Terry Modglin has lived in Northern Virginia for 45 years – almost all of his adult life. The oldest of eight children, he was born and brought up in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended his parish parochial school and worked to pay his tuition to McBride High School, at that time among the most prestigious Catholic boys’ high schools in that city.
A scholarship to Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service brought him to the Nation’s Capital. He financed his degree by combining the scholarship with loans and part-time jobs. After graduating from Georgetown, he served for four years in the U.S. Army, chiefly as an officer in the 173d Airborne Brigade (including 20 months in Vietnam) and the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for service.
He accepted a position with then-U.S. Representative Leonor Sullivan of Missouri and headed the staff of the Panama Canal Subcommittee for five years, including protecting U.S. interests in the turnover of the Canal to the Panamanian government. During that same period, he used his veteran’s education benefit to earn a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Urban Politics and Urban Finance. This work, coupled with his travels to Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe, has given him insights into the cultures and countries that the United States must deal with in today’s world.
Modglin went on to pioneer programs for public safety and crime prevention with the National Crime Prevention Council as Director of Municipal and Youth Programs. He created and took to a national level the Teens, Crime and the Community program (including text, activities, teacher’s guide, and training), which enabled thousands of young people to make themselves safer and reduce crime in their schools and neighborhoods children. He co-founded the National Youth Crime Prevention Conference, which for more than 20 years brought hundreds of young people together from around the nation to learn and share prevention and safety strategies.
He helped cities design crime prevention and reduction strategies in a collaborative process that involved all facets of the cities and chronicled the process and results as well. The initial effort involved seven of the largest cities in Texas; numerous other cities expressed interest.
Modglin next became executive director of Youth Crime Watch of America, which helps young people learn how to prevent and address crime in their schools. In that position, he strengthened the instructional materials, training regimen, and national access to the program and developed a kit of localizable materials for teachers and law enforcement officers to use in working with youth. Modglin has long been active in his community, but especially so in the last ten years after his national and international-related work. He has continued his volunteer effort as a basketball coach, served as a Member of his condominium board (an 825-unit association) for six years, been active in the pro-life and food pantry efforts of his local Knights of Columbus. During these ten years he has consulted through his former IMPACT International firm but has been more engaged in hourly work in retail, food service, and security work, a place in life that brings authenticity to his understanding of the 49th District and society.
Modglin is the father of two and the grandfather of five. In addition to his keen interest in public policy issues, he is president of the founding chapter of the 173d Airborne Brigade Association, has competed in 32 consecutive Marine Corps Marathons, completing 31, and has spent 32 consecutive years coaching boys’ basketball in the Falls Church City Recreation league. He is founding president of the 173d Airborne Brigade Memorial Foundation and a member of the Executive Board of the Border Patrol Foundation (now on leave of absence).
His career as an Army officer, a Capitol Hill staffer in international affairs, a developer of and advocate for programs to engage and benefit children and youth, a pioneer in broadly based urban crime prevention planning, civic volunteer, and policy developer and advocate have prepared him to meet the challenges facing Virginia and the 49th District today.