Public Service Review Summer 2021

The Stennis Center for Public Service is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative branch agency created by Congress in 1988 to promote the highest ideals of public service in America. In 2020, we created Public Service Review to provide a forum for young leaders to share their inspirations, experiences, and hopes and dreams as they work as interns and volunteers in the public service sector and, in many cases, prepare for careers in public service. The voices expressed in these articles are honest and heartfelt. This special edition features eight students from across the United States who share their thoughts and perspectives on national security, military service, and American democracy. Should you read into their words any partisan viewpoint, please remember that these individuals speak for themselves and not for the Stennis Center, their university, or any organization featured in this edition.

In this special edition, you will hear from Grant Booker, a student and class president at the U.S. Naval Academy, and Julia Nilsson, a student at Brigham Young University and Bradley E. Johanson Scholarship recipient, who share how their military experiences inspired them to provide service to others. You will also hear from leaders, such as Jordan Branchman, Jody-Ann Campbell, and Omar Khasawneh, who reflect on how national events, like the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the COVID-19 pandemic, shaped their approach to service at the local level.   

This edition also includes three inspirational interviews with national leaders and experts. First, former U.S. Representative Gregg Harper reflects on his time in Congress and shares some of his most worthwhile experiences and accomplishments. Second, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/Chief Financial Officer Mike McCord discusses his current role at the U.S. Department of Defense and issues around national security. Lastly, Dr. Colin H. Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, shares his experience as a former speech and debate competitor and how it led him to a career in public service.

Public Service Review is a place for talented and principled young leaders to tell their stories in the hope that others can learn and draw from their experiences. The stories featured in this edition were written from a place of honesty and integrity. We hope these stories and interviews can inform and inspire readers of different perspectives as we all work toward a better future.

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One Research Boulevard, Ste. 104, Starkville, MS 39759

(662) 325-8409

201 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Ste. C-7, Washington, D.C. 20002 

(202) 546-1837

One Research Boulevard, Ste. 104, Starkville, MS 39759

(662) 325-8409

201 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Ste. C-7, Washington, D.C. 20002 

(202) 546-1837