KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Patrick M. Byrne - Overstock.com, USA

In late 1999, Patrick M. Byrne launched Overstock.com, and in 2001, he launched Worldstock Fair Trade, an Overstock.com division selling handcrafted products from artisans in developing nations.

In 2010, Forbes magazine named Overstock.com the No. 9 Best Company to Work for in the Country, and Byrne the CEO with the highest employee approval rating (92%). In 2011, Ernst & Young gave Byrne its National Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2014, Overstock.com was one of the Most Trustworthy Companies in America as named by Forbes/MSCI ESG Research.

Since Milton Friedman’s passing in 2006, Byrne has served as chairman of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice (now “EdChoice”), an organization leading the national push for school choice.

Byrne received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Asian studies from Dartmouth College, a master’s in philosophy from Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and a doctorate in philosophy from Stanford University. Having taught at the university level, he is a frequent guest lecturer discussing internet commerce, capital markets, Wall Street practices, education, leadership and ethics.

Click here to view Patrick Byrne's full bio.

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

Martin Ågerup - Center for Political Studies (CEPOS), Denmark

Martin Ågerup is president of CEPOS, a free market think tank located in Copenhagen, Denmark, which he co-founded in 2004. He has a B.Sc. in Economics and Economic History from the University of Bristol, UK, and a MA in European Economics from the University of Exeter, UK. He is a former research fellow at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies and aids the decision-making process in both public and private organizations by creating awareness of the future and highlighting its importance to the present. Martin has also worked as a management consultant specializing in business development and strategy for government and corporate clients and ran his own small start-up management consultancy. During those years he took part in more than 100 events per year as a professional speaker. Martin is former chairman of Addition, an IT consulting business providing web solutions and a former member of the Executive Committee of the Danish European Movement. He has written four books and contributed to numerous anthologies. Martin writes a column on ethics for a Danish national paper, blogs at another and appears regularly in both print and electronic media.

Daniel Anthony - Atlas Network, USA

Daniel Anthony is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications & Training at Atlas Network. He joined the team in 2014. He received his MBA in International Business from The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and his BA in Foreign Languages from Illinois State University. Prior to joining the Atlas Network, Daniel worked with one of the U.S.’s leading state-based, free-market think tanks, the Illinois Policy Institute. During his time there he oversaw all marketing and communications, playing a key role in winning a Templeton Freedom Award and an SPNovation Award. Prior to that, he worked as manager of client strategy and brand activation for Saatchi & Saatchi S, the sustainability division of the global ideas firm Saatchi & Saatchi. While with Saatchi, he worked with Walmart, General Mills, Procter & Gamble and NBCUniversal. Daniel has appeared on various media outlets, including Univision, FOX Chicago News, NBC Chicago and WGN Radio, focusing on topics such as government transparency and marketing and communications analysis. Daniel grew up living in Mexico and Singapore. He currently resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife Denise, and they spend their free time enjoying all things film, brunch, and southern Italian cuisine.

Lawson Bader- DonorsTrust, USA

Lawson Bader has served as president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund since 2015. Before coming to DonorsTrust, he amassed twenty years’ experience leading free market research and advocacy groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He began his career in DC as special assistant on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, then worked as a legislative analyst/paralegal with Pierson, Semmes & Finley. He also managed government relations at SRI International. He is a former weekly columnist with Human Events, and serves on the governing boards of the Atlas Network, State Policy Network, Oakseed Ministries International, and Solers, Inc. Lawson earned a BA in political science from Wheaton College (IL) and an MA in public policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

