Terry Babcock Lumish

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In 2019, Dr. Terry Babcock-Lumish became Executive Secretary of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. As Executive Secretary, she directs the independent federal agency that provides merit-based Truman Scholarships to college students pursuing graduate school in preparation for careers in public service. She supervises a selection process involving up to 400 colleges and universities that annually nominate more than 800 campus leaders for scholarships. She works closely with 150 senior public servants including federal judges, college and university presidents and past Truman Scholarship winners who serve on panels to select annually 60-65 new Truman Scholars. Under her direction, the Truman Foundation provides leadership training and community-building programs, along with graduate school and career counseling to several hundred Truman Scholars each year.

Before joining the Truman Foundation, Dr. Babcock-Lumish led Islay Consulting LLC, a certified minority and women-owned small business she founded in 2005 to provide strategic guidance for philanthropic foundations and other mission-driven organizations across six continents. In recent years, Dr. Babcock-Lumish held academic affiliations including the University of Arizona, the University of Delaware’s Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, the Rothermere American Institute and the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Babcock-Lumish served as the founding Director of Public Policy at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, a center dedicated to education, research, and civic engagement located in the historic New York City home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Over the last 25 years, she has served in local, state, and federal government for both Democratic and Republican administrations. From 1999-2001, Dr. Babcock-Lumish served as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Treasury Department and in the Council of Economic Advisers. She then served as a researcher for two books by former Vice President Al Gore. Her research interests are at the intersection of science, technology, and society.

Dr. Babcock-Lumish completed her B.S. at Carnegie Mellon University, where she was named a Truman Scholar in 1996. She earned an MPA in environmental and technology policy as a Lilly Community Assistance Fellow at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She earned her D.Phil. in economic geography at the University of Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar.