Publisher: Over and Above Creative

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Jack Schramm’s life has had many dimensions, all framed within a worldview of making the world a better place and aided by a deep commitment – and latent talent — to show the way. His early years as a first generation child were exciting, sealed in his values, and equipped him with some steel to do battle with the world. They also revealed a talent for leadership – as demonstrated in all his schools – as well as an adventure gene – reflected in his challenging (and life threatening) airborne military service, followed immediately by a thrilling 3,000-mile motorcycle adventure across the Middle East, which opened his curious eyes to other cultures and ways of thinking. Jack then wanted a law degree to help him get on with the public life that he knew was awaiting him – but had no inkling about where it was to lead him. This is that story with both its successes and crashing disappointments.

His penchant for public policy architecture, and curiosity about better ways to do things, led him directly into politics and the state legislature – his first public setting – where he specialized, over an eight year period, in complex innovative legislation. His leadership placed Missouri in nationally ranked positions in important policy areas and won him national recognition for his effective advocacy. His dream to affect public policy from a higher perch on the political ladder withered in the face of national political conditions beyond his control. Pivoting to the federal level as a Carter Administration senior appointee with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he negotiated groundbreaking compliance successes of national significance which won him White House recognition. Those successes were then followed by several decades of distinguished service as an international governance consultant where he wrote laws and fashioned pioneering management change in 26 countries. Several of Jack’s key innovative reforms were widely adopted by USAID and The World Bank and earned him the title of Consultant of the Year for 2009-2010 by Cambridge Who’s Who. His probing analyses, and hungering to get to the bottom of things, produced rare insights into governance practices in places like China and Iraq that unmask preconceptions. Jack’s life journey is a tour-de-force through tough policy decision-making and governance issues at all levels that will fascinate anyone with an interest in politics, policy, and governance.

John C. Danforth, former U.S. Senator (R-MO) and Ambassador to the United Nations: “Jack Schramm’s memoir…is a timely reminder that an able public servant of good will can succeed in making politics work.”

Bob Holden, former Governor of Missouri (D) “One of the best in a generation of outstanding leaders from both parties….An activist who didn’t wait for change but caused it. As a change agent with purpose, vision, and integrity, Jack’s book should inspire a new generation of change agents.”

Richard A. Gephardt, former Member of Congress (D-MO) and Majority Floor Leader “The passion and commitment Jack has demonstrated throughout his career will serve as a true testament to what it means to be a public servant.”

Bill Drayton, CEO, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, MacArthur Fellow, and Former Assistant Administrator, U.S. EPA “Jack Schramm has always cared for the public good—in means as much as ends. From school onward, he gave himself permission to change the world in big ways.”