Who are we?
Established in 1969, Liberty International is the oldest organization promoting libertarianism worldwide. Our purpose is to bring liberty to every corner of the world by sharing the philosophy and benefits of freedom, with special emphasis on educating newcomers. We spread liberty and foster a global network of freedom champions, empowering them to become change agents in their own countries.
What is our background?
Founded in 1969, Liberty International has gone through a number of name changes including being formerly known as the International Society for Individual Liberty, and Libertarian International.
Liberty International was one of the very first liberty movement organizations to penetrate Eastern Europe, before and after the fall of Berlin Wall.
Because of its unique, compassionate messaging and ability to work within authoritarian regimes, Liberty International managed to ship books, pamphlets, and other publications into risky environments including Poland, Czechoslovakia and pre-reform China.
After the collapse of communism in Europe, Liberty International reacted swiftly to distribute liberty movement writings, especially through its acquisition of the bookstore, Freedom’s Forum Books, in San Francisco, and eventual revival of Laissez Faire Books, shipping quantities of books to fledgling think tanks in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, and Lithuania, and sponsoring international conferences in several of these countries.
What do we do?
Our core outreach program is our very popular annual international conference. Since 1982, we have held 33 conferences, 30 of them outside the U.S., with many of them across Europe, plus North and Central America, South Africa, New Zealand, China, and most recently in Bali, Indonesia.
Meet our Board of Directors!
President, Jacek Spendel
Jacek Spendel, a native of Poland, is an experienced manager in the libertarian think-tank world. He started his activism at age 18 with the KoLiber Youth Association. Between 2005-2012, Spendel was the project manager at the Globalization Institute. In 2012, he founded Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation where he is CEO and runs a number of projects with Project Arizona as the most successful one. His adventure with Liberty International started back in 2006 when as a 21-year-old student he attended the Prague LIWC with a scholarship. Two years later, Spendel organized his first LLI Liberty Camp and has managed over a dozen of them in several different countries. In 2019, Jacek Spendel joined the Board of Liberty International.
Simultaneously with his libertarian activism, he ran a pizza business in Katowice between 2014-2017. He studied social sciences at the University of Silesia, Jagiellonian University, and Georgetown University. Spendel is an Alumnus of Atlas Network’s Think-Tank MBA (2013) and The Fund of American Studies programs in Prague (2008) and Washington, DC (2009). Currently, he and his wife Magda divide their time between Phoenix, AZ, and Wrocław in southwestern Poland.
Chair, Mary Ruwart
Dr. Mary J. Ruwart is a research scientist, ethicist, and a libertarian author/activist. Since 1982, Dr. Ruwart has also been involved in societal ethics with a focus on the political theory and practice of libertarianism. Her award-winning international best-selling book, Healing Our World, demonstrates how the ethical application of libertarian principles has historically created harmony and abundance. Referencing hundreds of studies, Dr. Ruwart demonstrates that many of our current policies surreptitiously violate the basic ethical standards that we hold dear, thereby leading to unintended—and highly undesirable—consequences. She is also the author of “Short Answers to the Tough Questions Libertarians Are Often Asked” and “Death by Regulation,” which demonstrates how the FDA has taken 5-10 years off each of our lives.
Currently, Dr. Ruwart serves as Chair of Liberty International and Secretary of the Foundation for a Free Society. She has been an At-Large member of the Libertarian National Committee, served on the Board of both the Heartland Institute (Michigan Chapter) and the Fully Informed Jury Amendment Association.
VP for International Relations, Ken Schoolland
Ken Schoolland is an Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Hawaii Pacific University. He is on the Board of Scholars of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, and formerly President of Liberty International and Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Hawaii.
Schoolland authored The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey, published in 80+ editions in 50+ languages, and performed in theatrical productions across Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Schoolland was Director of the Graduate Program in Japanese Business Studies at Chaminade University of Honolulu and a professor of economics at Hakodate University in Japan. He served as an international economist in the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations.
Secretary, James Lark
Dr. Lark currently serves as a professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment and the Applied Mathematics Program of the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. He is the author of publications in mathematics, operations research, and artificial intelligence.
He serves as secretary of Liberty International. He is a member of the Libertarian National Committee of the United States Libertarian Party; he served as the Party’s national chair during the 2000-2002 term. He is the LNC’s representative to the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties. He is a member of the Board of Advisors to Students For Liberty. He served as chairman of the Advocates for Self-Government from 2009 until 2016.
VP for Latin American programs, Dr. Kyle Varner
Dr. Kyle Varner practices hospital medicine at a variety of hospitals around the United States and provides volunteer medical care to the Venezuelan refugee population in Colombia. A Liberty International board member since 2017, he travels frequently to Latin America to support the liberty movement across the region.
Dr. Per Bylund
Dr. Bylund is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Records-Johnston Professor in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University. He is also a Fellow of the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and an associate fellow of the Ratio Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
Among his books, Bylund authored The Seen, the Unseen, and the Unrealized: How Regulations Affect Our Everyday Lives and edited Sådan är kapitalismen, an anthology in Swedish on free-market ideas with chapters by Margaret Thatcher, Johan Norberg, Gunnar Hökmark, and others. The latter was released as part of the Stockholm edition of the 2002 Walk for Capitalism, which Bylund organized.
Bylund has been a writer and activist in the libertarian movement since the mid-1990s. He was co-founder of Anarchism.net in 1999 and the founding editor of Svenska Libertarianskt Forum (2002-2004). He is presently a writer primarily on economic matters, has a monthly column in Entrepreneur and is active on Twitter @PerBylund .
Lobo Tiggre is a long-time libertarian activist and the founder of IndependentSpeculator.com. He researched and recommended speculative opportunities in Casey Research publications from 2004 to 2018, writing under the name “Louis James.” While with Casey Research, he learned the ins and outs of resource speculation from the legendary libertarian speculator Doug Casey.
Previously, Lobo was president of the Henry Hazlitt Foundation, then publishers of Free-Market.Net, the first libertarian internet portal, and later, Bureaucrash.com.
Lobo is most well known in the Liberty International family as a donor, organizer, and participant in our liberty camps. He organized such camps in Lithuania, the Republic of Georgia, Romania, Ukraine, and less formal sessions in the Republic of Belarus.
For more information, please see, Who is Louis James?
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