|Dr. Tommy Sowers|
|Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs|
|Preceded by||Tammy Duckworth|
February 23, 1976 |
Rolla, Missouri, USA
|Alma mater||Duke University, London School of Economics and Political Science|
Tommy Sowers (born February 23, 1976) was the 2010 Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in Missouri's 8th congressional district(map). He is a former US Army Special Forces officer where he achieved the rank of Major.
Early life and education
Born and raised in Rolla, Missouri, Sowers was educated in the public school system and graduated from Rolla High School in 1994. From 1994-1998, Sowers attended Duke University on an ROTC scholarship.
In 1998, Sowers was commissioned in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. First assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, Sowers led a combat engineering platoon in the NATO campaign during the Kosovo War. While in Germany, he represented the division in the Best Ranger Competition as well as an Eco Challenge.
Sowers later attended the Special Forces Qualification Course, graduating 1st in his class. While at 10th Special Forces Group, Sowers led a team of Green Berets. Sowers also served two deployments to Iraq. During his 11 year career Sowers was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, Military Freefall Badge, Ranger Tab, Belgian Commando School Brevet and two Bronze Stars.
In 2002, Sowers won Rotary Scholarship to study at the London School of Economics, where he graduated with a mark of distinction awarded to the top three graduates. A version of his dissertation was later published in Armed Forces & Society.
From 2006 to 2009, Sowers served as an Assistant Professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, teaching courses in American Government, Advanced American Government and Media & Politics. While at West Point, Sowers led a cadet summer trip to India, focused on service learning in the Himalayas and interaction with the Tibetan Government in Exile, including an audience with the Dalai Lama.
In fall 2009, Sowers taught in the History and Political Science Department at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri.
While at West Point, Sowers was accepted to the PhD program at the London School of Economics. In October 2011, he completed his dissertation, entitled "Nanomanagement--Superior Control and Subordinate Autonomy in Conflict (Mid-level officers of the U.S. and British Army in Iraq 2003-2008)" a study of how technology has allowed officers in the United States and British armies the ability to more efficiently monitor and direct the actions of subordinates. 
2010 U.S. Congressional campaign
On Veterans Day 2009, former Clinton White House official Paul Begala featured Sowers in an op-ed, calling the candidate "everything you'd want in an up-and-coming young leader: brave and battle-tested, deeply rooted in his community and passionate about bringing change and progress to his long-neglected corner of Missouri." 
In January 2010, Sowers traveled around all twenty-eight counties in the district in a project dubbed "Boots on the Ground." Sowers worked a job in every county, garnering a great deal of local press. Boots on the Ground's success led to a mention from Governor of Vermont Howard Dean on MSNBC, predicting Sowers "is going to knock off, I think, Jo Ann Emerson." Sowers embarked on Boots on the Ground II, in July, working a job in every county.
Sowers demonstrated his ability to be a potent fundraiser, raising over $1.5 million in the 2010 cycle. Sowers out raised all of his opponents, including Emerson, two out of the four quarters.
Sowers was endorsed by General Wesley Clark and his organization VoteVets, which aims to put more veterans in Congress. He was also endorsed by two Congressional Medal of Honor recipients: Retired Colonel Jack H. Jacobs and former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey.
In a profile in mid-April, Politico's Jonathan Martin called Sowers "one of the party’s most promising recruits."
In August, Sowers released his first ad, Combat Bible, which highlighted his military credentials. The ad was met with praise from Politico's Ben Smith, who called the ad "How to run against a GOP incumbent in red America this year." 
On Election Day, Emerson defeated Sowers with 65% of the vote. "The fight for our home does not stop just because we don't like the outcome of this election," Sowers said from his hometown of Rolla. "Progress never comes easy."
Despite being born and raised there, Sowers only received 31% of the vote in Phelps County.
During his campaign, Sowers received national attention for his call to end the conventional war in Afghanistan, criticizing the objective of training the Afghanistan National Army and Police.
In September 2010, Tommy appeared on Joe Scarborough's Morning Joe and The Ed Show to call for an end to the war in Afghanistan. In October, he was profiled on the front page of the Washington Post. Combat veteran Sowers calls for end to wars in bid for House seat in Missouri
After his congressional campaign, Sowers worked as the Senior Advisor to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the nation's first and largest non-profit focused on improving the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. As Senior Advisor, Sowers represented his generation of veterans, speaking and attending various conferences from Renaissance Weekends, TED Global, Aspen Institute's security forum and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Sowers completed his PhD in Government at the London School of Economics, with the help of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, or the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
In 2012, Sowers worked as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs
On May 9, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Sowers to be Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.  The United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs held a hearing on July 18, 2012 to consider Sowers' nomination. Sowers was introduced to the committee by Senator Claire McCaskill. 
Sowers was confirmed by the full Senate on August 2, 2012. 
- "Thomas S. Sowers, Nanomanagement—Superior Control and Subordinate Autonomy in Conflict:Mid-level officers of the U.S. and British armies in Iraq (2003-2008)". 2011-10-11.
- "News | Tommy Sowers for Congress". Sowersforcongress.com. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Paul Begala: A Warrior on a Mission in Rush Limbaugh's Home District". Huffingtonpost.com. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "News | Tommy Sowers for Congress". Sowersforcongress.com. 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- by: Jackie Kuchinich (2010-06-14). "DDemocrats Expand ‘Red to Blue’ Priority List". CQ Politics. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- Keller, Rudi (2010-07-18). "Emerson, Sowers reach $1 million in campaign funding". seMissourian.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "News | Tommy Sowers for Congress". Sowersforcongress.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Sowers on offense in defensive year - Jonathan Martin". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "How to run against a GOP incumbent in red America this year". Politico.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Combat Bible". Sowers for Congress. Retrieved 2010-08-22.
- "Emerson beats Sowers for ninth U.S. House term". Southeast Missourian. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- "November 2010 Election". Election Results. Phelps County Clerk. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- Sowers, Tommy. "Who Will Pay for the Afghan Military?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Tommy calls for an end to the war in Afghanistan on Morning Joe". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- "Tommy Sowers on The Ed Show". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2010-09-14.
- "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". 2012-5-9.
- "McCaskill Recommends Missouri Native for Key Veterans Affairs Post". 2012-7-19.
- "Senate Floor Wrap Up for Thursday, August 2, 2012". 2012-8-2.
- Tommy Sowers for Congress official campaign site
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information at OpenSecrets.org
- Livengood, Chad Sowers raises $204K in bid to challenge Emerson, The Springfield News-Leader, October 13, 2009
- Martin, Jonathan Begala makes case for Dem vet on Vets' Day, POLITICO, November 11, 2009
- Begala, Paul A Warrior on a Mission in Rush Limbaugh's Home District Huffington Post, November 11, 2009
- DCCC Announces Twenty-Six Races to Watch Swing State Project, January 15, 2010
- Keller, Rudi Sowers shrinking fundraising gap with Emerson Southeast Missourian, April 18, 2010
- Martin, Jonathan Sowers on the Offensive in a Defensive Year, POLITICO, April 20, 2010