ISFLC consistently attracts the most exciting and passionate speakers from across the liberty movement and beyond. Read about some of our confirmed speakers for ISFLC17 below, and keep checking this page as we announce more in the future.

Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist (Twitter: @GroverNorquist) is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR works to limit the size and cost of government and opposes higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels and supports tax reform that moves towards taxing consumed income one time at one rate.

ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to the American people to oppose all net tax increases. In the 115th Congress, 212 House members and 45 Senators have taken the pledge.

Norquist chairs the Washington, DC - based Wednesday Meeting, a weekly gathering of more than 150 elected officials, political activists, and movement leaders. The meeting started in 1993 and takes place in ATR's conference room. There are now 60 similar center-right meetings in 48 states.

Mr. Norquist also:

Serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association of America, the American Conservative Union, the Parental Rights Organization and Center for the National Interest (formerly The Nixon Center.)
Serves as a Contributing Editor to the American Spectator Magazine.
Serves as president of the American Society of Competitiveness.
Authored four books: Rock the House; Leave Us Alone – Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives; Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future (with co-author John Lott) and End the IRS Before it Ends Us — How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America — published April 7, 2015.

Previously, Mr. Norquist served as:

A commissioner on the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce.
A commissioner on the National Commission on Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service.
Economist and chief speech-writer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce (1983-1984.)
Campaign staff on the 1988, 1992, 1996 Republican Platform Committees.
Executive director of the National Taxpayers’ Union.
Executive director of the College Republicans.

Mr. Norquist holds an MBA and a BA in Economics, both from Harvard University. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Samah, and two daughters.

Amir Nasr

Amir Nasr

Described by The Economist as "puckish" (aka playfully mischievous), Amir Ahmad Nasr is the author of the searing memoir and banned manifesto, My Isl@m: How Fundamentalism Stole My Mind – And Doubt Freed My Soul, recommended by Foreign Policy among 25 books to read in 2013. He has shared the stage with Nobel Peace Laureates, former presidents, and fellow entrepreneurs, and has been noted by WIRED as a "formidable speaker." He is the founder of AssertiveU Media Inc., and lives in the land of beavers and maple syrup aka beloved Canada.

Talk description: "Boisterous rhetoric masquerading as free speech is among the biggest threats to free speech today, and it's coming from both sides of the political spectrum Left and Right. A democracy cannot function if discourse degenerates into a shouting match past one another. Rather than vent or ignore, we must genuinely engage."

Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman

Join legendary Gonzo artist, Ralph Steadman, in a live Skype direct from his studio in Kent. Ralph will give you a guided tour of his work space, showing little seen pieces along the way, before joining you in conversation and an audience Q&A. He may even put pen to paper for a live demonstration of his inimitable technique!

Topic: Gonzo Art: A Conversation and Workshop Tour with Ralph Steadman

Greg Glassman

Founder and CEO of CrossFit

Greg Glassman

Founder and CEO of CrossFit

Greg Glassman is the founder and CEO of CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, moms, dads, grandmothers and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. The challenging program combines weightlifting, gymnastics, and calisthenics into a daily Workout of the Day, known in CrossFit parlance as a “WOD.” Glassman was an elite level gymnast and athlete all his life. In 1995, he began training officers at the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department. As Glassman says, “Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.” In 2001 Glassman started crossfit.comand began affiliating gyms under the CrossFit name. Today there are over 13,000 independently-owned CrossFit affiliates in over 140 countries, and the annual CrossFit Games, which attracted 330,000 participants in 2016 and is televised on ESPN.

Edward Stringham

President of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics

Edward Stringham

President of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics

Edward Peter Stringham is the Davis Professor of Economic Organizations and Innovation. Stringham is president of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, former president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, editor of the Journal of Private Enterprise, editor of two books, and author of more than sixty journal articles, book chapters, and policy studies.

His work has been discussed on more than 100 broadcast stations, including CBS, CNBC, CNN, Fox, Headline News, NPR, and MTV. His book, Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life, is published by Oxford University Press.

Jonathan Haidt

Professor of Ethical Leadership at NYU - Stern School of Business

Jonathan Haidt

Professor of Ethical Leadership at NYU - Stern School of Business

Jonathan Haidt (pronounced “height”) is a social psychologist at the NYU-Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and spent most of his career (1995-2011) at the University of Virginia.

Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures–including the cultures of American progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis, and of The New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.

Steve Forbes

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media

Steve Forbes

Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media

Steve Forbes was born on July 18, 1947, in Morristown, New Jersey. He received a B.A. in history from Princeton in 1970.

Mr. Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Heritage Foundation and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He is on the Board of Overseers of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and on the Board of Visitors for the School of Public Policy of Pepperdine University. He previously served on the Board of Trustees of Princeton University for ten years.

Mr. Forbes writes editorials for Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.

