Professor Linda J. Bilmes is a leading expert on budgeting and public finance. She is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and is Faculty Chair of the Rappaport Greater Boston Advanced Applied Field Lab and the Bloomberg-Harvard Cities Field Lab, an experiential learning program in which students work directly on complex challenges in cities across the country.

Dr. Bilmes represents the United States on the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration. She served as Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998 to 2001 and on the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service Advisory Board and the US Department of Labor Veterans Employment Board from 2011 to 2017.  Earlier in her career, she was a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group, based in London and Madrid.

Dr Bilmes has authored or co-authored numerous books, book chapters and papers including the New York Times bestseller The Three Trillion Dollar War(2008), The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service (2009;  and Valuing the US National Parks and Programs: America’s Best Investment (2019). Her research focuses on how budgetary resources are allocated, particularly with respect to the value of public lands, state and local governments, costs of war, veterans and the military. She has received many awards and honors, including the 2008 “Speaking Truth to Power” Award by the American Friends Service Committee. Her researched has been published in The New York Times, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, Boston Globe, Barron’s and Foreign Policy and numerous academic journals. 

She is co-chair of Economists for Peace and Security and serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. She  is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She holds an AB and MBA from Harvard University and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. 

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