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America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

America’s Future Foundation Leadership Board of Directors


Kmele Foster, Chairman Vice President and Co-Founder TelcoIQ Jeff Berkowitz, Vice Chairman Principal Berkowitz Public Affairs Cheryl Miller, Secretary Program Manager American Enterprise Institute Stacie Rumenap, Treasurer Executive Director Stop Child Predators David White Chief Operating Officer Keybridge Communications Gary Leff Chief Financial Officer Institute for Humane Studies & Mercatus Center Kathleen O’Hearn Director of Coalitions State Policy Network Joanna Robinson Owner and Manager Lunar Massage DC Kristen Soltis Anderson Vice President The Winston Group Whitney Garrison Athayde Director of Development Independent Womens Forum Kathryn Kelley Associate Attorney Gibson Dunn

Roger Custer, Executive Director Dawn Heuer, Program Officer Joel Gehrke, Editor, Doublethink Richard Lorenc, Senior Advisor Kathryn Shelton, Director of Chapter Development Katherine Ruddy, Photographer Sarah Kerner, Director of Social Media Sam Pfister, Membership Director Advisory Board Clint Bolick Samuel Casey Carter Christina Culver Edwin Feulner Michael Gleba Carl Helstrom Leonard Liggio Edwin Meese

Gene Meyer Grover Norquist Roger Ream Mary Riner Ron Robinson Christopher Siddall Randal Teague Chad Thevenot

Jeff Berkowitz, AFF’s Vice Chairman, introduces Senator Ron Johnson during the 2012 AFF Gala

AFF is on an exciting upward trajectory, sponsoring a variety of social, educational, and professional networking events at an impressive pace. Not only has the volume of activity increased, but the programs and events feature dynamic speakers and critical topics. Another positive development is an increasing effort to collaborate with allied organizations in our movement. In fact, the Mercatus Center co-sponsored a professional development event with AFF in 2012. I look forward to attending more AFF events and programs in the months and years ahead. AFF is clearly an organization on the rise, and I’m proud to be affiliated. You should be, too. Rob Raffety, Associate Director for Policy Research, Mercatus Center


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

A Message from AFF Chairman Kmele Foster Dear Friends and Supporters, Thank you for your support of America’s Future Foundation (AFF), the nation’s leading organization dedicated to identifying and nurturing young professional leaders committed to the principles of limited government, free markets, liberty, and personal responsibility. I’m pleased to report that 2012 was an excellent year of organizational growth. Your support allowed AFF to advance liberty by hosting 88 programs in 12 cities for more than 5,600 attendees. Doublethink published 120 feature articles and saw 345,000 page views, more than 70% of which were new to the site. Additionally, the chapter program expanded from 3 to 11 cities nationwide. AFF’s position in the liberty movement is unique. Many conservative and libertarian organizations teach college students the principles of a free society and offer professional training for first jobs. Only AFF targets conservative and libertarian professionals in the second stage of their career development, generally during their 20s and 30s. Numerous studies have found that the political outlook of most individuals is solidified during this critical period. America’s Future Foundation is more than just a networking organization. We are a home for tomorrow’s leaders. AFF is a place to meet new friends, future colleagues—occasionally even spouses. AFF is a place where those new to the public square can explore new ideas and realizing inborn talents. More important than the events and articles we produce are the people we develop. From interns attending their first roundtable to chapter leaders and Doublethink writers, every participant at AFF events learns to lead by doing. Those who want to be leading writers, write. Those that want to be leading policy analysts, debate. Those who want to organize events, start chapters. AFF alumni are editors of national magazines, bestselling authors, business owners, and leaders of the liberty movement’s most effective organizations. David Brooks specifically named five AFF alumni as writers who are influencing the national conversation, and many others have gone on to influential careers on Capitol Hill, in think tanks, business, journalism, and other fields.

Both AFF’s unique position within the free market movement, and the “lead by doing” model, make AFF such a rewarding investment. We don’t aim to simply affect policy; rather, we develop the next generation of policy leaders. Conservatives and libertarians have already won many gains for limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility. But it falls upon today’s conservative and libertarian professionals in their 20s and 30s to defend these gains and wage the next battles. And thanks to AFF, the best young conservatives and libertarians will be ready to lead. On behalf of the board of directors and all those who, like us, have benefited from AFF, thank you for your support of this important organization. Sincerely,

Kmele Foster Chairman America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


AFF Identifies and Develops Young Professional Leaders for Liberty

Each month, AFF’s roundtable discussions feature young professionals speaking about hot topics from the free market perspective

The mission of America’s Future Foundation is to identify and develop young professional leaders for liberty. The goal is to build a nationwide network of young professionals who are committed to the principles of limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility. AFF occupies a unique niche. Many conservative and libertarian organizations target college students to teach the first principles of a free society and offer advice and resources to obtain a first job. AFF is the leader in providing resources for professionals in the 20s and 30s during their second stage of development as leaders. AFF offers young professionals networking, educational, and professional development opportunities to write, speak, manage programs, and directly develop the skills that allow them to move up

in their jobs and contribute to the success of libertyminded organizations. Many are described in this report, and AFF makes it a point to collaborate as widely as possible to make sure the ideas of liberty are shared with young professionals. Long term, this strategy increases the supply of top-notch talent who will carry the torch for liberty as policy analysts, think tank leadership, writers, journalists, grassroots activists, and elected officials. Your leveraged support of America’s Future Foundation fills an important gap and provides talented young professionals with unique opportunities they cannot find elsewhere. The liberty movement is stronger because the talent pipeline is further developed and deeper partnerships are forged between student organizations and AFF.

“America’s Future Foundation has become a clear leader in engaging young professionals in intellectually stimulating policy ideas and providing a networking forum. The breadth of topics addressed and the caliber of events are impressive. It’s an organization I’m proud be to involved with. I heartily encourage anyone interested in remaining acutely aware of current policy issues and professionally connected to become involved in the AFF community. And to the sponsors who make such work possible, the conservative/libertarian movement owes deep appreciation.” Chip Bishop


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

“After having only been in Washington for a year, I was given a chance to join as a guest on AFF’s online radio show, write for Doublethink Online, and speak on a panel. The pattern is clear: my major career “firsts” all began with the America’s Future Foundation. Since then, I’ve been on national television shows, quoted in the New York Times, and featured on panel discussions at major think tanks. I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to America’s Future Foundation for helping me start my career and my life as a young professional woman. I’m much better at advocating liberty because of AFF.” Kristen Soltis Anderson, AFF Board Member

AFF members often bring their friends to learn more about the ideas of liberty

Peter Redpath of the Federalist Society, right, speaks with attendees about career development at an AFF luncheon

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


Fun Roundtables and Educational Programs Focus on Today’s Hottest Topics and Ideas AFF hosts monthly roundtables and co-sponsors unique educational programs throughout the year. Because AFF serves both conservatives and libertarians, roundtables often focus on the ideas the two groups share and the issues on which they disagree. Roundtables are AFF’s most popular events. Each month, AFF presents an open debate on a timely issue featuring important up-and-coming political analysts, writers, strategists and other young activists. The energetic make-up of AFF roundtables certainly makes them entertaining and distinguishes them from other programs. Topics in 2012 included religion and liberty, technology policy, women and politics, foreign policy, cronyism, election analysis, and food regulations. Unique professional development opportunities are available through roundtables for young minds to sharpen their persuasive skills and present their ideas to public audiences. Volunteers work alongside AFF’s staff to design and plan the program’s topics, invite speakers, and assist with marketing, allowing them a unique opportunity to hone their skills in those areas.

Roundtable attendees ponder the arguments made by panelists (from top left) Kristen Soltis Anderson, Kevin Glass, Michelle Minton, Jacob Stokes, and Ben Friedman on pressing issues and relevant debates 6

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

Meet Lori Sanders “The opportunities provided through America’s Future Foundation’s roundtable committee give me the chance to hone skills and expand my professional network in a way I can’t during the course of my day job. In addition to working with an exciting group of colleagues to brainstorm interesting topics and schedule events, I’m able to take ownership of the issue of my choice. This position allows me to research and work in a policy space I would not typically get to enjoy, making it an incredibly stimulating and rewarding experience. Through researching and planning engaging events, I am able to reach out to experts with whom I would not ordinarily interact, and I am also able to provide speaking opportunities for deserving young professionals. The expanded network and moderator experience I gain as part of my participation then help me become a more effective professional for AEI. For example, my work with both Tim Carney and Karin Agness served me well when they joined the AEI staff to work on projects with my team. I know it will serve me well throughout my career, and I’m incredibly grateful to AFF for the opportunity to contribute!” Lori Sanders, American Enterprise Institute

The Independent Womens Forum collaborated with AFF on a a roundtable about the status of women in politics featuring Bonnie Kristian, Karin Agness, Sabrina Schaeffer, Kathleen O’Hearn, and Nicole Kaeding

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


Unique Professional Development Programs Offer Special Opportunities An essential part of AFF’s mission is to provide professional development for the liberty movement’s young staff and emerging leaders by providing unique opportunities to strengthen and hone the ability to advance liberty in a variety of areas. “Cultivation Crew” is a monthly gathering of free market development professionals who network, share best practices, and learn from experts. Distinguished guests at the first few lunches have included Diana Davis Spencer, president of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, database expert Nathan Spiwak from the Center for Shared Services, and Lawson Bader, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. AFF is pleased to partner with the Competitive Enterprise Institute to organize this program. Using Milton Friedman’s famous line, AFF’s “No Free Lunch” Networking Lunches allow young liberty-minded professionals to meet each other and improve their networking skills. In addition to a short presentation from a well-connected leader, participants practice their marketing skills by introducing themselves and giving an “elevator pitch.” Guest speakers included Karin Agness of the American Enterprise Institute, Peter Redpath of the

Federalist Society, and Nigel Ashford of the Institute for Humane Studies. AFF offers a unique opportunity to practice argumentation and radio debate skills with the AFF Radio podcast. Each month, libertarians and conservatives debate in a 30-minute podcast in order to hone their ability to speak clearly, make a point, and give effective sound bites. Panelists included Lucy Steigerwald and Cathy Reisenwitz from Reason Magazine, Adam Tragone from Human Events, Stephen Richer from, Joel Gehrke from the Washington Examiner, and Katie Pavlich and Elisabeth Meinecke from The radio shows are produced by Kate Brewster Zickel. You can listen to archived podcasts at Several other AFF programs focused on professional development in 2012. Published op-ed expert Rob Montz led two op-ed seminars where participants received personal editing and coaching. AFF partnered with the Leadership Institute to host a public speaking seminar. Additionally, members of the AFF board hosted a mock interview seminar for job seekers.

