Center for Business and Government  

"Your appointment is especially heartening in that it confirms that the issue of corporate responsibility, and the challenge of reconciling public priorities with private interests, are of central importance to society today."

-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a letter to John Ruggie

 

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April 2005 Director's Welcome

 
 

John G. Ruggie, CBG DirectorApril 30, 2005

Dear CBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,

As most of you know from the press release we sent out last week, CBG is the proud and happy beneficiary of an extraordinarily generous $15 million endowment gift from Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani and her husband, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, MPA'82. The gift will permit the Center to deepen and expand its capacity for research, teaching and policy engagement, focusing on some of society's most challenging problems at the intersection of business and government. In recognition of this gift, one of the largest in the Kennedy School's history, the Center will be named in honor of the Mossavar-Rahmanis, and a celebration will take place in the fall of 2005.

Said Sharmin and Bijan of the endowment, "The Kennedy School is a terrific, unparalleled venue for this effort; it is a privilege -- and a responsibility -- to be supportive. We hope that the Center's programs and activities will in the future inspire graduate and also undergraduate students at Harvard to contemplate careers that alternate between the public and private sectors."

All of us at KSG and especially CBG are very grateful indeed to Sharmin and Bijan. We look forward to working with them closely in the years to come as we generate cutting edge ideas that make a difference to our students and to society at large.

Some of you will also have heard that CBG Senior Fellow Marshall N. Carter recently was elected Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Marsh's teaching and research at CBG has focused on leadership challenges, and he now gets to practice his extensive skills once again. He states that he will prioritize the extension of the NYSE's leadership "on a broad range of fronts, including protecting investor interests, transforming our market model, raising the bar on self regulation and governance, and ensuring the highest quality market for our customers." We wish Marsh all the best as he takes on this important new responsibility.

KSG's Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group (ENRFG) has conferred its "Stone Fellowship" for the best paper written by a doctoral student in the area of environmental and resource policy during 2004 on Joseph Aldy, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics. Aldy's paper, "Divergence in Per Capita Carbon Dioxide Emissions," examines an important question -- whether over time countries are moving closer to one another in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide they emit per capita. CBG senior faculty members William Hogan and Robert Stavins served on this year's award committee.

Finally, Steve Peterson, KSG Lecturer and Faculty Chair of the executive program in Public Financial Management, is the Principal Investigator of the Ethiopia project and has lived in Addis Ababa since the project's inception eight years ago. Steve was on campus last month and led two seminars on the DSA project for KSG students, staff and fellows. He recently reported a new project milestone, the successful April 4 launch of an upgraded financial information system to prepare the Ethiopian federal government's budget. This was completed on schedule, on budget, and on specification, which is remarkable given the difficulties of working in one of the world's poorest countries and the fact that similar efforts elsewhere have a failure rate between 50 to 80 percent. (Equally amazing, Steve has managed to achieve these impressive accomplishments despite having been a student in the first graduate seminar I ever taught, back in Berkeley many years ago.) Click here for project-related publications on the DSA website for interesting articles on this.


Cheers.

 John Ruggie signature

John G. Ruggie

Frank and Denie Weil Director, Center for Business and Government
Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs

 
 
 
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