This is an invitation only event. Please contact Stephanie Lips at if you are interested in attending.

Antony Fisher is the “Freedom Fighter you Forget.”  But his vision – of how think tanks can influence public policy, and how the independent think tank model can be replicated on a worldwide basis – is having a tremendous influence on the world around you.

Inspired by F.A. Hayek, Fisher pioneered the modern think tank by founding the Institute of Economic Affairs in London in 1955.  Thatcher credited the Institute with laying the groundwork for her path-breaking economic reforms.  

In 1981, Fisher created the Atlas Network to replace this think tank model wherever possible. Today, Atlas Network connects 471 institutes in 94 countries. 

At our event, “Realizing the Worldwide Vision of Antony Fisher,” you will hear from prominent think tank leaders such as Chip Mellor (Institute for Justice), Dr. Tom G. Palmer (Atlas Network), Dr. Alex Chafuen (Atlas Network) and Zilvinas Silenas (Lithuanian Free Market Institute), about how they are working for economic freedom in parts of the former Soviet Union, in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and right here in the U.S.    

The event kicks off two months of activities to honor the late Antony Fisher’s centennial birthday which occurs on June 28, 2015. 

Location: One Washington Circle Hotel, One Washington Circle NW, Washington D.C., 20037

Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015

Time: 12:00-5:30 p.m.



This program is subject to change. 

 12:00p.m.      Thursday, April 16
12:00 p.m. Luncheon
  Location: Circle Lounge
  Featuring welcoming remarks by Brad Lips (Atlas Network, USA) and presentations by William H. (Chip) Mellor (Institute for Justice, USA) and Zilvinas Silenas (Lithuanian Free Market Institute, Lithuania).
2:00 p.m. Panel:  Gaining a Seat at the Table: How Free Market Think Tanks Make Their Advice Relevant to Public Officials     
  Location: Meridian
  Moderator: Matt Warner (Atlas Network, USA)
                 Svetla Kostadinova (Institute for Market Economics, Bulgaria)
                 Miguel A. Collado (CREES, Dominican Republic)
                 Ali Salman (PRIME, Pakistan)
3:30 p.m. Panel:  Going on Offense: How Free Market Think Tanks Move the Policy Agenda
  Location: Meridian
  Moderator: Alex Chafuen (Atlas Network, USA)
                 Arpita Nepal (Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation, Nepal)
                 Alex Wild (The TaxPayers' Alliance, United Kingdom) 
                 Cristina Berechet (Think Tank Civismo, Spain)
5:00 p.m. Greece, the Eurozone Crisis, Ukraine, and Russia
  Location: Meridian
  Speaker: Dr. Tom. G. Palmer (Atlas Network, USA)


Cristina Berechet is the Head of Research at Civismo, an economic research organization based in Spain. She manages research projects on taxation, fiscal policy, debt, pensions and public expenditures. She also writes articles for the institute’s magazine Expectativas and a monthly column in El Mundo and Expansion; she has also conducted radio and television interviews. She is one of the columnists of the institute’s magazine Expectativas, has conducted radio and TV interviews and writes a monthly column in El Mundo and Expansion. She was formerly the head of research at Institucion Futuro. During her years at Institucion Futuro, the think tank received the Templeton Freedom Award in Public Relations for Navarra’s Tax Freedom Day campaign. She has a degree in economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Romania and a Master’s in Economics and Finance from University of Navarra. In 2014 Civismo's low taxes campaign for Spain named finalist for 2014 Templeton Freedom Award.

