See what your friends and co-workers are talking about. Get all these amazing benefits when you join the premiere network of liberty-minded young professional leaders.
10. Career Tips From Experts
Top professionals in the liberty movement are a consistent part of AFF’s Free the Future Blog, the Doublethink Magazine, and our monthly events. Thinking about Law School or a Master’s degree? Don’t know if you want to serve in public sector, work in a non-profit, or engage the free market? AFF’s staff brings you expert insight to make the most of your next career move!
9. Attend Unique Professional Development Seminars
For young professionals straight out of college, many questions are left unanswered about actually getting to business in the liberty movement. AFF will help you master the basics and impress your boss through our workshops and monthly events. We cover a wide gamut of skill development, from figuring out how Direct Mailing works to writing constituent mail. If you want to get down to work—these are the events for you.
8. Get Published and Noticed by Major Media
Ever read the news and roll your eyes at the pure lack of journalistic integrity (unless you’re reading Joel Gehrke or Tim Carney of course)? Know you can contribute to the discussion? Perhaps you want practice? Or maybe you’re looking for new media attention? No matter what your means, AFF is the outlet for you. Our widely read Doublethink Magazine and Free the Future Blog is always looking to give voice to passionate young conservatives. Don’t just sit there—Get Published By AFF!!
7. Attend AFF’s Most Anticipated Event: The Gala
Our Annual Gala is a sight to behold! If you do not make this party, you are missing out on great networking, a great celebrity host, and hours of wining and dining. Hundreds of young conservatives gather for this event every year. And this year promises to be better than ever!
6. Gain Valuable Public Speaking Skills
Has it been a few years since your speech class in College? No worries! With America’s Future Foundation summer public speaking program at the Leadership Institute, you can brush up on your skills and learn great insight from speech professionals—not just some cranky professor! In addition to this workshop, brief public speaking often happens at our events, but in a more casual and less stressful style.
5. Intimate Leadership Dinners
Twice a year, America Future Foundation invites you to join a special guest for a dinner. Guests in years past included Ed Feulner, Rand Paul, and Justice Scalia. These intimate occasions give you the opportunity to meet leaders in the liberty movement.
4. Making Friends in Conservative Movement
Often at networking events you meet people with whom you simply connect. Beyond just being acquaintances, you get to know these people on personal levels, spend time with them outside of politics (yes, that’s possible in DC), and know what they’re up too throughout the years. DC is a city of transplants; folks are always in need of some new best friends. Meet them at an AFF event this month!
3. Influence Liberty Movement Policy
At least once a month, AFF holds events, including Policy Roundtables, to discuss politics and policy. These events offer a great chance to meet other young conservatives in your field and ask detailed questions to policy experts from Capitol Hill, CATO, AEI, Mercatus Center, CEI, and many more. Your perspective is important to the debate today and in the future—make sure it is heard!
2. Exposed to a Great Network—at a DISCOUNT!
America’s Future Foundation would be nothing without our fantastic members. Our dynamic membership ranges from Hill staff to non-profit Executives, from conservative media commentators to people just wanting to fight for freedom and liberty. With your membership, you will be exposed to AFF’s massive conservative network all over the country. Looking for a job in Chicago? We’ll introduce the Chicago AFF chapter to you and also see whom in our network is looking to hire a skilled, passionate conservative like yourself.
Was it mentioned you can do this at a DISCOUNT? Yep! In addition to sharing a common bond with conservatives across the country, you’ll get to attend all these great events mentioned above at reduced rates. Events held seemingly every week all over the DC area allow you to expand on your own network, advancing your career and personal goals! Join today!!
1. Advancing Liberty
Because Prices are Going Up after May 10th!
Capitol Hill is an interesting beast. It is fast paced, with long hours, and run by recent college grads in their 20s. Over 90 percent of staff assistants and legislative correspondents, and 80 percent of legislative assistants are in their 20s.For young professionals who land an internship or even a low level position, it is a paradox to be in the center of opportunities on the Hill, yet little time and resources to take full advantage of it.
This week, a former staffer has endeavored to solve this paradox by launching OnCapHill.com. This is an exclusive professional online networking site for Congress and their staff, that provides tools to maintain employment, increase staff communication, and aid easy access to networking events.
Building your career on the Hill is all about networking. The top two sources for hiring on the Hill are from internal emailing lists between Chiefs of Staff (40%), and referrals by current employees (36.6%). This is happening on a regular basis. Congress experiences 63.2% turnover among staff assistants alone. Particularly with inters’ limited time on the Hill, their ability to stay connected is essential to landing a job.