Philanthropist Diana Davis Spencer, left, gave advice during AFF’s monthly “Cultivation Crew” lunch alongside Lawson Bader


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

AFF’s monthly Networking Lunches offer unique opportunities to meet colleagues in the liberty movement and practice valuable networking skills

Peter Redpath, Vice President of the Federalist Society, offered specific tips about how to advance a career in the liberty movement

Kate Zickel produces AFF Radio, a program that allows young pundits to receive vital practice on the airwaves

Meet Preston Cornish “Growing up in Montgomery County, Maryland, I have long been accustomed to feeling like I am the only person around who believes in the free market, individual rights, and the need for small government. After joining AFF, my eyes were opened to a whole community of young professionals who are just as passionate about freedom as I am. I have gained so much from AFF events like Cultivation Crew. I’ve learned practical skills from the speakers, and networked with my peers at other organizations. Simply put, I cannot overstate how much I have gained from the network of likeminded professionals I have met through AFF in DC and the states.” Preston Cornish, Development Coordinator, Reason

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


Doublethink Online Publishes New Voices and New Ideas on Policy and Culture Doublethink is the signature magazine of America’s Future Foundation. With a national following, the online magazine brings the voices of young and undiscovered market-oriented writers to readers across the country. Doublethink offers commentary and original reporting on politics, culture, economics, the arts, and other timely topics. Joel Gehrke is Editor of Doublethink Magazine. He is also a Commentary Staff Writer at the Washington Examiner, where he covers campaigns, congressional oversight of the executive branch, and the White House. Among other things, he has covered the Energy Department — with particular reference to the green energy loan program — the State Department, and the Justice Department’s involvement in Operation Fast and Furious and the ensuing investigation. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College. More than 120 articles were published in 2012. The most popular included: • “Ayn Rand Defended Individual Freedom” by Amanda Carey and Justin Lesniewski, a piece highlighting the discussion of Paul Ryan’s views during the presidential campaign; • “Judicial Engagement is Not Judicial Activism” by Clark Neily from the Institute for Justice; • “In Defense of the Bow Tie” by Tate Watkins on a perennial fashion question; • “In Orlando, You Can’t Grow Your Own Garden” by Abby Bargil of the Institute for Justice, exposing silly regulations on people’s use of private property; • “Reverence with Wings: A Review of ‘Honor Flight’” by Tyler O’Neil; and • “On Tax Policy, Obama Could Learn from the British” by Charles Hughes Throughout its history, Doublethink has not only been an insightful and provocative magazine, but also a training ground for the future of conservative and libertarian journalism. It has provided unique, early career opportunities to dozens of young writers who now write for renowned political magazines and national newspapers.


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

Meet Joel Gehrke, Doublethink Editor “Doublethink has an excellent mission. The determination to “identify and develop young conservative and libertarian writers while delivering an excellent magazine of politics, culture, economics, and the arts” allows Doublethink to run essays across a broad range of topics, which gives young writers an opportunity to publish unique, interesting essays while auditioning to write professionally for publications that have narrower or more specialized missions. It’s a privilege to edit these essays, as a reader and young professional. The habit of mind required to edit a publication — especially the managerial work of setting publication schedules and coordinating with writers to edit and publish their essays in a timely fashion — is very different from the skill set that I have developed as a writer. By giving me the opportunity to gain this experience, Doublethink has helped me develop as a professional and prepare for future job assignments. All of that helps me build relationships with some excellent people.”

David Brooks wrote in the New York Times: “Since Nov. 6, the G.O.P. has experienced an epidemic of open-mindedness. The party may evolve quickly. If so, it’ll be powerfully influenced by [young writers].” Among those writers, he specifically mentioned former Doublethink writers and editors who got practice and exposure through AFF’s programs: writers Tim Carney, Reihan Salam, Conor Friedersdorf, and Ramesh Ponnuru, along with AFF alumna Megan McArdle. Other alumni include former editors Damir Marusic and Daniel Kennelly, senior editors at The American Interest, Cheryl Miller, AFF board member and program manager at the American Enterprise Institute, David Fredosso and Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner, and David Skinner, editor of Humanities. Matthew Continetti is editor of the Washington Free Beacon, Peter Suderman and Katherine Mangu-Ward are editors at Reason, and Brendan Conway writes for the Wall Street Journal. AFF’s Doublethink magazine gave each one of these prominent writers a supportive start. You can read the latest articles at

