2019 Tillman Scholar

David Laszcz

Marine Corps
Harvard University

“I want to develop more effective and salient policies to promote economic development to build resilience in local communities.”

At 17, David enlisted in the Marines as a Rifleman. His call to service began after David and his family were displaced for nearly two years following Hurricane Rita. He eventually returned home to the community he loved, but his family’s struggle inspired him to serve his country and help others recover from a crisis.

David deployed in 2011 to support Operation Enduring Freedom following the Arab Spring, which inspired his fascination with economic development, governance and sustainability. After serving with some of the hardest working Marines, his unit demobilized, and David began working for a member of Congress at the regional office within his district. He learned firsthand how federal and local policies could work together to improve the wellbeing of Americans. After being promoted to Sergeant, he received an appointment to the Naval Academy, where he completed a Bachelor’s in Quantitative Economics and commissioned as an officer in the Marines.

Following commissioning, he worked at the Council of Economic Advisers at the White House as a Staff Economist. David is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. After Harvard, he will rejoin the fleet Marine force. David hopes to elevate those who come from a background not too unlike his own. After active duty, he hopes to continue in public service with knowledge of effective crisis response, belief in prosperity through economic development and experience of leadership meant to empower those facing adversity.