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Terry Newell
Terry has devoted his career to public service, first as an Air Force officer, then as director of training for the U.S. Department of Education, and most recently as Dean of Faculty of the Federal Executive Institute, the federal government’s premiere residential executive education center. He left federal service in 2005 and currently has his own firm, Leadership for a Responsible Society.

Terry's current work is focused on ethics and values-based leadership in government. His books include The Trusted Leader: Building the Relationships That Make Government Work, Statesmanship, Character, and Leadership in America, Reflections on America, and To Serve with Honor: Doing the Right Thing in Government.

Terry believes in the immense power of people to create the organizations they desire for themselves and the people they serve. Bloody Mary in the play South Pacific, said it best: “You gotta have a dream if you wanna have a dream come true.”

Entries by Terry Newell

The American Response to ISIS

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 6:10 AM

In the wake of the Paris bombings by ISIS, the United States has joined the world in expressing outrage and its determination to destroy the terrorist group. But with what actions should America -- and individual Americans -- respond?

The typical -- and natural -- approach is to attack ISIS...

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Is Politics a Profession?

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2015 | 7:17 AM

I'd love to be a pilot, in the cockpit of a 747, soaring across the Atlantic at 37,000 feet. I have no experience flying airplanes, mind you, though I was a weather forecaster once. But I would gladly pay for a chance to take the stick on a commercial flight....

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Turning 70

(2) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 1:17 PM

In my romantic, fatalistic youth, I expected to die by the age of 35, having, as Horace Mann put it, "won some victory for humanity." Now, I've lived twice as long, without that victory. But I have come to the personal attention of the IRS. My first "Required Minimum Distribution"...

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Science in the Movies and Real Life

(5) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 10:15 AM

In the current smash hit, The Martian, Matt Damon plays a NASA botanist who is stranded and has to find a way to survive on Mars using his scientific skills, aided by the inventiveness of earth-bound rocket scientists and other experts. In addition to its engaging story and cinematography, The...

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Politics and Religious Values

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2015 | 7:22 AM

The notion that there is a "wall of separation" between church and state is either in serious danger or increasingly destructive of religious freedom, if we listen to the loudest voices in recent months. Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was briefly jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses...

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Who are We, America?

(35) Comments | Posted September 27, 2015 | 12:17 PM

Pope Francis, addressing a joint session of Congress in late September, received a warm -- at times joyous -- reception. His message, interrupted by frequent applause, pleaded for welcoming the immigrant, helping the poor, healing the planet and protecting life in all its forms and at all its stages. Seated...

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The Trump Surprise Is Not Surprising

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 11:25 AM

Mainline politicians of both parties, as well media hosts and political pundits, seem continually surprised by Donald Trump's rise and persistence as a candidate. After he insulted Mexico and immigrants, they thought his candidacy would be finished. After he disparaged John McCain's war service, they predicted his campaign would implode....

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The Mailbox Incident and Political Anger

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 8:35 AM

Last week, the Postal Service began delivering mail in a cluster mailbox at the curb behind our homes, and the individual, bucolic-looking mailboxes in front will soon disappear. Everyone on the street knew this was coming; the cluster was installed six weeks ago. Since each mailbox is locked, we expected...

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Children Shooting Children: America's Preventable Tragedies

(21) Comments | Posted August 8, 2015 | 7:47 AM

On Wednesday evening, July 29th, three-year-old Dalis Cox of Washington, D.C. died in emergency surgery, of a gunshot wound. The "assailant" was her seven-year-old brother, who was playing with a loaded gun. Dalis is one of 48 children who have died so far this year from unintentional shootings....

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Running Against Government: Here We Go Again

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 11:37 AM

Presidential candidate Jeb Bush pronounced recently that "Mount Washington," as he calls the federal government in the nation's capital, is arrogant and bloated. In a set of prescriptions to set him apart from other candidates and strengthen his "true conservative" bona fides, he announced that as president he would cut...

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Donald Trump and the Art of the Squeal

(2) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 12:09 PM

In the latest poll, Donald Trump leads the pack of announced Republican presidential candidates. This should surprise no one, least of all his Republican challengers. The Republican Party created the water in which Trump swims, much as it spawned the Tea Party which it now sometimes regrets. Trump...

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Does America Have Too Much Democracy?

(11) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 2:59 PM

Only 15 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. Just 17 percent approve of how Republicans are controlling Congress. Democrats fared no better when they were in charge. Congress seems unable to address most of the national problems we face, from immigration to...

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Removing Confederate Flags Must Be the Beginning, Not the End

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 12:21 PM

The racially-motivated murder of nine members of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina has, in less than a week, sparked multi-state protests to remove the Confederate battle flag from not only the state capitol grounds in South Carolina and Alabama but from license plates in Virginia. Walmart, Sears...

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Fleeing From Responsibility

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 7:12 AM

Defense Department civilian and military personnel will no longer be able to use their government charge cards to pay for gaming and topless entertainment, if an amendment to the DOD spending bill recently passed by the House makes it into law. Read that sentence again. What's wrong here?

Let's start...

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Separated Americans

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 8:49 AM

People divide across police lines, air waves and cyberspace. They are pro-life or pro-choice. They are for free speech or religious freedom. They are for gay or traditional marriage; justice for young black men or law enforcement; gun-rights or gun-control; immigration reform or protect the borders; fracking or the environment;...

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Clueless at the Top

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2015 | 10:56 AM

Fourteen executives of FIFA, the Swiss-based organization that governs soccer were arrested recently in a 47-count indictment including charges of racketeering, conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. Alleged abuses included accepting bribes for awarding media contracts and vote-rigging in the location of major events. FIFA President, Sepp...

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Humility and the Presidency

(14) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 7:37 AM

As the field of presidential candidates grows, so does the absolute certainty with which they claim to understand what ails the nation and how to fix it. There is a place for confidence and optimism in presidential politics, but there should also be a place for caution and uncertainty. Yet...

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The Public Sector and the Market Model -- A Risk to Trust and Citizenship

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 7:45 AM

When you take a date to a restaurant, you don't talk about the price of everything on the menu. That, as behavioral economist Dan Ariely reminds us in Predictably Irrational, turns a social relationship into a market exchange. You may save money but don't expect to win her...

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Restoring Honor to Public Service

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 10:36 AM

When George Washington took the oath as president, public service was an honored obligation. Today, most Americans associate honor with military service but tend to view those who enter civil service as "feds," "bureaucrats," and a necessary evil. They think "the best and the brightest" either are or should be...

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With So Many Ethics Laws, Why So Many Ethics Flaws?

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 8:19 AM

The Compilation of Federal Ethics Laws has 109 pages. There is a government-wide Office of Government Ethics and also Congressionally-mandated yearly ethics training for federal civil servants. Each agency has a Designated Agency Ethics Official. Why then did staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs falsify patient appointment wait times?...

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