Atlanta– The Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is pleased to announce that Zilvinas Silenas has been appointed to serve as the organization’s 11th president, succeeding Lawrence W. Reed this spring. Mr. Silenas brings to FEE over a decade of free-market think tank leadership, together with an energetic belief in the power of education in the principles of freedom to improve both the lives of individuals and the course of humanity worldwide.
“Zilvinas has demonstrated strong leadership and innovative thinking as the leader of one of the most successful liberty-oriented organizations in Europe,” said FEE’s Chairman Roger Ream. “I speak for the entire board in expressing utmost confidence in his ability to lead our exceptional team at FEE forward to continued growth and great accomplishments on behalf of liberty.”
Mr. Silenas has served as the President of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) since 2011, during which time the organization has won two prestigious Templeton Freedom Awards (in 2014 and 2016) for excellence in public policy and education. Additionally, Mr. Silenas was named the most quoted opinion leader in Lithuania for 2017, and is the co-author of a textbook on economics entitled Economics in 31 Hours (Ekonomika per 31 valandą), which is the source from which 80% of Lithuanian high school students are now learning economics. He joined LFMI in 2006 as a senior policy analyst, and has worked concurrently as a high school teacher, college economics lecturer, and advisor to the CEO of the formerly largest energy company in Lithuania. He earned a baccalaureate in the UK and a bachelor’s degree in economics at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, as well as a master’s degree in economics in Lithuania.
“Zilvinas brings sterling qualities to the job of president of FEE: passion for our principles, people skills in management and relationship-building and experience in growing one of Europe’s best free-market think tanks,” said FEE’s outgoing President Lawrence W. Reed.
“He knows first-hand of the challenges of explaining liberty in difficult places. I couldn’t be prouder of what FEE accomplished in the past decade and of the privilege of turning the reins over to a man of Zilvinas’s accomplishments. FEE’s future is brighter than ever.”
Mr. Silenas succeeds Lawrence Reed following a decade of Reed’s transformational leadership that has placed FEE back at the forefront of the free-market educational movement. Founded in 1946, FEE re-focused in 2008 to primarily address high school and college students. Having relocated to Atlanta from its historic headquarters in Irvington, New York, FEE now projects itself worldwide, including on its website, FEE.org, which is now consumed by over 1 million people monthly.
“I speak for the entire staff when I say that Larry Reed has been FEE’s most transformational leader since Leonard Read founded our great organization in 1946,” said FEE’s Executive Vice President Richard N. Lorenc. “We will miss his principled leadership day to day, and are excited to continue working with him in his new role as President Emeritus. Going forward, we could not be more excited to work with Zilvinas, particularly given his wealth of experience in communicating both the benefits and the meaning of free markets into mainstream society.”
“I am pleased and honored to follow Larry Reed’s impressive tenure as President of FEE,” commented Mr. Silenas. “I look forward to working with FEE’s extremely talented staff to continue expanding the audience for freedom with young people throughout the U.S. and around the world. I strongly believe that policy victories for liberty will be short-lived unless we capture the hearts and minds of the public in general, and of the rising generation in particular.”
FEE has been a leading non-profit organization in teaching the principles of a free society since its founding in 1946 by Leonard E. Read. Today, FEE focuses on introducing freedom as a life philosophy to young newcomers, striving to bring about a world in which the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society are familiar, credible, and compelling to the next generation. FEE produces the annual FEEcon event, student seminars, free online courses, classroom resources, and engaging classic and contemporary content available at FEE.org and on social media. FEE is supported solely by contributions from individuals, private foundations, and businesses and by the sale of our publications. We invite you to advance liberty with us at FEE.org.