“It’s not just who you know, of course. It’s where you’re published. Doublethink works much like an Olympic qualifying run — often reaching the same level of professionalism and readability as Washington’s established media outlets, which is where the Doublethink writers I knew soon found themselves. Without AFF and Doublethink, it’s impossible to envision how things could have turned out the same way [for my career].” James Poulos, Writer

“When I was a 22-year-old cub writer in Washington, just out of college, I got my first freelance piece published by America’s Future Foundation. From there I became a regular columnist for AFF’s publications, which helped me get the training and exposure I needed to advance my career. AFF was an invaluable asset in building skills, friendships, and my career.” Tim Carney, Senior Political Columnist, Washington Examiner

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


AFF Local Chapters Educate and Develop Talent In Cities Throughout the Country







AFF chapters expanded to 11 cities outside DC during 2012

Elizabeth Stelle leads AFF’s Pittsburgh chapter

America’s Future Foundation chapters hosted 43 events in 11 cities during 2012, reaching more than 3,000 attendees. In order to cast a wider net and find the best and brightest leaders, your support allowed AFF to expand its efforts to the states since 2007. The “AFF on the Road” initiative ensures a steady stream of young people who can staff state-based think tanks and other enterprises for liberty. The vision for AFF chapters is to reach 20 cities 12

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

through organic growth. Young professional leaders approach AFF and ask to bring a chapter to their cities. During 2012, volunteer leaders from Dallas, Grand Rapids, Buffalo, Raleigh, Atlanta, New York, Denver, and Columbus approached AFF with interest in starting a chapter, and all were able to do so. Richard Lorenc, AFF’s senior advisor, provided the necessary guidance for successful events. A chapter leader retreat was held in October 2012. Leaders from nine of the eleven cities gathered in Atlanta to discuss best practices and learn more about how to grow their chapters. Benita Dodd, Vice President of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, spent time with attendees and emphasized the importance of working with state and local policy think tanks to grow the liberty movement. Chapter leaders have a unique opportunity to organize their peers, put together and promote free market events, improve their public speaking skills, and expand their local network. This kind of opportunity is found nowhere else with any other organization for young professionals.

New chapters receive a subsidy from the national office in order to build their brand and have a strong presence for their first several events. However, AFF leads chapters toward financial self-sufficiency by providing guidance to establish a membership program and local fundraising. Several chapters offer paid memberships and several other chapters are moving in that direction. Additionally, chapter leaders are encouraged to find local sources of support including in-kind donations from restaurants or other vendors, and traditional monetary donations.

“I’ve been privileged to support America’s Future Foundation’s work nationwide through the “AFF on the Road” initiative. Your chapters in several cities around the country provide an important outlet for liberty-minded young professionals to network and advance their careers. AFF’s programs allow for great networking but also create unique opportunities for leadership and career advancement. I encourage all liberty-minded young professionals to join AFF.” Tracie Sharp, President, State Policy Network

Chapter programming generally consists of roundtable discussions or guest speakers on the ideas of liberty that are coupled with networking meetings. AFF’s niche is to provide discussions of conservative and libertarian perspectives on issues that one would not necessarily find elsewhere. Recent chapter events covered issues such as Ayn Rand’s ideas, cronyism, religion and liberty, foreign policy toward Iran, and the entitlement crisis. Statespecific topics are also covered, such as a Raleighbased discussion of a gay marriage ballot initiative, and a Pittsburgh-based discussion of small business regulations co-sponsored with the local NFIB chapter. Well-known guests in 2012 included Matt Mitchell, Bob Levy, Lawrence W. Reed, Nina Owcharenko, Richard Vedder, Robert Lawson, Kiron Skinner, John Bolton, Josh Barro, and Andrew Schiff.

Kristina Rasmussen, Heather Wilhelm, and Kate Piercy network and enjoy an AFF Chicago event

Kiron Skinner, David Satter, and Paul Kengor were featured speakers at an AFF Pittsburgh event

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


“After learning about AFF’s mission and their plans to expand across the country, I suggested Dallas as a possible chapter location, noting its high number of young, liberty-leaning professionals. I found two other young leaders passionate about providing free-market training and education to the young professionals. We put together our first event in September, featuring Dr. Robert Lawson, co-author of the Economic Freedom of the World Report. The event was a huge success and generated a dynamic group discussion following Dr. Lawson’s talk. Our second event featured Matt Mitchell from the Mercatus Center on the dangers of cronyism, and similarly fostered an energetic question and answer session from attendees. We received a great response from our first two events, and will continue to grow our board and number of attendees at events. AFF has allowed me to advance liberty by providing an outlet for young professionals to learn, discuss and ask questions about very important free market issues.”

