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"Your appointment is especially heartening in that it confirms that the issue of corporate responsibility, and the challenge of reconciling public priorities with private interests, are of central importance to society today."

-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a letter to John Ruggie


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October 2005 Director's Welcome


John G. Ruggie, CBG DirectorOctober 3, 2005

Dear CBG Faculty, Staff, Fellows, and Friends,

Another school year has started, and the Mossavar – Rahmani Center for Business and Government (M-RCBG) is off to a quick start. On September 28, four weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit, we hosted Raymond Plank, founder and Chairman of the Apache Corporation to discuss “Energy Policy in the Wake of Katrina.” Apache is the one of the world’s top oil and gas exploration and development companies, with operations focused in some of North America’s most important producing basins – including 400 platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Plank spoke first-hand about the implications of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, saying they could serve as “a potential wake up call” for a re-examination of our energy policies. The timely discussion was moderated by Professor William Hogan, Director of the Harvard Electricity Policy Group (HEPG).

The following day, on September 29, we kicked off our Business and Government Seminar Series with Richard Locke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Political Science at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Professor Locke’s discussion, titled “Does Monitoring Work? Lessons from Nike,” focused on the current limits of corporate monitoring of supply chains. Locke’s investigation of production heterogeneity (why factories making the same products for the same brands continue to differ in labor compliance and product quality), causes him to be optimistic about long term prospects for improvement. He noted “there are definitely very promising factors out there...If we can get companies to cooperate together,” both labor compliance and product quality could improve. For the full schedule of fall seminars, click here.

On September 21 st, the Center hosted a half-day conference for State Street Global Advisors Institute. The Institute is an annual gathering convened by State Street, and attendees come from all over the world. This year, M-RCBG Professors Linda Bilmes and Cary Coglianese, and Senior Fellow Michael L. Michael addressed the diverse audience. Professor Bilmes focused on the U.S. budget and the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War thereupon, and Professor Coglianese and Michael L. Michael explored issues in corporate governance and business ethics.

M-RCBG Fellows also had a fruitful September. We welcomed thirty-two fellows from all over the world, including China, Taiwan, Japan, Venezuela, and Albania. A monthly Senior Fellows Roundtable Luncheon has been instituted for fellows to share ongoing research, and they continue to make outstanding contributions to the Center’s research mission. We are eagerly anticipating an article recently accepted for publication in 2006 by Business Ethics Quarterly, written by Senior Fellow Michael L. Michael, tentatively titled “Business Ethics: The Law of Rules.”

Asia Programs continued their vigorous pace of this summer by hosting 60 high-ranking local and central government officials for five weeks as part of China’s Leaders in Development Program. This program, co-sponsored by Tsinghua University and our China Public Policy Program, instructs participants on cultivating new skills in public management.

In partnership with the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy and the POLICY Project, the Vietnam AIDS Public Policy Training Project trains Vietnamese policy makers at national and provincial levels in multi-sectoral and rights-based approaches to the AIDS epidemic. In September, Lisa Messersmith, Project Director, and Kristin Eifler, Project Manager, completed a successful planning trip to Hanoi. During this trip, Academy and Project staff conducted an orientation workshop for Vietnamese faculty - national experts on HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment and impact mitigation. In December, the Vietnamese and Harvard Project faculty will hold a curriculum retreat in Vietnam to adapt the Project's core curriculum to the Vietnamese context. Then, in January 2006, the team will conduct the first set of training for senior policy leaders at national level and for the larger Academy faculty and staff. With the Hanoi School of Public Health, Harvard project staff will evaluate the short and medium term impacts of the training on AIDS public policy development in Vietnam.

Finally, we are preparing for our opening Leadership Council Members’ Breakfast on October 6th. Former New Hampshire Governor and current KSG Institute of Politics Director Jeanne Shaheen will be speaking on “Leadership in Times of Crisis.” Our impressive roster for fall semester breakfast speakers includes: former CEO of Coca-Cola Doug Daft, KSG Professor and former national President of Catholic Charities Bryan Hehir, and former KSG Dean Joseph Nye. To learn more about the Leadership Council, contact Shannon Murphy.

September has clearly been an active month for M-RCBG faculty and staff in Cambridge and abroad. As we look forward to an even busier year, we hope you join us at one of our many events!


 John Ruggie signature

John G. Ruggie

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

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