February 28, 2007
Dear M-RCBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,
First, let me express my enthusiasm for and congratulations to Harvard’s 28th President – Drew Gilpin Faust. As Dean of the Radcliffe Institute, she has continually demonstrated the wisdom, determination and vision that make her an excellent choice to lead Harvard in the coming years.
2007 is already shaping up to be a notable year for the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. The spring semester has started, and the Center is busy putting forth new scholarship, programming and research.
We are thrilled to announce that on February 6th, Enel, Italy’s largest power company, announced a $5 million gift to establish The Enel Endowment for Environmental Economics. This endowment will allow the Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University, which is housed at M-RCBG, to substantially expand its efforts as the newly renamed Harvard Environmental Economics Program. It will support research, teaching, and outreach, as well as help build organizational capacity of the program. Plans include a seminar series, conferences, lectures, discussion papers, an intellectual venture capital fund, and support for pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows.
Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG) Executive Director Ashley Brown is featured in The National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI) 30th Anniversary volume of the Journal of Applied Regulation, published in December 2006. The Journal is a collection of essays by 17 leading utility regulators of the past three decades. Ashley served two terms as Commissioner of the Public Utility Commission of Ohio, from 1983 to 1993. HEPG Research Director Bill Hogan attended the Conference on The Economics of Energy Markets, from January 15-16, 2007, at the Institut d’Economie Industrielle (IDEI) at the University of Toulouse ( France). The annual conference, which focuses on the economics of the electricity industry, was expanded this year to include natural gas and nuclear power in order to address the growing demands on energy. Bill was a speaker on the “Reliability and Security of Supply” panel and is a member of the IDEI’s Scientific Committee. HEPG also hosted Ilidio Xavier Bambo from the Mozambique Ministry of Mines and Energy, from January 28-February 8. Mr. Bambo, who is currently writing a plan to restructure electricity regulation in Mozambique, used his time in Cambridge for research and information gathering.
On January 5th, Linda Bilmes gave a paper at the Allied Social Sciences Meeting in Chicago, focusing on the needs of returning Iraq and Afghan war veterans. Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: The Long-term Costs of Providing Veterans Medical Care and Disability Benefits has received widespread print and broadcast attention. Linda penned a January 5th op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on The Battle of the Wounded, and her work on the needs of veterans has been picked up by the New York Times, USA Today, the Harvard Gazette, radio shows, wire services (UPI and AP), and CNN and ABC.
With the start of the new semester now at full throttle, we welcome three new Senior Fellows to the Center: Susan Anderson, the General Counsel in the Executive Office of Elder Affairs in the State of Massachusetts, exploring the medical malpractice insurance rating system and looking at shifting risk as a way to increase patient safety; Holly Wise, President of Wise Solutions, a consultancy in international development and corporate social responsibility and an adjunct professor at Georgetown School of Foreign Service, looking at the business-government partnership represented by USAID’s Global Development Alliance as well as corporate investment programs to support SME’s in host countries; and William Symonds, a former bureau chief with Business Week Magazine who will be working on a book that examines the role of business in K-12 education reform. We also welcome the two new Asia Fellows: Chia-Dan Han, an Institute Associate at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, who will examine current Intellectual Property Rights (IP) theories and analyze existing issues and case studies in Taiwan and Mainland China to further explore options of IP protection in the digital Chinese-speaking world. In other fellows’ news, Senior Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer Alan Trager spoke at Harvard Business School’s Asia Business Conference on February 10, discussing Public-Private Partnerships with Anne Nobles of Eli Lilly and Junglim Hahm of The World Bank Institute. His presentation is available here. Senior Fellow Leigh Williams has been asked to work with several global firms and Asia Pacific regulators to develop a new model for international governance of corporate information practices. The team will develop standards for privacy and security, a system of independent accountability agents, and a multilateral framework for regulatory reciprocity.
Many of our Center’s publications are also gaining widespread attention. Cary Coglianese and Jennifer Nash’s Beyond Compliance: Business Decision Making and the US EPA’s Performance Track Program report has already been noted as “likely to influence reforms” at the Environmental Protection Agency. Jennifer recently presented the study’s findings to 100 members of the EPA’s Innovation Action Council, and a recent issue of Inside the EPA says, “While it is too early to say how the EPA will respond to the agency-funded analysis, [it] is taking the research seriously, according to an agency source who notes EPA has typically incorporated such research into improving Performance Track.” Congratulations to Cary and Jennifer on the well-deserved attention for their important research.
We recently announced our spring lineup for the Center’s Business & Government Seminar Series. Kicking off the series on February 8 th was Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School, Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, discussing “Napster’s Second Life? Regulating Virtual Worlds.” Our next seminar will feature IXIS Asset Management’s Global Compliance Officer and M-RCBG Senior Fellow Michael L. Michael discussing “Business Ethics: The Law of Rules,” on March 1 st in the Fainsod Room. Click here for the complete series listing, and rsvp to Shannon_Murphy@ksg.harvard.edu for any seminars you would like to attend.
We are also delighted to announce the establishment of the Robert Glauber Endowed Lecture Series at the Kennedy School. The Lectureship will be managed by the Center, and honors the contributions of our longtime colleague Robert Glauber, former Chairman and CEO of NASD, current adjunct lecturer at the Kennedy School, a position he also held from 1992-2000, and former fellow at M-RCBG. Details of the inaugural Glauber lecture will be forthcoming.
For my part, I recently completed a major research undertaking with a team of recent law school graduates, as part of my UN mandate in business and human rights. We set out to map the current standards, legal and otherwise, that govern corporate activities in relation to human rights. The report will be published sometime in early March, and I present it to the Human Rights Council at the end of March. I thought you might be interested in seeing a sneak preview, in the form of the text of remarks I gave last week at an event hosted by the law firm Clifford Chance in London
The spring semester is off to a brisk start – we hope you can join us for a seminar or event sometime soon.
John G. Ruggie
Frank and Denie Weil Director, Center for Business and Government
Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs