Linda J. Bilmes

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Office Address
Belfer-409
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 82
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Contact
Phone: 617-495-4753
Email: linda_bilmes@harvard.edu
Assistant
Patricia Timmons (617-495-8660)
Linda Bilmes

Profile

Professor Linda J. Bilmes is Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy. Her research focuses on US budgeting and public administration, particularly on the costs of war, veterans' affairs, the civil service and municipal finance. She is a full-time Harvard faculty member, teaching budgeting, cost accounting and public finance, and teaching workshops for newly-elected Mayors and Members of Congress. She also leads a program to assist local communities in public finance and operations, using teams of student volunteers. Bilmes served as Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Clinton.  She currently serves on the US National Park System Advisory Board and the US Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Advisory Board as well as on several private and non-profit boards of directors. 

Professor Bilmes is a leading national expert on financial and budgetary issues, veterans and defense costs. She has authored or co-authored numerous books, book chapters, articles and opinion pieces, and has testified to Congress on numerous occasions. Her recent books include the New York Times bestseller The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (with Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008) and The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service (with W. Scott Gould, Brookings, 2009). She appears regularly on national television and radio programs, including "All Things Considered", "On Point", "To the Point" and "Marketplace". Bilmes was featured in the Academy-award nominated documentary "No End in Sight." She is the recipient of the 2008 "Speaking Truth to Power" Award by the American Friends Service Committee. Bilmes previously worked in London, Madrid and Moscow with the Boston Consulting Group. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She holds a BA and MBA from Harvard University.

 

 

 

 

Courses

Not Offered

  • MLD-412M Advanced Applied Management, Operations, and Budgeting
  • MLD-417M Complex Budgeting and Financial Management

Spr Mod4

  • MLD-411M Budgeting and Financial Management

Media Expertise

Linda Bilmes welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:

Additional experts may be found by clicking on each subject listed. You may contact faculty directly or if you need assistance contact the Communications Office at 617-495-1115.

