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

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 6:45 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 | 9:36 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 | 7:19 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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It's Not About the Emails

(13) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 8:36 AM

After days of silence, prospective presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held a press conference to address her decision to use a private email account while secretary of state. She tried to put the controversy to rest by saying that she did this for convenience -- having one account for both business...

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The Presidential Nomination Process: The Voters Deserve Better

(4) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 12:29 PM

The quadrennial saga of the presidential election nominating process has begun. What should inject constructive energy and useful ideas into the political system, producing a mandate for governing and a re-commitment to republican government, is once again on a course to disappoint us. Both parties are to blame -- and...

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A Conservative Approach to Climate Change

(12) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 9:45 AM

Earlier this year the U.S. Senate voted 98-1 that "[c]limate change is real and not a hoax." That vote did not comfort many liberals, though, because only a third of Republicans (as opposed to two thirds of Democrats) think that human activity is causing climate change....

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The Presidency and Moral Courage

(17) Comments | Posted February 21, 2015 | 9:50 AM

At a private club, in front of friendly, fellow conservatives in Manhattan this past Thursday, former New York City mayor and former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, said of President Obama that "I do not believe that the president loves America." Asked the next day on Fox News, another friendly venue,...

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The Measles Outbreak: A Predictable Surprise

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2015 | 12:32 PM

The only surprise about the current measles outbreak is that we are surprised. This event, years in the making, is what psychologist Max Bazerman and consultant Michael Watkins called a "predictable surprise" in their 2004 book by the same name. By that label, they refer to problems that worsen over...

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Stopping Time

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 8:46 AM

Walking along the tan sands on the beach at Longboat Key yesterday, I felt the gentle breeze and the warming temperature that had just barely pushed aside the morning chill. I noticed the sun, about halfway on its journey toward noon. Its rays bounced off the softly breaking waves, which...

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Career U: What's a College Education For?

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 6:09 AM

College for careers is a dominant theme in our conversation about higher education. In the president's plan for tuition-free community college education, he noted that "Americans need more knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a growing global economy." In the Department of Education's draft proposal for...

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The Necessity of Failure

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 5:01 AM

From my earliest memories, I never wanted to fail. From getting the "right" answer in school, the highest batting average in Little League, the approval of my parents for good grades, and the highest performance ratings from supervisors at work, earning a reputation for success has been a driving force...

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Tribal America: How Do We Bridge the Gap Between 'Us' and 'Them'?

(4) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Within hours of the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island, protests erupted across America. Sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent, they brought the issue of race and policing to the front burner once again. The heat has now ignited a man who assassinated two New York police officers in a...

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On Reaching 100

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 7:35 AM

Last February 6th, my mother celebrated her 100th birthday, as we clapped our hands and sang. On July 29th, she passed away quietly as I held her hand in the silence of the early morning.

How can you describe and honor a life that lasted a century? My mother...

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Moral Confusion in the War on Terror

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 2:29 PM

The debate over the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's "torture report" has quickly taken a predictable form. The report claims that "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" (EITs) were ineffective. Its critics claim: They produced actionable intelligence. The report argues that the techniques were brutal and their use legally suspect. Its critics claim...

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Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Justice

(6) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 7:47 AM

The decision by grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, not to indict white police officers whose use of force resulted in the deaths of two black men has led many to take their demand for justice into the streets.

There has been no end of...

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A Citizen's Plea

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 7:25 AM

In his Farewell Address, President George Washington pleaded with his countrymen to give the republican government they had created a chance to work. He knew that sectional rivalries, factions, and human nature itself could drive apart those who should cherish the fact that they shared the name "American."


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Gotcha, Government!

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2014 | 7:00 AM

A recent CBS News poll confirms what we already know. The performance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Veterans Affairs Department (VA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is rated as "fair/poor" by most Americans (60, 66, and 53 percent respectively). Missteps on...

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What Do You Think, America?

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 10:00 AM

Did Officer Darren Wilson deliberately gun down Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri? Should Jody Arias get the death penalty? Was President Obama wrong to play golf after announcing his outrage at the execution of James Foley by ISIS terrorists? Should American Ebola patients be brought to the U.S. for treatment?...

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The Contagion of National Anger

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 9:11 AM

Facebook and two university researchers have been criticized for a study in which the popular social networking site deliberately manipulated the news feeds of 700,000 users to test "emotional contagion," the concept that people can pass on their emotional state to others. When Facebook reduced the number of incoming positive...

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Presidents and Strategic Leadership

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 6:44 AM

Americans (57 percent of them, at any rate) recently gave President Obama a failing grade for his leadership in foreign policy. In Libya, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine and now Iraq, the president has seemed, to many, to lack a coherent strategy and the ability to advance U.S. interests. Before...

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