October 22, 2018

AFF CommunityLeadership

Meet the 2018 Buckley Awards Winners

By: AFF Editors

The judges have deliberated, and the winners are in!

Over 50 outstanding liberty-minded leaders were nominated for this year’s Buckley Awards, and AFF is excited to introduce our four winners.


Celebrate with the winners at the Ninth Annual Buckley Awards on Wednesday, October 24, at 6:00 pm at the Hillsdale College Kirby Center in Washington, DC. RSVP here to attend.


These young leaders are fighting to increase freedom in our society, and they’ve made it a mission in their lives.

As the namesake of the awards, William F. Buckley, Jr. said, “The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry.” And these winners are certainly that.

Through leading a significant grassroots initiative, impacting the national debate of an important issue, and using their voice to advance the principles of liberty in our culture, their efforts to promote free markets and limited government in our society better the lives and happiness of all.

Meet the 2018 Buckley Award winners:

Ericka Andersen, for her impact on the national debate on the opioid crisis by focusing on empathetic free-market, private solutions through her book Leaving Cloud 9: The True Story of a Life Resurrected from the Ashes of Poverty, Trauma, and Mental Illness.

“In general, conservatism is like common sense to me. Limited government is better government
because I believe people can and must make the best decisions for their own lives.”

Introducing Ericka Andersen–2018 Buckley Award Winner 1

Photo: Ericka Andersen

Ericka is the digital marketing director of Independent Women’s Forum where she focuses on audience development, promotional, and engagement strategies to connect with women across the country. She is the author of Leaving Cloud 9: The True Story of a Life Resurrected from the Ashes of Poverty, Trauma, and Mental Illness. An account of her husband’s life story, the book offers a message of hope to those struggling with childhood trauma.

Ericka was formerly the digital director of National Review and online and digital manager at The Heritage Foundation. She also served as the director of online media outreach for Vice President Mike Pence when he was Chairman of the House Republican Conference. Ericka lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and two young children.

Follow Ericka on Facebook @ErickaAndersenSylvester and Twitter @ErickaAndersen.


Rob Bluey, for his work to spread the ideas of liberty and free markets across the nation, reaching new and wider audiences through his work at The Heritage Foundation and the founding of its multimedia arm, The Daily Signal.

“I want my family and all Americans to enjoy freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and a robust civil society. Those are all made possible because of conservative policies.”

 1

Photo: Rob Bluey

Rob is the vice president of communications at The Heritage Foundation and editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal, the think tank’s multimedia news organization.

Rob is the founding editor of The Daily Signal, launched by Heritage in June 2014 to provide insightful, credible reporting and influential commentary on policy issues from a conservative perspective. He joined Heritage in 2007 after five years as a reporter and editor in Washington, D.C. Within a year, he was named editor-in-chief of Heritage.org and oversaw creation of the rapid-response policy blog, The Foundry, and its daily e-newsletter, Morning Bell.

Rob serves on the board of visitors for the Institute for Political Journalism. He frequently speaks about journalism and digital strategy. Campaigns & Elections magazine named him a “Rising Star” in 2008. Politico placed him among Washington’s “Top 50 Politicos.”

He currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and two sons.

Follow Rob on Twitter @RobertBluey and The Daily Signal on Facebook @TheDailySignalNews and Twitter @DailySignal.


Christina Sandefur, for her impact in the lives of thousands of terminally ill Americans, empowering them to make decisions about their own health treatment through the “Right to Try” initiative.

“I believe that freedom is mankind’s most precious gift and is essential for human flourishing. The right to live our lives as we see fit – to shape our own destinies – is what makes life more than mere existence.”

Introducing Christina Sandefur–2018 Buckley Award Winner 3

Photo: Christina Sandefur

Christina is the executive vice president at the Goldwater Institute. She also develops policies and litigates cases advancing healthcare freedom, free enterprise, private property rights, free speech, and taxpayer rights. She is a co-drafter of the 40-state Right to Try initiative, now federal law, which protects terminally ill patients’ right to try safe investigational treatments that have been prescribed by their physician but are not yet FDA approved for market.

Christina is the co-author of the book Cornerstone of Liberty: Private Property Rights in 21st Century America(2016). She is a frequent guest on national television and radio programs, has provided expert legal testimony to various legislative committees, and is a frequent speaker at conferences.

Christina is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Law and Hillsdale College.

Follow Christina on Twitter @cmsandefur and the Goldwater Institute on Facebook @GoldwaterInstitute and Twitter @GoldwaterInst.


Carrie Sheffield, for bringing together diverse audiences and exposing them to conservative ideas through her innovative multimedia outlet BOLD.

“The miracles wrought through our commitment to personal freedom and enlightenment have enabled the most astonishing discoveries in history. These simple, though dazzling truths, are so often obscured in today’s culture of shame and anger directed at our Forefathers, who were but fallible human creatures pulling us along the path of innovation.”

Introducing Carrie Sheffield–2018 Buckley Award Winner 4

Photo Credit: Patrick Ryan

Carrie is the founder of Bold. She is passionate about storytelling to empower and connect others. A founding POLITICO reporter, Carrie contributed on political economy at Forbes and wrote editorials for The Washington Times. After earning a master’s in public policy from Harvard University, she managed credit risk at Goldman Sachs and researched for Edward Conard, Bain Capital founding partner and American Enterprise Institute scholar. She earned a B.A. in communications at Brigham Young University and completed a Fulbright fellowship in Berlin.

Follow Carrie on Facebook and Twitter @CarrieSheffield, and Bold on Facebook and Twitter @BoldTV.

 

 

 

Join us in celebrating the inspiring achievements of this year’s winners at the Ninth Annual Buckley Awards on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 6:00 pm at the Hillsdale College Kirby Center in Washington, DC.