Linda Bilmes, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, has been named a member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration.
Bilmes is the sole U.S. member among the 24 experts nominated to the committee by the U.N. general secretary. The U.N. Economic and Social Council approved those nominations on July 22. The nominations reflect “the need to have a range of expertise among the committee members in the interrelated fields of public economics, public administration, and public finance,” the council said.
Bilmes is a leading expert on budgeting and public finance and teaches public finance, regional finance, and budgeting. She also leads the Kennedy School’s training in public finance for newly elected members of Congress and mayors. Bilmes served as assistant secretary and chief financial officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998-2001. She served for 8 years as a presidential appointee on the National Parks System Advisory Board during the Obama administration.
She has written many books and articles on the costs of war, the value of public lands, conservation, and finance. Her 2016 working paper, Total Economic Valuation of the National Park Service Lands and Programs, established an economic value of U.S. national parks assets for the first time. Her books include The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict, co-authored with Joseph Stiglitz.
Bilmes, who holds a BA and MBA from Harvard and earned her doctorate at Oxford, also leads the Kennedy School’s “Greater Boston Applied Field Lab” course (MLD-412), in which teams of students assist local communities in public finance and operations.