2023 Tillman Scholar

Seamus W. Murphy

University of Chicago

“Having served on the frontlines, I understand the value of peace. Now, as an emerging policy leader, my mission is to promote stability, prosperity, and progress for the world’s communities.”

After the attacks of 9/11 impacted the community of his New York hometown, Seamus enlisted in the Army as an infantryman. He spent the next six years with the 3rd Infantry Division, where he completed several deployments, spending a collective 27 months in Iraq. His time overseas helped him to realize how individual economic prosperity fosters stable communities and prevents conflict. 

Following the military, Seamus attended Cornell University. His transition from boots to books inspired him to build a support network with his veteran peers. Co-founding the Cornell Undergraduate Veterans Association and supporting the expansion of the Ivy League Veterans Council, Seamus worked diligently to engage, empower, and employ student veterans locally and nationally. He earned a BS in International Agriculture and Rural Development, focusing on economic advancement and food security for disenfranchised people. Post-undergraduate, Seamus began his career at Accenture as a management consultant, allowing him to refine his leadership skills in a corporate setting while continuing to support fellow veterans. 

Then, in 2021, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan led to a crisis for communities like the ones he served with just a few years earlier. Refocusing his priorities, Seamus worked with international agencies to ensure the safety of those attempting to escape the Taliban. Motivated by a deep sense of purpose, Seamus left consulting to study conflict and international development at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy to understand how to have an impact at a global level.