The Fund for American Studies hosted a series of free online seminars this fall: Window into Washington. Sessions highlighted public policy, economic and career-focused topics that brought some of our best speakers to audiences around the country.

Stay tuned for more information on events coming in 2021!


Women’s Economic Rights: History and Why it Matters

Thursday, October 29
3:00 – 4:00pm ET

Cost: FREE

Seminar Description

As we celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage in the United States, this talk will explore the historical context and enduring impact of restrictions on women’s rights and job market opportunities. The Discussion will focus on how these limitations shaped women’s lives in American history, the economic and political motivations that contributed to improvements in women’s economic rights over time, and why this history matters for all of us today.

Speaker Biography
Professor Jayme Lemke

Jayme Lemke


Jayme Lemke (Ph.D., Economics, George Mason University) is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of Academic and Student Programs at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow in the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

Her specialization is in public choice economics, constitutional political economy, and the political economy of women’s rights. In addition to her work on the evolution of women’s economic rights and opportunities in United States history, Jayme has written on public choice and institutional theory as applied to policing, higher education and other local public services. Her research on these topics has appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Institutional Economics, Public Choice, and the Review of Austrian Economics. Her article “Interjurisdictional Competition and the Married Women’s Property Acts” was awarded the Gordon Tullock Prize for the best article published in Public Choice by a junior scholar in 2016.

In addition, she is co-editor with Virgil H. Storr of Economy, Polity, and Society, an interdisciplinary book series in political economy published by Rowman & Littlefield International. Her next major project is a collaboration with Vlad Tarko titled Elinor Ostrom and the Bloomington School: Building a New Approach to Policy and the Social Sciences, under contract with Agenda Publishing.

Follow Jayme on Twitter at @jmelemke for updates and resources on the political economy of women’s rights.

Virtual Networking in Washington, DC and Beyond

Tuesday, November 10
3:00 – 4:00pm ET

Cost: FREE

Seminar Description

Success isn’t just about what you know, but who you know and how you present yourself. This is even more important in today’s virtual climate. Connecting with people can be difficult and in this time of Zoom meetings and new online platforms, it is getting even more challenging! Now more than ever it’s essential to understand how to build your network in order to turn it into future career opportunities.

The panelists will provide advice on various topics including how to identify new contacts, develop lasting connections and virtual networking etiquette tips that will help you leave a notable impression. This session will also show you how to use social media, traditional and non-traditional PR techniques to create a professional image that you can build upon as your career progresses.

Speaker Biographies

Jean Schindler

SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Jean Schindler has over a decade of experience driving organizational growth and strategic collaboration. She currently serves as the Special Assistant to the President at the International Foundation for Election Systems.

IFES works around the world to advance good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance to election officials; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle.

In this role, Jean supports the president’s work on strategic initiatives and partnerships external to the organization, and leadership and management oversight within the organization. She also works in close partnership with leaders and staff across the organization to help execute strategic initiatives and operational priorities.

Previously, Jean served as the chief of staff at the Muslim Leadership Alliance, as well as on the Public Affairs team at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she established the Penn Kemble Forum on Democracy. She is also the founder of the Emergent Leaders Network, which provides micro-scholarships to community college students.

Originally from southern California, Jean graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and received a master’s degree in diplomatic history from the London School of Economics. Jean participate in the TFAS Hong Kong Program in 2006.

Michael Moroney

Senior Vice President, FleishmanHillard

Michael is a senior public affairs counselor specializing in corporate reputation, media relations, executive visibility, third party engagement, and crisis communications. He focuses heavily on reputational issues that impact FleishmanHillard clients, both at the state and federal level.

He leads the firm’s relationship with Anheuser-Busch in North American, focusing on corporate reputation, executive visibility, and consumer-facing activations. His leadership on Anheuser-Busch has culminated in multiple award-winning campaigns.

Michael currently oversees the global public affairs and public sector workstreams on Cisco, as well as public affairs work with General Motors.

He also heads up the agency’s work with the National Pork Producers Council and serves as counsel for the National Pork Board.

Before his time at FleishmanHillard, he was a senior director at Story Partners, a boutique public affairs firm in Washington, DC. Prior, he served as director of public affairs at the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity where he focused on garnering national television and radio exposure for more than 50 reporters in 30 states.

Michael has worked for Berman and Company, Feinstein Kean Healthcare (an Ogilvy company), and Edelman, acting in media outreach and strategic communications roles on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, major trade associations, and nonprofits.