Mustafa Akyol

Mustafa Akyol

Mustafa Akyol is a columnist for Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News, the website Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East, and a monthly opinion writer for The International New York Times. His articles have also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and many other publications. He studied political science and history at the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, where he still lives. His book, Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty, an argument for "Muslim liberalism" was published by W.W. Norton in July 2011, and received praise from the Finanical Times, Wall Street Journal, the Economist and more.

Jeremy McLellan

Master of Ceremonies

Jeremy McLellan

Master of Ceremonies

Jeremy McLellan is an internationally known standup comedian based in Charleston, SC where he won the 2015 and 2016 Charleston Standup Comedy Competition and was named Best Local Comic in the Charleston City Paper. In the past year, Jeremy has performed for YALCON 2016, the LP National Convention in Orlando, and recently toured with Gary Johnson’s Our American Initiative in the lead-up to the presidential election. Never one to shy away from controversy, his material covers a wide range of hot-button topics like politics, gender, race, disability, religion, and Santa Claus.

Rand Paul

Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul, M.D. is one of the nation’s leading advocates for liberty. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010, Dr. Paul has proven to be an outspoken champion for constitutional liberties and fiscal responsibility. As a fierce advocate against government overreach, Rand has fought tirelessly to return government to its limited, constitutional scope.

A devoted husband and father, Dr. Paul and his family live in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where Rand owned his own ophthalmology practice and performed eye surgery for 18 years. As a hard-working and dedicated physician–not a career politician–Rand Paul came to Washington to shake things up and to make a difference.

Rand is the third of five children born to Carol and Ron Paul. He grew up in Lake Jackson, Texas and attended Baylor University. He graduated from Duke Medical School in 1988. Dr. Paul completed a general surgery internship at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta and completed his residency in ophthalmology at Duke University Medical Center. Upon completion of his training in 1993, Rand and Kelley moved to Bowling Green to start their family and begin his ophthalmology practice.

During his free time, Dr. Paul performs pro-bono eye surgeries for patients across Kentucky. Additionally, he provides free eye surgery to children from around the world through his participation in the Children of the Americas Program. Most recently, he traveled to Guatemala on a medical mission trip with the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center. During the week over 200 patients, many of them blind with cataracts, had their vision restored by Dr. Paul.

Dr. Paul’s work in politics is indicative of his life’s work as a surgeon: a desire to diagnose problems and provide practical solutions, whether it be in Bowling Green, Kentucky or Washington, D.C.

Ed Crane

Ed Crane

Edward H. Crane is widely regarded as one of the driving forces behind the rapidly growing libertarian movement in the United States. Born in Los Angeles on August 15, 1944, Crane holds a B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. in finance and investments in 1968 from the University of Southern California Graduate School of Business. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

He worked in Los Angeles as a portfolio manager for the investment firm of Scudder, Stevens & Clark and then as vice president in the San Francisco office of Alliance Capital Management Corp. until 1977. A delegate to the founding convention of the Libertarian Party in Denver, Colorado in 1972, Crane was elected national chairman of the party in 1974, a position he held until 1977, when he co-founded the Cato Institute in San Francisco. He served as president and CEO of Cato from 1977 through 2012, when he became president emeritus.
Today, Ed Crane is president of the Purple PAC, a super PAC devoted to supporting ideas and candidates consistent with dynamic market capitalism (as opposed to crony capitalism), social tolerance, and a skepticism of American attempts to be the world’s policeman. He serves on the boards of the Center for Competitive Politics, Americans for Limited Government, and U.S. Term Limits.

Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, The Forgotten Man: Graphic, a full-length illustrated version of the same book drawn by Paul Rivoche, Coolidge, a full-length biography of the thirtieth president, which debuted at number three on the Times list, and The Greedy Hand: How Taxes Drive Americas Crazy. National Review called the Forgotten Man “the finest history of the Great Depression ever written.” The Economist wrote of Coolidge that the book “deserves to be widely read” and made it an editor’s choice for 2013. Miss Shlaes is under contract to write “The Silent Majority,” a third volume on the twentieth century.
Miss Shlaes is a presidential scholar at The King's College.
Miss Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, a national foundation based in the birthplace of President Coolidge. The foundation’s goal is to share Coolidge with Americans by hosting debates and events at the Coolidge site and through newer media. She is especially interested in education. Miss Shlaes is a winner of the Hayek Prize and currently chairs the jury for the prize, sponsored by the Manhattan Institute. She has twice been a finalist for the Loeb Prize in commentary. In 2002 she was co-winner of the Frederic Bastiat Prize, an international prize for writing on political economy, and later chaired the jury for that prize. In 2003, she was JP Morgan Fellow for finance and economy at the American Academy in Berlin. She has given two Bradley lectures at AEI. Over the years she has served at the Council on Foreign Relations (as senior fellow in economic history) and the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Many readers know Miss Shlaes from the Wall Street Journal, where she served on the editorial board, writing on foreign policy, taxation, and other topics, or from the Financial Times and Bloomberg, each of which carried her syndicated column over the years. Currently Miss Shlaes appears in print in Forbes. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale College, Miss Shlaes is married to fellow journalist and editor Seth Lipsky. The Lipskys have four children.Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/author/amity-shlaes

Johan Norberg

Johan Norberg

Johan Norberg is an author, lecturer and documentary filmmaker, born in Sweden. He is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington D.C. and received his M. A. in the History of Ideas from the University of Stockholm.

