Chris Myers Asch

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Chris Myers Asch

2007 Global Fellow
Founder of U.S. Public Service Academy

Chris Myers Asch 2007 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Create the United States' first national college devoted to developing leaders in civil service.


America faces a massive and growing shortage of public servants as Baby Boomers retire: more than ninety percent of federal civil service leadership is eligible to retire in the next decade, and there are already shortages in critical public service jobs at all levels of society. Top students are increasingly less likely to pursue public service careers due to mounting college debts and a culture that belittles public sector work. Despite this looming crisis, America has no national college devoted to developing civilian leaders, in contrast to the five military service academies we offer future military leaders.

Modeled on the nation's five existing military academies, the U.S. Public Service Academy offers a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum and a five-year post-graduation service requirement. The Academy is building a core of civilian leaders who have the character, training, and experience necessary to serve the nation effectively and address critical needs in education, health care, emergency response, and other essential fields. At capacity, the Academy provides a service-oriented, leadership-focused education to 5100 undergraduate students.


Chris Myers Asch teaches history at the University of the District of Columbia and coordinates UDC’s National Center for Urban Education. Chris is a graduate of Duke University with a Ph.D in American History from the University of North Carolina, and an alumnus of Teach For America. He co-founded the Sunflower County Freedom Project in 1998 and the U.S. Public Service Academy initiative in 2006, and is the author of The Senator and the Sharecropper: The Freedom Struggles of James O. Eastland and Fannie Lou Hamer (2008).

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