Professor Linda J Bilmes is a full-time faculty member at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she teaches budgeting, applied budgeting and public finance. She is a faculty affiliate of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Center for Greater Boston. At Harvard, Bilmes runs an innovative program to assist local cities and towns with their financial health, leading teams of student volunteers who work in the communities. She also conducts the Harvard Institute of Politics budgeting workshops for newly-elected Mayors and Members of Congress.
Bilmes is widely considered one of the leading experts in US budgeting and public finance. She has held senior positions in government, including Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the US Department of Commerce, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration, and US Representative to several high-ranking commissions, including a Treasury Department commission to examine the viability of the Inter-American Investment Corporation. She is currently serving a four-year term on the National Park System Advisory Board.
Bilmes is co-author (with Joseph Stiglitz) of the New York Times bestseller The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (Norton) and co-author (with Scott W. Gould) of The People Factor: Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service (Brookings). She has written extensively on financial and budgetary issues in newspapers, magazines and academic journals including the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy, Harpers and the Milken Review. She has testified at numerous congressional hearings on subjects including veterans benefits, public service and the cost of the Iraq War. Bilmes has appeared on many national broadcasts, including the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN “World News Tonight”, “In the Money”, the “Lou Dobbs Show”, CBS Evening News, “Democracy Now”, NPR’s “Fresh Air”, “All Things Considered”, “Here and Now”, and “On Point”. She is featured in Charles Fergusons award-winning documentary film about Iraq, “No End In Sight.” Bilmes is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She previously spent 10 years as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, advising major corporations and governments on strategy and financial management. She is the recipient of the 2008 “Speaking Truth to Power” Award from the American Friends Service Committee. Bilmes holds a BA and MBA from Harvard University.