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Presentation of the Alexis de Tocqueville Awards

The Ritz-Carlton
San Francisco, California

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
600 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Map and Directions

Friday, September 22, 2017
6:00 pm
7:00 pm
Dinner and Program

Individual VIP Tickets: $1,000 per person
Individual General Tickets: $500 per person
Tables and Sponsorships Also Available
PDF Sponsorship Levels and Benefits

Join with us for an elegant Gala to celebrate the Independent Institute’s 30th Anniversary! In 1986, Independent began its tradition of boldly advancing the timeless principles of liberty by combining scholarly rigor with extensive communications and media coverage of the results, engaging new audiences in innovative, enterprising solutions. At our Gala for the Future of Liberty, we will celebrate our past successes as we look forward by honoring world-renowned, tech-entrepreneur Timothy C. Draper; Nobel Laureate economist Vernon L. Smith; North Korean refugee, defector, and human-rights activist Yeonmi Park; all exemplary champions of liberty, entrepreneurial innovation, and human well-being. P.J. O’Rourke, bestselling author and America’s leading political humorist, will be our master of ceremonies.

Master of Ceremonies
P. J. O’Rourke
P.J. O'Rourke, a Founding Member of the Independent Institute’s Board of Advisors, is America’s leading political humorist and the best-selling author of 16 books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. After graduating from Miami University of Ohio and attending the graduate program at Johns Hopkins University, O’Rourke began his career of skewering both the left and the right on the ends of his razor-sharp one-liners.

A regular panelist on NPR's Wait Wait . . . Don't Tell Me! and a member of the editorial board for World Affairs, O’Rourke is the former editor-in-chief of The National Lampoon and a popular contributor to a host of publications, as well as Foreign Affairs Desk Chief for Rolling Stone, and correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, during which he traveled to wars, riots, rebellions, and other "Holidays in Hell" in more than 40 countries.

Among his many best-selling books are the new Thrown Under the Omnibus, reviewed here in the Wall Street Journal; Republican Party Reptile; Holidays in Hell; Parliament of Whores; All the Trouble in the World; Eat the Rich; On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World; and The Baby Boom.

An Evening Honoring
Timothy C. Draper
Timothy C. Draper is the Founding Partner of Draper Associates and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. His original idea to use "viral marketing" in web-based email to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail and YahooMail, and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by hundreds of businesses.

Recognized as a leading supporter of entrepreneurship, Mr. Draper was listed as #46 of the most outstanding Harvard alumni, #7 on the Forbes Midas List, #1 of the Most Networked Venture Capitalists by Always On, and #98 in Worth Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful People in Finance, and he received the World Entrepreneurship Forum’s “2015 Entrepreneur for the World.”

Mr. Draper is the Founder and Chairman of BizWorld Foundation that teaches entrepreneurship and business to children. He also serves on the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, and he has been a member of the California State Board of Education, U.C. Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Singapore's International Economic Council, and Ukraine's Orange Circle. He also launched a California statewide cyber-initiative on school choice, and he has led an initiative to create six new states in California (“Six Californias”) to encourage competition and choice in government. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Yeon-mi Park
Yeonmi Park is the renowned, twenty-three-year-old, human-rights activist and North Korean refugee and defector who has become a leading voice of oppressed people around the world. Her 2014 article about North Korea’s “Black Market Generation” in the Washington Post has created a sensation worldwide and the memoir about her perilous escape from North Korea, In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom, has recently been published in 20 languages and 18 countries.

At the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum and the One Young World Summit in Dublin, she became an international phenomenon, delivering a passionate and deeply personal speech about the brutality and repression of the North Korean regime. Her escape from North Korea has given the world a window into the lives of its people, and due to her bravery, strength, and story, the BBC has named her one of their “Top 100 Global Women.”

Ms. Park has been featured on CNN, CNBC, BBC, Fox News Network, Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, and Aljazeera, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Telegraph, Wired Magazine, The Daily Mail, Reuters, The Guardian, Yahoo News, National Review, Business Insider, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Vice News, Daily Life and The Verge.
Vernon L. Smith
Vernon L. Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his pioneering work in experimental economics and the economics of entrepreneurial discovery and innovation. Professor of Law and Director of the Economic Science Institute at Chapman University, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association; a Member of the National Academy of Sciences; a Fellow of the Econometric Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Independent Institute.

Dr. Smith has been a Ford Foundation Fellow, Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology. He is past President of the Public Choice Society, Economic Science Association, Western Economic Association and Association for Private Enterprise Education. Previous faculty appointments have included the University of Arizona, Purdue University, Brown University, University of Massachusetts and George Mason University.

Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, he received CalTech’s distinguished alumni award, and he has authored or co-authored more than 250 articles and books on capital theory, finance, natural resource economics and experimental economics.

Robert W. Alspaugh
Former Deputy Chairman, KPMG LLP
Former Chief Executive Officer, KPMG International

William H. Draper III
Founder and General Director, Draper Richards, LP

Kenneth G. Hecht, Jr., Esq.
Of Counsel, Knox Ricksen LLP

Philip Hudner, Esq.
Retired Lawyer

Franklin P. Johnson, Jr.
General Partner, Asset Management Ventures

Jennifer M. Johnson
President and Chief Operating Officer, Franklin Resources, Inc.

Kevin Leader
Treasurer, Bechtel Corporation

David J. Teece, CNZM
Co-Founder, Chairman and Principal Executive Officer, Berkeley Research Group, LLC

Leigh G. Teece
Co-Founder and Chair, Silicon Valley Institute for Business Innovation

For further information, please contact us at:
(510) 632-1366

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