He has written books on a broad range of topics, including global economics and popular science. His In Defence of Global Capitalism has been published in more than 25 countries. His most recent book is Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, described by The Economist as “a blast of good sense”.

He also regularly hosts documentaries on development and economics for American television, most recently India Awakes and The Real Adam Smith. For his work, Johan Norberg has received the Distinguished Sir Antony Fisher Memorial Award from the American Atlas Foundation, and the gold medal from the German Hayek Stiftung.

Howard Baetjer

Howard Baetjer

Howard Baetjer - Howard Baetjer Jr. is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Towson University in Towson, Maryland, where he teaches courses in microeconomics, money and banking, comparative economic systems, and the history of economic thought. He blogs at freeourmarkets.com. He is the author of Free Our Markets, A Citizens’ Guide to Essential Economics, which explains why people flourish better, the freer the markets they live in. Dr. Baetjer is also a frequent faculty member at IHS Summer Seminars.

Talk description: Everyone wants regularity and predictable quality in the goods and services they buy, but are government bureaucracies the best at ensuring that? How do markets regulate?
Using clear examples of market-based regulation, Professor Baetjer, author of Free Our Markets: A Citizens' Guide to Essential Economics, shows how markets can protect consumers and maintain product standards more effectively than governments.

Advice for @realDonaldTrump: Embrace a Realist Foreign Policy and #MAGA

The Trump administration raises many concerns for friends of liberty and toleration. However, as commander-in- chief, the 45th president can improve U.S. foreign policy by jettisoning America’s bankrupt pursuit of global hegemony. In fact, this was precisely the message many voters wanted to hear! Realistically, he’d face stiff resistance. Despite the dilemma of “global leadership,” the Beltway’s foreign policy community and the military industrial complex do not take kindly to change. Dan McCarthy, editor-at-large of The American Conservative, will moderate what promises to be a fascinating conversation with the renowned political scientist John Mearsheimer about realism and restraint in the age of Trump.

John Mearsheimer

John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He graduated from West Point in 1970 and then served five years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. The author of five books, he has also written many articles that have appeared in academic journals like International Security, and popular magazines like Foreign Affairs and the London Review of Books. Furthermore he has written a number of op-ed pieces for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times dealing with topics like Bosnia, nuclear proliferation, American policy towards India, the failure of Arab-Israeli peace efforts, the folly of invading Iraq, and the causes of the Ukrainian crisis.

Talk description: The Trump administration raises many concerns for friends of liberty and toleration. However, as commander-in- chief, the 45th president can improve U.S. foreign policy by jettisoning America’s bankrupt pursuit of global hegemony. In fact, this was precisely the message many voters wanted to hear! Realistically, he’d face stiff resistance. Despite the dilemma of “global leadership,” the Beltway’s foreign policy community and the military industrial complex do not take kindly to change. Dan McCarthy, editor-at-large of The American Conservative, will moderate what promises to be a fascinating conversation with the renowned political scientist John Mearsheimer about realism and restraint in the age of Trump.


The Uniqueness of the Liberal Vision

Join FEE’s Jeffrey Tucker, Sarah Skwire, and Steve Horwitz for discussion about the revolutionary vision of liberalism. From the economy, to the family, to the arts, it’s liberal thought that has been at the heart of progress. In this session, we will explore the roots of the liberal tradition and the pitfalls we must avoid to stay on the path to liberty.

Jeffrey Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles.

Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University and the author of Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions. He is spending the 2016-17 academic year as a Visiting Scholar at the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise at Ball State University. Steven is a Distinguished Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

Sarah Skwire

Sarah Skwire is the Literary Editor of FEE.org and a senior fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. She is a poet and author of the writing textbook Writing with a Thesis. She is also member of the FEE Faculty Network.


Tom Palmer: A New, Old Challenge: Global-Anti-Libertarianism

A spectre is haunting the world: the spectre of radical anti-libertarian movements, each grappling with the others like scorpions in a bottle and all competing to see which can dismantle the institutions of liberty the fastest. Some are ensconced in the universities and other elite centers, and some draw their strength from populist anger. Dr. Palmer will discuss where these anti-libertarian movements came from, how they feed off each other, and how libertarians can fight back.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer

Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Network

Dr. Tom G. Palmer

Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Network

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.
TOPIC: A New, Old Challenge: Global-Anti-Libertarianism

Clark Ruper: Fundraising for Freedom on Campus and Beyond

Passion for liberty will only get you so far. In order to make an impact, both student groups and non-profits need resources, and it all starts with the most important resource: money. Fortunately the libertarian movement is supported by successful capitalists who know that money is not the "root of all evil" but a standard of exchanging value for value. These philanthropists will support your work if you can identify them, make a compelling case, and most importantly: ask! Former SFL Vice President Clark Ruper will show you the ins and outs of fundraising and how you can build a career for yourself in fundraising for freedom.

