2011 Alumni Award Winner, Bess Dopkeen, A04

Dopkeen shows off her program profile at the 2011 Alumni Awards

Carolyn Kroll, AG66, J92P, M99P, Awards Committee Chair; Barbara Clarke, J88, TUAA President; and Dopkeen


Bess Dopkeen, A04, is starting her seventh year in the Department of Defense, where she is a program analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense/Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation. She works on the department’s independent cost estimates of major acquisition programs, including the secretary’s satellite efficiency initiative. Previously, she served as an acquisitions analyst for the Under Secretary of Defense/Acquisitions, Technology, and Logistics, where she helped monitor and guide Army, Navy, and Air Force programs through major reviews and the acquisition process. Prior to the Pentagon, Ms. Dopkeen came to D.C. in 2004 as a Tufts University and Tisch College Dutko Fellow, where she worked at the Global Fairness Initiative on trade and international development projects. Ms. Dopkeen works with alumni across Washington to coordinate the Active Citizenship Summers fellowship program for selected Tufts students interested in D.C.-based public service opportunities. She directs the D.C. arm of the Tisch School of Citizenship and Public Service's Connecting Alumni and Student Experiences alumni mentorship and seminar program. She continually looks to her fellow Dutko alumni, along with their treasured mentor and fellowship director, Deb Jospin, A80 (chair of the Tisch Board of Directors), for energy, guidance, and endless support for all these endeavors. Ms. Dopkeen is coaching girls’ high school rowing for the fourth year, and just finished her 14th year of competitive women’s crew. In addition, Ms. Dopkeen was selected as a Truman National Security Project Fellow in 2009, and chairs their Department of Defense fellowship group. In 2004, Ms. Dopkeen received a B.A. in political science from Tufts, with a minor in the study of Africa and the New World. She is proud to say that her father, Jonathan Dopkeen, A72, brother, Cobin Dopkeen, A10, and cousin Rebecca Hershow, A11, all join her as Jumbos—and along with her mother, Margie Smigel, and boyfriend, Paul Voosen, are all here this weekend to share in this honor provided by the Tufts University Alumni Association.

Tufts University Alumni Association Citation

"Bess, you have been a leader and an inspiration in promoting Active Citizenship and in encouraging Tufts students to become active citizens.

"You went to Washington, D.C., after graduation as a prestigious Dutko Fellow and immediately learned the value of mentorship and hands-on experience. Through your dedicated and skillful organizational and recruiting efforts, two Tufts summer programs have blossomed in the nation’s capital. The Active Citizenship Summer (ACS) program has provided valuable summer internships for a dozen or more Tufts undergraduates at special government and non-profit placements arranged by you and a group of alumni you assembled. These students and many more who participate in the larger Connecting Alumni and Students Experiences (CASE) Network each summer have benefited from being assigned alumni mentors and from dozens of enrichment panels, lectures, and other events specifically arranged for them.

"Building on your own impressive professional success first in the Under Secretary’s office and now in the Defense Secretary’s Office at the Pentagon, you have provided countless Tufts interns who are interested in national security, defense strategy, and international relations the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at the Pentagon. Some have successfully pursued careers in these fields after their internship experiences.

"Bess, the many students who have participated in the summer programs in Washington, not just at the Pentagon but throughout the city, have talked of your warmth and nurturing spirit, of being made to feel like they had not simply arrived for a summer internship but had joined a family. You have been their friend, mentor, career counselor, and mother rolled into one.

"Your ultimate tribute may be that some of those same students, whom you have so richly and warmly mentored, have stepped up to help run these programs in the future. Bess, just seven years out of Tufts, and you have built a legacy already!

"It is our great pleasure to recognize what you have already given back to so many Tufts students in your still young career by honoring you with the 2011 Tufts Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award.


Photos by Matt Moodono

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