2017 Tillman Scholar

Austin McKinney

Air Force
Harvard University

“Our generation has a duty to preserve national security through international cooperation.”

Following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Austin’s passion for military service was deeply held from a young age. Six years in the U.S. Air Force across four continents taught him more about life and the world than he ever dreamed possible. In addition to a profound admiration for all Americans who serve, Austin learned the indispensable role that the United States plays in ensuring global peace and prosperity.

Through his training in the Air Force, Austin learned Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese to become a Foreign Area Officer in Latin America. He served at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá to advance our security partnership with the Colombian military. He also deployed with a humanitarian assistance mission in Honduras to provide medical care to rural communities. In these roles, Austin saw firsthand how the U.S. Government works to implement foreign policy that benefits both American interests and local stakeholders.

With the incredible support of the Tillman Scholarship, Austin completed an MBA at Harvard Business School to learn more about the intersection of business, economic trends, and international security. He worked for HubSpot following his studies, helping expand the U.S. technology company’s international business. Austin recently joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer focused on economic affairs. He is currently serving in Mexico on his first diplomatic assignment. Over the long term, Austin aims to promote international cooperation, security, and prosperity through his career as a U.S. Diplomat.