2017 Tillman Scholar

Damon “DJ” Faldowski

Harvard University
University of Pennsylvania | MBA | MPA

“To me, service is a way of life. A servant-leader embraces humility and puts others in front of self.”

As a senior in high school, DJ watched our nation come under attack, and the tragedies of September 11, 2001 marked his call to serve in the U.S. Navy. On active duty, he had the privilege of leading some of our nation’s finest warriors, and his experiences have taught him the most important lesson in leadership—serve those who you lead. DJ credits his collective military experience with forging his leadership faculties and catalyzing his passion to live a life of service.

As he transitions from the military, DJ hopes to become a servant-leader in corporate, public, and philanthropic sectors. He hails from a hometown in the heart of an unconventional energy boom, and has recently witnessed the industry’s unprecedented economic expansion as well as regrettable social irresponsibility. He believes the industry needs leaders capable of finding a marriage where all players work toward innovative renewable energy sources and champion corporate responsibility. His goal is to work in the private sector to provide growth capital to companies that are championing responsible energy practices. Determined to achieve this goal, he is pursuing both an MBA from the Wharton School and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. He plans to utilize his knowledge and skills from graduate school to drive significant change across this multi-sector landscape. Eventually, he hopes to return to public service in a capacity that is best for our country.

While serving, DJ knew many teammates who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and recognized a troubling pattern for their families: Gold Star Families initially receive abundant support, but it wanes over the years. His commitment to honor these fallen heroes and serve their families called him to help start Legacies Alive, a non-profit organization, which is committed to serving these families forever.