Tomicah Tillemann

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Tomicah Tillemann
Tomicah Sterling Tillemann-Dick

EducationYale University (BA)
Johns Hopkins University (MA, PhD)
OccupationExecutive Director, Digital Governance and Impact Initiative (DIGI) at New America

Tomicah Sterling Tillemann-Dick is an American diplomat and technologist who works in the fields of civic innovation and social finance. He is the Executive Director of the Digital Impact and Governance Initiative (DIGI) at New America, Chairman of the Global Blockchain Business Council, Chairman of the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative, and a member of the World Economic Forum's Council for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Tillemann is a key figure in the deployment of frontier technologies in governance and social impact applications. He previously served at the State Department as a speechwriter and senior advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry. He founded the Blockchain Trust Accelerator and Bretton Woods II initiative.

At the State Department, Tillemann led a team of experts that operated like venture capitalists, identifying innovations that strengthened new democracies and civil society, and then mobilizing the talent, technology, resources, and partners to translate ideas into policy. He developed over 20 major initiatives on behalf of the President and two Secretaries of State, including the State Department's Diplomacy Lab and revitalization of the Community of Democracies. Tillemann also chaired the State Department's Global Philanthropy Working Group and dealt extensively with issues related to social finance. As founding director of the Bretton Woods II initiative, later the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative, he worked with sovereign wealth funds and pension funds to develop and rank investment strategies that address social, governance and environmental risks. [1] [2]

Personal life and education[edit]

Tillemann was born to Timber Dick and Annette Tillemann, and grew up the eldest of eleven children in Denver, Colorado.[3] An Eagle Scout, he was accepted to college at age 14 and received his BA magna cum laude from Yale University.[1] He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Budapest, Hungary.[4] He went on to earn a doctorate with distinction from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS).[5] Tillemann is the oldest grandson of Tom Lantos, the former Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the only Holocaust survivor ever elected to the U.S. Congress. Tillemann's paternal grandmother, Nancy Dick, served as the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Colorado. He is married with five children and currently resides in Northern Virginia.[4][6]


Before coming to the State Department, Tillemann spent four years on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as an advisor to then-Committee chairmen Joe Biden and John Kerry. Earlier in his career, he worked as a reporter with Reuters New Media, hosted a commercial radio program in Denver, Colorado, served in the White House Office of Media Affairs, and spent time as a senior staffer on four U.S. Senate and Congressional campaigns.[7] He helped co-found and lead numerous civil society groups, including the Lantos Foundation, and has testified repeatedly before Congress.[8]

State Department[edit]

Tillemann moved to the State Department shortly after Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State to serve as speechwriter in her office.[9] He collaborated with Clinton on over 200 speeches and frequently accompanied her on international travel. In October 2010, Clinton promoted Tillemann to Senior Advisor.[citation needed] One of Clinton's emails later released by the State Department showed that Tillemann once went almost 100 hours without going to bed in order to finish a highly regarded speech on Internet freedom.

He publicly supported Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.[6]

Technology and Innovation[edit]

In addition to his work on open source civic technology and blockchain, Tillemann is a co-holder of four patents related on the IRIS engine, technology that received major awards from NASA, Dow, and ConocoPhillips. He also created the LEND Network, a peer-to-peer network to facilitate cooperation among current and former leaders in new democracies.[citation needed] LEND is now administered by the Community of Democracies.


  1. ^ a b Profile,; accessed April 18, 2015.
  2. ^ "LEADERS Interview with Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, Director of Bretton Woods II, an initiative of New America". Retrieved Apr 25, 2019.
  3. ^ "Denver inventor Dick dies after crash". The Denver Post. 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  4. ^ a b "Missionary Service "Set Trajectory" for State Dept. Adviser - Church News and Events". Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  5. ^ Profile,, May 21, 2009; accessed February 26, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "My View: What Mormons should know about Hillary Clinton". 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  7. ^ Profile,; accessed February 26, 2015.
  8. ^ Profile Archived 2012-10-16 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed February 26, 2015.
  9. ^ Profile,; accessed February 26, 2015.

External links[edit]