OnCapHill enhances the networking capabilities of these young professionals on the Hill. Staffers can create exclusive profiles, connect with other staffers, and view the many opportunities to network at receptions and happy hours.
OnCapHill is also perfect for non-profits, lobbying firms, and trade associations to reach out to staffers by posting their happy hours and receptions on the site. These networking opportunities are fundamental in seeking careers off the Hill. In 2010, the top 3 ventures after leaving a congressional office were another congressional office (33.3%), graduate school (22.2%), and lobby firm (10%).
But not all young professional want to stay in Washington, DC. OnCapHill.com is revolutionary in that it finally connects staffers in DC offices to staffers in the State district offices. Not only is this a public benefit, but a helpful tool for young professionals.
Name: Jason Riddle
College: University of Georgia
Job/Company Title: Senior Manager for a Management Consulting Firm & America’s Future Foundation Atlanta Chapter Leader
Have you always known you wanted a career in advancing liberty? If no; how did you get involved in the liberty movement?
Out of college I started working at one of the larger business consulting firms. I worked there for five years. The experience was great, but I did not love what I was doing. It was around the time of the onset of the financial crisis and the 2008 presidential election that the spark was ignited for me. I owe the initial inspiration to three books in particular. I read Atlas Shrugged, The Law, and Economics in One Lesson and my world was forever changed. After that I began to devour countless books, articles, videos, and audio lectures from the great thinkers, past and present. The more I learned about the ideas of liberty and sound economics, ideas to which I was never even exposed in public school, the more passionate I became about communicating the message of freedom.
I decided to make the change. I put myself in a position to be able to take the risk of leaving a stable job and making the leap into the unknown. At the time, I knew I wanted to get into the field of ideas, but I did not know exactly what shape my journey would take.
I began taking a few classes at a local university and writing for several websites and blogs. By chance, I met local radio show host who needed help putting together material for segments. After about a month of helping with research, I found myself doing a few spots on the air and then became a regular co-host for a free-market talk show on the business station here in Atlanta. I was fortunate enough to be an on-air host for two years, broadcasting five days a week and interviewing my favorite economists, authors, and policy experts.
How do you specifically advance liberty?
The experience of making the leap to follow my passion and focus on advancing the cause of liberty has opened so many wonderful opportunities for me. Although I am no longer hosting the radio program, I still podcast from time to time at LibertyOutLoud.com, and I do interviews on other liberty-oriented talk shows.
I blog regularly for FreedomUnfiltered.com and have been published in the Freeman and local publications such as the Peachtree Papers. One of the biggest pieces of advice I have for anyone wanting a career advancing liberty is to write, write, write.
I am the co-founder of the Rothbard Circle, a free-market discussion group in Atlanta. And, of course, one of the most enjoyable things I am doing right now is leading the AFF-Atlanta chapter!
I think it is very important that I donate what I can in terms of time and money to the wonderful organizations that do such a great job promoting these ideas and cultivating our future leaders.
How has AFF helped you advance your career?
AFF is a tremendously powerful networking platform. I have been able to develop strong relationships with many engaged, liberty-minded individuals even beyond the group of regular attendees to our events in Atlanta. I am now connected to numerous AFF members around the country, the featured presenters that we have hosted, and the leadership from several large organizations advancing the cause of liberty.
Additionally, being active on the local chapter leadership team has given me the opportunity to enhance my organizational and communication skills, as well as gain experience in an area that is new to me: development and fundraising!
What is a challenge that you’ve had to face in your career and how did you handle it?
The biggest challenge for me was making the decision to jump from safety into the unknown to follow my passion for advancing the cause of liberty. It was one of the best decisions I have made. With hard work and dedication to your goals, the rest seems to follow. You don’t always know where you are going to end up, but once you get started the opportunities will present themselves.
Nobody is going to take charge of your career for you. All too often, people passively look to others to guide their path or they coast along some established path. Many people have a habit of waiting for somebody to give them something. I see this a lot in the business world, and I see it frequently in people pursuing liberty-focused careers as well. If you want to take on more responsibility or gain responsibility in a given area – ask for it. You should actively seek guidance and advice from professional mentors. Leverage career resources that are provided by organizations like AFF. You are going to have to take charge and shape your own career. Finally, every day of employment should be a voluntary, mutually-beneficial arrangement. Make sure you are maximizing the intangible benefits you are getting out of it.
