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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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May 2004 Director's Welcome

 
 

John G. Ruggie, CBG Director12 May 2004

Dear CBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,

As Joe Nye's eight-year tenure as KSG Dean draws to a close we at CBG extend best wishes and full cooperation to David Ellwood, his successor. As Harvard's President Larry Summers said at a dinner celebrating Joe's many accomplishments, it is a mark of a great institution that it has within it one great leader to succeed another.

The past month again has seen a flurry of activity at CBG, with faculty, staff, and fellows participating in a variety of programs and events.

On April 8, The Taiwan Leaders Program sponsored a conference on the recent presidential election in Taiwan. Randall Schriver, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, gave the keynote address, noting that the election and the controversy surrounding it demonstrated the robustness of political institutions in Taiwan.

On April 28 CBG Senior Fellows Thomas Healey, Michael Michael, Jane Nelson, and Robert Steel spoke on corporate governance and corporate social responsibility at the international advisory board meeting of the Harvard Real Estate Academic Initiative.

CBG also was well represented at the Dean's Council Annual Meeting on April 29. Presenters included: Bill Hogan, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Public Policy and Administration, and Rob Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, on Economics, Energy, and the Environment; Senior Fellow and Director of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Jane Nelson, on Leadership in Africa: Prescriptions for Positive Change; Senior Fellows Thomas Healey, Michael Michael and Robert Steel on corporate governance; and Anthony Saich, Daewoo Professor of International Affairs and Faculty Chair of Asia Programs, as well as Julian Chang, Executive Director, Asia Programs, on China: Business, Politics and the Future.

Over the weekend of April 30 - May 1, Joe Nye convened a two-day conference on Decision 2004, looking at how the various challenges faced by the United States at home and abroad may play out in this year's presidential election. I chaired a panel on international perspectives on the election. Panelists included: Kishore Mahbubani,
Singapore Ambassador to the United Nations; Richard Morningstar, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government and Former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union; and Han Sung-Joo Professor of Political Science and Director of the Ilmin International Relations Institute at Korea University and Former Foreign Minister of Korea . They addressed the growing divergence between the United States and many other countries, coupled with their frustration at being so profoundly affected by U.S. decisions but unable to influence them.

On the same weekend, the Asia Pacific Policy Program sponsored Asia Vision 21: The US Role in Asia, with the Harvard Asia Center, addressing America's role in Asia.

Let me also report quickly on two other things.

First, those of you interested in health care issues may want to have a look at Prof. Mary Ruggie's new book, From Marginal to Mainstream: Alternative Medicine in America (Cambridge University Press paperback). You can take a "virtual book tour" or read a brief description on the CBG website. Mary is former chair and professor of Sociology at Columbia University, who now teaches at the Kennedy School.

Second, on April 28th, I was asked to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives' International Relations Committee on "The United Nations Oil-for-Food Program: Issues of Accountability and Transparency". Allegations of mismanagement and corruption against this program had been escalating rapidly, many of the more inflammatory charges coming from sources that sought to exploit whatever real problems there were with the program for their own political purposes. In my prepared text, I tried to provide a more dispassionate analysis and perspective. There were moments of tension at the hearing, especially among the members themselves, but I am happy to say that I received a polite reception by Chairman Henry Hyde and the committee.

As you see, April showers have done little to curtail CBG's active engagement in scholarship and the affairs of the world.


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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