FEE Alumni Board 2014-2015
The FEE Alumni Board (FAB) engages alumni leaders by enlisting their ideas and advice for the development of excellent programming for FEE alumni, and enlisting them as FEE’s frontline alumni representatives. The 2014-2015 FAB consists of twelve notable alumni leaders: Romina Boccia, Caleb O. Brown, Zachary Caceres, Bob Ewing, Philip Fraietta, Lana Harfoush, Stephen Macaskill, Robert Anthony Peters, Anna Ridge, Clark Ruper, Gonzalo Schwarz, and Maggie Woodlief. Read more about FAB and its members here:
Romina Boccia focuses on limiting federal spending and the national debt as the Grover M. Hermann fellow in the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Previously, Romina was assistant director of the Roe Institute. Romina’s research has been published and quoted in magazines and newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, Die Welt (Germany), and The National Interest. She frequently appears on national and international television, including Fox News, NBC, PBS, and SkyNews.
A founding member of Liberty Toastmasters, Romina frequently speaks on national issues to lawmakers, trade groups, and students. She also mentors young professionals in public speaking and leadership. Romina immersed herself in Market-Based Management as an intern (2009) and associate (2011- 2012) at the Charles Koch Institute. Previously, she was a policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum and interned at the Cato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies.
With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics from George Mason University, Romina has a firm grounding in classical liberal thought and Austrian economics. It was a conference hosted by FEE, where Romina received a copy of Bastiat’s The Law, which fundamentally reshaped her thinking about the role of government and individual liberty in society and set her on her current career path.
What does FEE mean to Romina?
FEE was my first introduction to classical liberal thought and Austrian economics. As such, FEE has had a tremendous impact on my professional and personal life, shaping my thinking on the role of government and individual liberty in society like no other organization has. FEE also connected me to a network of liberty-minded students and organizations which set me on my current career path. I am deeply grateful to FEE and its supporters for all the ways FEE has impacted my life and work.
Caleb is the director of multimedia at the Cato Institute, where he has hosted the Cato Daily Podcast since 2007 and began producing original videos for Cato soon thereafter. Before moving to Washington, Caleb was a reporter and host at WHAS AM in Louisville, Ky., and he directed the Bluegrass Institute’s successful Kentucky Votes project to move the votes of state lawmakers online.
What does FEE mean to Caleb?
FEE was a critical early contact that helped me in my intellectual development. For that reason it’s always held a special place for me. Today, I’m proud to sit on the alumni board to keep FEE vibrant and effective in the coming years.
Zachary Caceres is the Executive Director of the Startup Cities Institute, a research group that studies competitive governance and the possibilities of building start-up jurisdictions for political and legal reform. SCI is a project of Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. Zach is also editor of the online magazine Radical Social Entrepreneurs.
For work in behavioral political economy, he won the 2011 Carl Menger Essay Contest held by the Southern Economics Association. He has been published or featured by the Boston Phoenix, DigitalCulture.LA, HuffingtonPost Live, Barron’s, Plaza Publica, the Associated Press, Reason.com, AfricanLiberty.org, Adam Smith Institute, John Locke Foundation, Kosmos Online, and the Peer-To-Peer Foundation. He is a contributor to Hayek and Behavioral Economics and Basic Income and the Free Market: Austrian Economics and the Potential for Efficient Redistribution, both published by Palgrave.
What does FEE mean to Zachary?
My first FEE seminar was a turning point in my education. At FEE, I was first exposed to ideas that would inspire the rest of my time in university, and eventually even my career.
Bob Ewing is the Director of Media Relations at the Mercatus Center. Bob has secured news coverage for IJ in hundreds of media outlets, and his unique mountaintop wedding received international media attention spanning six continents. He lectures nationwide on effective communication strategies and has authored 45 published op-eds/articles and three magazine features. Bob provides media training for attorneys, activists, and clients, enabling them to explain complex issues and share personal stories in effective, simple terms. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, and enjoys spending his free time rock climbing with his wife and puppy.
What does FEE mean to Bob?