Clark Ruper

Atlas Network Director of Development

Clark Ruper

Atlas Network Director of Development

Clark Ruper joined Atlas Network in April 2015 as Director of Development. He was formerly the vice president & COO of Students For Liberty. Prior to joining Students For Liberty, Clark worked on various pro-liberty causes such as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, and FreedomWorks. He holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a concentration on social change in American history and is also a graduate of Atlas Network Think Tank MBA and the Atlas Leadership Academy.

TOPIC: Fundraising for Freedom on Campus and Beyond

PANEL: “Advancing Liberty Around the World"

Alexander Skouras

Atlas Network Director of External Relations

Alexander Skouras

Atlas Network Director of External Relations

Alexander Skouras is a Greek-American free-market advocate. He has held important positions in national electoral campaigns in Greece and a presidential primary campaign in the United States. Alexander has been a member of our team since 2013 and he currently


Privacy in the Age of High-Tech Police Tools

Law enforcement is taking advantage of new technologies such as StingRays and drones which, while allowing police to more easily find suspects, pose a wide range of significant privacy concerns. The Cato Institute's Matthew Feeney and Adam Bates discuss how we can protect privacy amid the emergence of new and intrusive technologies.

Adam Bates

Adam Bates is a policy analyst with Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice. His research interests include constitutional law, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, police militarization, and overcriminalization. Bates received a BA in Political Science from the University of Miami, where he also walked onto the Miami Hurricanes football team, and both an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Oklahoma bar.

Matthew Feeney

Matthew Feeney is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute. Before coming to Cato, Matthew worked at Reason magazine as assistant editor of Reason.com. He has also worked at The American Conservative, the Liberal Democrats, and the Institute of Economic Affairs. Matthew received both his B.A and M.A in philosophy from the University of Reading in England.

President Trump: How did we get here, and where do we go now?

Donald Trump was elected President despite pollsters’ nearly unanimous predictions to the contrary. Emily Ekins, a Cato Institute Research Fellow who focuses on public opinion and polling, will explain how. She will also explore what Trump’s election means for libertarians and where we should go from here.

Emily Ekins

Emily Ekins is a research fellow at the Cato Institute. Her research focuses primarily on American politics, public opinion, political psychology, and social movements, with an emphasis in survey and quantitative methods. She studies how values, experiences, and self-interest shape public opinion and attitudes toward government. Emily’s publications include “The Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party” and “Public Attitudes toward Federalism: The Public’s Preference for a Renewed Federalism.” Before joining Cato, she spent four years as the director of polling for Reason Foundation. In 2014 Emily authored an in-depth study of young Americans, “Millennials: The Politically Unclaimed Generation.” Emily holds a PhD and M.A. in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
TOPIC: President Trump: How did we get here, and where do we go now?

What to do about ISIS?

Fifteen years after 9/11, the United States is still arguing about how to deal with terrorism. Most Democrats argue that the United States should stick with the current strategy, while many Republicans think the U.S. should step up the fight. Cato Institute Senior Fellow Trevor Thrall offers his own perspective on how to best confront one of the world’s most vexing foreign policy problems.

Trevor Thrall

Trevor Thrall is a senior fellow for the Cato Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy Department. Thrall is an associate professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He teaches courses in international security, political communication, and U.S. military intervention. His recently edited book, American Foreign Policy and the Politics of Fear: Threat Inflation since 9/11 (Routledge 2009), examined why and how the Bush administration was able to build public support for the war in Iraq in 2003. The companion volume to that work, Why Did the United States Invade Iraq? (Routledge 2011), collects competing explanations about why the administration decided to go to war in the first place. Prior to arriving at George Mason, Thrall was an associate professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he directed the Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Administration programs. He received his PhD in political science from MIT.

TOPIC: What to do about ISIS?


Leave a Legacy: Fight for Civil Liberties on Campus

Molly Nocheck, Director of Campus Outreach at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, FIRE's Director of Litigation, will discuss what you can do to fight for civil liberties on your campus. Molly and Marieke will cover the basics of your free speech and due process rights as a college student, how you can help advance your rights on campus, and how FIRE can help you achieve those goals. We hope to help you leave a legacy of liberty on your campus and a model for other schools to follow.

Molly Nocheck

Molly Nocheck, a Cincinnati native, graduated from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism in 2013 with a B.S. in journalism. During her time as an undergraduate, Molly served as the director of Students Defending Students, an organization dedicated to advising students through Ohio University’s judicial processes.

