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"Through our applied research, teaching, and institutional partnerships, we try to lay the foundation for capacity-building and strategic improvement. I am pleased to report on a number of new ventures that hold the promise of advancing that mission in new ways."

-Ira A. Jackson

 

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December 2001 Director's Welcome

 
 

1 December 2001

Dear CBG Faculty, Fellows, Staff and Friends,

Well, it's now official.  We're already nine months into our first domestic recession in ten years. Fifty-one years after the Communist Revolution, China has entered the WTO.  Twenty-six years after the last troops left Saigon, a sweeping trade pact has been signed between the U.S. and Vietnam.  Kofi Annan and the UN are the recipients of the Nobel Prize for Peace.  Logan Airport is about to get a comprehensive management audit and a plan for reform and reorganization. 

What do these notable occurrences have to do with CBG?  Well, CBG's faculty, fellows and staff have played a supporting role as behind-the-scenes advisors, analysts and contributors in these and other developments, and some of our colleagues continue to exert intellectual and institutional leadership that is central to some of the most important contemporary events in the US and globally. For instance:

  • As a member of NBER, CBG's Jeff Frankel was one of six economists to put his stamp on dating the recession.

  • Professor Tony Saich and CBG's Asia Programs have been providing an intellectual and institutional conduit for policy-makers in China and decision-makers around the world to anticipate, reform, and restructure in advance of China's accession to the WTO.

  • Through CBG’s Fulbright Economics Teaching Program in Ho Chi Minh City, Professor Dwight Perkins, David Dapice and Tommy Vallely have played a key role in preparing the next generation of leaders in Vietnam to fully engage in a market economy, and have helped establish deep and enduring ties between our two countries.

  • During his tenure as Assistant Secretary-General at the UN, Professor John Ruggie helped to conceive and launch a new framework between and among the UN, business and civil society and was the architect of Kofi Annan's UN Global Compact (http://www.unglobalcompact.org).  CBG Fellow Jane Nelson prepared Kofi Annan's report, "Towards Global Partnerships," for the General Assembly debate in November and is now completing a public report that includes over 150 examples of innovative and cooperative approaches to development and poverty eradication around the world, for publication in early 2002. 

  • CBG Senior Fellow Marsh Carter, who chairs Governor Swift's task force on security and management issues at Logan Airport, is set to present the commission's findings on December 4.

These are just a few of the ways in which CBG is engaged in addressing and attempting to resolve some of the most intractable and important issues facing domestic and global society.  We are proud of our colleagues for the contribution that they have made and continue to make.  No less so, last month we celebrated the powerful output in the last year alone of an impressive 18 new books by our faculty.

At a time of uncertainty, anxiety, and change, CBG's family of scholars and practitioners are weighing in and having their voices heard.  In a number of areas, we can already observe positive effects and point to programs, publications and other initiatives that seem to make a difference.

Much of what we do and must do is, by definition, to take the long view and to bring about systemic change.  Through our applied research, teaching and institutional partnerships, we try to lay the foundation for capacity-building and strategic improvement.  I am pleased to report on a number of new ventures that hold the promise of advancing that mission in new ways:

  • Given the growing importance of international trade, CBG is launching from December 2-14 an Executive Program on "The Practice of Trade Policy: Economics, Negotiations and Rules."  Led by Professor Robert Lawrence and developed in conjunction with Professor Michael Watkins of the Harvard Business School, Craig Van Grasstek President of Washington Trade Reports and Pete Zimmerman and his talented team in Executive Programs, this new training program will attract some 40 key policymakers, including trade ministers from Africa, permanent mission chiefs to the UN, and finance and investment officials from around the world.  The program will employ a variety of innovative pedagogical methods, including a sophisticated CD-ROM syllabus and weblink, teaching by faculty from the Kennedy School and HBS, panel debates, the use of cases specially developed for the course, live interaction with trade ministers abroad, and a remote broadcast and discussion with WTO Director Mike Moore.

  • From December 3-7, Tony Saich will convene an unprecedented week-long economic policy dialogue with ranking members of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences that we hope will become an annual event whereby an open and fruitful dialogue is established between CBG and CASS on global economic issues and contemporary challenges to China's economy.  Enlisting a host of CBG faculty and associates (Dani Rodrik, Jay Rosengard, Bob Glauber of NASD, Bill Hogan, Dick Cooper, Jay Siegel, Robert Lawrence, Dale Jorgenson, Ben Friedman, Hal Scott, Dwight Perkins, Ezra Vogel, Jack Langlois), this collaboration is designed to open windows of understanding and to assist influential economists in China who will be advising on China's new economic reform agenda.

