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Public-Private Partnerships Study Group Overview
The PPP Study Group is open to HKS students who have expressed a professional interest in learning about public-private partnerships or asset maximization programs. Enrollment in the Study Group is limited, and is by application.

The Study Group combines theory, cases and applications. It has been designed to prepare graduate students for internships or employment in partnership settings. The Public-Private Partnerships Study Group features research assignments linked to specific projects. Guest speakers are a regular feature of the Study Group.

Learn more about study group activities planned for 2011-2012 and how to apply.

1. Instructor's Bio

Alan TragerAlan M. Trager is a Senior Fellow, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). He was previously Senior Advisor to the Dean for Executive Education and later Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, whose research and teaching focused on the role of public-private partnerships (PPP) in addressing complex public policy problems. In addition to serving as Chair of the Public-Private Partnerships Study Group, he regularly teaches in international executive education programs and participates in PPP symposiums and seminars from Ankara and Amman to Beijing.  Recent engagements include PPP guest lecturer at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam; panelist at the USAID Alliance Builders Forum in Washington, D.C.; and panelist at the Russian Energy Conference at Harvard.

Trager’s practitioner involvement in partnership issues is extensive and far-reaching. He is currently advising the MDR-TB Partnership in China supported by Eli Lilly. He is also Chair of the Advisory Board of Pathways, a USAID partnership in Bulgaria. In 2008-09, he served as a Commissioner of the New York State Commission on State Asset Maximization. Approximately fifty percent of his professional experience and academic interests have involved non-US locations and issues. He has researched and written case studies on public-private partnerships involving a variety of countries, and has moderated numerous panels focused on public-private partnership issues at Harvard, including the Asia Business Conference, the International Development Conference, the HBS Social Enterprise Conference, and the Russian Energy Conference.  His newest area of interest is water partnerships. In February 2011, he taught a three-hour class titled “Water Infrastructure Investment, Finance, and Management” at MIT Sloan as part of The Business of Water Seminar. He has researched water issues in Israel, Vietnam, China and the US.

His private sector experience includes founding and chairing AMT Capital Management, a private investment firm, and creating and managing ventures for Morgan Stanley, where he was a managing director. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he was manager of planning for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Trager graduated from the Kennedy School with an MPA in 1972.  Early in his career, he was a VISTA Volunteer in Texas and worked for mayors in New York City, New Haven, and Boston.

email : alan_trager@hks.harvard.edu

2. 2012 PPP SG Project: Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Business Models

Many trends point to the likelihood that electric vehicles will assume a larger role in transportation in the future. But what type of infrastructure is required to charge the vehicles, and who will pay for it? To answer those questions, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asked Harvard Kennedy School students to provide an independent assessment of potential business models for developing a public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

On April 17, 2012, the team presented to officials from Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, including Henry Kelly, Acting Assistant Secretary, at DOE headquarters in Washington, DC. Two models were featured: One model focused on parking garage owners who would provide charging infrastructure to PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) owners for an additional monthly flat fee. The second model featured a charging infrastructure company that would offer discounted service to car-share companies in exchange for adjacent parking spots for public EV charging (though a subscription service).

“The DOE project was an amazing experience - working at the intersection of business and government,” said Khalid Yasin MPA/ID 2013. “For me the best part of the experience was the actual presentation at the DOE, where we were able to present with a number of students from Wharton the ideas that we had been working on, and to get the feedback from individuals who work on this as a full time job.”

The market targeted by these business models is large county governments or twin cities areas such as Miami-Dade, Maricopa County, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Ft Worth and San Diego where driving 35 miles a day is normal. One of the key drivers of the models was the assumption that gasoline prices stay close to $4.00 per gallon. The students did not assume government subsidies in their work.

Next steps include the public release by the DOE of the presentation, and developing an agenda focusing on attracting private capital to invest in these ideas.

The students who participated in the project are all members of the Public-Private Partnerships Study Group chaired by Alan M. Trager, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government senior fellow. Mariya Krasteva MPA 2013/MBA MIT Sloan served as project manager. The six students on the DOE team are all enrolled in joint degree programs.
Study group

Participants (from L to R): Moses Esema MPP/MBA Harvard, Nicholas Gerry-Bullard MPP 2012/MBA Harvard, Mariya Krasteva MPA 2013/MBA MIT Sloan; Alan Trager, chair, PPP Study Group; Jane Silfen MPP 2012/MBA Harvard, Emily McAteer MPA 2013/MBA Stanford; Khalid Yasin MPA/ID 2014/MBA Harvard.

3. Selected PPP SG Members

Selected 2010 PPP SG Members:


Selected 2009 PPP SG Members:


Eli Lilly MDR-TB China Research Assistants:


Mariya Krasteva, PPP SG Research Assistant, led a Career Development Session at Pathways in January 2011:


Anton Safronov, a PPP SG Member and one of the Russian Energy Conference organizers:


4. Contacts

For general inquires about Public-Private Partnerships and presentations, please contact:

Mariya Krasteva
Harvard Kennedy School of Government, MPA Candidate | Class of 2013 MIT Sloan School of Management, MBA Candidate | Class of 2013 Mariya_Krasteva@hks13.harvard.edu; Mariya.Krasteva@sloan.mit.edu