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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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October 2004 Director's Welcome

 
 

John G. Ruggie, CBG DirectorOctober 5 , 2004

Dear CBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,

There is never any doubt when our summer ends at KSG: the day that energized students once again fill the hallways, engaging each other and the faculty. Two of our terrific MPP students, Beth Jenkins and Marika McCauley, began the academic year by convening a student group interested in corporate social responsibility, and 120 students showed up eager to work together. Autumn is here.

Just a few months into his new position as Dean of the Kennedy School, David Ellwood is providing strong leadership and seeking ways to further improve and promote the School. Dean Ellwood has initiated a review of all current practices and organizational arrangements across the School, advised by five faculty committees. These "Committees on the Future of the Kennedy School" will report back before the end of the academic year. CBG is honored to be represented on all of them, and we will do everything possible to help the Dean achieve his mission. The Dean has also appointed CBG Senior Fellow Alan M. Trager, MPA'72, as his Senior Advisor for Executive Education, to build ever-stronger KSG's executive education programs.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, led by Jane Nelson who was recently joined by program manager Christine Riley, convened a workshop on the investment risks of climate change, including a KSG Forum entitled "Climate Change Hits Wall Street: What are the Risks of Inaction?" The event involved KSG faculty; fiduciaries of large pension funds, including several state treasurers; as well as representatives of insurance companies and investment banks. It was co-sponsored by the Belfer Center and CERES, a coalition of environmental groups. Bottom line: large numbers of firms have hidden liabilities on their balance sheets stemming from climate change vulnerabilities, and those firms as well as pension fund fiduciaries had better start paying close attention. Tobacco and asbestos-related risks could look like blips in comparison.

CBG recently assumed responsibility for the In-Service Training in Public Financial Management project based in Ethiopia. It has been ongoing for seven years and is KSG's largest sponsored research project, providing assistance to the Government of Ethiopia's Civil Service Reform in budgets, accounts and budget planning. USAID, Ireland's aid agency and the Netherlands Ministry for Development Cooperation fund the program. The most recent contract renewal, of some $13.6 million, calls for completion of these reforms in all nine regions of Ethiopia by July 2006. Interns from KSG have contributed to the effort every summer since 2002. Although I can take no credit for the program's success, professional and personal pride compels me to mention that its Director, Dr. Stephen Peterson, was a student in the first graduate seminar I taught at Berkeley well back in the previous century. It's great to be working with him again.

The Regulatory Policy Program continued to deliver cutting edge ideas about regulation to policymakers. This summer, it released two major policy reports: one on the role of information technology in the regulatory process (so-called e-rulemaking), another on the role of government in corporate governance. The second of these reports grows out of a conference that RPP co-sponsored with CBG's CSR Initiative, focused on how regulatory systems can reduce the likelihood of future corporate scandals along the lines of WorldCom and Enron.

To view the e-rulemaking report, click here
To read the corporate governance report, click here

For any scholar, outside recognition of his or her labors is always especially rewarding. So I have great pleasure in letting you know that Steven Anderson, Ph.D. '04, has recently received the Hans Jürgen Ewers Prize of 2004 for his dissertation, "Analyzing Strategic Interaction In Multi-Settlement Electricity Markets," awarded annually for applied research in infrastructure economics by the Berlin University of Technology. Congratulations Steve!

CBG Fellows play a special role in the life of the Center, forming a bridge between the faculty and the world of policy practice. This fall again brings together an extraordinary group, concerned with such diverse issues as corporate governance and social responsibility, regulatory policy in bioethics, and safety in the railroad industry. We also welcome two new staff in the Fellows' Program, director Miranda Daniloff Mancusi and program coordinator Kristin Eifler.

So we're off to a good start. Hope to see you at one of our events. Let's stay in touch.


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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