That Georgia is making strident progress on a variety of international indices is widely reported in the domestic press, but many Georgians may still view claims of their country ranking highly on global lists of safety and economic freedom with a degree of skepticism; after all, the average wage remains low, and there are few opportunities outside of the capital.

It is, therefore, enlightening to hear exactly how Georgia is making progress first-hand from experts. On Friday June 28, representatives of the Heritage Foundation visited ISET to present the findings of the organization’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom. The Heritage Foundation is an influential Washington-based think tank that came to prominence during the Reagan Administration of the 1980s, and remains one of the most influential research institutions in the United States. Along with its economic interests, the Foundation also reviews government policies and budgetary activities.

Almost as soon as they are through the front doors, new arrivals to ISET are told that the institute is like a family, and it does not take long before the truth of these words is proved. ISET alumni frequently come back to visit, and not just to pay friendly visits to their old professors: many have gone on to work prestigious jobs in both the government and private sectors, or earn PhDs in American and European universities, and so return to ISET to present on topics that will be of interest to the community, both old and new.

Yet this does not just apply to students – it is equally true for former faculty. Adam Pellillo, now of La Salle University in Philadelphia, worked at ISET for several years, and now happily returns to lecture as a visiting faculty member. On June 22, Adam came back to ISET to present his ongoing research project into health insurance coverage in Georgia.

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