Professor Linda J. Bilmes is a leading expert on budgeting and public finance. She served as Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998 to 2001. She is the United States member of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA). Dr. Bilmes holds the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer Chair in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she teaches courses on budgeting and financial management and leads training sessions for newly elected Mayors and Members of Congress. She is Faculty Chair of the Greater Boston Advanced Applied Field Lab and the Harvard-Bloomberg Cities Field Lab, an experiential learning program in which students work on complex challenges facing cities across the country.
Dr Bilmes has authored numerous books, book chapters, Harvard teaching cases and academic papers including the New York Times bestseller The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (with Joseph E. Stiglitz), The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service http://www.brookings.edu/research/books/2009/peoplefactor (with W. Scott Gould), and Valuing US National Parks and Programs: America's Best Investment (with John Loomis). Her research focuses on how budgetary resources are allocated, particularly with respect to the military, war costs, veterans issues, the value of public lands, and state and local governments. She has served on numerous federal boards and commissions including the National Parks “Second Century Commission”, the US Department of Interior National Parks Advisory Board, the US Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment and Training, and a US Department of Treasury commission to evaluate the Inter-American Investment Corporation. She has published widely, including articles in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, the Atlantic, The Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Boston Globe, Barron’s, Foreign Policy, and The Conversation, and has testified before Congress on many occasions. She is a frequent guest on national television and radio broadcasts. Bilmes is featured in Charles Ferguson’s academy award-nominated documentary film, “No End In Sight” and in “Rethinking Afghanistan” by Brave New Films. She is the recipient of the 2008 “Speaking Truth to Power” award from the American Friends Service Committee.
Dr. Bilmes is co-chair of Economists for Peace and Security, a distinguished body dedicated to promoting non-military solutions to world challenges. She serves on the Board of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University. Earlier in her career, she was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in London and Madrid. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She holds an AB and MBA from Harvard University and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.