The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

17F

Class of 1930 Fellow Amb. Jane Hartley on "The French-American Relationship"

As part of the Class of 1930 Lecture series, the Rockefeller Center hosted Ambassador Jane Hartley, who shared her knowledge on the French-American bilateral relationship and her experience as U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco between 2014 and 2017.

Although she had previously served in the Carter administration and on the Business Roundtable, in fall 2013, Amb. Hartley was running an international consulting firm and had no political ambitions, which made the call from the White House offering the ambassadorship all the more shocking. She described the whirlwind of affairs between her acceptance of the position and her first steps on French soil in the capacity of ambassador, particularly describing the intensity of the vetting process and divestment procedures as well as the overwhelming media reception she received upon landing in France. The most difficult adjustment she had to make though was getting used to constant security escort after a lifetime of living in New York and taking taxis at will.

“Leading Creative Collaboration” with Professor Peter Robbie

Professor Peter Robbie, an Associate Professor at Thayer, industrial designer, and design consultant, has been teaching design thinking at Dartmouth for almost 30 years. He encourages students to tackle complex problems in the world using an empathetic, human-centered approach. He believes that to solve these problems, we need interdisciplinary leaders who are innovative thinkers.

He led the Fellows in a session entitled, “Leading Creative Collaboration.” He began by defining “innovation,” which has now become a buzz word in the creative world, as the intentional implementation of the novel and useful. 

"Effective Delegation: Who Wants the Dollar Bill?" with Alison Fragale '97

“Who wants it?” asked Alison Fragale ’97, as she held up a crisp dollar bill. For a split second, Washington looked out to silent room of Fellows. Then, Matthew Sindelar ’18 sprung from his seat and dived for the dollar bill.

But before he took the bill, Sindelar hesitated and asked, “can I really have it?”

Fragale emphatically nodded, and Sindelar returned to his seat with a grin and one dollar richer.

Fragale then prompted the room, asking why no one else made an effort for the dollar bill. Charlie Blatt ’18, sitting at the far side of the room, noted that there was virtually no possibility that she would reach Fragale before a student sitting at the front of the room. Another student added that it was only a dollar, not a stack of Benjamins. In essence, it wasn’t that the students were lazy or apathetic. As rational actors, students logically saw that minimal reward compounded with low probability for success and the social tackiness of grand public gestures for money made the dollar not worth the effort.

Board of Visitors Biannual Meeting

The Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors (BoV) convened in October for their two-day biannual meeting. The BoV is comprised of Dartmouth College alumni who serve as advisors to the Director of the Center. Drawing from a wide range of backgrounds, the members represent academia, business, law and non-profit organizations. This fall the Board welcomed two new members Mike Pyle ’00 and Ariel Stern ’05 and Tim Harrison ’78 as the new Chair.

The Board uses its time while back on campus to meet with faculty, staff, and students who collaborate with the Center and participate in courses and programming.  

The Brooks Family Lecture: “Ten Years after the Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences”

As part of the Brooks Family Lecture series, Aaron Klein ’98 gave a lecture entitled “Ten Years after the Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences”.

Aaron Klein elucidated the consequences and causes of the 2007-2008 financial crisis by detailing how the “perfect storm” of factors combined led to the financial crisis. In particular, he focused on the convergence of the housing bubble and the proliferation of new financial instruments that decoupled loan repayment from profitability origination. He then transitioned into an overview of how repeated warnings about predatory lending practices and subprime mortgages went unheeded. Klein contended that Glass-Steagall would not have prevented the financial crisis because most of the subprime mortgage players—Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, among others—would not have been impacted, and also argued that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not responsible for the crisis because they did not originate any mortgages.

How Leaders Use Storytelling and Exemplify Integrity

This week, I had the privilege of introducing Sadhana Hall, the Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, at our Rocky Leadership Fellows session. During my introduction, I told my peers that not only is Sadhana very accomplished, but she is also one of the most open and genuine people I’ve encountered during my life. Sadhana welcomes people into the deepest parts of her own life so willingly that it’s easy to feel connected and cared for and to want to share everything on your mind, as well.

The Importance of Understanding Your Own Leadership Strengths

On September 14th, Jay Davis ’90, the coordinator for the First Year Student Enrichment Program and the King Scholars Program, shared valuable words of wisdom with respect to the flexibility and thoughtful reflection necessary to create cohesive group environments with the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows. Davis spoke from a number of previous experiences working within a range of group and leadership setting, and engaging students in an interactive discussion on how our own leadership styles and tendencies affect how we are able to work with one another to achieve goals we collectively establish.

He began the session by having each student share with the group a characteristic they find essential to exemplary leadership. Students provided a range of attributes, from humility to constructive communication. He, then, had us consider a time we found another person’s leadership challenging, alluding to the idea that conflicting leadership styles can impede group cohesion and effectiveness.

Dartmouth Conference Explores ‘Interacting Across Difference’

Original article by Bill Platt appeared in the Dartmouth News on September 15, 2017.

The Boston neighborhoods where Assistant Professor of Sociology Emily Walton is conducting ethnographic research are quite diverse if you look at the demographic data, but what she sees when she walks along the streets is a story of people living in separate worlds, side by side.

“There’s enormous income inequality. On one side of the street you have housing projects, but then the area is gentrifying so quickly that across the street you have a luxury condo building where each unit sells for $2 million,” says Walton. “So the kinds of services the people in the condos want—the Whole Foods, high-end retail stores, dog parks—don’t serve the needs of the folks living in the subsidized housing across the street.”

Welcome Class of 2021

Students who come to the Rockefeller Center find a home, mentors, and engaged peers.

The Rockefeller Center has a specially designed First-Year Fellows program for the Class of 2021 that begins by taking Public Policy 5 in the winter term of 2018. Public Policy 5 is the introductory course in the Public Policy minor, which allows students to customize their own interdisciplinary plan of study around an important public policy area that they define, such as health, education, the environment, leadership, law, poverty, or urban issues.

There are additional programs open to first-year students, such as Dartmouth Leadership Attitudes and Behaviors, Student Discussion Groups, and Peer Mentoring.

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