Richard Lorenc, AFF’s senior advisor, welcomes attendees to an AFF Chicago event

Kathryn Shelton, AFF Director of Chapter Development and AFF Dallas Chair

Interactive programming allows attendees more opportunities to learn liberty

“AFF’s chapters around the country provide essential opportunities for young people to learn the ideas of liberty in a fun atmosphere with their peers. I’ve seen this first-hand in Chicago and know they are making an impact in other cities as well. I invite you to join me in supporting AFF financially because it is so important to invest in the future of our movement and our country.” John Tillman, CEO, Illinois Policy Institute


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

“Phred Barnet (left) and I launched the AFF-Atlanta chapter in March of 2012. During its first year, the Atlanta chapter hosted five events including programs featuring Robert A. Levy, Lawrence W. Reed, and Christopher Lingle. The support received from the Atlanta community has been tremendous so far, and we look forward to carrying the momentum forward into the future. The Atlanta chapter is actively partnering and networking with other liberty organizations in the area and is quickly becoming a central hub for the liberty movement in Atlanta.” Jason Riddle, AFF Atlanta

AFF chapter leaders gathered in Atlanta for the annual leadership retreat where they heard from Benita Dodd of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


AFF Chicago Has Become a Robust and Essential Part of Windy City’s Liberty Scene Since forming in late 2007, the Chicago chapter is AFF’s largest and has become an essential part of Chicago’s liberty scene. The chapter reinforces the work of think tanks, activist groups, and the movement generally by connecting people with others who share their values. AFF Chicago is proof the AFF model is building the next generation of free market activists around the country. Numbers for AFF Chicago now include 60 paying members, 100 regular attendees, and more than 500 email subscribers. Highlights of programming included guest appearances by Jonah Goldberg, author John Blundell, and Heritage Foundation expert Nina Owcharenko. Speaking events were supplemented with roundtable debates on important issues. AFF Chicago also participated in public civic events, including the Printers Row Lit Fest and the Bughouse Square Debates, during which AFF shared the ideas of liberty with even wider audiences. At these events and others, the chapter distributed more than 500 publications by classical liberal thinkers including Hayek, Friedman, Reed, Palmer, Bastiat, and many more. In November, the chapter hosted an innovative and fun new trivia game show based on the freemarket ideas of Milton Friedman. “Free to Choose: The Game Show” was designed to educate players and spectators on important economic ideas. Playing for points called “Miltons,” participants answered questions in four subjects. Between each of the game’s four rounds, players were subject to “interventions,” including point redistribution, point

This panel discussion on the gold standard was one of 16 events hosted by AFF Chicago in 2012


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

ceilings/floors, and inflation (which reduced the value of each player’s “Miltons” arbitrarily). Show host, Forrest Jehlik and hostess, Whitney Schlosser (AKA “Vanna Whit”) led participants and audience members through the game. Richard Lorenc and Todd Stump developed the game show for use by student, policy, and activist groups looking to have fun with economic ideas, as well as to honor Milton Friedman’s centennial.

The “Free to Choose” game show is a new and innovative way to teach free markets

AFF Chicago celebrated Friedman’s centennial by hosting an interactive trivia show based on his ideas

Web Highlight: Claire Kittle Talks Dating and Cover Letters on “Free the Future” Blog Claire Kittle, executive director of Talent Market, wrote 2012’s most popular blog on AFF’s professional development blog “Free the Future.” She compared dating to cover letters while offering valuable advice for young professionals. Kittle has been involved in AFF for many years. She writes, “America’s Future Foundation has had a special place in my heart since I was a graduate student at the Georgetown School of Socialist Studies (aka Georgetown Public Policy Institute). I was new to the nation’s capital and felt completely alone philosophically – until I learned about AFF. AFF was my first introduction to libertarian/conservative circles in Washington, DC. I met some

amazing free marketers who are still my friends today, and my first movement job at Koch was a direct result of the connections I made through AFF.” AFF’s website received more than 335,000 views in 2012, more than 74% of which were new to the site. You can read more posts by Claire Kittle and other liberty movement experts by visiting the movement’s premiere professional development blog at

Event Spotlight: “Are Libertarians Part of the Conservative Movement?” On the eve of the Conservative Political Action Conference, AFF co-sponsored an AEI debate on the question “Are Libertarians Part of the Conservative Movement?” Reason magazine’s Matt Welch debated AEI scholar Jonah Goldberg and AFF executive director Roger Custer moderated. More than 250 people attended and 600 watched through the website, making this one of AEI and AFF’s biggest events of the year. Welch argued that conservatives fail to hold the line on government spending and impose social policies that infringe on individual liberty, the original focus of the American experiment. He added that Republicans are turning more to libertarianism now because they are not in power. Goldberg countered that while conservatives may fall short in performance, the definition of an American conservative is someone who desires to protect America’s limited government tradition. The two were able to come together in the end to say that whether conservative or libertarian, Americans should unite to defeat the strongest threat to liberty, posed by the crushing debt burden.

