To CBG Faculty, Fellows, Staff and Friends:
The season for reflection and giving thanks is
upon us, and I’d like my last letter of the year to reflect these
sentiments. CBG has had a remarkable year. We are grateful to
Ira Jackson, our former Director, for having left such a strong
foundation for us to build on.
This year, CBG faculty and staff have launched
six new initiatives (Health Care Delivery, Young Faculty Leaders,
Digital Government, International Trade Negotiations, and Collaborative
Governance); written a bunch of articles, books and policy papers;
and convened several influential conferences, symposia, lectures
and forum events on pressing policy issues.
But the whole of CBG is as impressive as its parts.
CBG’s core mission is to be a facilitator and innovator – to build
bridges among the many areas of expertise of our faculty, and
between the academy and the world beyond. We build networks to
promote collaboration among our own programs, across the Kennedy
School and all of Harvard. We study and foster cooperation and
knowledge sharing among all sectors of society and across national
boundaries. Most importantly, we try to equip and empower decision-
and policy-makers from all sectors to make better-informed choices.
Let me note a few of the most recent examples.
On November 22, we convened the first symposium of the Weil Program
on Collaborative Governance. Thanks to the generous support of
Frank and Denie Weil, we are able to undertake a multi-year project
to examine the conditions under which concerted action between
public, private and non-profit sectors can help solve local, national
and global policy challenges. We are asking “what works, what
doesn’t, and why?” And we plan to produce sound scholarly analyses,
policy prescriptions and curricular materials from our research.
Jack Donahue and I are faculty co-chairs of the Weil program,
and Jack is its Director.
We have also just launched a project on HIV/AIDS
as a business challenge in Africa and Asia – together with the
Harvard Business School, Public Health School and Harvard AIDS
Institute, co-sponsored by UNAIDS and the World Economic Forum.
Our aim in this project is to foster
multi-sectoral partnerships that can lead to sustainable capacity
building in developing countries. Some businesses are finding
that they are compelled by facts on the ground to get involved
in promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and providing treatment to workers
and families – in some cases, as in the Southern African mining
industry, up to one-third of the workforce is infected. How can
we tap into that willingness and link firms with other social
actors, including governments, to respond to the immediate challenges
while also building a broader social capacity for the long haul?
I am co-directing this project together with Diana Barrett of
the Business School, and with an advisory committee that draws
on the extraordinary pool of Harvard faculty and researchers in
Finally, in partnership with the Kennedy School’s
Hauser Center, the Shorenstein Center and Center for Public Leadership,
we are raising funds for a multi-faceted program on corporate
social responsibility, which will include state of the art research
on best practices, structured dialogues between corporate leaders
and leaders from other social sectors addressing the changing
principles and shifting boundaries demarcating private and public
sector responsibilities, as well as executive programs.
Very few academic centers of excellence have our
breadth and depth. That’s what makes my job as CBG director so
interesting and rewarding.
But even in our own neighborhood CBG is working
to build bridges. On December 5th, several members
of our team spent an evening volunteering at Rosie’s Place, one
of Boston’s best-known resources serving the needs of women and
At this time of year, and all year long, may we
all offer thanks and be mindful to contribute to the social good.