Awards - America's Future Foundation



The Buckley Awards

2019 Buckley Award Winners

The 2019 Buckley Award winners (l-r): Austin Berg, Brooke Fallon, Richard Lorenc, Aaron Rice, and Matt Warner.

Do you know a young leader who believes that free markets and limited government better the lives and happiness of all and have made it a mission in their own lives to advance these values? Help us to celebrate the courage, service, and dedication of these liberty-minded young professionals by nominating a leader that inspires you.

The Buckley Awards, originally founded and organized by the Young Conservatives Coalition from 2010-2016, began as a way to recognize outstanding young professional conservatives for their above-and-beyond service to the conservative 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. The award ceremony is still one of the only ones in our movement that focuses on great achievements of liberty-minded young professionals.

Nominee requirements:

– Must be between the ages of 22-40, and must identify as liberty-minded
– Must be able to accept the award in Washington, DC, at the award ceremony
– Must be nominated by someone other than the nominee
– Made a significant contribution to the conservative movement at large by either:

-Leading or organizing a significant grassroots or media initiative
-Significantly contributing to the advancement or understanding of the ideas of a free society
-Meaningfully impacting news coverage of a high profile issue in the last 12 months (March 2018- April 2019)
-Displaying courage and grace under fire

Previous Buckley Award winners include (organizations listed from the time of the award):


Austin Berg – Illinois Policy Institute
Brooke Fallon – Institute for Justice
Richard Lorenc – Foundation for Economic Education
Aaron Rice – Mississippi Justice Institute
Matt Warner – Atlas Network


Ericka Andersen – Independent Women’s Forum
Rob Bluey – The Heritage Foundation
Christina Sandefur – Goldwater Institute
Carrie Sheffield – BOLD


Ashlea Frazier – Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center
Adam Josefczyk – Forge Leadership Network
Kerri Kupec – Alliance Defending Freedom
Christopher Malagisi – Conservative Book Club
Russ Vought – Office of Management and Budget


Pete Hegseth – Fox News/Author
Charlie Kirk – Turning Point USA
Beverly Hallberg – District Media Group
Jessica Jensen – Young America’s Foundation
Thomas Peters – uCampaign


Jim Geraghty – National Review
Kristen Soltis Anderson – Echelon Insights
Mollie Hemingway – The Federalist
Lachlan Markay – Washington Free Beacon


Matthew Continetti – Washington Free Beacon
Roger Custer – America’s Future Foundation
Ryan Williams – Claremont Institute
James O’Keefe – Project Veritas


Yuval Levin – National Affairs
Ryan T. Anderson – The Heritage Foundation
Alex Smith – College Republican National Committee
Remy Munasifi – Reason TV
Will Weatherford – Speaker of Florida House of Representatives


Katie Pavlich – Townhall & Fox News
Heather Pfitzenmaier – The Heritage Foundation
Alex Schriver – College Republican National Committee


Paul Teller – Republican Study Committee
Matt Lewis – The Daily Caller
Peter Redpath – The Federalist Society
Amy Frederick – 60 Plus
Vinnie Vernuccio – Competitive Enterprise Institute


Hannah Giles – Big Journalism
Kristan Hawkins – Students of Life
Karin Agness – Network of enlightened Women
John McCormack – The Weekly Standard
Evan Dent Flores – Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow

Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leader Awards were previously given by AFF to the next big names in the liberty movement, recognizing graduating college seniors who are passionate about liberty and show great potential to advance those ideas throughout their careers.

The award was discontinued in 2018, but these past Emerging Leaders are names to watch for decades to come as they work to advance liberty.

2017 Emerging Leaders

Razi Lane (Hillsdale College), Vanessa Rivera (Florida Gulf Coast University), Natalie Bao Tram Le (Harvard University), Caitlyn Tierney (Virginia Tech), Alex “Allie” Harris (Miami University), Jacob Richards (Arizona Christian University), John Flo (St. Louis University), Lisa DiGiovanna (California State University, Los Angeles), Louis Anthony Bertolotti (University of Notre Dame), Andrew DiGiovanna (Citrus College).

2016 Emerging Leaders

Sam Audia (University of Michigan), Mariana Barillas (Thomas Edison State University); Megan Cook (Salem College), Cahleel Copus (University of Wisconsin Madison), Chris Harelson (Latter Day Saints Business College), Destiny Goede (University of Florida), Chris Perrigan (Florida Gulf Coast University), Cameron Swathwood (Liberty University), Daniel Takash (John Hopkins University), Natalie Tuttle (Florida State University), Liz Wolfe (The College of William and Mary)