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Abdullah bin Hamid Ali

Lamppost Education Initiative

Abdullah bin Hamid Ali is the Founding Director of the Lamppost Education Initiative. He serves as an associate professor of Islamic law and Prophetic Tradition at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California (2007-present). He holds a Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies in Religion (2016) and an M.A. in Ethics and Social Theory (2012) from the Graduate Theological Union. He obtained his B.A. (ijaza ‘ulya) in Islamic Law (Shariah) from the prestigious Al-Qarawiyin University of Fes, Morocco in 2001. He also served as full-time Islamic chaplain at the State Correctional Institute of Chester, PA from 2002-2007. His research interests include the interconnection between law and identity formation, comparative Islamic law, and Islam’s role in the modern world.

Chris Arnade

Writer & Photographer

Chris Arnade is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Atlantic, Guardian, Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal among many others. He is the author of Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America. He has a PhD in physics from Johns Hopkins University and worked for twenty years as a trader at an elite Wall Street bank before leaving in 2012 to document addiction in the Bronx.

David L. Bahnsen

The Bahnsen Group

David L. Bahnsen is the founder, managing partner, and chief investment officer of The Bahnsen Group, a national private wealth management firm with offices in Newport Beach, New York City, Nashville, and Minneapolis, managing over $3.5 billion in client assets. David is consistently named as one of the top financial advisers in America by Barron’s, Forbes, and the Financial Times. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox Business and is a regular contributor to National Review and World

David serves on the board of directors for the National Review Institute and The King’s College in New York City and is a founding trustee for Pacifica Christian High School of Orange County. He is the Senior Fellow of Economics for the Center for Cultural Leadership and a long-time faculty member for both the Acton Institute and the Blackstone Fellowship of the Alliance Defending Freedom.

David is passionate about the integration of faith and economics and has lectured and written for years about a theology of wealth and the marketplace. He responds to the term “Kuyperian,” is deeply appreciative of Tim Keller and Father Robert Sirico, and has read more systematic theology than any human should ever read. His late father, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, was a renowned Christian apologist and David’s personal hero and mentor.

He is the author of the book Crisis of Responsibility and the more recent bestselling economics book There’s No Free Lunch: 250 Economic Truths (Post Hill Press). 

His ultimate passions are his lovely wife of 20+ years, Joleen, their gorgeous and brilliant children, sons Mitchell and Graham and daughter Sadie, and the life they’ve created together on both coasts.

Stephen Barrows, PhD

Acton Institute

Stephen Barrows, PhD is the chief operating officer at the Acton Institute.

Prior to his role at the Acton Institute, Dr. Barrows served as the Executive Vice President, Provost and Dean of Faculty of Aquinas College (Grand Rapids, MI) where he was also a tenured associate professor of economics. While at Aquinas, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in economics, and led a team of more than 85 full-time faculty, 150 part-time faculty, and 30 staff members serving more than 1,500 undergraduate and 150 graduate students.

Dr. Barrows also served 21 years in the Air Force as an acquisition officer, an economics professor at the United States Air Force Academy and a faculty mentor at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan. He retired from the Air Force in 2013, holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

A graduate with distinction of the Air Force Academy, Barrows has a bachelor of science degree in economics (1992), a master of arts degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University (1993), and a doctorate in economics from Auburn University (2002).

He and his wife Kimberly (née Uddin) are the parents of three sons and two daughters.

Justin S. Beene, DTL

Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation

Justin Beene is the visionary and founder of an innovative partnership called the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation, a collective between nonprofits and for-profits working together for a flourishing city. He is well known as a global leader and practitioner with extensive knowledge and skills in starting and scaling collaborative ventures, creating win/win/win solutions across sectors and connecting resources to real problems in innovative and sustainable ways.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and family studies from Western Michigan University, a master’s in social work in management of human services from the University of Michigan, a master's of arts in ministry leadership from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in transformational leadership with a focus in entrepreneurial transformation from Bakke Graduate University.
Justin is a serial entrepreneur, having started Building Bridges Professional Services and Rising Grinds Café, and the principle of Impact Partners and Transformational Executive Coaching in which he provides consulting, executive coaching, corporate trainings, and strategy to both local and global corporate clients. 

He is also a senior fellow of Street Psalms and a board member of Fifth Third Bank West MI.