Molly leads the FIRE Student Network, which empowers and mobilizes student activists on our nation’s college campuses. Molly has traveled to colleges and universities across the country to educate students on their First Amendment rights and arm them with the tools necessary to stand up and create positive change on campus. Her passion for due process and free speech is only matched by her love of Skyline Chili.

Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon

A native of the Philadelphia area, Marieke graduated summa cum laude from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2004. Marieke continued her studies at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2008.

After law school, Marieke clerked for the Honorable A. Richard Caputo in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania before joining the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania as a legal fellow in 2009. She later joined the Philadelphia firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis as a commercial litigation associate, where she continued to work on civil rights cases on a pro bono basis, focusing primarily on the First Amendment. Right before joining FIRE, she served as a Project Coordinator for the nonprofit Resources for Human Development, where she implemented projects addressing disability discrimination and health care reform. Outside the office, she loves to be around horses and volunteers for a therapeutic riding program.


Combating Censorship: Does Free Speech and Expression Have a Future on Campus?

Tired of campus political correctness? Do you feel like you have to censor your thoughts and ideas lest you run afoul of campus speech codes? Lovers of personal liberty know free speech is important, but how do we protect it where it’s most threatened—in academia. Join this session for in-depth look at issues in free speech and free expression on campus and a look back at a tumultuous year in campus free speech. Legislative Counsel for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Randal Meyer, ACTA Director of Curricular Reform and Academic Outreach Eric Bledsoe, and FIRE Director of Litigation Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon will discuss strategies for combating censorship. Get the inside scoop on how to work with trustees, First Amendment experts, and policymakers to expand intellectual diversity and academic freedom on campus.

Christine Ravold

Panel Moderator

Christine Ravold

Panel Moderator

Christine Ravold works in ACTA’s communications department, assisting with media relations and social media. She produces and hosts ACTA's podcast, Higher Ed Now. In addition to communications work, she also oversees ACTA’s Oases of Excellence Initiative, a series of independently-funded academic programs that promote rigorous scholarly work in areas such as U.S. history, economics, and the Great Books. You can find some of her published articles online at Economics21, National Review Online, Rare, and Acculturated. Christine graduated magna cum laude from Rosemont College with a BA in English and Communications and a philosophy minor.

Eric Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe is the Director of Curricular Improvement and Academic Outreach at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. He oversees ACTA's signature online college guide, What Will They Learn?™. Eric has taught at the secondary and university levels and holds degrees from the Catholic University of America and Florida State University. His articles on campus free speech, college costs, and curricular reform have appeared in publications such as National Review Online, The Federalist, and Real Clear Policy.

Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon

A native of the Philadelphia area, Marieke graduated summa cum laude from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2004. Marieke continued her studies at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2008.

After law school, Marieke clerked for the Honorable A. Richard Caputo in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania before joining the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania as a legal fellow in 2009. She later joined the Philadelphia firm of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis as a commercial litigation associate, where she continued to work on civil rights cases on a pro bono basis, focusing primarily on the First Amendment. Right before joining FIRE, she served as a Project Coordinator for the nonprofit Resources for Human Development, where she implemented projects addressing disability discrimination and health care reform. Outside the office, she loves to be around horses and volunteers for a therapeutic riding program.

Randal Meyer

Randal John Meyer serves as legislative counsel in the U.S. Senate for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). Previously, he was a legal associate in the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, a research fellow at Brooklyn Law School, and the chief legal researcher for Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News. Meyer has authored or co-authored 60 opinion pieces and 16 amicus curiae briefs, including nearly a dozen for the U.S. Supreme Court. His work has appeared in outlets such as Newsweek, National Law Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes, New York Post, National Review Online, The Hill, and the Brooklyn Law Review, and has been featured in publications such as the Washington Post and L.A. Times.


Propaganda, Fake News, and Truth in Media

Matt Welch

Matt Welch is editor at large of Reason, the libertarian magazine of "Free Minds and Free Markets." He served as Reason's editor in chief from 2008-2016. He is co-author, along with Nick Gillespie, of the 2011 book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, which Tyler Cowen called "the up-to-date statement of libertarianism." Welch also wrote the 2007 book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.

Marty Zupan

Marty was editor-in-chief of Reason throughout the 1980s after joining staff as a book review editor in 1975. In 1989 she joined Institute for Humane Studies as a Vice-President, and in 2001 she was appointed President of IHS. She now serves as President Emeritus and as an advisor to IHS. She has been published in several academic journals as well as The New York Times Book Review and the op-ed pages of newspapers. Marty has served on the boards of several nonprofits, including a private school in the Washington, DC, area. In her spare time she likes to cook, play tournament bridge, and enjoy her grandchildren.

Katherine Mangu-Ward

Katherine Mangu-Ward is editor in chief of Reason, the magazine of "Free Minds and Free Markets." A few of her more memorable cover stories include a defense of plastic bags, an argument for why you almost certainly shouldn’t vote, and a welcome to our new robot overlords.