Alejandro Chafuen - International of Acton Institute, USA

Alejandro “Alex” Antonio Chafuen is Managing Director, International, of the Acton Institute. He is former president of the Atlas Network. A U.S. citizen, born in Argentina in 1954, and a graduate of the Argentine Catholic University and Grove City College, Chafuen received his Doctorate under Dr. Hans F. Sennholz, a disciple of Ludwig von Mises and an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín. His book Faith and Liberty has been translated into Chinese, Polish, Czech, Italian, Slovenian and Spanish. He has been a member of the Mont Pelerin Society since 1980 and immediate past President of the Philadelphia Society. In 2014, he received the Walter Judd Freedom Award from the Fund for American Studies, in 2017 the Mengzi–Marco Polo Award from ASECIC (Italy), and in 2018 the Juan de Mariana Award from the Instituto Juan de Mariana. Chafuen is trustee of Grove City College, the Fraser Institute, Fundación Internacional para La Libertad (Madrid), The Awakening Foundation, CEDICE US (Venezuela), the International Freedom Educational Foundation, and the Chase Foundation of Virginia. He is also a member of the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, and the World Charity Foundation.

Robert Enlow - EdChoice, USA

Before the establishment of EdChoice in 2016, he was an integral part of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice since its founding in 1996. Robert served as fundraiser, projects coordinator, vice president and executive director prior to being named president and CEO of the Foundation in 2009.

Under his leadership, the Friedman Foundation—now EdChoice—has become one of the nation’s most respected and successful advocates for educational choice, working in dozens of states to advance its vision by disseminating research, sponsoring seminars, undertaking advertising campaigns, organizing community leaders, and more.

Robert is the co-editor of “Liberty and Learning: Milton Friedman’s Voucher Idea at Fifty,” author of “Grading Vouchers: Ranking America’s School Choice Programs,” and co-author of “School Choice: A Reform that Works” and a chapter in “An Education Agenda: Let Parents Choose Their Children’s School.” His opinions have appeared in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Arizona Republic, National Review, and USA Today.

Robert has served as private sector chairman of the Education Task Force for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that also recognized him as the Private Sector Member of the Year. He is also a board member of School Choice Ohio, Hoosiers for Quality Education, Carpe Diem Indiana and the Economic Club of Indiana and serves on the Indiana State Advisory Committee for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Robert lives in Indianapolis and has two children, Jefferson and Charles.

Ma Junjie - Unirule, China

Mr. MA Junjie is a member of Mont Pelerin Society, researcher at China’s most esteemed private think-tank and the acting Director of its International Cooperation Centre, and Associate Researcher at Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE). He is also an alumnus of International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) of the US Department of State, and a two-time alumnus of International Academy for Leadership (IAF) of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). He has been a regular speaker at Asia Liberty Forum, CIFE’s annual and special conferences, and foreign embassies in Beijing.

Mr. Junjie is also a columnist for multiple major Chinese newspapers and journals, such as China Business Journal(中国经营报), The Economic Observer(经济观察报), and Caixin Media(财新传媒), and a regular contributor to international media outlets, such as The Diplomat, Yicai Global, Foundation for Economics Education (FEE), and L’Europe en Formation. As of March 2018, Mr. MA Junjie is Founder and CEO of ENC International Advisory Group — a private business — and the Executive Director of ENC Centre for Global Affairs, a liberal think tank.

Click here to view Junjie's full bio. 

Brad Lips - Atlas Network, USA

Brad Lips has served as Atlas Network's Chief Executive Officer since 2009, after previously acting as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 1998, Lips conducted equity research for Smith Barney Inc. and policy research for the Progress & Freedom Foundation. He co-founded an Internet startup (subsequently sold to DoubleDutch), after spending his first years out of college at an online service provider while writing for music magazines. Lips is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and chaired the Organizing Committee of its 2016 General Meeting in Miami. He is a member of the John Templeton Foundation, Templeton World Charity Foundation, and Templeton Religion Trust. His articles have appeared in The Daily CallerNational Review OnlineForbesFox NewsAmerican SpectatorAmerican Thinker, and RealClearPolitics. Lips speaks widely on free enterprise as a solution to poverty, and on the international freedom champions connected by Atlas Network. 

