At LibertyCon, we connect you to extraordinary speakers who are changing the world across all sectors — academia, business, crypto, investing, journalism, nonprofits, and policy. 

John Mackey

Whole Foods Co-Founder & CEO

John Mackey

Whole Foods Co-Founder & CEO

John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, has led the natural and organic grocer to a $15.7 billion Fortune 500 company with more than 460 stores and 87,000 team members in three countries. The company has been included on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for 20 consecutive years.

Mackey has been recognized as one of Fortune's "World's 50 Greatest Leaders," Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year Overall Winner for the United States,” Institutional Investor’s “Best CEO in America,” Barron’s “World’s Best CEO,” MarketWatch’s “CEO of the Year,” Fortune’s “Businessperson of the Year,” and Esquire’s “Most Inspiring CEO.”

A strong believer in free market principles, Mackey co-founded the Conscious Capitalism Movement ( and co-authored a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book entitled “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business” (Harvard Business Review Press 2013) to boldly defend and reimagine capitalism, and encourage a way of doing business that is grounded in ethical consciousness.


Miriam Isa

Media Personality

Miriam Isa

Media Personality

Pop culture expert. Political commentator. 300 million YouTube views. Donut eating champ at her local Hooters. Miriam Isa’s journey… is anything but normal.


Miriam has worked as a producer and correspondent on E! News, ESPN Deportes, Al Jazeera’s BeIn Sport and YouTube’s Clevver Media. Born to a Cuban Lebanese family, she graduated from Florida State University’s School of Drama with a BA in Theater. In 2011, she co-launched Clevver Media’s Clevver Teve – YouTube’s most viewed Spanish-language entertainment news channel. She has hosted, directed and produced across all of Clevver’s network and is a fan favorite on several of their most viral series, like the uber successful Cheat Day. Miriam was also the first ever E! News personality hired by the network to host AND produce her own shows, because Miriam strongly believes in the power of shaping her own content. The network agreed.

Miriam’s roster of interviews spans the gamut - from Academy Award recipients to political prisoners to Super Bowl winners. In addition, Miriam has cultivated a strong following for her political and cultural commentary.

In between shoots and donut-eating competitions, Miriam can either be found globetrotting, trying foods she can’t pronounce, or planning her outfits for Burning Man.

Vernon Smith

Nobel Prize Winner

Vernon Smith

Nobel Prize Winner

Vernon L. Smith, George L. Argyros Chair in Finance and Economics and President,
International Foundation for Research in Experimental economics

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002, for having established
laboratory experiments as a tool in empirical economic analysis, especially in the study of
alternative market mechanisms; has held appointments at Purdue University, Stanford, Brown, University of Massachusetts, USC, California Institute of Technology, U. of
Arizona, U. of Alaska-Anchorage, George Mason University, and Chapman University.
Professor Smith received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from California
Institute of Technology (1949), his masters in Economics from the University of Kansas
(1951), and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard (1955). He has authored or co-
authored over 300 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource
economics, experimental economics, the housing origins of economic instability, 1920-
2014, and in 2018, Humanomics, Cambridge press, with Bart Wilson.

Professor Smith is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. Purdue University awarded him an
Honorary Doctor of Management degree in 1989. He was elected member, National
Academy of Science, 1995. In 1996 he received Cal Tech's Distinguished Alumni Award.
He became Kansan of the year (Topeka Gazette) in 2002, received a Distinguished
Alumni award from the University of Kansas in 2011 and in 2014 an Honorary Doctor of
Science degree. He has served on numerous editorial and editorial advisory boards, and
as president of several national economic associations. He has served as a consultant on
the liberalization of electric power in Australia and New Zealand, and has participated in
numerous private and public discussions of energy privatization and liberalization in the
United States and around the world. In 1997 he served as a Blue Ribbon Panel Member,
North American Electric Reliability Council.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Nassim Nicholas Taleb spent 21 years as a risk taker (quantitative  trader) before becoming a researcher in philosophical, mathematical and (mostly) practical problems with probability.

Taleb is the author of a multivolume essay, the Incerto (The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game) covering broad facets of uncertainty. It has been translated into 39 languages.

