2016 Tillman Scholar

Kevin Mott

Marine Corps
Harvard University

“We need to prepare veterans to be as successful out of uniform as they have been in the military.”

Growing up in a military family, Kevin always knew he wanted to do his part, yet had not decided what form that service would take following 9/11. The events of that day inspired him to serve on the front lines, where he felt he could make the most difference. Kevin commissioned as a Marine infantry officer, deploying to Afghanistan and learning important lessons about leadership. While learning a lot of lessons throughout his military career, the most important lesson Kevin learned while working in ambiguous and challenging environments in the military was that the toughest fight too often comes when it’s time to take the uniform off. Returning from Afghanistan, Kevin watched dozens of his Marines struggle to make the difficult transition out of the military.

Kevin aspires to take what he has learned about leadership and team building in the military, along with what he is learning at Harvard, and apply it to help create innovative solutions to help veterans make smart and effective transitions. Kevin’s five years of service has inspired him to make a positive difference in the lives of veterans and he plans to leverage the unique experience and perspective gained from the joint Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government degree program to positively influence policy and create solutions for struggling veterans everywhere.  Kevin looks to leverage everything he has learned in the military and at Harvard to build a lasting partnership between government, universities and industry that provides mentorship for veterans and guides them through school and into leadership positions in business, nonprofits and government.