2021 Tillman Scholar

Stephen Clagett

University of Virginia

“Be curious, be brilliant, be bold. Strive to challenge and improve myself while enriching the lives of others and valuing the most precious commodity, time.”

Steve learned about service at an early age. His extended family included lawyers, judges, a congresswomen, and a U.S. Navy Captain. After graduating from Notre Dame and wanting more purpose and adventure, he decided to become a Navy SEAL. After graduating from Officer Candidate School and then Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training (BUD/s), Steve started his career at SEAL Team Five.  Over his 13-year career, Steve completed eight deployments all over the world.

In 2019, Steve began his MBA at Darden. His primary interest is the intersection of sports, ESG efforts, and leadership. In early 2020, Steve transitioned to the Navy Reserves and began a position with the Baltimore Ravens player personnel department. He led a team in overhauling their process for assessing the character of NFL prospects. In the summer of 2020, Steve was selected to be a White House Fellow. The fellowship is the nation’s premier program for leadership and public service. Individuals spend a year in the non-partisan assignment.

Steve served as a senior adviser to the assistant secretary for Veterans’ Employment and Training Service at the Department of Labor and then joined the Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, as a policy adviser. Steve is also a commissioner with Maryland’s Veteran Affairs Home and volunteers with Farming 4 Hunger, a nonprofit that raises produce for local food banks.