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"The saying, 'From to whom much has been given, much is expected,' has never been truer."

-Ira A. Jackson

 

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October 2001 Director's Welcome

 
 
1 October 2001


Dear CBG Family,

President Bush has encouraged Americans to get back to business, but not to business as usual. These are extraordinary times that call upon each of us to rededicate ourselves to trying to make this world a better place. That's what all of us at CBG and KSG are committed to do and I'm pleased to report that, on many fronts, you and your colleagues are making a difference and playing a constructive role.

Perhaps it's appropriate to remind ourselves that those of us at the Kennedy School and the Center for Business and Government are here for two principal purposes: to train public leaders and to improve public policies that strengthen society. Our "business" is, then, at the core of what is most in demand right now. And that basic work, the "blocking and tackling" that is at the heart of our mission, goes on apace, through teaching, research and engagement. Our faculty are in the midst of teaching some 62 separate courses to our 850 full-time graduate students, while others are transmitting knowledge to leaders from the public, private and NGO sectors through executive programs. Our applied research is producing volumes of needed intellectual insights. And our outreach and engagement activities are more vigorous than ever before.

Let me animate the scope and depth of these activities by highlighting just a few of our current and future projects:

· CBG Senior Fellow Marsh Carter, former CEO of State Street Bank, has volunteered to chair Acting Governor Jane Swift's special commission to review operations of the Massachusetts Port Authority which is responsible for security at Boston's troubled Logan Airport.

· A host of CBG faculty have offered suggestions and perspectives on the events of September 11, including former CBG Director Roger Porter, who appeared on CBS News, comparing the attack with other tragedies in recent history; HIIP Director Deborah Hurley, who has been widely interviewed on the tradeoffs between security and privacy; Professor Robert Lawrence, who has been quoted on the effect of the terrorist attacks on international trade and the global economy; Professor Dale Jorgenson, who has offered public commentary about the impact on IT and productivity; and Elaine Kamarck, whose recent op-ed cautions that homeland defense requires trust.

· This morning, Dennis Encarnation and CBG's Asia-Pacific Policy Program, in concert with the World Bank and Harvard's Asia Center, begins a two-day conference on "East Asia's Future Economy" that features 15 groundbreaking papers on the role of innovation in firms, clusters information and communications technology, regional integration, production networking and industrial and corporate restructuring.

· Last week, the National Research Council Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy met at CBG under the leadership of Professor Dale Jorgenson to explore cyclicality and productivity in the critically important semiconductor industry. The IT sector, sparked by huge productivity gains in the semiconductor industry, has driven a third of the growth in the U.S. economy over the past five years and the cyclical downturn and the events of September 11 pose a large dilemma for growth prospects going forward. The symposium included a luncheon address by George Scalise, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association.

· Last month, CBG's Asia Programs convened 35 of the world's leading thinkers and policy-makers to explore the ramifications of China's imminent accession to the WTO, presenting 30 papers on topics ranging from the urban/rural divide, to the challenges of converting state owned enterprises to private ownership, to the need to transform China's pension and social security system. This is the first of a series of annual policy conferences that Professor Tony Saich will host on emerging issues of critical importance to Asia and the global community. This first conference focused on what is arguably one of the most daunting and complex transitions ever attempted and one that requires coordination, understanding and alignment of market forces, public values and political legitimacy - the heart of our competencies here at CBG. Look for a major book on the proceedings next year that will help to clarify the agenda for action.

· A number of CBG faculty publications are arriving at bookstores this month, including Governance and Politics of China by Tony Saich (Palgrave Press) and Building the Virtual State by Jane Fountain (Brookings). Tony taps his vast knowledge of the political economy of China and amplifies on the themes of his recent conference, while Jane postulates the emergence of a new "virtual state" built around IT and the web. In addition, CBG faculty Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Cary Coglianese and David Lazer contributed chapters to The Federal Vision -- Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the US and EU (Oxford), and Jean Camp has a chapter in Creative Destruction: Business Survival Strategies in the Global Internet Economy (MIT Press).

· CBG welcomes an impressive group of 34 Fellows and Senior Fellows for the 2001-2002 academic year, including a leading economist of the Central Bank of China working on the development of the mutual fund industry and its implications for financial policies; a director of The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum in London pursuing new former of corporate citizenship and public/private partnerships for peace; a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) administrator preparing for his assignment as resident coordinator for Vietnam; the founder of a for-profit education company who is exploring ways in which technology can be harnessed for individualized, customized learning; a prominent lawyer from the UK who will work with Professor Bill Hogan to prescribe a blueprint for electricity restructuring in differing national contexts; a former Taiwanese Premier who continues his work on civil service reform and new forms of security in the Taiwan Straits; and a political scientist from Tsinghua University who is helping to launch a new public policy program in Beijing. Beyond research, a number of our visitors also teach, and we're very proud of CBG/HIIP Fellow Nolan Bowie for earning the 2001 Manual C. Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Kennedy School.

· CBG Senior Fellow Dr. Jerry Grossman convenes the first meeting of the Harvard/Kennedy School Health Care Delivery Policy Program on October 11-12, intended to explore ways in which productivity in healthcare - both quality and efficiency - can be raised to improve health outcomes and increase direct patient participation and responsibility.

· Professor Robert Lawrence has designed a new executive education program for senior officials responsible for international trade negotiations from both developed and developing countries, entitled "The Practice of Trade Policy: Economics, Negotiations and Rules" that will be offered December 2-14. The curriculum will include intellectual property rights, labor and environmental standards, food safety, agricultural policy, foreign investment and competition policy.

· This month, a number of CBG programs will host presentations on timely issues, including Andrew Solow on "The Precautionary Principle" (EEPHU), John Braithwaite on "NGOs and the Ratcheting Up of Global Regulatory Standards" and Paul Joskow on "California's Electricity Crisis" (RPP), John Ruggie on "Globalization, Corporate Social Responsibility and the United Nations" (Leadership Council), and the HIIP Seminar will celebrate its fifth anniversary when it recommences for the 2001-2002 academic year on October 15. Check the events page of our website, http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/cbg for dates and locations.

· A number of our colleagues have recently received well-deserved national and international recognition, including Deborah Hurley who will receive the 2002 Namur Award for "outstanding contribution to the awareness of the social implications of information technology" at the IFIP World Congress in Montreal next August; HIIP Associate Mary Graham who was elected to the board of directors of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Prof. Lewis Branscomb who was awarded the Vannevar Bush Award by the National Science Board.

· We will be gathering on October 20, before the Harvard-Princeton game, for a time of community building and friendship. Let Amy Christofer know if you can join us.

That's just a flavor of what's up and who's doing what at CBG. Clearly, we have a full plate. At the same time, current events require more from each of us. The saying, "From to whom much has been given, much is expected," has never been truer. We continue to actively explore ways in which the intellectual and institutional strengths of CBG can contribute at this time of great need.

As always and as never before, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. My door is always open to you. Please drop by or send along ideas of how we can make a constructive difference.

Earlier I wrote to you about the moving memorial service I attended for a member of CBG's Leadership Council, Richard Ross, one of the victims on American Airlines flight #11. His name and good deeds are now inscribed, along with those of thousands of others, in the book of life. Let us dedicate our efforts going forward to Richard and others - and to the cause of freedom, security, and social justice for our deeply troubled world.

Yours,

 

Ira A. Jackson, Director

Center for Business and Government

 
 
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