2015 Tillman Scholar

David Dauphinais

Dartmouth College
Harvard University | MPA | MBA

“I believe military service is our nation’s best incubator for young leaders.”

Among the last class of officers to have sworn the oath of service before 9/11, David joined the Navy motivated by the desire to be a part of something bigger than himself. In the decade since, his military service has given him the confidence to look past his fear of failure or the unknown.

As his active-duty career comes to a close, David credits the Navy with indelibly shaping his leadership ability and passion for public service. In training, he learned to build trust with his boat crew through shared struggle. He later saw firsthand the value of remaining calm under pressure as a combat leader. As a staff officer, he learned to stoke the effectiveness of a diverse team by communicating openly, providing clarity of purpose and remaining accountable.

Now, with national security still in mind, David is pursuing both an MBA and Master of Public Policy with concentrations in energy and behavioral economics. Although the advent of hydraulic fracturing and lateral drilling has shifted perceptions of U.S. energy security, he believes transmission infrastructure, degrading nuclear weapons material, and severe pipeline inefficiencies require more innovative public-private solutions. In the years ahead, he hopes to work with the Pentagon’s Operational Energy Plans and Programs Office and the National Nuclear Security Administration to implement better energy security practices across the U.S. government and private sector.