Alejandro A. Chafuen (Alex), PH.D. serves as President of Atlas Network and has previously served as President and CEO from 1991-2009, and was elected to its Board in 2009. He joined Atlas Network in 1985 and worked alongside Sir Antony Fisher. He is a trustee of Grove City College, and member of its Governance and Development Committees. He has been a member of the Mont Pelerin Society since 1980 and a member of its membership committee. A graduate of the Argentina Catholic University, he was Associate Professor at the Argentine Catholic University, University of Buenos Aires, and The Hispanic American University, CA. Dr. Chafuen serves on several boards including the Chase Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, the Fraser Institute (Canada), and is Honorary Active Member and member of the Member’s Committee of the John Templeton Foundation, the World Charity Foundation and The Templeton Religion Trust. He is member of the board of advisors of The Philanthropic Enterprise, and was member of the founding committee of Donors Trust. He is also the president and founder of the Hispanic American Center of Economic Research and is the author of Faith and Liberty. He is a regular contributor to writing a column “Intellectual Entrepreneurs” focusing on think tanks and policy scholars. He received the Global Leadership Award (2010) from the Leadership Institute (US), the Bow Group (U.K.), the World Congress of Families/Howard Center for Family, and recently received the 2014 Walter Judd Freedom Award. His book Faith and Liberty about the Christian roots of free market economics has been published in several editions in seven countries. In 2010, Atlas Network recognized Alex for 25 years of service.

Miguel A. Collado Di Franco  is Senior Economist at Centro Regional de Estrategias Económicas Sostenibles (CREES), a free market-oriented public policy and research think tank in the Dominican Republic. He has a Bachelors degree in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Católica Maestra (PUCMM) and a Master of International Business Studies (MIBS) from the University of South Carolina. During his career, he has held various positions in multinational companies, and has been consultant for the Multilateral Investment Fund, United Nations Development Program for Development (UNDP) and the National Bureau of Statistics of the Dominican Republic. During the last two years, he has worked in two important initiatives: the Fiscal Responsibility and the Reform to the Tax Code bills. Both legislative proposals were drafted by CREES, and presented to the Dominican society as part of a Comprehensive Fiscal Reform project.

Svetla Kostadinova is the executive director of the Institute for Market Economics (IME) in Bulgaria ( IME is the first and oldest independent economic policy think tank in Bulgaria. Ms. Kostadinova joined IME in 2001 and in 2007 was elected by the Board of the Institute as its second executive director. For many years she has been the editor of the weekly IME bulletin Economic Policy Review and the monthly IME Tax bulletin. Her areas of expertise include labor market, tax policy, government efficiency and regulation impact assessment. Ms Kostadinova published numerous articles and is a regular participant in TV and radio shows on issues related to the Bulgarian and Central-East European transitions to market economy and democracy. 

Brad Lips is the CEO of the Atlas Network, a non-profit that strengthens the freedom movement by connecting and providing services to more than 400 free-market think tanks in 90 countries. He joined Atlas Network in 1998 believing sound policy ideas are best spread by organizations using sound business practices. Brad received his MBA from Emory University and his BA from Princeton University. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 1998, he worked on Wall Street at Smith Barney Inc. Earlier in his career, he worked with online businesses and dabbled in music journalism. Brad is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and the John Templeton Foundation. He coauthored The Reagan Vision, published by the Goldwater Institute in 2004, and contributed to Freedom Champions, published by Atlas Network in 2011. More recently, his articles have appeared in American ThinkerRealClearPoliticsNational Review Online, ForbesFox NewsAmerican Spectator and The Daily Caller. He speaks widely on the morality of free enterprise and the international freedom champions connected by the Atlas Network.

William H. (Chip) Mellor serves as President and General Counsel of the Institute for Justice, which he co-founded in 1991.  He litigates cutting-edge constitutional cases nationwide protecting economic liberty, property rights, school choice, and the First Amendment.  IJ is headquartered in Arlington, Va., and has offices in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington state.  IJ pursues strategic public interest litigation that combines courtroom advocacy with award-winning media relations, activism, and strategic research to secure constitutional protection for individual rights. Under Mellor’s leadership, the Institute for Justice has litigated five U.S. Supreme Court cases, winning all but one. Mellor co-authored with the Cato Institute’s Bob Levy The Dirty Dozen:  How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom, which examines 12 Supreme Court cases that effectively amended the Constitution and profoundly reshaped the role of government in America.

