The Fund for American Studies

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The Fund for American Studies
PresidentRoger Ream
ChairmanRandal C. Teague
Coordinates38°54′47″N 77°02′27″W / 38.9130°N 77.0408°W / 38.9130; -77.0408Coordinates: 38°54′47″N 77°02′27″W / 38.9130°N 77.0408°W / 38.9130; -77.0408
Address1706 New Hampshire Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20009

The Fund for American Studies is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1967, the organization's stated goal is "to change the world by developing leaders for a free society."[1] TFAS is a conservative organization specializing in the free market. It has professional associations with conservative organisations like the State Policy Network and Charles Koch Institute[2][3] and receives regular donations.[4]


The Fund for American Studies headquarters located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

In 1967, Charles Edison took the first steps toward establishing the institution that is known today as The Fund for American Studies. Edison was a former governor of New Jersey, Secretary of the Navy and son of inventor Thomas Alva Edison.

Concerned about an eroding confidence in the American system of government, Edison recruited Walter H. Judd, David R. Jones, Marvin Liebman, and William F. Buckley, Jr., to build a program that would educate college students about American government, politics, and economics.[5]

On February 6, 1967, the group incorporated the Charles Edison Youth Fund. In 1969 Governor Edison died suddenly. To honor him and carry on his mission, the organization was renamed the Charles Edison Memorial Youth Fund. In 1985 the organization was renamed again to its present-day title, The Fund for American Studies. In the summer of 1970, the Edison Fund organized the inaugural Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems. Fifty-seven students attended the first Institute.[6]

Organizational timeline[edit]

1967 The Charles Edison Youth Fund is founded in Washington, D.C.
1969 The organization renames itself the Charles Edison Memorial Youth Fund following the sudden death of Governor Edison.
1970 The Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES) in Washington, D.C., is established
1985 The Charles Edison Memorial Youth Fund is renamed "The Fund for American Studies"
1985 The Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ) in Washington, D.C., is established
1990 The Bryce Harlow Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA) in Washington, D.C., is established
1992 ICPES renamed the "Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems" to honor John Engalitcheff.
1993 The American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES) is established at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
1996 The International Institute for Political and Economic Studies (IIPES) in Greece is established
1999 The Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS) is established in Indianapolis, Ind.
2002 The Asia Institute for Political Economy (AIPE) is established at the University of Hong Kong
2003 The Capital Semester Program in Washington, D.C., is established
2004 The European Journalism Institute in Prague, Czech Republic is established.
2004 The Institute for Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS) moves to Washington, D.C.
2006 The Euro Mediterranean Journalism Institute (EMJI) in Greece is established
2007 Legal Studies Institute (LSI) in Washington, D.C., is established
2008 Institute for Leadership in the Americas (ILA) in Santiago, Chile is established
2011 Institute on Economics and International Affairs (IEIA) in Washington, D.C., is established


The Fund for American Studies sponsors 11 collegiate academic programs. Nine Institutes are held each summer in Washington, D.C., the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong. A tenth Institute is held during the fall and spring semesters in Washington, D.C., and an eleventh Institute is held in Santiago, Chile, in January. The institutes combine lectures, coursework, internships, evening lectures, and site briefings at key institutions of national government.

In addition to its summer and semester Institutes, TFAS sponsors other educational programs and conferences for professors and students throughout the year.[7]

Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems (ICPES)[edit]

Since it was established in 1970, over 4,000 students have attended ICPES. This Institute is intended primarily for students interested in careers in government, international affairs, public policy and academia. Students study the American political system and market economics and hold internships with places of political and economic interest such as Capitol Hill, federal agencies, think tanks, political groups, or international affairs organizations.

The Institute was named in 1994 in honor of entrepreneur John Engalitcheff.[8]

Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ)[edit]

IPJ was established in 1985 to educate future journalists about ethical reporting and covering issues involving economic concepts.

The competitive program accepts a limited number of undergraduate journalism students to attend the Institute each summer. Program participants attend classes in economics and ethics and intern with major news organizations. The students also attend events at the National Press Club and regular briefings at principal news sites such as Congress, the U.S. State Department and the Federal Reserve Board.[9]

Institute on Business and Government Affairs (IBGA)[edit]

Established in 1990, IBGA explores the practical and theoretical questions surrounding the dynamic business-government relationship. Students examine the economic and political issues that shape how business and government interact as well as the importance of representing the interests of business before Congress. Accepted students earn course credit, intern with corporate governmental affairs office and trade associations and attend panel discussions with leaders in the profession.

The Institute was established in 1990 and was named in honor of Bryce Harlow until 2006 when it was renamed the Institute on Business and Government Affairs.[10]

Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS)[edit]

IPVS was established in 1999 as an academic and internship program for college students involved in volunteer activities and interested in a professional career in the nonprofit sector. The program curriculum includes service projects, an internship matched to the student’s interest and course credit.[11][12]

Institute on Economics and International Affairs (IEIA)[edit]

Approximately 60 undergraduate leaders attend the Institute on Economics and International Affairs (IEIA) in order to gain real-world experience in the nation's capital interning on Capitol Hill, federal agencies, think tanks, foreign policy groups, embassies, or international affairs organizations. Academic study is focused on current foreign policy issues, political trends and the economics of the free market.[13]

Capital Semester (CS)[edit]

Capital Semester is a 15-week academic and internship program offered each fall and spring in Washington, D.C. Participants of the program are enrolled as full-time students, placed with an internship in their area of interest and housed in furnished apartments on Capitol Hill. Students also attend briefings at the White House, State Department, and Capitol Hill as well as guest lectures from government officials and policy makers. In 2007 CS added a political journalism component for students interested in print or broadcast journalism, politics or public relations.[11][14]

Legal Studies Institute (LSI)[edit]

LSI was established in the summer of 2007. The ten-week program combines legal clerkships, academic coursework for credit, networking opportunities, and career development activities. Participants of the program interact with leaders of the legal profession and visit points of judicial and executive interest in Washington, D.C.[15]

International programs[edit]

American Institute on Political and Economic Systems (AIPES), Prague, Czech Republic[edit]

AIPES was established in 1993 to educate young leaders from central and Eastern Europe about free-market economics and constitutional democracy. Participants of the program attend classes, engage in a parliamentary simulation and listen to guest speakers.

Asia Institute for Political Economy (AIPE), Hong Kong[edit]

Established in 2002, AIPE promotes discussions of political economy among young leaders from across Asia. Participants attend courses on American studies and debate issues of economics, global trade, and economic developments with guest lecturers. The Institute is administered each summer in partnership with the University of Hong Kong.[16][17]



The official news magazine of The Fund for American Studies. Published three times a year, the TFAStrack includes news on TFAS programs and its alumni as well as information about upcoming events.


This monthly electronic newsletter is designed specifically for alumni of TFAS programs. Each issue covers upcoming regional alumni events, TFAS news and updates from alumni.

Teaching Freedom[edit]

This series of remarks on freedom is published by TFAS. The speakers featured in each issue of Teaching Freedom delivered their remarks at a TFAS Institute, conference or event.[18]


The Fund for American Studies sponsors several awards programs throughout the year to honor those who help advance the values of freedom, democracy and a free-market economy around the world.[19]

Alumni awards[edit]

The alumni awards recognize the distinguished accomplishments of TFAS alumni and commend their dedication and service to TFAS. They include the Alumni Achievement Award, the Kevin Burket Alumni Service Award, the Young Alumni Award and the Chapter of the Year Award.[20]

The Congressional Scholarship Award (CSAD)[edit]

The Congressional Scholarship Award is given annually to a U.S. senator at a dinner that raises money for students to attend the Institute on Business and Government Affairs.

The David R. Jones Awards[edit]

TFAS awards the David R. Jones Leadership in Philanthropy Award annually to recognize individuals who promote American traditions of philanthropy, free enterprise and individual responsibility. In addition, the Lifetime Service Award is given annually to honor recipients who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the ideas of freedom and service.

Journalism awards[edit]

Each year, the Institute on Political Journalism presents two awards to professional journalists, the Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and the Award for Excellence in Economic Reporting. The Thomas L. Phillips Collegiate Journalism Award recognizes excellence in work published in collegiate publications.

The Walter Judd Freedom Award[edit]

The Walter Judd Freedom Award is presented annually by the Center for International Relations and TFAS to recognize individuals who have advanced the cause of freedom in the United States and abroad.


  1. ^ "About Us". The Fund For American Studies. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Frohnen, Bruce; Beer, Jeremy; Jeffrey, Nelson (2014). American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. Open Road Media. ISBN 9781497651579.
  6. ^ Messer-Davidow, Ellen (2002). Disciplining Feminism: From Social Activism to Academic Discourse. Duke University Press. p. 239. ISBN 9780822383581.
  7. ^ "Programs". The Fund For American Studies. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Featured Supporter: John Engalitcheff". The Fund For American Studies. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  9. ^ "TFAS 2006 Annual Report Page 11". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  10. ^ "TFAS Website". Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  11. ^ a b "TFAS U.S. Programs Page". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  12. ^ "TFAS 2006 Annual Report Page 19". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  13. ^ "TFAS U.S. Programs Page". Retrieved 2012-02-23.
  14. ^ "TFAS 2006 Annual Report Page 23". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  15. ^ "TFAS Programs: Legal Studies Page". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  16. ^ "TFAS International Programs Webpage". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  17. ^ "TFAS 2006 Annual Report Page 21". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  18. ^ "TFAS Publications Webpage". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  19. ^ "TFAS Awards Webpage". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  20. ^ "TFAS 2006 Annual Report Page 25". Retrieved 2007-11-15.

External links[edit]