He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Business and a B.S. in Political Science. PR News named him among its list of Rising PR Stars 30 & Under.

Reporting from Washington: Journalism Jobs in DC

Thursday, November 19
3:00pm – 4:00pm ET

Cost: FREE

Seminar Description

News is nonstop in Washington, DC and readers and viewers around the world depend on journalists to provide up to the minute and accurate reporting. In this session, participants will get to meet reporters who will take a break from their work to share what it’s like to work in the news making capital of the world.

Whether it’s covering Congress or the courts,  policy makers or even the president, a reporter needs to cut through the noise to get to the truth. Join us to learn how reporters are able to do this and get a few tips on you might one day get to do the same as you plan your career in journalism.

Speaker Biographies

Aubree Weaver

Deputy Production Director, POLITICO

Aubree Eliza Weaver is a deputy production director for POLITICO Pro, having previously served as a senior web producer. Aubree also co-authors Morning Money, POLITICO’s daily morning newsletter on Washington and Wall Street.

She graduated from Le Moyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, N.Y., where she was the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, The Dolphin. As a student, she interned with Time Warner Cable’s Syracuse affiliate, YNN, as a news broadcast intern. Aubree moved to D.C. upon graduating in 2013 to work as a summer program adviser for the TFAS Journalism + Communication program. She was a student in the program in the summer of 2011, when she first fell in love with D.C.

Amanda Finnegan

Editor of By The Way, The WAshington Post

Amanda Finnegan is a Washington, D.C. based journalist. She’s currently a homepage editor at The Washington Post where she manages breaking news and enterprise content for The Post’s desktop, mobile and app homepages.

On Saturdays, Amanda works as the national desk editor, helping to shepherd some of the Post’s biggest enterprise stories for the print addition, while assigning and editing daily stories. 

Amanda served as the lead homepage editor for breaking news events including the Boston Marathon bombing, the 2014 invasion of Gaza and the 18-day government shutdown. She also oversaw the planning and execution of coverage for the 2014 Olympics and men’s and women’s World Cup across all of The Post’s platforms.

Before moving to D.C., Amanda spent three years in Las Vegas reporting on the casino industry for the Las Vegas Sun and helped launch, the paper’s business news website. Shortly after its launch, the site won an Editor and Publisher award for best business news site. 

Amanda has reported on multibillion-dollar resort openings, profiled top executives, investigated scandal in the city’s nightlife industry and analyzed the financial crumbling of one of Las Vegas’ most affluent communities. In 2011, she was named the Nevada Press Association’s Journalist of Merit. 

She’s covered education at The Philadelphia Inquirer, helped produce Bloomberg’s government news initiative, reported on trends at the world’s largest technology expo and traveled to the Middle East to learn about the Iraqi refugee crisis through displaced persons.

Amanda is a New Jersey native, went to college in the Philadelphia suburbs and now lives just outside D.C. in Maryland. She’s a fierce defender of her home state and always on the hunt for the perfect bagel or slice of pizza. Buy her a gin and tonic, and you’ll have her heart. 

Jory Heckman

REPORTER, Federal News Service

Jory Heckman has been a reporter at Federal News Network since January 2018. Jory got his start as an intern in 2011 and was a digital news writer and editor for Federal News Network from 2014 to 2018. He also worked as a desk assistant with CBS News Radio in New York and was a reporter for the Citizens’ Voice newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. 

Abby Smith


Abby Smith is currently an energy and environment reporter with The Washington Examiner. She was previously a reporter for Bloomberg Environment and worked at Inside Washington Publishers.

Careers in Foreign Policy + International Relations: Peace, Commerce and Honest Friendship with All Nations

Tuesday, December 1
3:00 – 4:00pm ET

Cost: FREE

Seminar Description

This online seminar will introduce you to prominent TFAS alumni who have built successful careers in foreign policy, international relations, and national security. They will share career highlights, lessons learned, and best practices for navigating the increasingly competitive job market in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Most importantly, they’ll give advice on how you can advance global peace, commerce, security, and diplomacy so that we might all enjoy the benefits of a free and open society.   

The TFAS Academic Internship Program on International Affairs is designed to help students launch a career in foreign policy, international relations, and national security. Alumni of our program have gone on to serve in a broad range of government agencies, international organizations, NGOs, think tanks, and private enterprises, including the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, CIA, DIA, USAID, the United Nations, World Bank, U.S. Institute of Peace, National Endowment for Democracy, Atlantic Council, Brookings, AEI, Cato, CACI, and Deloitte as well as many other nonprofits and NGOs committed to tackling global issues on human rights, aid & development, climate change, and international law. What do all of our alumni have in common? They all got their start with TFAS.