Bryan Caplan

George Mason University

As a Professor of Economics, Bryan Caplan has published in the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, Social Science Quarterly, the Journal of Public Economics, the Southern Economic Journal, Public Choice, and numerous other outlets. His book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (2007), was published by Princeton University Press and named "the best political book this year" by the New York Times.

Mahmoud El-Gamal

Rice University

Mahmoud El-Gamal is a Professor of Economics and Statistics, a Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar, and also holds the Chair in Islamic Economics, Finance, and Management at Rice University. He has previously served as chair of the economics department from 2008 to 2011. He also sits on the editorial board of the Review of Middle-East Economics and Finance and serves as a research fellow and on the scientific committee for the Economic Research Forum (Cairo). Professor El-Gamal received his PhD from Northwestern and has previously held posts at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the International Monetary Fund, and the California Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include international economics and finance, econometrics, behavioral economics, and Islamic law and finance.

Rachel Ferguson, PhD

Concordia University Chicago

Rachel Ferguson is an economic philosopher at Concordia University Chicago. As director of the Free Enterprise Center there, she leads a nationwide, cross-disciplinary faculty network that engages questions of liberty and virtue through seminars, conferences, and pedagogy. Dr. Ferguson has been a visiting fellow at the Eudaimonia Institute, and her work can be found in Discourse, the Journal of Markets & Morality, and the Library of Economics and Liberty. Ferguson lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she is actively involved in community building and empowering marginalized entrepreneurs through LOVEtheLOU and Gateway to Flourishing.

Ismael Hernandez

The Freedom & Virtue Institute

Ismael Hernandez is the founder and president of The Freedom & Virtue Institute. The Institute exist to challenge the paternalistic, condescending, and statist way of attending the problems of poverty in America. It's training on effective compassion and programs with students extend throughout the United States and the Caribbean. His writings have appeared in various newspapers and Crisis Magazine, World Magazine, and the Washington Times. He is the author of the book Not Tragically Colored: Freedom, Personhood, and the Renewal of Black America. Ismael holds a Masters Degree in Political Sciences and lives in Fort Myers with his wife and three children.

Michael Matheson Miller

Acton Institute

Michael Matheson Miller is Research Fellow and Director of Acton Media at the Acton Institute. With some 10 years of international experience, Miller has lived and traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He lectures internationally on such themes as moral philosophy, economic development, and social theory, and entrepreneurship. He is a frequent guest on radio and has been published in The Washington TimesThe Detroit News, The L.A. Daily News, and Real Clear Politics. He is the director and host of the PovertyCure DVD Series and has appeared in various video curricula including Doing the Right ThingEffective Stewardship, and the Birth of Freedom.

Much of his current work at the Acton Institute involves leading PovertyCure, promoting entrepreneurial solutions to poverty in the developing world.  Before coming to Acton, he spent three years at Ave Maria College of the Americas in Nicaragua where he taught philosophy and political science and was the chair of the philosophy and theology department.

Miller received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. from Nagoya University’s Graduate School of International Development (Japan), an M.A. in philosophy from Franciscan University, and an M.B.A. in International Management from Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Business. He serves on the President’s Advisory Council of Aquinas College in Nashville, the board of the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project, and the board of trustees for Angelico Press.

Ali Salman

Islam and Liberty Network

Ali Salman is a founding member and CEO of the Islam and Liberty Network. In 2021 his book Islam and Economics: A Primer on Markets, Morality and Justice, was published by Acton. He is an economist and a public policy expert based in Pakistan, where he heads a free market think tank, PRIME. Ali has worked as a consultant for major international development organizations, public sector organizations, and nonprofits, and has also worked in the government, academia, and the private sector. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and has held a Royal Netherlands Fellowship and a Charles Wallace Fellowship. Ali holds master's degrees in economics, public policy, and business administration. He writes regularly for Express Tribune, a partner publication of the New York Times.

Alexander Salter

Texas Tech University

Alexander William Salter is the Georgie G. Snyder Associate Professor of Economics in the Rawls College of Business and the Comparative Economics Research Fellow with the Free Market Institute, both at Texas Tech University. He is a co-author of Money and the Rule of Law: Generality and Predictability in Monetary Institutions, published by Cambridge University Press. In addition to his numerous scholarly articles, he has published more than 300 opinion pieces in leading national outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Fox News Opinion,National Review, and The Hill.