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Linda Bilmes

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Nationality  American
Name  Linda Bilmes
Role  Lecturer

Linda Bilmes Linda Bilmes Reinvent

Alma mater  Harvard University (B.A., government) Harvard Business School (M.B.A.)
Education  Harvard Business School, Harvard University

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Linda J. Bilmes (born 1960) is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University. She is a full-time faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School where she teaches public policy, budgeting and public finance.


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She is a leading national expert on financial, budgeting, veterans and civil service issues. Bilmes is widely credited with drawing attention to the cost of the Iraq War and to the long-term cost of caring for returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. She has received numerous awards and distinctions from peace groups and veterans organizations. She is the recipient of the 2008 “Speaking Truth to Power” Award from the American Friends Service Committee. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She serves on the Board of Directors for Economists for Peace and Security and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. She is a contributor to the Eisenhower Study Group/Brown University cost of war study. [1] She has testified to the US Congress on numerous occasions regarding the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the long-term consequences for providing veterans care. She co-authored the landmark centennial study of the economic value of the US National Parks System, which established a baseline value of $92 billion for the parks and programs. [[2]]

Bilmes is a faculty affiliate of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Rappaport Center for Greater Boston. At Harvard, Professor Bilmes founded and directs the Greater Boston Applied Field Lab, an advanced program in which teams of students work directly in local communities on budgeting and financial challenges. She leads budgeting workshops and training sessions for newly-elected Mayors and Members of Congress run by the Harvard Institute of Politics. Bilmes also teaches and conducts research at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, where she is a visiting fellow at Brasenose College.

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Early life and education

Bilmes was raised in San Mateo, California. She attended Aragon High School. During her senior year, she worked as an intern for Governor Jerry Brown during his first term as Governor of California. Bilmes holds an A.B. in government from Harvard University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. After earning a graduate business degree, she worked as a pollster and political consultant and then as a management consultant with Bain & Company until 1987. From 1988 to 1996, she worked at strategic management consulting company The Boston Consulting Group based in London, Madrid and Moscow. As a principal at The Boston Consulting Group, Bilmes helped build the company's United Kingdom healthcare practice, was appointed as one of 10 Western advisors to the Russian Ministry of Privatization, drafted Russia's first healthcare financing legislation, and managed over 30 financial restructuring projects throughout Europe. At The Boston Consulting Group, she specialized in public sector restructuring and industrial strategy.

Government Service

Bilmes has held senior positions in government including US Assistant Secretary and CFO of the United States Department of Commerce under US President Bill Clinton. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Bilmes served in government during the Presidency of Bill Clinton. She was twice confirmed by the U.S. Senate, as Assistant Secretary for Administration and Budget, and as Chief Financial Officer, of the United States Department of Commerce. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration. She has been appointed to several high-ranking commissions,including a Treasury Department commission to examine the viability of the Inter-American Investment Corporation. She served as a commissioner on the bipartisan National Parks Second Century Commission and is currently serving on the U.S. Department of Interior National Parks System Advisory Board and on the US Department of Labor Advisory Board on Veterans Employment and Training.

Books and publications

Bilmes is the author of several important books, book chapters and academic papers. She is co-author, with Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, of The Three Trillion Dollar War, which became a New York Times and international best-seller (W.W. Norton). She is co-author of the The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service with W. Scott Gould. (Brookings Institution Press) and Gebt un das Risiko Zuruck with Peter Strueven and Konrad Wetzker.


  • Bilmes, Linda J. (January 2007). Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: the long-term costs of providing veterans medical care and disability benefits. HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series. RWP07-001.  Pdf.
  • Bilmes, Linda J.; Stiglitz, Joseph E. (January 2009). "Report: the $10 trillion hangover: paying the price for eight years of Bush". Harper's Magazine. Harper's Magazine Foundation. 318 (1904).  Non-subscription version.
  • Bilmes, Linda J. (March 2013). The financial legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: how wartime spending decisions will constrain future national security budgets. HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series. RWP13-006.  Pdf.
  • Bilmes, Linda; Intriligator, Michael D. (May 2013). "How many wars is the US fighting today?". Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy. De Gruyter. 19 (1): 8–16. doi:10.1515/peps-2013-0011. 
  • Personal life

    Bilmes is married to Jonathan Hakim, a British citizen. They have three sons. She supports the Boston Red Sox.


    Linda Bilmes Wikipedia