  • Last month, Dean Joe Nye happily received a $1 million gift from the Republic of China to establish the KSG Harvard-Taiwan Leadership Program.  Administered by CBG's Asia Programs, this new initiative will include practical training for 13 government leaders and scholars from Taiwan who will participate in residential educational programs at Harvard; applied research on economic and socials developments in the region; and institutional exchanges through workshops in Cambridge and Taiwan.

  • Next month, Joe Nye, Tony Saich and I will formally announce in Beijing the inauguration of the new "China's Leaders in Development" program that will bring some 300 local Chinese officials to KSG over the next five years for extensive training and intensive exposure to public management and international development issues.  Generously supported in part by a $5 million commitment by Amway, this program, officially sponsored by the State Council, will also assist Tsinghua University in Beijing in building its new degree program in public administration.

Many others within CBG are also venturing into new fields and exploring new intellectual frontiers:

  • Elaine Kamarck is leading a faculty study group on e-government and e-governance.

  • David Lazer and Nancy Katz have begun a colloquium series on "complexity and social networks" -- attracting some 40 colleagues from Harvard and elsewhere. (December 10 is the next presentation, by Carnegie Mellon's Kathleen Carley on the inter-relationship between network structure and organizational success.)

  • Our CBG PIC has begun to link our activities more centrally with KSG's student body and presents CBG faculty member, Bob Pozen, formerly in charge of nearly $1 trillion of investment assets at Fidelity and currently a member of the President's Commission on the Future of Social Security, at a meeting on December 5.  Pozen will speak on “The E-Business Downturn and its Implications for KSG Students - Is This the Beginning of a Brand New Opportunity?” at 4:00pm in the Fainsod Room at KSG.  Congratulations to Lisa Hogan (MC/MPA ’02), Eduardo Montero (MC/MPA ’02), Doug Schneider (MC/MPA ’02), Lisa Novacek (MC/MPA ’02) and Shawn Malone (MPP ’02) of the CBG PIC.

  • Professor Rob Stavins continues his work with the EPA, having been re-invited for an unprecedented fifth year in a row to chair the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (EEAC) of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board by Administrator Christine Todd Whitman.

There are many other comings and goings around CBG; regrettably, too many to mention. But I do want to bring to your attention three notable milestones:

  • Jeff Frankel and Jessica Stern are proud first-time parents, and we consider Evan among the most promising new members of the CBG family.

  • Ann Stewart joins CBG as assistant director of HEPG just in time to help coordinate a special session that Bill Hogan's crew is running on "Standard Electricity Market Design: Wholesale and Retail."

  • And our good friends at the Institute of Politics are about to celebrate their 35th anniversary.  Congratulations and thanks to my buddies David Pryor, Alan Simpson, Phil Sharp, Charlie Royer, Shirley Williams, Dick Thornburgh, Mary McTigue, Jonathan Moore, Ernie May, Dick Neustadt, Ted Kennedy, John Culver, and Cathy McLaughlin -- and the late Ron Brown.  They have created a unique and enduring source of inspiration and strength in the all-important field of public service and elective politics and have built a valued and unique linkage between the Kennedy School and Harvard College.

Two flags of coming events of special interest to which you are most welcome, and a couple of closing thoughts:

  • At a lunch on December 11, Marsh Carter will be offering perspective on the Carter Commission on Logan, and reflections on public and private sector leadership.

  • Graham Allison on December 12 at 5:30pm will address CBG's Leadership Council on global terrorism.

  • Finally: who among us is brave enough to dawn a pirate's costume and compete in a trivia contest to help raise funds for our kids' public school system?  Which member of our faculty is courageous enough to compete, and who is knowledgeable enough to correctly answer the question: who founded the NAACP?  Answer: CBG's own Jack Donahue, whose correct answer -- W.E.B. DuBois -- helped to win the prize and, more importantly, to help raise over $25,000 for the Lexington Public Schools!  A good reminder to us all of our responsibilities as citizens as well as scholars, and a healthy example of why, especially this year and at this season, we all need to remember to give back, to get involved, and to nurture, cherish, and remain thankful for all the blessings of family, friends and community that we enjoy and need.

  • Lastly, thank you to all of our extraordinary support staff for their dedication and efforts to make all of these activities possible.

Very best wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful holiday season and New Year.

Sincerely,

 

Ira A. Jackson, Director

Center for Business and Government

 
 
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