iOS app Android app

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 Seductive Illusion of Presidential Power

(108) Comments | Posted January 23, 2016 | 11:36 AM

Americans, angry at the inability of politicians and political institutions to address their concerns, seem in search of a savior. They yearn for someone to take charge. On the right, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are leading the anti-establishment crusade. On the left, Bernie Sanders has taken up the torch....

Read Post

Loving America, But Hating Americans

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 7:21 AM

In the 1995 film, The American President, Senator Bob Rumson (played by Richard Dreyfuss) decides to run against President Andrew Shepherd (played by Michael Douglas). Rumson attacks Shepherd by going after his girlfriend (Shepherd is a widower), charging Sydney Ellen Wade (played by Annette Bening) with being a card-carrying member...

Read Post

Judgment: What to Look for When Looking for a President

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2016 | 3:53 PM

The long campaign for the presidency helps us evaluate candidates against what it takes to lead -- if we know what to look for. Donald Trump's trinity is "strength, power and stamina." He regularly castigates opponents for being weak and lacking energy. We can assess these in candidates if for...

Read Post

Calming Ourselves Down

(5) Comments | Posted December 27, 2015 | 8:01 AM

On December 17th, Cheryl LaPorte, a world geography teacher in the Augusta County Schools in Virginia, gave her students a homework assignment taken from a standard workbook on world religions: "Here is the shahada, the Islamic statement of faith, written in Arabic. In the space below, try copying it by...

Read Post

A Citizen's View: The Responsibility of the Media in a Democratic Society

(1) Comments | Posted December 21, 2015 | 2:03 PM

The media are a favorite "whipping boy" in presidential politics, with claims of bias coming from both the right and left. It is not hard to see why. The Washington Post online edition recently had six columns under its "Opinions" banner, all critical of Republicans. The FOX News website the...

Read Post

A Time to Speak Out Against Islamophobia

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 9:59 PM

I have always been proud to be an American. I am not so proud right now, as waves of intolerance against Islam and Muslims wash across our landscape. To remain silent is to acquiesce in what is taking place.

I do not know much about Islam, but I do...

Read Post

Feelings Are Not Facts: A Dangerous Confusion

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2015 | 6:32 AM

A gunman kills four people at a Planned Parenthood clinic, and many are sure he is a pro-life zealot propelled by conservative attacks on the organization - even before we know his name, mental health status, or motive. Some things you just know in your gut. But feelings are not...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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....

Read Post

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"...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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....

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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....

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post

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...

Read Post