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


Leadership Dinners Provide Networking and Personal Access to Established Leaders

Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner poses with Leadership Dinner attendees

One of AFF’s signature programs is the Leadership Dinner. Guests during 2012 included Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner and Reason Magazine Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward. Attendees heard these special guest speakers share their stories, strategies, and career advice. Intimate networking took place between members, donors, speakers, and others in attendance, and everyone had the unique opportunity to interact with the speakers in a unique setting. An event in April featured long-time Heritage Foundation president and AFF advisory board member Ed Feulner. He discussed his career and gave specific advice based on his rich experience as an organizational president. The fall speaker, Katherine Mangu-Ward, made a compelling argument about the problem with voting and supporting politicians who endorse big government even if they talk about small government. 18

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

Leadership Dinners allow AFF members and friends to meet prominent leaders in an intimate setting

“When I first moved to DC over five years ago, I asked for advice on how to meet people and grow professionally. Nearly everyone pointed me to one place: America’s Future Foundation. I attended my first Monthly Roundtable in 2007 and have stayed actively involved with AFF ever since. From the roundtables, to Crabfest, to the Annual Gala, each event was a great opportunity to network and stay connected with other individuals passionate about liberty. It can be difficult to make professional and intellectual development fun, but AFF makes that happen. I appreciate how they give young people the opportunity to gain public speaking and writing experience – they look to build and develop the movement. In my role as Director of the Young Leaders Program at Heritage, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with AFF in a variety of ways as well. We have partnered together to host events for young professionals across the country – in Denver, Chicago, and Columbus – talking about health care, cronyism, and the debt. AFF knows it’s important to go outside of DC to reach young people, and through these collaborations, I have seen the impact on thousands of young people directly. Thanks to everyone for the support of AFF to make this possible. For those who aren’t involved, I’d encourage you to attend a happy hour or roundtable and start to take advantage of all the opportunities AFF offers.” Heather Pfitzenmaier, Director of Young Leaders Program, Heritage Foundation

Nicole Kaeding, Logan Moore, and Alexander McCobin enjoy a Leadership Dinner

Jason Hughey, Kara Bird, and Kevin Palmer make connections during AFF’s Leadership Dinner

Katherine Mangu-Ward from Reason Magazine was a featured speaker in 2012

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


Gala and Social Gatherings Foster Networking and Informal Policy Discussions America’s Future Foundation is devoted not only to helping young conservatives and libertarians build careers in their cities, but also to helping them build their lives beyond work. An important part of AFF’s mission is to bring people together in fun, relaxed settings where they can make friends with others who share their passion and ideology. Happy hours and parties help AFF members meet like-minded people and spark social connections that can last a lifetime.

libertarians, policy analysts and Hill staffers, writers and campaigners, and non-profit and for-profit professionals, AFF networking events hum with young energy and talent. They provide an opportunity for members and friends to mingle, forging professional and personal relationships that enhance careers and enrich lives. AFF often partners with other organizations for themed events. One highlight was a happy hour called “A Transatlantic Toast to Liberty” in which AFF partnered with the Young Britons Foundation. AFF members networked with our classical liberal colleagues from across the pond during the Europeans’ annual summer visit to Washington. Another partnership for several events in 2012 was with Liberty on the Rocks, including a summer event and an election night party.

The annual AFF Gala is the pinnacle of libertyoriented social events in Washington each year. Hundreds of young professionals from across the movement gather for an evening of networking, catching up with old friends, dancing, and a genuine great time. The 2012 Gala held in May featured 26 sponsor groups, nine individual sponsors, and more than 300 attendees at the Arts Club of Washington. Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin was the featured guest.

For members, AFF board member David White hosted a wine education and tasting seminar. White is a distinguished wine expert and editor of terroirist. com. Members gathered at the Weygandt Wine store in Washington, D.C. to learn the different types of wine and how to properly read a wine list.

Throughout the year, AFF hosted happy hours at popular DC and northern Virginia nightspots. AFF happy hours are well-attended by entry- and mid-level staffers at different groups throughout the movement. With a mix of conservatives and

Gala participants mingle outside on a beautiful spring evening

Gala attendees enjoy one of the year’s top social events in Washington


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

Senator Ron Johnson with AFF executive director Roger Custer

More than 300 attendees networked during the 2012 AFF Gala in Washington

Senator Ron Johnson spoke to the sold-out 2012 AFF Gala

Heather Curry, Kathryn Ciano, and Laura Odato

David White, AFF Board member and wine expert, led a special seminar

“During the past year, our recruiting team at the Center for Shared Services has partnered with AFF in a variety of ways. Our recruiters have interacted with many people through networking events and had the opportunity to help connect AFF members to full-time roles at our client organizations. We’ve also shared job search and leadership guidance through the Free the Future blog. On a personal note, AFF has provided a forum for me to stretch and grow professionally; giving me a voice to share what I’ve learned through experience on a Job Seeker panel and writing for the blog. I would encourage others to take advantage of the opportunities AFF provides to develop their leadership capabilities and meet other people who are also looking to make a difference.” Liz Hine, Recruiter, Center for Shared Services

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


Collaboration Leverages Your Investment in Liberty Through Valuable Partnerships AFF collaborates with a wide range of organizations in order to bring the ideas of liberty to young professional audiences, provide professional development opportunities for new staff, and connect student group participants to professional opportunities. Through co-sponsored programs and other collaborations, AFF builds the liberty movement and serves as the second step in the development of young leaders. In 2012, AFF created a networking vehicle entitled “Liberty Alumni Group” for the purpose of building bridges between student organizations and young professional organizations. More than 25 organizations (many listed here) participate in a quarterly conference call, led by AFF, to discuss collaboration.

