Center for Business and Government    

"As I commence my second year as Director of CBG, let me reaffirm what a privilege it is to lead such an outstanding team who are working so effectively and successfully at the cutting-edge of the intersection of the public and private sectors."

-Ira A. Jackson

 

Home | About CBG | Programs | Events | Search CBG
Faculty and Staff
|
Fellows | In the News | Book Shelf | Research
 

September 2001 Director's Welcome

 
 
5 September 2001

As the sun sets on these last glorious days of summer, we are gearing up for the influx of students and the start of a new academic year. Before the leaves begin to change colors, I want to welcome new arrivals to CBG and returning faculty, staff, fellows and extended family.

As I commence my second year as Director of CBG, let me reaffirm what a privilege it is to lead such an outstanding team who are working so effectively and successfully at the cutting-edge of the intersection of the public and private sectors.

A brief journey across some of the last year's highlights and a short fast-forward to some upcoming events and milestones suggests the scope of CBG's activities and the importance of the Center's contributions to better understanding many of the most intractable, complex and important issues facing global society.

The 2000-2001 academic year was punctuated by a number of exciting new initiatives and the evolution of core programs housed within CBG, including this snapshot of recent events:

· A major conference late in June organized by Professor Jeffrey Frankel on U.S. economic policy making and economic performance in the 1990s. The conference was designed to write "the first draft for history" of one of the most remarkable periods of economic growth and transition in American history. Some 85 academics, policy makers and practitioners from multiple disciplines, sectors and institutions gathered to critique and clarify more than a dozen 40-80 page papers prepared in advance by world-class scholars, covering topics ranging from fiscal policy to welfare reform. Two public Forum events attracted large audiences who heard from, among others, former Secretaries of the Treasury Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, Martin Feldstein, Rudolph Penner, Stanley Fischer and Alan Meltzer. Check out our website (http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/cbg/econ_paper.htm) for the papers, or look for the volume from MIT Press this spring, co-edited by Jeff Frankel and Peter Orszag.

· The 25th meeting of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG), headed by Professor Bill Hogan. With the California electricity crisis and the economic and political shockwaves emanating out of the energy industry, HEPG continues to play a pivotal role in domestic and global electricity markets. HEPG provides the world's leading forum for policy-makers from business and government, regulators and regulated industries, responsible NGOs and university-based researchers to explore and discuss every aspect of electricity restructuring. Bill has been in constant demand by the media, Congress, the Administration and industry, as well as foreign governments.

· Professor Rob Stavins launched the Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University (EEPHU) within CBG last year. The program catalyzes the intellectual interests of more than a dozen senior economists from across Harvard's professional schools and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, providing a forum through which to leverage and help coordinate their research findings and policy implications. Rob also found time to write Public Policies for Environmental Protection, Second Edition and to author a paper entitled "National Environmental Policy During the Clinton Years" for CBG's conference on economic policy and performance during the 90s.

· Under the able leadership of Professor Tony Saich, the School's Asia Programs were kicked off at CBG last fall. Already comprising an extensive portfolio of courses, research projects, and institutional relationships, CBG's Asia Programs extend from China and Japan to Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam. They include executive education programs for leaders in the People's Liberation Army and career public servants in Hong Kong, to a major applied research project of the world's largest commercial banking microenterprise lending in Indonesia, to an extensive year-long course in market economics for regional officials throughout Vietnam, to an ongoing seminar with business leaders in Osaka, Japan. The Kennedy School is fortunate to have the highest percentage (46%) of foreign students of any professional school at Harvard, and the largest segment of these students is from Asian nations. CBG, through its Asia Programs, is now providing core expertise at KSG for this critical area, and with the most recent addition of Julian Chang as Executive Director under Tony Saich, our current activities are set to grow and expand. Dean Joe Nye, Tony, Julian and I visited Taiwan, Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City this summer, and, as a consequence, we will be increasing our commitment to leadership training, applied research and institution-building partnerships throughout the region.

· We stepped up CBG's outreach and public engagement activities last year. CBG hosted a variety of conferences, seminars, dinners and Forum events that attracted leaders from business, government and civil society to explore a variety of cutting-edge issues, e.g.:

-- In the fall, for instance, Assistant Professor David Lazer organized a unprecedented gathering of 200 law enforcement officials from the state, local, federal and international institutions, along with ethicists, scientists and public policy makers, to explore the complicated issues of DNA and the criminal justice system -- featuring, among others, Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Attorney General Janet Reno, advocate Barry Scheck of the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence and Nobel Laureate James Watson. A comprehensive overview of the conference can be seen at http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/dna/.

-- A similar conference organized by Associate Professor David Hart focused on issues related to entrepreneurship and public policy and attracted an unusual cross-section of public and private sector leaders highlighted by a public Forum event with HBS Professor Michael Porter, Michigan Governor John Engler, U.S. Senator Thomas Carper and Representative Ed Markey.

-- Throughout the year, we had the privilege to convene special sessions around special CBG visitors, including Mario Monti, the European Commission's lead authority of trade and anti-trust policy; Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singpaore; Sir Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's chief civil servant; Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface Group and a leading advocate of "green" corporate practices designed to do good and to do well; and former USTR Charlene Barshefsky and Phan Gia Khiem, the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam, discussing the Bilateral Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam.

