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"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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December 2003 Director's Welcome

 
 

John G. Ruggie, CBG Director3 December 2003

Dear CBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,

CBG continues its commitment to improve understanding of and performance in policy arenas at home as well as abroad.

In November, our new Corporate Governance Initiative - led by faculty members Cary Coglianese, Thomas Healey, and Elizabeth Keating, along with senior fellow Michael Michael -- brought Richard C. Breeden, Corporate Monitor of WorldCom, and former Chairman of the SEC (1989 - 1993), to CBG for a day of lectures and interaction with students and faculty. It culminated in an off-the-record dinner discussion about both the welcome changes and the continued inadequacies in corporate oversight mechanisms.

The Regulatory Policy Program and the Health Care Delivery Policy Program are teaming up to investigate how regulatory policies and institutions affect the quality of health care delivery in the United States. Over the next year Cary Coglianese, Jerome Grossman, David Lazer, and Jennifer Nash will work with a team of graduate students and other researchers to investigate the potential role for management-based regulation and similar strategies in improving the delivery of health care services. Last month, RPP Chair Cary Coglianese gave a presentation on regulatory issues at the quarterly meeting of the Health Care Delivery Policy Program.

On the international side, the Taiwan Leaders Program organized an author's workshop and public conference in Taipei on the implications of WTO membership for China and Taiwan. The conference was co-sponsored by the European Chamber of Commerce/Taipei and attracted over 80 attendees from Taiwan's private and public sectors. Among other findings reported at the conference was the fact that, since its WTO accession, Taiwan's trade efficiency with China is a mere 15% of potential, compared to 55% with the world at large. This suggests that Taiwan's regulations impose significant barriers to freer trade flows with China. There were many calls for the conference organizers to present the research results to the Taiwan government; a book will result from the conference.

Swinging our attention to the south, the Harvard Electricity Policy Group arranged a visit of the Brazilian Energy Minister Dilma Rousseff. Her visit included meetings with faculty, staff, students, and guests, as well as a lecture entitled "The Brazilian Power Sector: From Crisis to Recovery".

We also welcomed international guests to Cambridge: CBG fellows, representing seven countries, had the opportunity to experience an American Thanksgiving last week --many for the first time. Professor Elaine Kamarck kindly opened her home and her kitchen, preparing a traditional feast with the help of senior fellow, Linda Peek-Schacht. The fellows, faculty, and staff all had a wonderful time.

I am proud of CBG's national and global initiatives, and very much look forward to sharing our continued progress with you in the coming year. In the meantime, have a joyful holiday season.


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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