The liberty movement has robust activity to educate college students about the ideas of liberty through many fine organizations. AFF is diligently working to ensure that participants of those organizations are aware of the many opportunities that await them upon graduation so that talented young people are connected with the resources to advance liberty through their 20s and 30s. AFF collaborated with the following organizations in 2012 as gala sponsors, Liberty Alumni Group members, program co-sponsors, or other ways: American Action Forum American Enterprise Institute* American Spectator* Americans for Prosperity Foundation*

Richard Lorenc, Jessica Anderson, Nina Owcharenko, Heather Pfitzenmaier, and Kristina Rasmussen at an AFF Chicago event, co-sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action and Illinois Policy Institute

“The Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) works to identify and develop talented young people in the fight for liberty. Success for us is being able to connect them to organizations like AFF who can keep them engaged throughout their career. We’ve always seen AFF as a strong partner, and this year we’re collaborating more than ever. We’ve co-hosted launch events for new AFF chapters to connect our program alumni to AFF and each other. We regularly feature career content from AFF’s blog on Liberty Guide, our job and opportunity board. AFF makes it easy for us to spread the IHS message by inviting our staff as panelists and guest bloggers. And AFF helps us stay connected to the network by hosting regular networking lunches and organizing roundtables. We’re better able to support the talented people we know and advance IHS’s mission more effectively thanks to our friendship with AFF.” Chad Wilcox, Director of Network Relations, Institute for Humane Studies


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

“In 2012, the American Enterprise Institute and AFF began collaborating in a series of events that bring to bear each organization’s strengths, resources, and comparative advantages. As the country’s oldest think tank devoted to free enterprise, opportunity, and limited government, AEI is home to some of America’s preeminent center-right thinkers. Through partnering with AFF on events both substantive and social, we have been able to connect emerging leaders with our scholars and staff, our programs, and our research. Roger Custer and his team have been exemplary partners, and we look forward to continuing to work together this year and beyond.” Daniel Rothschild, Director of External Relations, American Enterprise Institute

Atlas Network Bastiat Society Cato Institute* Center for Shared Services Charles Koch Foundation* College Republican National Committee* Competitive Enterprise Institute* Federalist Society Foundation for Economic Education* Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Franklin Center* FreedomWorks Foundation* Fund for American Studies* Heartland Institute* Heritage Foundation* Illinois Policy Institute Independent Women’s Forum Intercollegiate Studies Institute Institute for Humane Studies*

Leadership Institute* Liberty on the Rocks Mercatus Center National Federation of Independent Business Phillips Foundation Pope Center for Higher Education Policy Reason* Saint Vincent College State Policy Network Students for Liberty* Tax Foundation* Young Americans for Liberty Young Conservatives Coalition* Young Britons Foundation 60 Plus Association* * denotes 2012 AFF Gala sponsor

Ryan Radia, Suhail Khan, and Will Rinehart speak on a panel about technology policy, hosted at Microsoft’s Washington offices

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


AFF Experiences Record Growth America’s Future Foundation experienced record growth during 2012, hosting 88 events in 12 cities nationwide for more than 5,600 attendees. In order to build the organization, investments were made this year in administrative systems and planning that will ensure future growth and financial sustainability. For example, now features a central hub of information that is easy to use, including a secure donation form and improved “Free the Future” professional blog. AFF’s audited financial performance for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 is broken down here. Income


Foundations $143,300 63%

Individuals $54,205 24%

Programs $29,788 13%

Program $145,023 67%

Administrative $55,108 25%



Development $18,358 8%


Total $227,293



Total $218,489

Your support has allowed AFF to experience growth in all areas from 2011 to 2012. By all measures, AFF is identifying and developing young professional leaders for liberty around the country in order to strengthen the liberty movement. This model ensures that we will have talented leaders for years to come.

Young professionals continue their education at AFF events through interactive learning and debate


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

AFF panels feature debates between libertarians and conservatives on today’s hottest issues

2012 By the Numbers: Results Show Big Gains +275% +183%


Active Chapter Cities

2011 $82,475 2012 $227,293

2011 3 2012 11

Program Spending

Twitter Followers

2011 $79,059 2012 $145,023

2011 1,335 2012 2,000

Number of Programs

Email Subscribers

2011 38 2012 88

2011 4,300 2012 4,615

Program Attendees


2011 3,000 2012 5,600

2011 1 full-time, 3 part-time 2012 2 full-time, 5 part-time

People from a variety of backgrounds attend AFF’s fun and interactive events throughout the country

List of Top 2012 Speakers Senator Ron Johnson (WI) Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason Magazine Jonah Goldberg, American Enterprise Institute Matt Welch, Reason Magazine Tim Carney, Washington Examiner Matt Mitchell, Mercatus Center Sabrina Schaeffer, Independent Women’s Forum Karin Agness, Network of Enlightened Women Lawrence W. Reed, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) Robert Levy, Cato Institute Ed Feulner, Heritage Foundation Andrew Schiff, Euro Pacific Capital Lawson Bader, Competitive Enterprise Institute

