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Starting at the beginning of the year, Alejandro A. “Alex” Chafuen, longtime president of Washingtonbased Atlas Network, joined the Acton Institute as its managing director, international.

“As one of our founding board members and earliest supporters, Alex has been an important part of the Acton Institute’s work and mission since day one,” says Acton Institute Executive Director Kris Mauren. “Twenty-seven years later, we are truly honored to bring his invaluable experience and wisdom in the think tank industry to lead our global growth.”

At Atlas Network, Chafuen was instrumental in the organization’s mission of establishing and sustaining a network of free-market think tanks all over the world. Today, Atlas Network connects more than 475 think tanks in 90 countries. In his new role, Chafuen will help Acton expand its growing reach of international conferences, scholarly work and educational projects. In the latest report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, Acton was ranked 11th in the top social policy think tanks in the world. At its 2017 Acton University conference in Grand Rapids, Acton welcomed more than 1,100 participants from 87 countries. In Rome on Nov. 29, Acton hosted a conference of 380 scholars, diplomats, clergy and journalists from more than 40 countries. With its headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Acton also has offices in Rome and in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Chafuen, who was born in Buenos Aires, says he is extremely thankful to the colleagues, donors and allies of Atlas Network who, for more than three decades, made possible the work of helping start and develop think tanks across the globe. “I feel blessed to be able to join the action at Acton which, like no other think tank, can help us win the moral case for a free economy,” he says.

“Alex Chafuen is a tireless advocate for free markets and individual liberty, and our whole Atlas Network team is full of appreciation for his many accomplishments,” says Atlas Network CEO Brad Lips.

Chafuen joined Atlas Network in 1985 and worked alongside its founder, Sir Antony Fisher. Chafuen is a trustee of Grove City College in Pennsylvania and has been a member of the Mont Pelerin Society since 1980. A graduate of the Argentina Catholic University, he was a professor at the Argentine Catholic University, University of Buenos Aires and The Hispanic American University. Chafuen, who holds a Ph.D. in economics, serves on several boards, including the Chase Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is on the Member’s Committee of the John Templeton Foundation, the World Charity Foundation and the Templeton Religion Trust.

He is a member of the board of advisers of The Philanthropic Enterprise and was a member of the founding committee of Donors Trust. He is also the president and founder of the Hispanic American Center of Economic Research. Chafuen is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, writing a column called “Intellectual Entrepreneurs,” which focuses on think tanks and policy scholars.