I never went to graduate school, but I've always considered my time at FEE equivalent to a graduate degree in the freedom philosophy. Through FEE I received a solid education in economics, history, and philosophy. Though FEE I connected with and built relationships with numerous wonderful people, many of whom I am still close friends with today. Several FEE friends played a vital role in my professional development. And, with FEE on my resume, I was able to get my foot in the door and secure a career at IJ. Through FEE I was inspired to continue building myself as an individual, including doing my small part in working towards creating a more free and a more just world.
Phil is a third-year law student at Fordham University School of Law in New York City, and an Articles & Notes Editor of the Fordham Law Review. He worked as a FEE intern in January 2011 and subsequently attended the FEE Advanced Austrian Economics Seminar in August 2011. He used the knowledge he acquired at that seminar to publish a Student Note in the Fordham Law Review that analyzes different zoning practices through public choice economics: Contract & Conditional Zoning Without Romance: A Public Choice Analysis, 81 Fordham L. Rev. 1923 (2013). In addition to his passion for liberty and free market economics, Phil is an avid New York sports fan.
What does FEE mean to Phil?
The 2011 Advanced Austrian Economics Seminar was an amazing experience for me. I learned so much that I have been able to apply to both my career and personal life, but perhaps more importantly I met brilliant present and future leaders of the liberty movement. I am forever grateful to FEE, and its generous donors, for the unforgettable experience.
Lana Harfoush is the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Moving Picture Institute, a nonprofit that promotes freedom through film. A former College of Public Interest Law Fellow at the Pacific Legal Foundation, she filed briefs in courts around the country in the areas of Economic Liberty and Individual Rights. As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, she attended FEE's Advanced Austrian Economics seminar. There, she heard a week's worth of fascinating speakers and developed lasting friendships. She credits FEE with encouraging her to investigate libertarian thought and helping her find direction in the freedom movement.
At UChicago, she earned a B.A. in Law, Letters & Society as well as a minor in visual art. As a Fulbright Grantee in Vienna, Austria from 2008-2009, she conducted research on the Austrian economy and volunteered at the Hayek Institute. She graduated from Pepperdine School of Law in 2012, where she was the school's Federalist Society Chapter President and a Lead Articles Editor for the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Law. She was a Koch Summer Fellow and law clerk at the Pacific Legal Foundation in 2010 as well as a law clerk at the Goldwater Institute in 2011. She has been the Master of Ceremonies at several Students for Liberty regional conferences.
What does FEE mean to Lana?
The first liberty movement event I ever attended was FEE's "Advanced Austrian Economics" seminar. That intellectually stimulating week inspired me to deepen my knowledge of economics and libertarian thought -- without which, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Stephen Macaskill began his Austrian Economics studies as a young teenager. Living in New York at the time he was able to visit and attend seminars at FEE. He attended the University of Rochester where he began specializing in the study of the Austrian business cycle, sound money, and alternative competing currencies, graduating with a degree in financial economics.
After starting Amagi Clothing, a clothing line that embraces individual liberty, Stephen purchased and re-branded Amagi Metals, a global eCommerce precious metals dealer in his senior year. He then graduated from the Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year (KEY) program at the University of Rochester while running his businesses. He now owns and operates Amagi Metals in Denver, CO, where he advocates for personal and financial responsibility. In his free time he loves camping, snowboarding, and cooking.
What does FEE mean to Stephen?
FEE provided me with the resources that were not offered in high school and college: sound economic principles. When I was younger I thought the liberty community only existed on the internet and that there were no other flesh and blood people who thought like myself. This changed when I attended my first FEE Seminar, and I was able to meet like-minded individuals and make amazing friends. The economic concepts advanced by FEE can now be seen in my company's promotion of sound money, economic principles, and individual liberty.
Robert Anthony Peters
Robert Anthony Peters is a proud FEE alum from 2000 and 2001. He completed his BS at the UofA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, was a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow in DC, and trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in NYC. As a member of SAG-AFTRA, he has been acting, producing, and directing professionally in theater, film, voiceover, and more for over a decade. He has been an active libertarian for even longer.
