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As members of Congress and candidates for President charge that new regulations will kill jobs and slow economic growth, regulation has become a hot-button issue in American politics.
But how does regulatory policy work in practice?
That question framed the panel discussion, “Making Markets Work Better: Student Experiences in Regulatory Policy,” held Oct. 28 at Harvard Kennedy School. Moderated by Professor Joseph Aldy, faculty chair of the Regulatory Policy Program, the panel featured three current Harvard students with significant regulatory policy experience working in the White House, in the office of the president of Mexico, and for the International Finance Corporation.
“One of the great advantages of Harvard is the fact that it provides opportunities to learn not just from the faculty and from various practitioners we bring in through the seminar series, but also from students who themselves have worked on the design and implementation of regulatory policy,” said Aldy.
Pascal Noel, a Ph.D. candidate in economics who formerly worked as a senior policy advisor at the National Economic Council. Noel spoke about his experience working at the White House from 2009 to 2011 on financial regulatory policy, including the Dodd-Frank bill. He talked about helping to run a financial regulatory policy-working group that included people across multiple government agencies.
“One of my take-aways was the importance of relationships in getting work done,” said Noel. “Understanding where others are coming from is key to advancing policy.”
Raul Galicia Duran, is a MPA/ID student who formerly worked as a director of economic policy for the office of the president of Mexico. Galicia Duran discussed his experience attempting to eliminate unnecessary regulations in order to reduce obstacles to innovations.
“Many regulations have served the interests of particular industries,” said Duran, whose responsibilities included helping to compile an inventory of Mexico’s regulatory requirements.
Tugay Yilmaz, a MPA/ID student who formerly worked at the International Finance Corporation (the IFC is a member of the World Bank Group) spoke about her work at the IFC structuring private investment for energy infrastructure projects in multiple countries, including Turkey. Yilmaz stressed how important it is for countries seeking private investment to have clear, quantifiable, and achievable regulatory policies in place in order for investors to feel confident about the projects.
The panelists also discussed the skills that are important for regulatory policy work, including the ability to master new issues quickly, policy and project evaluation, strong negotiation skills, and knowledge of regulatory policy history. The conversation concluded with a discussion of various career and internship opportunities in regulatory policy, including many potential opportunities in Washington D.C.
This event was co-sponsored by the Business and Government Professional Interest Council and the Office of Career Advancement. The Regulatory Policy Program (RPP) at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government serves as a catalyst and clearinghouse for the study of regulation across Harvard University. The program's objectives are to cross-pollinate research, spark new lines of inquiry, and increase the connection between theory and practice.
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Panelists (From L to R) Tugay Yilmaz MPA/ID 2013; Joseph Aldy (moderator), assistant professor of public policy; Pascal Noel doctoral student, Harvard Econ. Dept.; Raul Galicia Duran MPA/ID 2013.
“One of the great advantages of Harvard is the fact that it provides opportunities to learn not just from the faculty...but also from students who themselves have worked on the design and implementation of regulatory policy,” said Aldy.
Raul Galicia Duran formerly worked as a director of economic policy for the office of the President of Mexico.