Rejoice Ngwenya - Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions (COMALISO), Zimbabwe

Rejoice Ngwenya is Founder and  Executive Director of Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions (COMALISO) in Zimbabwe. He is also a graduate of the Cato University and Friedrich Naumann Foundation liberal training. He is also a property rights researcher, advocate, writer and political analyst.

Eric O’Keefe - Citizens for Self-Governance, USA

Eric O’Keefe has been active in libertarian organizations for forty years. In 2013 prosecutors in Wisconsin conducted pre-dawn raids on family homes and slapped gag orders on O’Keefe and others. O’Keefe risked jail by defying the gag order and filing suits against prosecutors and regulators. Justice Michael Gableman of the Wisconsin Supreme Court captured the impact in a decision terminating the investigation: “It is fortunate, indeed, for every other citizen of this great State who is interested in the protection of fundamental liberties that the special prosecutor chose as his targets innocent citizens who had both the will and the means to fight the unlimited resources of an unjust prosecution.”

Stephanie Giovanetti Lips - DonorsTrust, USA

Stephanie Giovanetti Lips joined DonorsTrust in 2018 as a philanthropy advisor with a general focus on planned giving.  Before joining DonorsTrust, Stephanie led the events department at Atlas Network, leading its international expansion to organize annual events in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. She also took on major gift officer responsibilities and headed up its planned giving program. Stephanie has consulted on events and fundraising for organizations such as The American Spectator, the Future of Freedom Foundation, National Association of Chemical Distributors and Johnson and Johnson. Stephanie attended Marymount University and has a B.A. in English Literature. When not working for DonorsTrust or mentoring think tank leaders from within the Atlas Network or speaking on topics close to her heart, like planned giving, Stephanie loves listening to the giggles of her children and the panting of her dog, Scooby Doo.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer - Atlas Network, USA

Dr. 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. On Nov. 10, 2016, Dr. Tom G. Palmer was named the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty at Atlas Network. 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 WeltCaixingAl 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), Peace, Love & Liberty (2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). 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.

Casey Pifer - Atlas Network, USA

Casey Pifer is the Director of Institute Relations at Atlas Network. She manages the grants and awards programs of Atlas Network, including Lights, Camera, Liberty and the Liberating Enterprise to Advance Prosperity program. Originally from West Virginia, Casey joined Atlas Network in 2014 on the events team and has since transitioned to become the institute relations associate director. She received her bachelor's degree in economics and political science from West Virginia University in 2014.

Dr. Bican Şahin - Freedom Research Association, Turkey

Dr. Bican Şahin, Ph.D. is chairman of Atlas Network Partner Freedom Research Association in Ankara, Turkey.

Dr. Roberto Salinas León - Center for Latin American Policy Analysis, Atlas Network

Dr. Roberto Salinas León will assume the role as Director of the Center for Latin American Policy Analysis at Atlas Network in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Salinas is well-positioned to elevate the work of Atlas Network and its partners in Latin America. He is currently President of the Mexico Business Forum, as well as the President of Alamos Alliance, which was described glowingly in Forbes in 2013 as “one of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman’s favorite retreats,” with Roberto Salinas León noted as “a major driving force of efforts for free markets.”

Roberto Salinas León holds a B.A. in Political Economy, History and Philosophy from Hillsdale College, Michigan; and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue University, Indiana.

He has been an Adjunct Professor and Visiting Professor of Political Economy at the Escuela Libre de Derecho (1989-2002), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1989-1992) and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, in Mexico City (since 2004). He was also a Visiting Professor of Universidad Francisco Marroquín, in Guatemala (1997).

To view his full bio click here. 

Joe Scarlett - The Scarlett Family Foundation, USA

Joe Scarlett spent thirty years in leadership roles with Tractor Supply Company most as President and Chairman. Today Joe is engaged in teaching and writing about leadership, working in the family foundation and striving to improve Tennessee. In 1982 Joe played a key role in the initiative to return the company to profitability through improved customer service and focused product selection as part of a classic leveraged buyout. He was instrumental in developing the company culture which today is admired and often copied.  In 1994 Joe led the successful effort to take the company public. Tractor Supply Company was honored by Forbes as one of the “Best Managed Companies in America” and Scarlett was recognized as Ernst & Young’s Southeast Entrepreneur of the Year. Joe also served twenty years on the board of the nation’s largest retail trade organization, including four as its chairman.