Oftentimes, those of us who have been immersed in the ideas of liberty are extremely passionate and excited to share what we have learned. Sometimes our approach can be overwhelming for the people who have not been exposed to these ideas. When talking to people new to the ideas of liberty, I have found it better to ask questions as opposed to trying to preach first principles in abstract and theoretical terms. Treat the conversation as if you are both trying to get closer to the truth. Don’t preach, ask questions, plant seeds…. liberty does a good job selling itself!
Help AFF improve its programs by filling out this survey. You could win a $50 iTunes gift card, free AFF membership, or tickets to the 2013 AFF Gala!
Here are the most popular articles from America’s Future Foundation in 2012:
“Hey there, hot stuff. We should go out. I’m smart, witty, have great personal hygiene, and I can quote Dodgeball from start to finish.” Think of your cover letter as a similar pitch—only in your out-loud voice and not related to Dodgeball. Read More
2. Ayn Rand Defended Individual Freedom
by Amanda Carey and Justin Lesniewski
The days following the addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket have been difficult for anyone who admires, appreciates, or respects the ideas of philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand…Read More
3. Should I Go to Law School?
by Roger Pilon
It’s never easy to answer, but it’s especially difficult in this very uncertain legal market. So let’s start with some practical considerations…Read More
4. Big Government Should Not Redefine Marriage
by Ryan T. Anderson
Is there really “something highly contradictory,” as Kathryn Shelton argued here on Doublethink, about a position that “advocates the regulation of marriage, but rallies behind a platform for smaller government”? Read More
The case for tarring as “activists” justices who question the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is even less persuasive than the administration’s floundering attempts to square the law with notions of federalism and limited government…Read More
6. Don’t Sabotage Your Resume: 3 Mistakes to Avoid
by Andrea McCarthy
As a recruiter, I see hundreds of resumes a week, and several stand out to me for good reasons…Read More
7. In Orlando, You Can’t Grow Your Own Garden
by Ari Bargil
You know government has grown too big when it bans growing a garden in your own yard…Read More
8. Ayn Rand’s Paradox
by James Joseph
With Paul Ryan’s ascent to the Republican ticket, Ayn Rand returned to contemporary political conversation…Read More
I wear bow ties because it’s a hell of a lot harder to spill food on them than it is neckties. That’s not exactly why I wear them, but it’s a convenient excuse to give at cocktail parties and wedding receptions…Read More
10. The Failure of Conan O’Brien
by Patrick Howley
His current irrelevance confirms one of the great truths of the American capitalist system…Read More
Please make your tax-deductible gift today! With your support, AFF will continue to identify and develop our movement's most talented young people in 2013.
AFF is one of the most unique and effective organizations working with young professionals in the liberty movement. Your generous gift will advance individual rights, limited government, and free markets and will be DOUBLED up to $6,000 by a generous matching gift from AFF's Board of Directors.
AFF often partners with the fine policy organizations you support to make sure the ideas are shared with young professionals.
And because AFF's mission is to develop young liberty-minded professionals, it provides unique opportunities to speak on panels, organize events, and serve on planning committees. No other organization gives young professionals this many opportunities to become excellent liberty advocates.
In 2012, AFF hosted 85 events in 12 cities with more than 5,600 attendees. New AFF chapters were born in 8 cities and continued to thrive in 3 others (leaders from 9 of the chapters are pictured above). 120 articles were published in Doublethink magazine. You may have heard from Senator Ron Johnson, Jonah Goldberg, Dr. Ed Feulner, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Dr. Robert Levy, Larry Reed, Karin Agness, Robert Bluey, and many others at AFF programs this year.
Act now to support AFF's work in the coming year: Make your tax-deductible gift today.
Again, thank you for supporting AFF's work.
As Christmas season approaches, so does the fiscal cliff. Young voters across the country are concerned for their jobs and the future of America.
Guests this month include:
Joel Gehrke with The Washington Examiner
Micah Witherspoon with The Heritage Foundation
Cathy Reisenwitz with Reason Magazine
Kate Brewster, Host
America’s Future Foundation is pleased to announce the addition this month of Dawn Heuer as Program Officer.
Dawn will manage AFF’s suite of programs and events in Washington, D.C. including roundtables, professional development programs, leadership dinners, happy hours, and the annual gala.
Heuer served as an intern for America’s Future Foundation this fall through the Koch Internship Program. Prior to that, Dawn worked with Governor of Arizona’s communications team. She attended Arizona State University where she studied communications and public policy and was a nationally-recognized conservative campus activist. Dawn is a lifetime member of the Delta Zeta Sorority.
“Dawn’s background as a campus activist and deep passion for liberty is perfect to build America’s Future Foundation,” said Executive Director Roger Custer. “We look forward to her leadership and new ideas which will strengthen AFF’s important networking and professional development programs.”
“We are honored to have Dawn join our team as Program Officer,” noted AFF Chairman of the Board Kmele Foster. “Dawn’s talent, energy, and determination make her exactly the right person to lead AFF’s programs toward continued success.” The Board of Directors is also pleased to announce that Heuer will participate in the Koch Associate Program for the 2013-2014 year.
AFF is also pleased to announce that Sarah Kerner will be the new Director of Social Media. Kerner will oversee all aspects of AFF’s Facebook, Twitter, and email newsletters. Sam Pfister joins the AFF team as Director of Membership so he can provide personal contact and resources for all AFF members.
A graduate of Princeton University Jonathan Bydlak is now the President of Coalition to Reduce Spending.
How Did You Get Involved?
When asked if Bydlak had always known he wanted a career in advancing liberty he has this to say,
Definitely not. I first got involved in the liberty movement as director of fundraising on Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, having worked in finance before that. I’d been interested in free markets since I was young — the first book I ever bought was Ronald Reagan’s “Speaking My Mind” when I was 5 years old. I paid a buck.
But I got disillusioned with politics in college because of the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush years. There was no real difference between the two major parties, and no one seemed willing to ask the question, “but how are you going to pay for that?” Enter Ron Paul.
A friend of mine sent me an article by Radley Balko talking about Ron’s record, and while I was skeptical at first, his confrontation with Rudy Giuliani during the 2007 South Carolina debate convinced me that he was the real deal. As it turns out, he didn’t just cure my apathy — he changed my entire career path.
Finding a Place in the Movement
Bydlak explains what he does to advance liberty in his work.
The Coalition to Reduce Spending is a political advocacy group that promotes balancing the federal budget by — you guessed it — reducing spending. We make the intellectual case for why cutting spending is important, and highlight the often-difficult tradeoffs that policymakers face.
More specifically, our hallmark program is the ‘Reject the Debt’ pledge, which asks candidates for elective office to state on-the-record that they will only vote for balanced budgets, and won’t vote for new spending programs that aren’t offset or any new borrowing.
I think a lot of people from across the political spectrum often get overly focused on electing the ‘right’ people — the “if we just get this person in office, everything will change” mindset. My view, and maybe this is my economics background talking, is that incentives matter more.
There’s a great Milton Friedman quote where he said — and I’m paraphrasing — that the greatest challenge of politics is to create good incentives so that flawed people do good things. That’s the mindset we’re trying to bring to the liberty movement.
AFF: Bringing People Together
Bydlak goes on to tell us how AFF has helped him advance his career.
I first heard about AFF when I represented the Paul campaign on your elections panel in 2008. I think it’s very, very important for everyone to have a mentor or two in their personal and professional lives. I was lucky enough to have Kent Snyder (RP08 campaign chairman) take me under his wings when I switched careers, but not everyone is so lucky.
That’s why I think groups like AFF, which bring together people just starting out in their careers with those of us who have “been around the block,” are so essential. I think everyone has a point in his or her career where you need someone to point you in the right direction. AFF does that, and their career support is especially welcome in the often cutthroat world of politics.
Bydlak offers a piece of advice to young professionals:
To not pretend that you’re going to figure everything out right away. I never would have expected to be where I am now 7 or 8 years ago, and — who knows — maybe I’ll be doing something completely different another 7 or 8 from today. Career paths aren’t linear; doors open when you least expect them to and the real question is whether you’re flexible and open-minded enough to recognize and seize on them when opportunities present themselves.
Change often comes slower that we’d like, and the expansion of liberty will be no different. My dad always reminds me that patience is a virtue, and I think that’s a particularly important maxim to remember in politics. The reality is that politics is only one factor that determines our quality of life, so I try to follow Andrew Breitbart’s advice and remember that it’s always best to be a ‘happy warrior.’
Read this latest edition to learn about new chapters opening across the country, read a profile of AFF supporter John Barry, explore the latest AFF programs, and more!
At a joint press conference at the White House on Thursday, President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told us what we already knew: They agree that Syrian dictator Bashar. […]
Horses and powerful rulers have an odd relationship. Roman Emperor Caligula named his horse a consul. More recently, the horse of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov almost killed him. Wearin. […]