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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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November 2005 Director's Welcome

 
 

John G. Ruggie, CBG DirectorNovember 4, 2005

Dear CBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,

October was a successful month at M-RCBG, as we welcomed our first Executive-in-Residence, Doug Daft. From October 17-21, Daft, the former CEO of Coca-Cola, met with faculty, students, fellows and program directors for discussions about the current global business climate. He focused on issues of corporate social responsibility and strategies dealing with business growth in Asia, where he spent many years. Daft joined former Heineken CEO Anthony Ruys for a candid school-wide discussion concerning business responsibilities and opportunities in developing countries. The discussion elicited lively and thought-provoking questions from the audience, including: How far can companies realistically go to protect workers when operating in nations that may have lower labor standards than the United States? How far down the supply-chain does the responsibility of corporations extend? How can business skills and resources be mobilized to generate sustainable development for businesses and societies alike? Doug and Thony answered these thorny questions thoroughly and frankly, and stimulated new dialogue among audience members.

In addition to the panel discussion, Daft attended a Leadership Council breakfast with an open format for responding to questions from Council members. He also participated in roundtable discussions with small groups of students concerned with issues of corporate social responsibility. Doug’s visit was immensely successful. We received much positive feedback from students, faculty and Center affiliates, and we hope to host another Executive-in-Residence in the coming year.

The Harvard Electricity Policy Group held its Fortieth Plenary session at the Kennedy School on September 22-23, 2005. The group of 70 senior officials involved in electricity restructuring included representatives from 22 member companies as well as the independent system operators from New York, New England, California and the Midwest region. Five state public utility chairmen from Pennsylvania, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, and New Jersey participated, as well as two commissioners from Illinois. Discussions centered on comparative analysis of retail competition in European and North American markets, resource adequacy, and the role of transmission in electricity markets. The next HEPG meeting will take place in Atlanta in early December.

This month we also hosted the Beijing Executive Public Management Training Program. This initiative is designed to enhance the capacity of Chinese officials to develop new public management strategies and analytical skills in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The subjects addressed included crisis management, governance and infrastructure development.

M-RCBG also hosted four Business and Government Seminars during the month of October. The most recent featured William Hogan, Professor of Public Policy and Administration and Director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG), John Holdren, Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of the Science, Technology & Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School, and M-RCBG Senior Fellow Bill Rosenberg, for a panel event entitled, “The Energy Policy Act of 2005: Will it Make Any Difference?” Hogan, Holdren and Rosenberg discussed the benefits and shortcomings of the legislation at this well-attended panel, which was moderated by Cary Coglianese, chair of M-RCBG’s Regulatory Policy Program. Slides from the panel are available here .

The Fall semester is in full swing! We hope you continue to have a good year and can join us at an event or seminar soon.


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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