Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Established in 2018, the Canterbury School Outstanding Young Alumni Award honors an alumnus/a who graduated within the last twenty-five years, who has made significant contributions to civic organizations and/or a chosen profession, whose life is characterized by creativity, curiosity and community service, and who reflects the highest ideals of Canterbury School.


2018 - Lilly Bertz O’Connor ’03

A Connecticut native, Lilly Bertz graduated from Canterbury School in 2003. Her career has focused extensively on public service across the U.S. government.

Lilly currently advises on strategic communications for the Department of Defense’s health enterprise. Her work builds off previous experience with the Department of Defense’s U.S. Southern Command, where she led on strategic planning and communications for global health collaboration with partner nation military and civilian institutions across South America and the Caribbean.

Prior to her work with the Department of Defense, Lilly served as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the Department of State. Most recently, Lilly was a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, working to advance the strategic effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance programs, with a focus on United Nations negotiations of global development goals. Previously, as a Presidential Management Fellow, Lilly worked closely with U.S. embassies across Africa and the Caribbean to address vulnerable populations in the HIV epidemic. Lilly also served in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, advising on gender integration across U.S. foreign policy to advance the status of women and girls worldwide.

In 2009, Lilly completed a 27-month Peace Corps service in the West Indies as a community development volunteer and established an orchestra for at-risk youth in her village of assignment. Her experience in grassroots development was a driving force for her ensuing career in the U.S. government.

Lilly holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Psychology from Dartmouth College. A former track athlete, Lilly competed in the 2016 CrossFit Games. She resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Tim (Canterbury ’03 classmate), their English bulldog, Maggie, and their newborn daughter, Meadow Marie.