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  • Writer's pictureBrad

How to prepare kids for careers in public service

Release date: October 31, 2022

Career days at schools tend to be generic. Students hear from doctors and lawyers, but they rarely hear from professionals who work for governments or nonprofits. This is despite the tremendous impact these sectors have. That is the impetus behind this episode, and Terry Babcock-Lumish is the perfect guest for it. Terry has worked at every level of government; she has trained young would-be public servants for some of the world’s more egalitarian and most exclusive universities; and she currently is the Executive Secretary of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for public service leadership that awards live-changing scholarships to 50 plus students each year. Terry is dedicated, smart, funny, and busy. I am grateful that she found the time to share her insights. More information about Terry and the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation can be found below.

Biography of Terry Babcock-Lumish

Dr. Terry Babcock-Lumish is the sixth – and first female – Executive Secretary of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, the “living memorial” to America's 33rd president and the national monument to public service. For fifteen years, she led Islay, providing strategic guidance for philanthropic foundations and other mission-driven organizations across six continents. Recent years’ academic affiliations include the University of Arizona, City University of New York, the University of Delaware’s Biden School, the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, the University of Oxford, and the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she developed West Point’s first behavioral economics course and a civilian-military partnership with the Culinary Institute of America. Previously, she served as the founding Director of Public Policy at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, dedicated to education, research, and civic engagement, in the historic New York City home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. She has served in local, state, and federal government for both Democratic and Republican administrations, and as a researcher for two books by former Vice President Al Gore. From 1999 to 2001, she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the Treasury Department and in the Council of Economic Advisers. She completed her BS at Carnegie Mellon University, where she was named a Truman Scholar, and earned an MPA in environmental and technology policy as a Lilly Community Assistance Fellow at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She read her DPhil in economic geography at the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar. In her free time, the Cordon Bleu-trained chef may be found experimenting with new recipes, practicing yoga, or participating in occasional tests of endurance on foot or by bicycle. She lives in Washington with her partner, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Brian Babcock-Lumish.


Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation




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