Nick Gillespie

Nick Gillespie is editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason TV, the online platforms of Reason, the libertarian magazine of "Free Minds and Free Markets." Gillespie is co-author, with his Reason colleague Matt Welch, of The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, published in 2011 by Public Affairs.

How the War on 'Sex Trafficking' Is the New War on Drugs

Over the past two decades, the U.S. government's crusade against prostitution—dressed up as a war on sex trafficking—has taken on unprecedented proportions, leading to the arrest of thousands of adult sex workers; the squandering of millions on federally-funded vice squads and DARE-style awareness campaigns; the passage of hundreds of new laws at all levels; and the creation of a generous new avenue for expanding the carceral state. Join us for a look at myths and realities about human trafficking in America and how our government's response is hurting everyone, including trafficking victims.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Elizabeth Nolan Brown is an associate editor for Reason.com

Lauren Krisai

Lauren Krisai is the Director of Criminal Justice Reform at Reason Foundation, where she focuses on a variety of criminal justice issues, including sentencing reform, prison reform, drug policy, and more—particularly at the state level.


Free Yourself First: How to Break Out of the Preparation Mindset and Build Your Future Now

Praxis Director of Marketing Derek Magill and Education Director T.K. Coleman have one question for current college students: "What would you do if you were living a truly free life, if you had the freedom to say what you really want to?” In this highly actionable and interactive breakout session, they will cover how liberty minded students can start building their career now while their still in school and go after those big dreams, no matter what they are.

T.K. Coleman

T.K. Coleman is the Education Director for Praxis, a 10-month apprenticeship program that combines a traditional liberal arts education with practical skills training, 1-on-1 coaching, academic mentoring, group discussions, professional-development workshops, and real-word business experience.

T.K. is a native of Chicago and a resident of Los Angeles. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy & Comparative Religion from Western Michigan University and has worked as a licensed financial adviser for American Express, a Corporate Trainer for National Seminar Group, and a teacher/trainer for the Continuing Education Divisions at Graceland University and Rockhurst University.

T.K. is an avid student of self-determinism, creativity, & philosophy. He blogs regularly here at tkcoleman.com and at the Praxis blog.

Derek Magill

Derek Magill is a college dropout, marketer, business strategist and career expert. After dropping out of college during his sophomore year, Derek started a marketing company that went on to generate million of dollars in business for clients.

He is currently the Director of Marketing at Praxis and has consulted with companies such as Voice & Exit, the Foundation for Economic Education, Glockstore, Colliers International, Daily Caller, and Undertech.

Derek is the author of How to Get Any Job You Want.


How Students Killed Jim Crow

How can a grassroots organization obtain power and then use it to force changes in society? In the early 1960's, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) showed us how, by launching a nationwide uprising of thousands of ordinary people who killed Jim Crow and influenced the development of the USA in other ways. This session gives an overview of what SNCC did and how they did it.

Dale Woolridge

Dale Woolridge

Dale Woolridge received a Ph.D. in social psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. He focused his career on research evaluating government programs intended to influence prisoners, mentally ill and retarded people, and other populations at all levels of government. He has taught college psychology courses and is now Co-founder and Instructor for the Action for Liberty project.

TOPIC: How Students Killed Jim Crow


Engineers vs. Salesmen: Master Persuasion for Liberty

What could it mean for you if you were able to reach anyone with the ideas of liberty? No skills are more critical in effective advocacy than those of communication and influence. If we are to reach a tipping point in the mainstream, our movement needs more master persuaders for liberty -- those who understand the powerful principles of decision-making psychology and the proven strategies that can be used to create lasting change for good. In this session, learn the tools of persuasion titans so that you can build conviction in anyone to embrace the ideas of liberty and take action to spread them even further.

Ty Hicks

Ty currently serves as Executive Vice President for Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Ty first got involved with YAL when he founded the chapter at Central Michigan University. Ty later became Michigan State Chair with YAL, growing and supporting the network of Michigan chapters. Ty later joined Students For Liberty's Campus Coordinator program and participated in SFL's inaugural Professional Advancement Fellowship as a Data Associate. During his fellowship, Ty founded SFL's Liberty in North Korea activism initiative, and he is active in humanitarian efforts to rescue North Korean refugees.


Jumpstart Your Career as a Libertarian Writer

Looking to build up your list of published works? Dreaming of a career as a political commentator? Make your goals a reality by attending this panel of young libertarian writers hosted by Young Voices, a nonprofit aimed at helping Millennials spread the message of freedom. You'll hear handy tips on how to write a compelling op-ed, successfully pitch your piece, and make money along the way.

Natalie Bao Tram Le

Natalie Bao Tram Le is a senior at College of Charleston, majoring in Political Science with a Concentration in Politics, Philosophy, and Law. Upon graduation, she will be studying in Boston to pursue a Master’s in Government. Natalie is a Development Associate for the Independent Women’s Voice, Campus Coordinator for Students for Liberty, and a South Carolina State Chair for Young Americans for Liberty. During her spare time, she enjoys writing op-eds, sparring, and spending time with family and friends.

