VA Official to Join Duke Faculty

Tommy Sowers, assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will join the faculty of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy this summer. Sowers has received a one-year appointment as a visiting assistant professor of the practice and assistant director of the school’s Hart Leadership Program.

Sowers attended Duke on an ROTC scholarship, graduated in 1998 and served 11 years active duty in the U.S. Army, including two combat tours in Iraq as a Green Beret. At Duke he was a student in the Hart Leadership Program.

In 2010, Sowers ran for U.S. House in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District. Following his campaign, Sowers was a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and an advisor to the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He has served in the Veteran’s Administration since August 2012.

Sowers earned his master’s and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics & Political Science. He has previously taught government and politics courses at the United States Military Academy at West Point and at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo., his hometown.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to Duke,” Sowers said. “As an undergrad, I learned lessons of leadership from Terry Sanford. Now, I am eager to join the discussion of what it takes to lead in both the public and private sectors.”