October 24, 2017

AFF CommunityLeadership

Announcing the 2017 Buckley Award Winners

By: AFF Editors

America’s Future Foundation is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 Buckley Awards: Ashlea Frazier of Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, Adam Josefczyk of Forge Leadership Network, Kerri Kupec of Alliance Defending Freedom, Christopher Malagisi of the Conservative Book Club, and Russ Vought of the Office of Management and Budget.

The Buckley Awards, originally founded and organized by the Young Conservatives Coalition from 2010-2016, recognize outstanding young professionals for their above-and-beyond service to the liberty movement.

The award is in honor of William F. Buckley, Jr., who before the age of 30 became the leader of the early conservative movement championing conservative fusion – a philosophy that brought together various strands of conservatism to work together to achieve political success and conserve America’s founding principles.

These five winners are shining examples of leadership. They have made significant contributions to the movement at large through either: leading or organizing a significant grassroots or high profile initiative, advancing conservative principles or young conservative activism, impacting news coverage of a high profile issue, or displaying courage under fire.

We invite you to join us in honoring these phenomenal leaders at the 8th Annual Buckley Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, November 14 at 6 p.m. at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, DC. Tickets are free and include two drink tickets plus the opportunity to network with the winners.


Meet the 2017 Buckley Award Winners:

Ashlea Frazier

Ashlea Frazier is director of programs for Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, where she oversees the operations, budget, and staff of the center. She directs the development of the Kirby Center’s programs, focusing on bolstering the pedagogical mission of the college in Washington, DC, and building relationships with Capitol Hill. Additionally, Ashlea advises students and young professionals on career development, meeting with them one-on-one and by speaking at various events and venues around the Washington, DC, metro area.

Prior to joining Hillsdale College, Ashlea worked for The Heritage Foundation’s Center for American Studies as the program manager, where she managed and developed the center’s educational programs. In the 2012 and 2016 election cycles, Ashlea was a professional volunteer with the Official Proceedings team at the Republican National Convention, where she was responsible for interfacing with VIP program participants, U.S. Secret Service, and RNC staff to ensure smooth transitions for the convention.

Ashlea and her husband Allen volunteer in their church community by leading small groups and the music team for worship services. Ashlea earned a Bachelor of Science in Politics and Public Policy from Liberty University and resides in Alexandria, VA, with her husband and goldendoodle.

Ashlea writes, “We live in a defining moment for our country, and what we do in the next months and years will determine the course of self-government, religious liberty, freedom of speech, and the principles of liberty. As America’s future, we have an obligation to safeguard and promote these ideas for ourselves and our posterity, and so our efforts of collaborating to revive, teach, and spread America’s first principles become vital endeavors. For me, it means influencing the generations that came before me and leaving behind a path for the generations yet to come.”

Adam Josefczyk

Adam Josefczyk is the executive director of Forge Leadership Network, an organization that he co-founded with Justin Powell. Forge mentors, trains, and connects young conservatives to lead in politics, culture, and business.

Prior to launching Forge, Adam served, at the age of 24, as a vice president of a leading public policy organization in Ohio. In 2013, he also co-founded Ohio Conservative Review, a web platform for conservative ideas to be discussed, debated, and promoted in the Buckeye State. In 2012, while teaching public speaking and current events at a high school, Adam led grassroots efforts for conservative causes in the presidential election. His regional phone banks led the nation with over 500,000 phone calls made.

Adam graduated summa cum laude from the University of Dayton in 2011, earning honors as the top student in both the history and political science

departments. Adam was a fellow at the 2017 Acton University, and he was the first-ever recipient of the Timothy Award from Citizens for Community Values in 2017. He and his wife Jessica, his college sweetheart, are proud to call Dayton home and are members of Apex Community Church. He is a competitive amateur golfer and long-suffering, die-hard fan of his hometown Cincinnati Bengals.

On his work to promote liberty Adam says, “Forge Leadership Network mentors, trains, and connects young conservatives ages 18-25, equipping them to lead in politics, culture, and business. It’s because we believe the liberty movement is an American movement that we are building a farm system of conservatives in the states. Forge connects young people with experienced mentors and opens professional opportunities nationwide, ultimately inspiring students to apply the principles and skills they’ve gained to promote liberty in their hometowns. The liberty movement belongs to the citizen-statesman. In addition to legislative aides, campaign staff, and school board members, we’ve trained young engineers, farmers, pastors, and teachers. We envision young conservatives in many vocations applying the principles of limited government, economic freedom, Judeo-Christian ethics, and thriving families in communities across America.”

