HKS Students Brief World Bank President

October 30, 2009
by Kevin Miller, The Citizen

World Bank President Bob Zoellick, MPP ’81, in deep discussion with HKS students gathered around a narrow table at the World Bank headquarters, waved away staffers reminding him that the 45- minutes set aside for the meeting had long since expired.

On Oct. 16, ten HKS students pitched their ideas on the global food crisis in front of Zoellick and other World Bank executives in Washington, D.C.

The students were the winners of the 2009 Spring Exercise, a cornerstone of the MPP program. Last year, students wrestled with developing solutions to concerns of food security and world hunger.

Discussion evolved around how Zoellick is retooling the World Bank to delve into redevelopment and attack the issues of hunger and food security in unconventional ways. Zoellick offered thorough analysis and critique of what the students brought.

“[Zoellick] had them stop and think about each individual decision,” said Professor Sheila Burke, who accompanied the students. “And the students did a wonderful job of making their case through the analysis.”

High-spirited evaluation of choices from framing to analytical tools complemented and extended a question-and-answer session. Students were treated to an inside look at where Zoellick is steering the organization whose every move has widespread impact on global policy issues.

Three World Bank Vice Presidents lauded the scope and depth of the briefing. Ke Ji, MPP ’10 recalled one saying, “Oh my gosh, [Pres. Zoellick] was really impressed. If he’s not engaged, he’ll just be polite. If he’s interested, he really drills down.’

Kyoung Lee, MPP ’10 relished in the “unfiltered access” to Zoellick, as the institution over which he presides figured largely in her policy memo.

“It was so wonderful,” said Lee. “He exemplifies the ability to be strategic at 30,000 miles above and then dive right down into the weeds for detail,” said Lee.

Read the full story on The Citizen's Web site.

Students meet at World Bank

Students meet at the World Bank. Photo courtesy of the World Bank.

John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1100 Get Directions Visit Contact Page