In addition to his trader life, Taleb has also written, as a backup of the Incerto, more than 70 scholarly papers in statistical physics, statistics, philosophy, ethics, economics, international affairs, and quantitative finance, all around the notion of risk and probability.

Taleb is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering (only a quarter time position) [and, finance related bio only: scientific advisor for Universa Investments]. His current focus is on the properties of systems that can handle disorder ("antifragile").

Taleb refuses all honors and anything that "turns knowledge into a spectator sport".

6:30 - 7:30pm SFL Awards Gala Reception
7:30 - 9:00pm SFL Awards Gala Dinner
1:00 - 5:45pm PreConference Sessions
5:45 - 6:15pm Dinner Break
6:30 - 8:00pm LibertyCon Mainstage Kickoff Session!
8:00 - 10:00pm All-Conference Social
9:30am - Noon Conference Programming
12:00 - 1:30pm Lunch Break
1:30 - 6:00pm Conference Programming
6:00 - 7:00pm Mainstage Closing Session
7:00 - 9:00pm All-Conference Social
LibertyCon’s Steering Committee is a unique set of advisors who help make LibertyCon possible. These amazing individuals lend their guidance throughout the conference planning process.

Randy Barnett

Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and contracts, and is Director of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution.

After graduating from Northwestern University and Harvard Law School, he tried many felony cases as a prosecutor in the Cook County States’ Attorney’s Office in Chicago. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Constitutional Studies and the Bradley Prize, Professor Barnett has been a visiting professor at Penn, Northwestern and Harvard Law School.  

Professor Barnett’s publications includes twelve books, more than one hundred articles and reviews, as well as numerous op-eds. His latest book, Our Republican Constitution: Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People was published by HarperCollins (which was featured in a program at the National Constitution Center). In 2004, he argued the medical marijuana case of Gonzalez v. Raich before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2012, he was one of the lawyers representing the National Federation of Independent Business in its constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act.  

Steve Horwitz

Steven Horwitz is the John H. Schnatter Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the Department of Economics at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. A member of the Mont Pelerin Society, he has a PhD in Economics from George Mason University and an AB in Economics and Philosophy from The University of Michigan.

Horwitz is the author of three books, Monetary Evolution, Free Banking, and Economic Order (Westview, 1992), Microfoundations and Macroeconomics: An Austrian Perspective (Routledge, 2000), and Hayek’s Modern Family:  Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). He has written extensively on Austrian economics, Hayekian political economy, monetary theory and history, and American economic history. His work has been published in professional journals such as History of Political Economy, Southern Economic Journal, and The Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Horwitz is also an Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA, a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute in Canada, and a distinguished scholar at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has done public policy research for the Mercatus Center, Heartland Institute, and the Cato Institute, and has been a guest on several radio and cable TV shows. Horwitz has spoken to professional, student, policymaker, and general audiences throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Matt Kibbe

Matt Kibbe is a leading advocate for personal, civil and economic liberties. An economist by training, Kibbe is a public policy expert, bestselling author and political commentator. He served as Senior Advisor to Concerned American Voters, a Rand Paul Super PAC. He is also Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Austrian Economic Center in Vienna, Austria.

In 2004 Kibbe founded FreedomWorks, a national grassroots advocacy organization, and served as President until his departure in July 2015. Dubbed “the scribe” by the New York Daily News, Kibbe is the author of the #2 New York Times bestseller Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto (HarperCollins 2014), Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government's Stranglehold on America (HarperCollins 2012) and coauthor of Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto (HarperCollins 2010). Kibbe appears frequently on national television including FOX News, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, The Blaze TV and CSPAN.

He lives in Washington, DC with his unspeakably awesome wife of 29 years, Terry, and their three liberty-minded cats, Roark, Ragnar and Iko. A noted scholarly expert on The Big Lebowski, Kibbe is also an avid DeadHead, drinker of beer and whisky, and collector of obscure books on libertarian philosophy.

Alexander McCobin

Alexander is the CEO of Conscious Capitalism. Alexander graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 with a BA in philosophy and economics and a MA in philosophy. He then graduated from Georgetown University in 2014 with a MA in philosophy. During college, Alexander founded and ran a nonprofit organization that supported high school debate education in Philadelphia public and charter schools.

Alexander worked for a year at the Cato Institute on student programs. For the 8 years before joining Conscious Capitalism, Alexander served as president of Students For Liberty, an organization he co-founded and grew to include over 2,000 student groups and more than 1,400 trained student leaders in 100+ countries on all 6 inhabited continents.

Dr. James W. Lark III

James W. Lark, III is a professor in the Department of Systems and Information Engineering and the Applied Mathematics Program of the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia.  He has also served as a professor in the Department of Statistics and in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

He has served as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice at Va. Tech, the Dept. of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Dept. of Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  He was an Earhart Foundation Visiting Fellow at the Center for Research in Government Policy and Business at the Graduate School of Management at the University of Rochester.

He is the secretary of the Board of Directors of Liberty International.  He served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Self-Government from 2009 until 2016.  He is a member of the Foundation for Economic Education Faculty Network.  He is a recipient of the Foundation's 2017 Leonard E. Read Distinguished Alumni Award for Leadership.  He is a member of the Board of Advisors for Students For Liberty and the Board of Advisors of the Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Fundacja Wolnosci I Przedsiebiorczosci) in Poland.

He currently serves as the Region 5 representative on the Libertarian National Committee (the Libertarian Party’s board of directors), and as a member of the LNC’s Executive Committee.  He is the LNC’s representative to the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties.  He served as chairman of the Libertarian Party during the 2000-2002 term, and as secretary pro tem during part of the 2012-2014 term. He previously served as an LNC member during the 1998-2000, 2004-2006, 2006-2008, 2008-2010, 2010-2012, 2012-2014, and 2014-2016 terms.

Dr. Lark is a member of the Libertarian Party's Hall of Liberty, the Party's highest honor.  (Induction into the Hall honors lifetime or significant achievement that has made a lasting impact on the Libertarian Party and/or the libertarian movement.)  He is also the recipient of the 2004 Samuel Adams Award (given for outstanding activism), the 2008 Thomas Jefferson Award (given for outstanding leadership, high character, and dedication to the principles and goals of the Party), and the 2012 Thomas Paine Award (given for outstanding communication).  He is the only person to win each of these awards.

He currently serves as advisor to The Liberty Coalition and its constituent organizations at the University of Virginia.  He also serves as national campus coordinator for the Libertarian Party, and advises college and high school libertarians.

Tom Palmer

Tom G. Palmer is the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty and Executive Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. He is also a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, Asia, and the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), and Peace, Love, & Liberty (2014). Palmer received his BA in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland; his MA in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Sarah Skwire

Sarah Skwire is a Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation and the co-author of the college writing textbook, Writing with a Thesis, which is in its 12th edition. Sarah has published a range of academic articles on subjects from Shakespeare to zombies and the broken window fallacy, and her work has appeared in journals as varied as Literature and Medicine, The George Herbert Journal, and The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. She was a frequent columnist for FEE and has blogged for the Fraser Institute and Bleeding Heart Libertarians. Sarah’s work on literature and economics has also appeared in Newsweek, The Freeman and in Cato Unbound, and she is an occasional lecturer for IHS, SFL, and other organizations. She has been featured on podcasts such as Economic Rockstars and Imaginary Worlds. Her poetry has appeared, among other places, in Standpoint, The New Criterion, and The Vocabula Review. She graduated with honors in English from Wesleyan University, and earned a MA and PhD in English from the University of Chicago.

VIP Access
Looking to elevate your LibertyCon experience? Students For Liberty is proud to provide exclusive VIP Access at LibertyCon 2020!

Access includes: 
- LibertyCon Conference Ticket
- Access to Liberty Lounge
- Friday Brunch with SFL’s Top Leaders and special speaker
- Friday Pre-Conference VIP Reception
- Friday Opening Night Reception VIP Area
- Saturday Breakfast with SFL's CEO Dr. Wolf von Laer
- Saturday Lunch featuring SFL’s Award Nominees
- Sunday Breakfast
Mix and Mingle with the global liberty movement's best and brightest!


The SFL Awards Dinner is the perfect way to start off the festivities. We bring together friends and supporters of Students For Liberty to celebrate our top student leaders and enjoy a meal together as we reflect on the previous year’s big wins for freedom.