Speaker Biographies

Jeff Phillips

Country Manager, Indo-Pacific, U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Jeff Phillips currently serves as a Country Manager for the Indo-Pacific Region with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. In this capacity, Mr. Phillips is responsible for business development, project preparation and evaluation, and supervision of USTDA activities in the region, with a focus on the ICT Sector. Mr. Phillips previously served as Country Manager for the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Eurasia.

Prior to joining USTDA, Mr. Phillips served as an official in the U.S. Department of Commerce focused on trade and market access between the United States and China. He also served as an aide in the U.S. Senate, worked for an energy technology company, and received a Fulbright grant to teach in Taiwan.

Mr. Phillips holds an M.A. in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, as well as a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Denver.

Angela Girard

Foreign Service Officer, Department of STate

Angela Sager Girard is a career Foreign Service Officer currently serving as Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Consulate Vancouver, BC Canada. As an ISD Rusk Fellow from 2019 to 2020, Girard taught courses on North American security, and the U.S. government. Previously, she served as the National Security Council’s Director for North America, where she was the principal staff member responsible for the formulation, coordination, and implementation of policy related to North America. Prior to this, she managed Merida Initiative security assistance programs on State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ North America team; worked to create a more strategic and dynamic State Department with the Deputy Secretary of Management and Resources; and advanced bilateral relations in the Office of Canadian Affairs. Overseas, Girard has served in the U.S. Embassies in Senegal, France, Haiti, Kenya, and the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining the State Department, Girard worked for NBC and an NPR affiliate. She holds a M.A. in International Security Studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Baylor University.

Blaise Misztal

Fellow, Hudson Institute

Blaise Misztal is a fellow at Hudson Institute. His research program focuses on the Middle East, Europe, and strategic competition.

Most recently, Misztal served as the Executive Director of the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, a congressionally mandated project convened by the U.S. Institute of Peace. Prior to that, he was director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s national security program where he managed a team responsible for researching and developing policy recommendations concerning a variety of national security issues, including Iran and its nuclear program, U.S.-Turkey relations, cybersecurity, countering extremism, and state fragility. He has testified before Congress and published widely—including op-eds in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New Republic, and Roll Call. In addition, Misztal wrote and directed the 2009 “Cyber ShockWave” simulation that aired on CNN.

Misztal holds an M.Phil. in political science from Yale and an A.B. with honors from the University of Chicago.

He is a native Polish speaker.

Heather M. Robinson


Heather currently serves as a subject matter expert on security in Afghanistan within the Research and Analysis Directorate at the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Her responsibilities in this position include writing the “Security” section of SIGAR’s quarterly reports to Congress. Previously Heather has worked at RAND Corporation, an international affairs consultancy, a foreign embassy (Afghanistan), and an international affairs journal.

Heather received her BA in Political Science from Columbia University and did both her postgraduate and PhD studies at the University of St. Andrews in Iranian Studies. She is a subject matter expert on the politics, security, and history of Iran, Afghanistan, and the greater Middle East and South Central Asia. ​

The Economics of Terrorism

Thursday, December 10
3:00 – 4:00pm ET

Cost: FREE

Session Description

Dr. Bradley’s remarks will examine al-Qaeda as a case study in modern terrorism from a rational choice, comparative institutional perspective. Seeing terrorist activity through this lens allows us to capture both the demand and supply sides of its “market,” a perspective that can illuminate dimensions of international terrorism that often escape more conventional analyses, and offer some novel and promising counterstrategies.

Speaker Biography
Professor Anne Bradley

Dr. Anne Bradley

TFAS Academic Director

Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and the academic director at The Fund for American Studies. Through this position, Dr. Bradley works to enhance the impact and reach of TFAS economic education programs through courses, seminars, videos and social media. She also delivers lectures around the country and oversees curriculum development and evaluation for economics courses.

Previously, Dr. Bradley served as the vice president of economic initiatives at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, where she continues research toward a systematic biblical theology of economic freedom. In addition to her work with TFAS, she is a professor of economics at The Institute for World Politics and Grove City College. She is a visiting professor at George Mason University and has previously taught at Georgetown University and Charles University in Prague. She is currently an Acton Affiliate scholar and a visiting scholar at the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy. She is a lecturer for the Institute for Humane Studies and the Foundation for Economic Education.