Linda Bilmes

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Linda J. Bilmes
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Nationality American
Field US budgeting and public finance
Alma mater Harvard University (B.A., government)
Harvard Business School (M.B.A.)

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.

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 (United States). 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. 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 runs an applied field learning lab that brings teams of students to assist local communities with budgeting and financial challenges. She also conducts budgeting workshops for the biennial Harvard Institute of Politics training sessions for newly elected Mayors and Members of Congress. Bilmes also teaches and conducts research at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, where she is a visiting fellow at Brasenose College.

Government Service[edit]

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[edit]

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 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. Between 1988 and 1996, she worked at strategic management consulting company The Boston Consulting Group. 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. She was raised in San Mateo, California. Her husband is Jonathan Hakim, a British citizen. They have three sons. She supports the Boston Red Sox.

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