2018 Tillman Scholar
Motivated by love of country and inspired by the service of family and friends, Tommy joined the Marines soon after graduating from Yale University in 2011. He recognized our military as a potent force for good in the world and was eager to contribute to standing up to Islamist terrorism and authoritarian aggression.
As commander of a scout sniper platoon and later as a special operations intelligence officer, Tommy had the privilege to lead and serve with some of America’s finest warriors. He worked alongside troops from many nations around the world and gained a deep appreciation for America’s role as a global leader. In many of the places he served – East Asia, West Africa, Iraq, Syria – he found that locals often seemed to genuinely appreciate the stabilizing influence American troops provided. But locals equally expressed fear that American presence would prove transitory and solely based on limited security goals. When U.S. troops went home, the resulting vacuum would create opportunity for predatory autocrats and terrorists alike.
Now an MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Tommy wants to pursue business as an avenue for bringing the peoples of America and the places he served closer together – beyond limited security cooperations. His goal is to provide American investment and managerial know-how to the entrepreneurs and business communities of fledgling democracies around the world so that the peace won by our military efforts can be strengthened by mutually beneficial economic ties.