Kerri Kupec

Kerri Kupec serves as legal counsel and communications director with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). She leads media communications for ADF and is responsible for Supreme Court public advocacy operations. She has appeared on BBC, ABC, CBS, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, CBN, NPR and has been quoted in many national print and online news publications.

Prior to joining ADF, Kerri served as a law clerk to the Hon. William G. Petty of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. She also worked as a youth director in Queens, NY, and assisted in directing the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham University, managing the day-to-day operations of the department and producing their lecture series, symposium, and annual conference.

Kerri obtained her JD from Liberty University, where she served on the Federalist Society’s executive team. She earned a Bachelor of Political Science from C.U.N.Y Queens College. Kerri is a member of the DC bar and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. She currently resides in Alexandria, VA.

Kerri writes, “What has always defined our nation is our pursuit of freedom – that is, the ability of all Americans to freely and peacefully speak, live, and work according to their conscience and faith without fear of government coercion. Freedom can be uncomfortable, freedom can be messy, but my greatest hope is that Americans – especially millennials – never lose sight of this freedom that has defined our great, melting pot nation since its inception and is our identity as a people. William Buckley was a champion for this kind of freedom. I am humbled and honored to receive this award.”

Christopher Malagisi

For over a decade, Christopher Malagisi has worked tirelessly to advance young professional conservative activism in the nation’s capital and across the country. He is currently the editor in chief of the Conservative Book Club and has interviewed over 175 high-profile authors, thought leaders, and presidential candidates. He is also a featured political columnist at Townhall.com and has a weekly recurring segment on The Mike Gallagher Radio Show.

For eight years, Christopher served as president of the Young Conservatives Coalition – helping to connect young liberty leaders nationwide. He previously served as the CPAC director and director of external relations at the American Conservative Union, where he organized CPAC 2012, CPAC FL, and CPAC Chicago. He also trained over 5,000 conservative candidates and activists as the Leadership Institute’s director of political and new media training and as education director of Conservatism 101 and taught History of the Conservative Movement at American University as an adjunct instructor for many years. He’s also served on four US presidential campaigns helping to lead their student and young adult coalition efforts.

Christopher received his MPA from Syracuse University and received a dual BA from American University. He is originally from Buffalo, NY, is president of the Young Adult League at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Washington, DC. He loves movies, music, and astronomy, and has sailed around the world and visited 42 countries.

Christopher writes, “As President Ronald Reagan once said, liberty is not something passed through the bloodstream. Each successive generation must be taught the principles of liberty, and must be reminded why the American Experiment is worth fighting for. William F. Buckley Jr.’s conservative movement and “fusion” conservatism philosophy – the understanding that liberty and virtue are necessary for American Exceptionalism – is the greatest arsenal we have in defending this worthy cause. As someone whom I greatly respect and revere, Buckley is an example we all can learn from, as he had the courage to yell “stop” athwart history, even though the cultural and political zeitgeist seemed otherwise. I’m deeply honored to receive this award, and am proud to continue to serve as a soldier for liberty.”

Russ Vought

Russ Vought is the senior advisor to Director Mick Mulvaney at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and has been nominated by the president to be deputy director of OMB.

Before coming to OMB, Russ spent seven years as the vice president of grassroots at Heritage Action, working with thousands of conservative activists across the country. Before working at Heritage Action, he spent over 12 years working on budgetary issues on Capitol Hill – serving as the policy director for the House Republican Conference, under then-Chairman Mike Pence, and as the executive director of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), under then-Chairman Jeb Hensarling. He previously served as the RSC’s budget director under two other chairmen.

Russ graduated with a BA from Wheaton College (IL) in 1998 and a JD from the George Washington University Law School in 2004. He and his wife, Mary, have two daughters, Margaret Ella and Porter.

On freedom Russ says, “I believe freedom provides the greatest opportunity for all Americans to make the best choices for their families. Freedom means stronger families, churches, and communities. I am excited to help our country towards a sustainable fiscal path for my children and our country’s future generations.”