Prior to founding IJ, Mellor served as president of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, a nationally recognized “think tank” located in San Francisco. Mellor also served in the Reagan Administration as Deputy General Counsel for Legislation and Regulations in the Department of Energy, and from 1979 to 1983, he practiced public interest law with Mountain States Legal Foundation in Denver.  Mellor received his J.D. from the University of Denver School of Law in 1977.  He graduated from Ohio State University in 1973.

Arpita Nepal helped build the first free market think tank in Nepal, Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation. She is currently working as the Director of Research and Communication at the foundation. As a graduate of Economics, Arpita has helped build the research base of Samriddhi, which has been recognised around town as an institute that provides new and alternative ways of thinking about Nepali problems. She successfully helped design and deliver the award winning educational program on Economics and Entrepreneurship - Arthalaya conducted by Samriddhi. Her interest areas include public choice and institutional economics. She has published several articles in leading national dailies and directed and edited several of Samriddhi's in house research on Nepal's economic issues.

Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. 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, as well as 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 TimesDie Welt, CaixingAl Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), and Peace, Love & Liberty (2014). 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.

Ali Salman is the founder and Executive Director of Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME), an economic policy think tank based at Islamabad. Prior to setting up PRIME in 2013, Ali has worked as a consultant economist for major international development organisations and non-profits in Pakistan and other countries. He is author of more than thirty independent studies, reports and monographs on wide range of topics including regional trade, public finance, economic reforms, competition policy, innovation policy, private sector development, corporate governance, international development, and youth policy. Ali is author of Price Controls: Implications for Liberty and Welfare, and Discord between Economic Freedom and Social Justice in Islam. He has worked in the government, private sector and academia. Ali is a visiting fellow at Institute of Economic Affairs, London; an alumnus of International Academy of Leadership, Germany and Atlas Leadership Academy, USA. He is also affiliated in advisory capacity with several international organisations including Istanbul Network for Liberty; Association for Freedom Research, Turkey; and Free Enterprise and Democracy Network, USA. He holds master degrees in Economics, Public Policy and Business Administration. Ali writes op-eds for Express Tribune, a partner publication with New York Times.

Zilvinas Silenas joined the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI) in 2006, after graduating from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 2005. He became president of LFMI in 2011. His field of analysis at LFMI encompasses energy, transport and competition policies. Zilvinas participated in several high-level working groups of legislation of energy, was a member of working groups of “Sunset” (reform and closing down government agencies), and “Sunrise” (cutting red tape, improving conditions for businesses) commissions for the Lithuanian government. Zilvinas has also worked as a teacher of Economics and an adviser to a CEO of an energy company.

LFMI was the winner of Atlas Network's 2014 prestigious $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award for its Municipal Performance Index for Freedom and Free Enterprise.

Matt Warner is Vice President of Programs and Institute Relations and works with the programs and institute relations teams to strategically and effectively deliver Atlas Network's many services designed to strengthen pro-liberty think tanks throughout the world. Prior to joining Atlas Network, Matt served in several policy and leadership positions at free-market organizations including the James Madison Institute in Florida and the American Legislative Exchange Council in Washington, D.C. His work has been published in the Washington Times,, Budget & Tax News, as well as many daily and weekly newspapers throughout the U.S. He has testified before several state legislative bodies on issues related to expanding liberty for individuals, particularly in educational choice and energy policy. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Florida State University and a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University.

Alex Wild joined The TaxPayers’ Alliance as an intern in August 2012 and became a full-time member of staff in January 2013. Alex is head of the research team. He has worked on numerous reports on subjects like councillors’ allowances and the taxpayer funding of trade unions. He has also prepared evidence submitted to a Commons Select Committee and had articles published in national newspapers. Before joining the TPA, Alex worked for a business research firm in India providing top management from some of the world’s leading companies with economic insight and analysis. He also worked on a successful election campaign where he was part of the research and operations teams.