AFF Guest Blogger Highlights Claire Kittle, Talent Market Lawrence W. Reed, FEE Roger Pilon, Cato Institute Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute Tom Palmer, Atlas Network / Cato Institute Peter Tucci, Daily Caller Stefanie Haeffele-Balch, Mercatus Center Matt Mitchell, Mercatus Center Andrea Mccarthy, Americans for Prosperity Emily Miller, Leadership Institute Heather Lakemacher, Institute for Humane Studies

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


Delivering the Promise of America’s Future Thank you for your support of America’s Future Foundation. 2012 was a very exciting year for AFF. Yet as we reflect on many accomplishments, we move toward our vision for the future. The battle for freedom never ends, even when we incur setbacks. As long as our leaders support and pass irresponsible large government policies that further burden young people and limit our liberty, we must fight on. AFF serves as the liberty movement’s talent agency for those beginning their career. Our vision is that no young leader remains untouched. We will identify and develop the leading libertarian and conservative policy analysts, intellectuals, writers, media strategists, legislative staff, activists, and grassroots leaders. AFF will deliver the promise of America’s future. One way we develop leaders is by starting new chapters. Leaders approach AFF and ask to bring activity to their city because opportunities are rare to learn about the ideas of liberty and come together with like-minded peers. In turn, excellent events for young professionals are held while the leaders have outstanding opportunities to build an organization from the ground up.

Connect with AFF Online AFFDC @AFF_DC AmericasFutureTV


America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report

As supporters of AFF, your input helps us grow. You should continue to offer the advice, good counsel, and support that has built AFF since 1996. You should be proud of this organization’s record of producing a strong return for your philanthropic investment, and impacting the lives of young leaders. This is a very exciting time to be part of AFF but there are many challenges ahead. Conservatives and libertarians have made tremendous gains for freedom, but the fate of our nation falls upon today’s liberty-minded professionals in their 20s and 30s to defend those gains and lead the next battles. Your support of AFF gives them the resources they need. With your support, AFF will continue to deliver the promise of freedom—the promise of America’s future. Thank you! Sincerely,

Roger Custer Executive Director

Your Support Builds the Liberty Movement Americas Future Foundation gratefully acknowledges major supporters throughout the country who make its work possible. The following list reflects gifts of more than $100 during calendar 2012. Foundations Anschutz Foundation Armstrong Foundation Ceres Foundation Charles Koch Foundation Dian Graves Owen Foundation Dodge P. Jones Foundation E.L. Craig Foundation F.M. Kirby Foundation JM Foundation Roe Foundation Sarah Scaife Foundation Strake Foundation Triad Foundation Windway Foundation Anonymous Individuals Amanda Griffin-Johnson Andrew Wong Anonymous – 2 Arif Panju Bruce Hollands Bruce Majors Calvin Coolidge Cheryl Miller Chris Gabriel Cord Blomquist David Barnes David Fenner

David Kirby David White Derek Douglas Don Seymour Ed & Linda Feulner Elizabeth Narrigan Flagg Youngblood Gary Leff Heather Pfitzenmaier Heather Wilhelm Ilya Shapiro James Palkovic Jessica DeGraffenreid Goodman John & Christie Fogarty John Barry John E. & Sue M. Jackson Charitable Trust John Tillman John Yackley Julia Wrighthouse Kara Mone Karin Agness Kathleen O’Hearn Kathryn Kelly Kmele Foster Kris Hammond Kristen Soltis Anderson Lisa Markham Lorna Mansfield Mary Riner “I support America’s Future Foundation financially because I believe that it is an investment in people, and that is one of the best investments that can be made. Investing in AFF is literally investing in the infrastructure of the Liberty Movement. My investment in AFF is multiplied many times over as AFFers develop through their career… For these reasons and more, I’d absolutely encourage everybody to support AFF.” John Barry, Head of Government Affairs, VISA Corporation

Michael Krempasky Michael Turk Modzelewski Charitable Trust Morgan Knull Patrick Klinetobe Paul Caprio Pete & Karen Walters Randal Teague Raul Damas Richard Lorenc Robert Bluey Roger & Anne Custer Ronald Henry Stacie Rumenap Simon Smith Stefanie Haeffele-Balch Steve & Sharon Custer Whitney Athayde William Dunn Corporate (Cash and In-Kind) Berkowitz Public Affairs Eagle Publishing KayeScholer LLP Lunar Massage DC Microsoft Mr. Yogato Pfizer RedEdge VISA “We were drawn to America’s Future Foundation first by its mission and second by its strategy. AFF does more than just identify and develop future conservative and libertarian leaders; it provides an environment that encourages debate and challenges the individual to hone the skills they need to achieve civic self-fulfillment and public service.” S. Dillard Kirby, Executive Director F.M. Kirby Foundation

America’s Future Foundation 2012 Annual Report


“Ever since its humble beginning, AFF has been the premiere networking and professional development organization for young conservatives and libertarians nationwide. Your innovative programs offer young professionals unique opportunities they cannot find elsewhere. AFF provides the crucial next step after students graduate and seek to continue advancing liberty. I encourage you to support the vital work of America’s Future Foundation.” Roger Ream, President, The Fund for American Studies

2012 AFF Annual Report  

America's Future Foundation Annual Report

2012 AFF Annual Report  

America's Future Foundation Annual Report