Sam Dunkovich

Sam Dunkovich is a Wisconsin native getting his undergrad at the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay with a major in Political Science and a minor in communications. He has been published in new sites such as The Daily Caller and The CAP Times, on topics ranging from GMO’s to the banning of Kratom.

Stacy Ndlovu

Stacy Ndlovu is Young Voices’ Managing Editor. Stacy recently graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Government and French. She has previously interned for the Human Rights and Democracy Program at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. Originally from Zimbabwe, Stacy is interested in the place of libertarian theory in international relations, specifically regarding international law, rethinking the “just war” tradition and African development. As Managing Editor, Stacy is Young Voices’ primary programs officer, editing and pitching our Advocates’ commentary to media outlets around the world.

Casey Given

Casey Given is Young Voices' Executive Director and Secretary-Treasurer of its Board of Directors. Casey joined Young Voices in January 2014 when it was a project of Students For Liberty and oversaw the project's transition to an independent nonprofit in May 2016. Casey has also served as Students For Liberty's Director of Communications. Casey is a political columnist at Rare and The Washington Examiner. Casey holds a B.A. in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently a Master’s in Public Policy candidate at The George Washington University.


Should libertarians support a Universal Basic Income?

With the growing problems of the welfare state, how can classical liberals address poverty? One idea is to implement a Universal Basic Income (UBI), but does UBI solve more problems than it creates? Come join IHS for this captivating debate with Professor Bryan Caplan of George Mason University arguing against UBI and Will Wilkinson of the Niskanen Center arguing in favor of it.

Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan is a Professor of Economics at George Mason University and blogger for EconLog. He is the author of The Myth of the Rational Voter, named "the best political book of the year" by the New York Times, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, and The Case Against Education, forthcoming in 2017 from Princeton University Press. He is currently working on All Roads Lead to Open Borders, a non-fiction graphic novel on the philosophy and social science of immigration, and Poverty: Who To Blame. He has published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, American Economic Review, Economic Journal, Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and appeared on ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN. An openly nerdy man who loves role-playing games and graphic novels, he lives in Oakton, Virginia, with his wife and four kids.

Will Wilkinson

Will Wilkinson is vice president for policy at the Niskanen Center, overseeing the Center’s research and publications. Before coming to the Niskanen Center, Mr. Wilkinson was U.S. politics correspondent for The Economist, and is currently a columnist for Vox‘s The Big Idea section. His policy work centers on domestic social policy, with a particular focus on economic growth, social insurance, criminal justice reform, and issues around the measurement of freedom, equality, and happiness. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Cato Institute, where he wrote on an array of topics including Social Security reform, the policy implications of happiness research, and the political economy of inequality. He was a founding editor of Cato Unbound and has been a program director at the Mercatus Center and the Institute for Humane Studies. In addition to The Economist, Mr. Wilkinson’s commentary has appeared in Forbes, The Atlantic, Politico, The Boston Review, Bloomberg View, The New York Times and other publications. He has been a columnist for The Week and a regular commentator on American Public Media’s radio program Marketplace. He holds an M.A. in philosophy from Northern Illinois University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Houston.

Learn Liberty Breakout

Storytelling 101: How to Promote Your Cause in the Age of Content Overload (Panel)

How do you tell compelling stories that inspire and persuade? How do you make your cause stand out among the competition? Professor and Learn Liberty veteran Antony Davies, social media strategist Max Stossel, actress and producer Naomi Brockwell, and Learn Liberty producer Joseph Kast will share their strategies for creating compelling content and effectively communicating liberty.

Antony Davies

Antony Davies is associate professor of economics at Duquesne University and Mercatus Affiliated Senior Scholar at George Mason University. His primary research interests include econometrics and public policy. 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.

Max Stossel

Max Stossel is an award winning filmmaker + poet with a unique style of storytelling. His work consistently goes viral, has been featured by the majority of major digital publications, by Lincoln Center, and has been written about in 12 languages. Before entering the creative world, Max spent 8 years creating social media strategies for fortune 500 brands and building social networks. The merging of these fields allows him to provide a fascinating perspective on modern culture and how technology is impacting humanity.

Naomi Brockwell

Naomi Brockwell is an actress, film producer, and opera singer based in NYC. Naomi is the CEO and founder of Rainsworth Productions, Contributor for ReasonTV, former Contributor for JagTV, former Director/Producer and Program Officer at the Moving Picture Institute, and Media Liaison Officer for the Principality of Hutt River. She is also Executive Producer, Casting Director, and Leading Actress in the 2015 Scifi thriller Subconscious (Lionsgate), Associate Producer on the 2015 feature documentary "Bitcoin: The End of Money as We Know It" (Winner Special Jury Prize at Amsterdam Film Festival, Winner Best Film at Amsterdam Film Festival), Co-Executive Producer and Casting Producer on the 2014 feature film Audition, and has directed/produced many other projects, including the short film Yes, Happy with award winning director/writer Jeffrey Jay Fowler and award winning film-maker Francisco Aliwalas.

