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DIRECTOR'S WELCOME                                                                                               Archives
about image May 25, 2006

Dear M-RCBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,

As another academic year comes to a close, we celebrate the achievements of the past year and look forward to a summer for recharging and planning for the year ahead.

In early April, the Center welcomed representatives from the Japanese Kansei Keizai Doyukai for a one day conference entitled, “Sustainable Development in the Asia/Pacific Region: The Roles of Japan and the U.S. - Economy and Security.”   We have convened this symposium annually for the past twelve years to discuss timely issues in East Asia, especially regional security, economics and the dynamics of China.  Participants from the Doyukai represent a variety of Japanese companies, including Matsushita, Kansai Electric, and Obayashi. Attendees generated a fascinating exchange of ideas and reflection, and we are already looking forward to next year’s symposium.

On May 8th and 9th, our Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative marked its two year anniversary with a conference entitled “Business and the Millennium Development Goals: New Models of Leadership and Partnership.”  The two-day event drew more than 120 participants, and was kicked off with a dinner keynote address by Travis Engen, Chairman of the International Business Leaders Forum, Chairman of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, and former Chairman and CEO of Alcan.  The second day featured a wide-range of panels, including: Emerging Trends in Corporate Strategy, International Development and Cross-Sector Collaboration; Governance and Accountability of Partnerships; Achieving Scale and Systemic Impact – Lessons from Practitioners; and Towards New Models of Leadership.  The conference also featured a lunchtime interview of John Elkington of SustainAbility by Kennedy School Professor of Public Service David Gergen, which focused on the linkages between corporate responsibility and social enterprise.  The conference highlighted the hard work and successes of CSRI affiliates since its launch in 2004, and previewed future endeavors. 

On May 12th and 13th, The Environmental Economics Program at Harvard University (EEPHU) hosted a major international workshop on "Architectures for Agreement:  Addressing Global Climate Change in the Post-Kyoto World.”  Organized by EEPHU Director and Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government Robert Stavins, the workshop focused on alternative strategies to address the problem of global climate change after the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends after 2012.  Following opening remarks by Harvard President Larry Summers, Daniel Schrag, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment, outlined what social scientists should know about climate change science.  Subsequently, six policy proposals that fell into three categories (targets and timetables; harmonized domestic policies; and coordinated and unilateral policies) addressed the problem of global climate change.  The proposals’ authors — Jeffrey Frankel of the Kennedy School, Axel Michaelowa of the Hamburg Institute of International Affairs, David Victor of Stanford University, Peter Wilcoxen of Syracuse University, Scott Barrett of Johns Hopkins University, and William Pizer of Resources for the Future — preceded a set of twelve formal responses, and a set of lively general discussions followed.  The goal of the Workshop was not to create a consensus proposal, but rather to examine and critique the merits and potential pitfalls of each of the six proposed architectures to better inform policy discussions.  Thomas Schelling, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland (and for 30 years a Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School) and recipient of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics, closed the workshop.  A book, edited by Stavins and Dr. Joseph Aldy, is slated for publication in the spring of 2007 and will revisit the activities of the meeting, undoubtedly contributing to ongoing environmental policy debates.  For more information, including the agenda and a full list of participant biographies, see http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/cbg/eephu/climate/

The Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG) will hold its final meeting of the academic year on June 1-2, 2006 at the Kennedy School.  Topics of discussion include carbon dioxide emissions controls and the effect on electricity markets, wholesale and retail electricity markets, and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), an institutional innovation of electricity markets. Participants include senior executives from HEPG member companies, regional system operators, researchers, and chairs and commissioners from state public utility commissions, including California, Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Texas.  HEPG will convene its first meeting of the 2006-2007 academic year in Cambridge in September.

On May 4th, the Mossavar-Rahmani Leadership Council welcomed New York Times reporter Louis Uchitelle to discuss his new book The Disposable America: Layoffs  and Their Consequences.  This breakfast concluded another successful year for the Council, as we hosted breakfasts on topics ranging from the rise of China, to stem cell research, and the roles of war and morality in a time of terror.  If you would like further information on the Council for the upcoming year, please contact Shannon Murphy.

After a grueling three weeks of classroom work and site visits in the Boston area, last week the third class of the Beijing Executive Management Training program left Cambridge for Salt Lake City, Utah, where they will participate in networking activities, study Olympics management, exchange views with their American mayoral counterparts and learn about America's west.  This program was custom designed for the city of Beijing in order to familiarize city officials with the management skills essential for good governance in general and for preparing for the Olympic games in 2008.  While in Cambridge they studied topics ranging from crisis management to urban planning, under the guidance of faculty co-chairs Arnold Howitt and Tony Saich. 

On May 15, the Taiwan Leadership Program convened a workshop to discuss a new project on Japan-Taiwan relations and its impact on regional security.  This was co-sponsored with the Taiwan Study Group at the Fairbank Center, the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington, DC and the Japanese Institute of International Affairs, which sent two representatives.  One of the participants, Rear Admiral Michael McDevit (ret.) gave a talk on the issue of "Taiwan in the Strategic Calculus of Washington and Tokyo" on May 16.

Center faculty have also had a productive and successful spring.  Linda Bilmes’ work on the costs of the Iraq war has been featured in a number of publications, including the April 8th issue of The Economist (“Paying for Iraq: Blood and Treasure”), and the May-June issue of Harvard Magazine.  Additionally, the May 14th issue of the Boston Globe Magazine featured the impact Linda and her students’ work has had on the city of Somerville, Massachusetts.  Two years ago, 60 of Bilmes’ public finance students helped mayor Joseph Curtatone establish a new performance-based budgeting system.  The process took hold, and The Globe notes, “no other [city] has put in place Somerville's mix of budgeting and management tools…[it is] the best-run city in Massachusetts.”

The inaugural issue of the Journal of Wine Economics, co-edited by Rob Stavins, was also published earlier this month.  Published semi-annually by the American Association of Wine Economists, the journal will engage the economic aspects of wine, viticulture, and oenology, including: production, winery activities, marketing, consumption, and macroeconomic and legal topics.

The end of this academic year also brings a bittersweet announcement. Cary Coglianese, chair of our Regulatory Policy Program, will be departing the Kennedy School this summer to become the Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, as well as the director of the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Cary’s contributions to Harvard have been significant, not just as a leader of the Regulatory Policy Program, but as someone who embodies the best the Kennedy School has to offer.  We wish him the best in Philadelphia, and he will be greatly missed.

We thank you for your continued support throughout this year and hope you have a restful and sun-filled summer.



John G. Ruggie

Frank and Denie Weil Director, Mossavar-Rahmani Center
for Business and Government
Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs