2018 Tillman Scholar

Dennis Magnasco

Dartmouth College
Harvard University | MPP | MBA

“I wanted to build innovative policy initiatives that are mutually beneficial to businesses and the American workforce.”

Dennis enlisted in the Army immediately following his graduation from East Boston High School. Dennis’ family had struggled financially and emotionally following the unexpected death of his father, an Army veteran, just one month after Dennis’ thirteenth birthday. For Dennis, serving was an opportunity to honor his father’s memory and to find meaning and purpose through something greater than himself.

Dennis served as a Combat Medic with an infantry unit and deployed to Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was the senior medic on a Provincial Reconstruction Team, which worked with local Afghan military and government partners to stabilize the region and support reconstruction efforts in austere environments. After returning from Afghanistan, Dennis earned his undergraduate degree from the Harvard University Extension School, which he attended at night while maintaining full-time employment with the Massachusetts Army National Guard. In 2015, Dennis separated from the military and began working for a member of the United States Congress.

Dennis decided to pursue graduate school after learning that disruptive technology is having dramatic consequences for middle-class jobs and incomes. He is now a dual-degree candidate, concurrently earning a Masters in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. With the knowledge and skills built through both curriculums, Dennis hopes to create policy solutions at the nexus of business and government that would allow him to give working class families a chance to thrive in a changing economic landscape.