Joseph Kast

Joseph Kast is a video producer for IHS’ Learn Liberty web project. Previously he worked in education, teaching in Thailand, South Korea, and Honduras. He is a contributing writer to Trill Ass Trailers, a Facebook video series devoted to ridiculing upcoming film releases. He studied film and playwriting at Webster University in St Louis, and focused on narratives and political persuasion for his graduate degree at GWU’s Graduate School of Political Management.

Regulating the Future: Permission, Innovation, and Technology

It’s the year 2030. You are awoken by an alarm that informs you it has modified your autonomous vehicle’s route to work to avoid construction. You stumble into the bathroom and as you think “I should shower,” the water promptly turns on, recognizing the thoughts broadcasted via a chip implanted in your brain. You go to the kitchen to make breakfast and as you reach for the fridge handle, it indicates that your milk has spoiled and a fresh bottle is en route via an app that delivers last-minute ingredients.

Automation, biotechnology, and the sharing economy are already part of our lives, but how far could these new technologies go? How vital is permissionless innovation in enabling us to reach our greatest potential? Join the Charles Koch Institute’s Rick Barton as he discusses these and other questions with Anne Hobson of R Street Institute and Jared Meyer of the Foundation for Government Accountability.

Anne Hobson

Anne Hobson is a technology policy fellow with the R Street Institute, specializing in free-market approaches to emerging technology. Before joining R Street, Anne was a policy associate at Facebook’s D.C, office and a Masters fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She is an alumna of the Koch Internship Program and Koch Associate Program. Anne graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor’s in international affairs. She has a master’s degree in applied economics from George Mason University.

Jared Meyer

Jared Meyer is a senior research fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability. At FGA, he researches the economic effects that various government regulations have on labor markets. Meyer is the coauthor of Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America's Young (Encounter Books, May 2015) and the author of Uber-Positive: Why Americans Love the Sharing Economy (Encounter Books, June 2016). Prior to joining FGA, Meyer was a fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Meyer received a B.S. in finance and a minor in the philosophy of law from St. John's University in New York City.

Breakout: “Unconditional Surrender: Congress, the President, and Matters of War”

The U.S. constitution does not equivocate about Congress’s exclusive power to declare war. This, given James Madison’s cogent admission that “The constitution supposes…that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war to the Legislature.” Odd to consider that the U.S. military has fought in dozens of theaters with unpredictable oversight since Congress last declared war in 1943. Now, as the U.S. enters the sixteenth year of its global war on terror—an effort prosecuted absent any spatial or temporal boundaries—many Americans are hopefully that Congress will reclaim its constitutional authority. Join us for a conversation with Gene Healy of the Cato Institute and Defense Priority’s Kurt Couchman, moderated by Reid Smith of the Charles Koch Institute.

Kurt Couchman

Kurt Couchman joined Defense Priorities after six years as a policy expert in congressional offices. Most recently, he was Legislative Director for a Republican member of the House of Representatives. He has developed initiatives and built coalitions in diverse fields such as foreign affairs, defense, trade, health care, transparency, housing finance, banking, and budget process, including two bipartisan balanced budget amendments with more than 60 co-sponsors each. He previously conducted Legislative Affairs for the Cato Institute, including expanding the influence of its foreign and defense policy scholars on Capitol Hill. He has also advocated for private industry in the energy and chemicals fields. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Robert E. Cook Honors College, as well as a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University.

Gene Healy

Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute. His research interests include executive power and the role of the presidency as well as federalism and overcriminalization. He is the author of False Idol: Barack Obama and the Continuing Cult of the Presidency and The Cult of the Presidency: America’s Dangerous Devotion to Executive Power; and is editor of Go Directly to Jail: The Criminalization of Almost Everything. Healy has appeared on PBS’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer and NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and his work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Legal Times, and elsewhere. Healy holds a BA from Georgetown University and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.


From the Ama-Gi Art Exhibition to networking socials and informative breakouts, the ISFLC has something for everyone. Just click here and fill out the form to join us this February. Catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and get energized for the next ten years of pro-liberty advocacy!



For the first time ever, we’ll be hosting a Career and Grad School Fair at the International Students For Liberty Conference. Since many of you will be graduating soon (or have already), we figured you’re probably on the hunt for jobs, internships, or graduate school programs. The first annual ISFLC Career and Grad School Fair will take place on Saturday, February 18th from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.

Attend the Awards Dinner

During the dinner, SFL staff will present the Event, Student Group, and Student of the Year Awards to the best libertarian leaders in our network. And you’ll get the chance to sit back, enjoy the show, and share a meal with fellow supporters and SFL’s student volunteers.