Research

For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the HKS Faculty Research Connection.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Federalist Nos. 67-77: How Would Publius Envision the Civil Service Today?" Public Administration Review 71.Supplement 1 (December 2011): S105-S111.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Highlights from The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service." Institute of Public Governance & Management 24 (October 2011).
  • Book Chapters
    • Stiglitz, Joseph E., and Linda J. Bilmes. "Estimating the Costs of War: Methodological Issues, with Applications to Iraq and Afghanistan." Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict. Ed. Michelle R. Garfinkel and Stergios Skaperdas. Oxford University Press, 2012.
    • Bilmes, Linda J., and Joseph E. Stiglitz. "The Long-term Costs of Conflict: The Case of the Iraq War." Handbook on the Economics of Conflict. Ed. Derek L. Braddon and Keith Hartley. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011, 293-311.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph, and Linda Bilmes. "Hidden Wounds and Accounting Tricks: Disguising the True Costs." Lessons From Iraq: Avoiding the Next War. Ed. Miriam Pemberton and William D. Hartung. Penguin Publishers, 2008, 48-64.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and Jeffrey Neal. "The People Factor: Human Resources Reform in Government." For the People: Can We Fix Public Service? Ed. John D. Donahue and Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Brookings Institution, 2003.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Scoring Goals for People and Company." Mastering People Management: Your Single-Source Guide to Becoming a Master of People Management. Ed. James Pickford. FT Prentice Hall, 2003.
  • Books
    • Bilmes, Linda J., and W. Scott Gould. The People Factor: Strengthening America By Investing in Public Service. Brookings Institution Press, 2009.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph E., and Linda J. Bilmes. The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict. W.W. Norton, 2008.
  • Commentary
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Three Ways To Avoid Future ‘Fiscal Cliffs’." WBUR, November 26, 2012.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "The Truth Behind the Ryan Budget." WBUR, September 19, 2012.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Afghanistan is Missing from the Campaign." Boston Globe, July 15, 2012.
    • Bilmes, Linda J., and Shelby Chodos. "Want to Stimulate the Economy? Let’s Hand Cash Directly to the States." Washington Post, June 29, 2012.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "And Now, Battles with Hardly Any Rules." Boston Globe, February 5, 2012.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "As Iraq War Winds Down, the Conflict Offers Expensive Lessons." Boston Globe, December 7, 2011.
    • Bilmes, Linda J., and Joseph E. Stiglitz. "America's Costly War Machine." Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2011.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "US Response to 9/11 Contributed to Causes of Current Debt Crisis." Christian Science Monitor, September 9, 2011.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "What the U.S. Government Can Learn from Business." Harvard Business Review, July 29, 2011.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Costly Inheritance." Boston Globe, April 27, 2011.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "U.S. Budget Woes More Than Just a Math Problem." Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2010.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "U.S. Budget Woes More Than Just a Math Problem." Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2010.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph E., and Linda J. Bilmes. "The True Cost of the Iraq War: $3 Trillion and Beyond." Washington Post, September 5, 2010.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Iraq War Winds Down, but Costs Soar." San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2010.
    • Bilmes, Linda J., and Max Stier. "Freeze on Federal Jobs Won’t Reduce Spending." Boston Globe, February 10, 2010.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "The Cost of Not Enacting Health Care Reform." Boston Globe, November 7, 2009.
    • Bilmes, Linda J., and Joseph Stiglitz. "The U.S. in Iraq: An Economics Lesson." Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2009.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Help Wanted in Public Service." Boston Globe, April 15, 2009.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "As Creditors Get Edgy, US Keeps Spending." Boston Globe, November 9, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Is This Any Way to Rebuild Iraq?" Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2008.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph, and Linda Bilmes. ""$3 Trillion May Be Too Low."." The Guardian (U.K.), April 6, 2008.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph E., and Linda Bilmes. "There is No Such Thing as a War for Free." Chicago Tribune, March 20, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda. ""The Cost of War."." Harvard Crimson, March 19, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and Joseph Stiglitz. "The High Cost of Fighting a Losing Battle." Financial Times, March 18, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and Joseph Stiglitz. "War's Price Tag." Los Angeles Times, March 16, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Another Year, Another $300 Billion." Boston Globe, March 16, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and Joseph E. Stiglitz. ""The Iraq War Will Cost Us $3 Trillion, and Much More."." Washington Post, March 9, 2008.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph, and Linda Bilmes. "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The Cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts have Grown to Staggering Proportions." The Times of London, February 23, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Soldiers Trapped in Limbo." Boston Globe, March 21, 2007.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "The Battle of Iraq's Wounded." Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2007.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and Joseph Stiglitz. "War's Stunning Price Tag." Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2006.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and W. Scott Gould. "Getting the Federal Workers We Need." Washington Post, August 31, 2005.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Uncle Sam Really Wants Usted." Los Angeles Times, August 21, 2005.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "The Trillion-Dollar War." New York Times, August 20, 2005.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "A Budget in Bush's Own Image." Financial Times, February 8, 2005.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Civil Service Has Morphed Into U.S. Inc." Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2004.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Bush's Gamble on the Afghan Front." Financial Times, March 30, 2004.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "The Truth About the Reagan Deficits." Washington Post, February 10, 2004.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Bush Joins the Donor Big League." Financial Times, December 3, 2003.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "A Poor Start for Bush's AIDS Programme." Financial Times, July 7, 2003.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Bush's Future Is in Blair's Hands." Financial Times, March 6, 2003.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Wise Tending in the Jobs Garden." Financial Times, November 26, 2001.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Scoring Goals for People and Company." Financial Times, November 26, 2001.
  • HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: The Long-term Costs of Providing Veterans Medical Care and Disability Benefits." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP07-001, January 2007.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and Joseph E. Stiglitz. "The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years after the Beginning of the Conflict." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP06-002, January 2006.
  • Magazine and Newspaper Articles
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Investing in the People Who Make Government Work." Federal Manager. Summer 2009.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph E., and Linda J. Bilmes. "The $10 Trillion Hangover." Harper's Magazine. January 2009.
    • Stiglitz, Joseph E., and Linda Bilmes. ""The $3 Trillion War."." Vanity Fair. April 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Iraq's 100-Year Mortgage." Foreign Policy. March/April 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda, and Joseph E. Stiglitz. "Encore: Iraq Hemorrhage." Milken Institute Review (December 2006): 76-83.
    • Bilmes, Linda and Joseph Stiglitz. "The Economic Cost of Iraq War." Milken Institute, 4th Quarter. October 2006.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Ask This: Total Economic Cost of the War in Iraq." Nieman Watchdog. September 2006.
    • Bilmes, Linda and W. Scott Gould. "New Book Looks at What College Students are Thinking about Government Jobs." Federal Manager Magazine. April 2006.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Disasters and the Deficit." Atlantic Monthly December 2005.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Disasters and Deficit." Atlantic Monthly. December 2005.
  • Public Testimony
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Testimony in Support of a National Veterans' Trust Fund." Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, September 18, 2013.
    • Bilmes, Linda J., and Joseph E. Stiglitz. Testimony before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, September 30, 2010.
    • Bilmes, Linda. Testimony to the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, February 13, 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "The Growing Costs of the Iraq War." Testimony to the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives, October 24, 2007.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. Testimony to the VA Claims Roundtable Hearing, Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. Representatives, May 23, 2007.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. Testimony to the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, March 13, 2007.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. Testimony to the Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization, Committee on Government Reform, US House of Representatives, October 3, 2005.
  • Research Papers/Reports
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "Eisenhower Study Group on the Costs of War." Watson Institute for International Studies, June 13, 2011.
    • Bilmes, Linda J. "The Fiscal Crisis in State Government – And What Should be Done About It." Next Social Contract Policy Paper, New America Foundation, June 2010.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "The Three Trillion Dollar War." Presentation to the Council on Foreign Relations, March 2008.
    • Bilmes, Linda. "Activity-Based Budgeting for Massachusetts." Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston PB-2006-4, September 2006.

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