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DIRECTOR'S WELCOME                                                                                               Archives
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September 15, 2006

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

We have begun another exciting year of research and programming at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government. On September 12 th, we kicked off the academic year with an Open House for Kennedy School students and fellows to learn more about the Center. M-RCBG faculty and affiliates were on hand to address a packed audience about our course and program offerings. If Open House turnout is any indication, this will be a banner year for student involvement at the Center.

Our Environmental Economics Program, led by Rob Stavins, has welcomed three new Pre-Doctoral Fellows: Robyn Meeks, Matthew Ranson, and Laurence Tai. Their research interests include: water resource management; rural water supply and sanitation; environmental and behavioral economics; and energy economics in the context of global climate change. All three are new Ph.D. students in Public Policy, and join eleven other Pre-Doctoral Fellows (PhD students) and fifteen Faculty Fellows in the Program.

We have also welcomed twenty-four new Visitors and Fellows to the Center: six Visiting Scholars, four Senior Fellows, and fourteen Asia Fellows. They join fourteen current Fellows, and their research interests range from sustainable energy policy to corporate social responsibility and private sector data protection practices. Current fellows have had an eventful few months. Earlier this month, President Bush nominated Senior Fellow Bob Steel to Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance. Mark Kramer recently authored “Don’t Confuse Generosity with Impact on Society” in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and The Financial Times featured Jacques Mistral’s “Growing Inequality is Turning America Inward,” on July 16 th.

Affiliates at Harvard’s Electricity Policy Group have also had a busy summer. Congratulations are due to HEPG Research Director Bill Hogan, who will be honored in September by the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) as the recipient of the 2005 award for outstanding contributions to the field of energy economics and its literature. In announcing the award, the IAEE cited Dr. Hogan’s “breadth and depth of work that not only transcends the public policy, academic, and business communities, but more importantly has had a real impact.” HEPG Executive Director Ashley Brown co-authored the recently published Handbook for Evaluating Infrastructure Regulatory Systems. The handbook provides an analytical framework and supporting instruments for evaluating the performance of new infrastructure regulators in developing countries. Additionally, Ashley has made numerous appearances on national news broadcasts to provide commentary on electricity transmission issues and the effects of the summer heat wave on the U.S. power grid, including: the CBS Evening News, CNN In the Money, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and NBC Nightly News.

Other recent publications include Cary Coglianese and Jennifer Nash’s Leveraging the Private Sector, which offers the first sustained analysis of public and private sector initiatives designed to encourage firms and industries to use their own management expertise to improve their environmental performance. Mike Scherer’s Patents summarizes four decades of his pioneering research on the economics of patent protection. Both are featured on our Center’s bookshelf webpage.

Asia programs is once again hosting over fifty government officials for the China Leaders in Development program (CLD). This program is jointly sponsored by the Kennedy School and Tsinghua University, and involves five weeks of intensive training in the "Executive Public Management Training Program.” It enhances the abilities of Chinese officials to develop new public management strategies and analytical skills as they navigate through a rapidly changing government-private sector relationship.

The AIDS Public Policy Program led two successful trainings in China over the summer - one for Chinese NGOs and the other for Shenzhen provincial policy makers. They also traveled to Vietnam, and conducted trainings for provincial government leaders and representatives from the National Assembly, Central Party Commissions and provincial People's Councils. In late September, our partners in Vietnam, representatives of the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy, will be conducting a study tour to Boston, Washington DC and New York City to gain a greater understanding of successful AIDS public policy and the implementation of best practices in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and impact mitigation.

We recently welcomed new faculty member Andy Zelleke to the Center. Andy came to us from the University of Pennsylvania, where his research and teaching focused on organizational leadership – particularly on governance arrangements designed to ensure executive accountability. This fall he is teaching PAL-119, “Organizational Leadership and Governance,” which will be a case-based discussion course exploring governance and management issues across multiple sectors. He has historically focused on governance and leadership in the corporate sector, but is interested in extending this inquiry to other sectors. We are delighted to have Andy joining us.

n Ethiopia, the DSA project’s focus on modernizing the government’s financial management systems has kicked into high gear, with over 60 project staff working throughout the country. Under the leadership of Steve Peterson, the project has now trained over 68,000 Ethiopians on how to use the budget and accounting systems that have been put in place, and an important milestone was reached this summer when a home-grown integrated budget, accounting and disbursement software package was successfully launched in Tigray province, one of the country's largest. Peterson and his team have enabled the government accounts to recover from a six year backlog to the point now where budget and accounting information can be entered and reviewed in real time, a feat which has caught the attention of governments in many countries inside Africa and out.

Finally, we will be kicking off our Business & Government Seminar Series on Thursday, October 5 th in Bell Hall, with a talk by Walter Gale Professor of Education Dick Light on What Universities Can Learn from Business and Government: Becoming a Learning Organization to Enhance Customer Effectiveness. For a complete schedule of the seminar series, look here, or email Shannon_Murphy@ksg.harvard.edu.

The semester is off to a great start! We hope you join us at an event or seminar soon.



John G. Ruggie

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