Today Joe is:

  • Working with daughter Tara Scarlett in The Scarlett Family Foundation seeking to support and improve education in the community. Our mission: We advocate, invest, and work to ensure that all students in Middle Tennessee have access to a high-quality education.
  • Working with his son Andrew Scarlett in his recently formed Scarlett Hotel Group now operating four hotels.
  • Serving as vice-chairman of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, a nonpartisan research organization advocating for limited government, free markets and individual liberty at the state level.
  • Coaching management and leadership skills for business and community leaders young and old.

Joe is also the very proud father of two incredible children – Tara and Andrew. He spends time with the family including the four and soon to be five fabulous grandchildren. He and his wife Dorothy are nearly inseparable after 48 wonderful years.

Edward Stringham - American Institute for Economic Research, USA

Edward Peter Stringham is the President of the American Institute for Economic Research,  Davis Professor of Economic Organizations and Innovation at Trinity College, and editor of the Journal of Private Enterprise. He is also the editor of two books and author of more than seventy journal articles, book chapters, and policy studies. His work has been discussed on more than 100 broadcast stations, including CBS, CNBC, CNN, Headline News, NPR, and MTV. A frequent guest on Fox News and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. In 2016 Rise Global ranked Stringham as the 77th most influential economist. His book, Private Governance: Creating Order in Economic and Social Life, is published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Lyall Swim - Atlas Network, USA

Dr. Lyall Swim is the director of training at Atlas Network. In his role, Lyall provides leadership for the entire suite of Atlas Network training offerings. For the past 17 years, he has engaged with more than 20,000 adult learners in dozens of organizations around the world. His focus has been to build increased leadership and operational capacity and enable organizations to successfully navigate various forms of change. He is a sought after speaker on ethics, leadership, innovation adoption, and education innovation. As the director of operations for Sutherland Institute, Lyall helped lead a redesign of the organization that enabled the Institute to better leverage the strengths of each staff member and increase the profile and influence of the Institute in Utah. Lyall holds a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in organization leadership from Pepperdine University. He also holds a bachelor’s in communications and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University. His research and writing on leadership, ethics, education reform, adult learning, and innovation adoption have been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals and various local and national outlets. Above all, Lyall enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three teenage children.

Matt Warner - Atlas Network, USA

Matt Warner is Chief Operating Officer of Atlas Network. In this role he supports the strategic evolution of Atlas Network's Coach, Compete, Celebrate approach to strengthening a global network of research and advocacy organizations all committed to expanding economic freedom for all people. As Senior Fellow, he writes and speaks on organizational development, change leadership, economic development and nonprofit strategy, most recently as a guest on the popular EconTalk podcast with Hoover Institution's Russ Roberts. His work has been published in the Cato Journal, the Washington Times, Forbes.com, Fee.org, as well as many daily and weekly newspapers throughout the United States. 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. He is also certified by Georgetown University in organizational consulting and change leadership.

Jeff Zysik - DonorsTrust, USA

Jeff Zysik is an attorney and accountant with fifteen years of tax planning experience, focusing primarily on sophisticated estate and income tax concepts. Before joining DonorsTrust, he was managing-director and co-founder of Charitable Entity Administration, LLC (CEA). Before launching CEA, Jeff served as Director-in-Charge of strategy development at myCFO’s national tax group. He also spent five years with KPMG LLP–one year in a tax practice office, three years with the firm’s Washington National Tax Personal Financial Planning practice and a final year serving as Director-in-Charge of the firm’s South Florida Personal Financial Planning practice. Admitted to the New York State Bar, Jeff holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from George Washington University, a Master in Public Accounting-Tax degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a JD degree from George Mason University.