Currently he lectures on the relationship between art and liberty as well as works with academics on getting ready for on camera work, speaking at several Students For Liberty events, the State Policy Network annual conference, Arizona FreedomFest, the Hero’s Journey Conference, Libertopia, PORCfest, FEE seminars, Institute for Liberal Studies Summer Seminar series, and the Free Minds Film Festival. He is president of Laissez Faire Media and the Culture of Liberty Institute and a producer with Ozymandias Media – purveyor of top quality web content for freedom oriented think tanks and businesses. His website is robertanthonypeters.com.
What does FEE mean to Robert?
Attending two FEE seminars during college was a major influence in my intellectual development . Not only was I exposed to ideas that were unpopular at my campus, I also met intellectual leaders and mentors that I am still friends with today. FEE has been a major factor in promoting liberty in the world and I am proud to lecture on its behalf as well as help develop its alumni network.
Anna is currently the Educational Programs Manager at the Charles Koch Institute where she oversees KIP, KAP and experimental programs. Prior to starting at the Charles Koch Institute, Anna served as the Director of Programs and Alumni Relations at the Foundation for Economic Education. Anna also writes a monthly column for CapitalistChicks.com about female entrepreneurship. Anna received her B.A. in Political Science from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and has completed both KIP (2009) and KAP (2010-2011). In addition to having a passion for liberty, Anna also has a passion for Shark Week, and the highlight of her life has been swimming with whale sharks.
What does FEE mean to Anna?
I got my start at FEE, serving as the Director of Educational Programs and Alumni Relations. My time at FEE was inspiring and energizing and I hope to continue to pay that forward as a member of the Alumni Board.
Clark Ruper is a Detroit native and University of Michigan Alumnus with a commitment to community organizing and youth empowerment. Early in college he was inspired by the writings of seminal philosophers Locke, Aristotle, Bastiat, Rand, Rothbard, and Nozick. He went on to take campus leadership rolls with the UM Young Americans for Freedom, College Libertarians, Students of Objectivism, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy among others in addition to rowing on the crew team. Since graduating he has committed himself to a lifelong defense of liberty. In the past few years Clark has worked for many pro-freedom causes such as The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, The Michigan Taxpayers Alliance, and FreedomWorks. In May 2009 he assumed the great honor and burden of being the first full time staffer at Students For Liberty, which due to its focus on student empowerment has expand to over 900 student groups with full time operations on every continent in just under five years.
He has appeared on PBS’s NewsHour, Huckabee, and the STOSSEL Show with his interviews featured in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. From personal experience he believes that student activism is imperative for bringing forth powerful ideas to change the world.
What does FEE mean to Clark?
To me FEE means inspiration. Founder Leonard Read emphasized not just teaching ideas, but teaching character and a positive vibrant worldview. He taught the importance of human connection and being the best possible version of ourselves so we can be an inspiration to others, to be a light in the darkness.
Gonzalo manages the Awards and Grants program for the Atlas Network that include the prestigious Fisher Memorial Award and Templeton Freedom Awards. Additionally he manages the Latin American Program. He currently holds an MA in Economics from George Mason University. He is originally from Uruguay and has lived in four other countries throughout his life. In the past he worked in academics and other non profits. He enjoys participating in academic seminars and was also part of the Koch Foundation Fall internship in 2009. His main hobbies are sports, reading and spending time with his family.What does FEE mean to Gonzalo?
FEE for me is the historical cornerstone of free market economics and think tanks in the United States. With a new sense of urgency to train the young leaders of tomorrow FEE is doing a great service both to its founder and the free enterprise movement as a whole.
Maggie lives in North Carolina with her husband. She is grateful to FEE for providing her with a copy of Bastiat’s The Law, which formed the underpinnings of her economic philosophy from an early age.
What does FEE mean to Maggie?
Every year since 1946, FEE’s impact has grown, indicative of the power of ideas to inspire young minds to great action. I sincerely believe this legacy dissolves any pessimism that may exist about current or future leaders: thanks to FEE, they exist, and are equipped with transformative ideas about the structure of a free and charactered society.