TISS is an inclusive organization and welcomes all persons with an interest in informed discussion about national security events. At its core are some fifty scholars and practitioners who are very active in the organization and are listed in the Directory. Also noted in this section of the website are a number of groups and individuals who have played – and in most cases continue to play – a special role in the life of TISS. These include our founders, Board Members (Past and Present), undergraduate scholars (Wickershams), graduate students who have participated in our New Faces program, and Fellows (Past and Present).
: Dr. Tommy Sowers is a Visiting Assistant Professor of the Practice and Assistant Directory of The Hart Leadership Program in the Sanford School of Public Policy and Duke University. Sowers teaches on Leadership and Public Service in a variety of forms and oversees Connect-to-Politics, a political leadership development program in the Hart Leadership Program. His research focuses on the effect of technology on management, professions, and leadership. From 2012 to 2014, Sowers served as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A public policy major and former student of Professor Tony Brown’s, Sowers attended Duke on an ROTC scholarship. Upon graduating in 1998, he served 11 years active duty in the U.S. Army, including two combat tours in Iraq as a Green Beret. Sowers earned his master’s and Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science on Rotary Scholarship. He has previously taught government and politics courses at the United State Military Academy at West Point and at Missouri University of Science and Technology in his hometown of Rolla, Missouri. 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 a senior advisor to the nonprofit, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. In 2014, Sowers co-founded The Lincoln Awards: A Concert for Veterans & the Military Family and serves as the inaugural Chairman of the event in Washington D.C. He also serves on the board of directors of Americans for the Arts.