Linda Bilmes Photo
Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy
Assistant: Emma Green

For CV, publications, and news, please view Professor Linda Bilmes' website:

Professor Linda J. Bilmes, the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, is a leading expert on budgetary and public financial issues. Her research focuses on budgeting and public administration in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She is interested in how resources are allocated, particularly defense budgets, costs of war, veterans, sub-national budgeting and public lands. 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. Since 2005, she has led the Greater Boston Applied Field Lab, an advanced academic program in which teams of student volunteers assist local communities in public finance and operations. She also leads field projects for the Bloomberg Cities program. Dr. Bilmes served as the Senate-confirmed  Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Bill Clinton.  She currently serves as the sole United States member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA), and as Vice-chair of Economists for Peace and Security. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. She was a member of the National Parks Second Century Commission and served on the U.S. National Parks Service Advisory Board for eight years. 

Professor Bilmes has authored or co-authored numerous books, book chapters, articles and opinion pieces, and has testified to Congress on numerous occasions. Her  books include the New York Times bestseller The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (with Joseph E. Stiglitz)  and The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service (with W. Scott Gould). Her latest book is Valuing the US National Parks and ProgramsAmerica's Best Investment (with John Loomis). She has published in the New York Times, Boston GlobeFinancial Times, Los Angeles Times, Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, the Atlantic and WBUR's Cognoscenti, and she appears regularly on national television and radio programs, including NPR's "Marketplace" and WBUR's "All Things Considered" and "On Point". Dr. 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 as a strategy consultant 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 and a D.Phil from Oxford University.

Executive Education Programs

Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles


Book Chapters

Edited Volumes

HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series

Research Papers/Reports

Public Testimony


Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Transparent Engagement 

Harvard Kennedy School is proud of its energetic involvement in the world. To better understand how to solve public problems by improving policy and leadership, we engage directly with policymakers, public leaders, governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses whose activities affect those problems. However, we recognize that such engagement can raise questions about perceived and potential conflicts of interest, so we disclose publicly the key professional activities of our faculty outside the Kennedy School. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Linda Bilmes

Organization Relationship
Economists for Peace and Security Fiduciary board membership
Syracuse University Fiduciary board membership
United Nations Reimbursed travel
University of Oxford Research or teaching appointment
Cambridge University Press Research or teaching appointment
Foodsmart Consulting
Foodsmart Membership on a scientific or other advisory board
Foodsmart Reimbursed travel
National Academy of Public Administration Fiduciary board membership
National Academy of Public Administration Reimbursed travel


Public Finance
Cities & Communities
Environment & Energy
Democracy & Governance
Public Leadership & Management
International Relations & Security

Mailing Address

Harvard Kennedy School
79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138