That's just the "top-line" and a quick overview of the scope and depth of last year's activities. It suggests that the 2001-2002 academic season will be equally busy, interesting and impactful. Please consult our CBG website (http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/cbg) for regular updates on coming attractions, and take a look at my updated monthly letter for highlights of events of general interest. To provide just a flavor for what's on tap for this fall alone:

· From September 11-13, CBG's Asia Programs will be convening a major conference on "Financial Sector Reform in China," investigating the ways in which issues of financial infrastructure, fiscal flows, institutional context, governance and coordinated reform efforts within a transitional economy interrelate, and contributing to informed debate surrounding the speed with which governmental policy needs to be formulated. Professor Tony Saich will moderate a Forum event at 6:00 PM on Sept 13 on "China and the WTO: The Finanicial Challenge," with panelists Jeff Sachs, Director of the Center for International Development; HBS Associate Professor Yasheng Huang; Zuo Xuejin of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences; and Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Clinton.

· Professor Dale Jorgenson, who has just completed the newest edition of his book, Investment: Lifting the Burden: Tax Reform, The Cost of Capital, and U.S. Economic Growth, has helped to organize a symposium, which CBG will host, on "Productivity and Cyclicality in Semiconductors: Trends, Implications and Questions," along with the National Research Council Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy.

· The pace of activity in the Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG), the Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University (EEPHU), CBG's Regulatory Policy Program (RPP), and the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project (HIIP) resumes with gusto in September, with the 26th Plenary Session of HEPG in Washington, DC; the first meeting of the EEPHU seminar in Environmental Economics and Policy on September 19 (from 4:00-5:30 PM in L-280), featuring Paul Portney, Resources for the Future, speaking on "The CAFÉ Debate: Politics and Economics of Fuel Economy Standards;" and the kickoff to a robust series of RPP' "New Directions in Regulation" seminar with a talk by Rob Stavins on "National Environmental Policy during the Clinton Years."

· CBG welcomes a bevy of new faculty and fellows this month who add depth and breadth to our impressive team of intellectual talent. To name just a few:

-- John Ruggie, former Assistant Secretary General of the UN, principal architect of Kofi Annan's Global Compact, and former Dean of Columbia University's School of Public and International Affairs, settles in as the School's first Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs, focusing on issues of global governance and public-private sector collaboration.

-- Professor Richard Light joins us on his sabbatical year, intending to play a major role along with Jack Donahue in CBG's Kearns Program in Business, Government and Education, including organizing a major conference in the spring on the digital divide. Dick, incidentally, is in great demand nationwide, due to the favorable reviews of his latest book, Making the Most of College: Students Speak their Minds, which is already the best-selling title in the 62 year history of the Harvard University Press (as an indication of the interest in his subject, Dick spoke last night to the entire entering class of Harvard first years; later in the month he'll be speaking at University of Washington in Seattle to a stadium full of thousands of students, faculty and staff of the University).

-- Elaine Kamarck begins a new faculty seminar on e-government and e-governance, while continuing work on her book, The End of Government As We Know It.

-- Patrick Daniel, editor of the Business Times of Singapore, joins us as a Senior Fellow, working with Dennis Encarnation on an early October conference on "The East Asian Miracle Revisited," cosponsored by the World Bank. Fiona Woolf, a partner with CMS Cameron McKenna of London, will be working closely with Bill Hogan on electricity restructuring from a global perspective. Iqbal Quadir, founder of Grameen Phone, is here at the Kennedy School and will engage students in issues of technology's impact on development and governance.

I'm not sure whether this short update is inspiring or exhausting; my hunch is that it's both. It surely conveys that CBG is active, vital and on the move on many fronts, addressing some of society's most challenging problems at the intersection of business and government.

As we commence a new season and get set to witness the formal inauguration of Larry Summers as Harvard's 27th President, I hope you share my enthusiasm for our programs and people; more importantly, I encourage you to participate and add-value to our activities. Larry Summers personifies CBG's values and orientation. He is a distinguished scholar, author and teacher who has demonstrated leadership in the academy and in government and has committed himself to advancing economic growth while strengthening democratic institutions. That is the core of CBG's mission. The daily headlines about the prospect of a global recession, tax policy and social security financing, economic growth and productivity, China's accession to the WTO, electricity restrucuring, global warming, high stakes testing and educational accountability, and so many other critical public policy areas remind us of the need for what CBG does and the important role that we are playing in contributing to a greater understanding of these and other issues facing the U.S. and global society.

As we lament the return of the curse of the Bambino here at the heart of Red Sox Nation, we have a vigorous and ambitious agenda here at CBG. I welcome you to join us in pursuing and advancing that agenda. My door here in Belfer 504 is always open to you and I look forward to engaging with you on the important and exciting work of the Center for Business and Government.

Sincerely,

 

Ira A. Jackson, Director

Center for Business and Government

 
 
Please participate in the Center for Business and Government's brief online questionnaire, so that we may better keep you informed of CBG activities.
Questions or Comments? Contact the
Web Administrator
©2004 President and Fellows of Harvard University