in the Journal of Business Ethics on the purpose of business, helped develop a new minor in Liberty Studies in his department, and developed the capstone course for the minor aptly titled “Liberty Studies”.  He has been the director of two applied ethics centers at other institutions and was recently the interim director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at UIS.  He received his B.A. in Economics from Grove City College and his  Ph.D. in Philosophy from Bowling Green State University.


Leon Drolet

Leon Drolet was elected six times to public office as a proud libertarian Republican; serving in the Michigan legislature (2000-2006) and as a county official (1999-2000; 2007-2008). While in the state legislature, Drolet played key roles in two state constitutional amendments: he was statewide chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, the successful November 2006 ballot proposal to eliminate the use of race and gender preferences in university admissions and government hiring or contracting. He also wrote , and engineered passage of a state constitutional amendment that greatly restricted governments’ use of ‘eminent domain’ to take citizens’ private property. When in the legislature, Drolet chaired the Taxpayer Protection Caucus and was recognized by the media as one of the most conservative state lawmakers, while being a staunch defender of civil liberties. Drolet was one of only three MI Republican legislators to vote against Michigan’s gay marriage ban, and held hearings on legalizing marijuana before it was cool. Today, Drolet serves as Chair of the MI Taxpayers Alliance, a grassroots taxpayer rights organization and works for the XIV Foundation, an organization working to end government race and gender preference programs.


Geoffrey Lea

Geoffrey Lea is a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  He received his BA in Economics and Greek at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and his MA and PhD in Economics from George Mason University.  Prior to coming to Springfield, he worked as the director of programs and seminars at the Foundation for Economic Education and as a Lecturer in Economics at Hillsdale College.  His research interests are Austrian economics, constitutional political economy, the history of economic thought, business cycle theory, and the political economy of the ancient world.


Matthew Needham

Matthew Needham is Chairman of Students For Liberty’s North American Executive Board. Currently a Senior at Michigan State University studying political theory, he was first exposed to Students For Liberty at the 2010 Chicago Regional Conference. He previously served as President of the Michigan State College Libertarians and as Students For Liberty’s Midwest Regional Director. In addition to his work with Students For Liberty, he has worked as a Koch Summer Fellow at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He has been published in Michigan Capitol Confidential and has spoken at conferences hosted by Students For Liberty, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Institue for Liberal Studies, and Estudantes Pela Liberdade.


Peter Bonilla

Peter Bonilla has been with FIRE since 2008 and worked with FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program since 2009, becoming director in 2013. As Director he manages FIRE’s caseload, writes frequently for FIRE’s blog,The Torch, and has lectured to student groups and at student conferences around the country. Since January 2011, Peter has also been a contributor for the political commentary website PolicyMic, covering issues in American higher education. Prior to joining FIRE, Peter was Literary Manager of Philadelphia’s InterAct Theatre Company, one of the country’s top theatres for the development and production of new politically and socially-themed plays. He is also a past recipient of a fellowship in playwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and his first play was produced to critical acclaim in Arizona in September 2011. In 2009, Peter was a contestant on the television game show Jeopardy! His undergraduate degree, with a double major in theater arts and economics, is from the University of Pennsylvania.


Professor James W. Lark, III

James W. Lark, III currently serves as a professor in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Systems and Information Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Va. Tech) and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Dr. Lark has served as visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Virginia Tech. He was an Earhart Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business in the Graduate School of Management at the University of Rochester.

He currently serves as a regional representative on the Libertarian National Committee, and as a member of the LNC’s Executive Committee. He served as chairman of the Libertarian Party during the 2000-2002 term. Dr. Lark is the recipient of the 2008 Thomas Jefferson award (the Party’s highest honor), given at national LP conventions for lifetime achievement. He currently serves as the vice chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia. Dr. Lark is the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Self-Government.  He is also the chairman of the Student Libertarian Alumni Committee.  He is the secretary of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Individual Liberty, and serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of Students For Liberty.


George H. Smith

George H. Smith was formerly Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American History for Cato Summer Seminars, and Executive Editor of Knowledge Products. Smith’s fourth book, The System of Liberty, was recently published by Cambridge University Press. He currently writes weekly essays on the history of libertarian thought for Libertarianism.org on everything from property rights to the history of civilization in England.


Check back soon as we announce more speakers!


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