November 4, 2020

Three HKS alumni are among the 14 appointed this week to the 2020–2021 class of White House Fellows. The program allows professionals from diverse backgrounds to engage in public service for one year in various parts of the federal government. The HKS alumni White House Fellows are Brian Kitching MC/MPA 2014, Dan Kurtenbach MPA 2019, and Wes Spurlock MC/MPA 2018.

Brian Kitching is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and is placed at the White House Office of Management and Budget and the United States Office of Personnel Management. Brian is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who has spent over 50 months deployed to combat since 2002. He has served in key roles within Special Operations and Infantry units, including assignments to the 75th Ranger Regiment, 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions, and 3rd Infantry Division. His military awards include two Bronze Stars for Valor and the Silver Star. His experience in the Middle East includes numerous kinetic combat operations, as well as economic development and social assistance missions over nearly 20 years. Kitching served as a General Wayne Downing Scholar at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and is a term member for the Council on Foreign Relations. He most recently served as a special assistant to the 40th chief of staff of the Army. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Alabama A&M University, a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Fletcher School at Tufts.

Dan Kurtenbach is from Nevada, Iowa, and is placed at the United States Small Business Administration. He was previously a program manager for new product introduction at Apple, where he worked on the company’s flagship products for the iPhone and Core Technologies Product Operations team in Silicon Valley. Before Apple, he served as an Army Special Forces officer and led both special operations and conventional forces in the Middle East, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia. He served as an Infantry platoon leader in Iraq, commanded the Special Forces “A” team responsible for conducting humanitarian and rescue operations during the 2015 Nepal earthquake crisis, and led a special operations element in United States Embassy-Dhaka in 2016 during Bangladesh’s spike in terrorism. Kurtenbach is active in advocating for mentoring service members as they separate from the military. He earned a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Business Administration from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Wes Spurlock is from Norco, California, and is placed at the United States International Development Finance Corporation. He is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force. Spurlock served as the squadron commander of the 344th Air Refueling Squadron at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas. As the commander, Spurlock led a team of more than 100 military and civilian personnel that delivered and operated the Air Force’s newest aircraft, the KC-46 Pegasus. Before that assignment, Spurlock was the military aide to President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump, where he was responsible for the Presidential Emergency Satchel (the “football”) and assisted the president in implementing command and control of the United States’s nuclear arsenal. He has served overseas on multiple deployments, including Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Unified Protector. Spurlock is very involved with the Gold Star community. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy with military distinction, a Master of Business Administration from Mississippi State University, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Please visit the White House website for a complete version of this press release listing the entire class of fellows.