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

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Notes from the Field: Celeste Kearney '19

Celeste Kearney ’19 interned in the Office of Presidential Personnel at White House under the Obama Administration for the 2016 Fall term. She received support from the from the Peter McSpadden Public Affairs Fund.  The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

During the fall of 2016, I was an intern in the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House. Presidential Personnel is tasked with the approximately 4,000 political appointees in the Obama Administration. Presidential Personnel finds qualified candidates, completes background checks, appoints candidates, and, for the past year, provides a series of leadership development events to assist the appointees’ transition from the Administration. Presidential Personnel works closely with the White House liaisons in every Federal agency to pass opportunities and information to the appointees.             

Sadhana Hall Starts DRIVE Program’s Lecture Series

This past week, Sadhana Hall, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Center, kick-started the 2017 summer DRIVE program with a lecture on leadership attitude. The DP2 Leadership DRIVE program, created and directed by Steven Spaulding, focuses on team-building and creating a championship culture among Dartmouth’s student athletes. This year DRIVE welcomed Hall as the first of their guest lecturers. Hall inspired the students with an impassioned and personal speech about knowing how to lead oneself.

Hall spoke about three important values in a leader: integrity, authenticity, and authentic listening. “Integrity is your word. Nothing more, nothing less,” she says. Maintaining truthfulness and promises, whether with oneself or with another person, establishes one’s credibility. Without credibility, one will never have people to lead. She then speaks about authenticity, language, and intent. Words matter—and saying something one does not plan to fulfill is an example of bad character. This, too, will cost a person their followers.

Dartmouth Hosts Young African Leaders

For the fourth summer in a row, Dartmouth is host to 25 emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa through the Mandela Washington Fellowship as part of the United States Government’s Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). The Fellows participated in an academic and leadership institute in business and entrepreneurship for six-weeks during the summer term of 2017.

YALI is a program led by the Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs overseen by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX).

The Fellowship aims to enhance leadership, strengthen communication skills, and foster personal connections. The Rockefeller Center leads sessions on mentoring, networking, leadership, and professional opportunities.

Notes from the Field: Julia Decerega '18

Julia Decerega '18 interned at the Brazil Institute within the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for the 2017 winter term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

Journalist Karin Pettersson on Disrupted Discourse in the Media Landscape

On May 15, 2017, Karin Pettersson gave the Bernard D. Nossiter ’47 lecture on the challenges that traditional media outlets and democracy in a broader sense, face in a period of intense political polarization as encapsulated in far right-wing populist movements. Pettersson discussed the perfect storm formed by the transformation of the media landscape and the ascension of right-wing populism in Europe and the United States, combined with the vulnerabilities these changes have revealed. Considering this volatile environment, Pettersson also addressed the ways in which journalists and citizens can meet this growing challenge.

Although Pettersson’s work as a political editor-in-chief now concerns right-wing populist movements and the changing landscape of journalism, her initial academic pursuits were actually in the field of economics. Even Pettersson’s studies in economics, however, contained elements of writing as exemplified by her early summer internship in writing about macroeconomics.

MLDP Ventures Off Campus

The Rockefeller Center’s Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program designed for sophomores, juniors, and seniors looking to make significant progress in their leadership and management development. Featuring weekly sessions led by expert guest speakers, MLDP employs experiential teaching techniques to engage students through hands-on learning of core management and leadership skills that employers have indicated are most important to them. Participants are encouraged to begin to immediately implement these skills in their leadership roles in campus organizations, internships, and academic team projects.

The Annual Student and Alumni Reception in Washington, D.C.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center hosted its annual Student and Alumni Reception in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Each year the occasion provides an opportunity for the Center’s First-Year Fellows, newly arrived to the city and ready to embark on their 8-week summer internships, to meet and network with their Dartmouth Alumni mentors.

“The First-Year Fellows program is a great example of the partnership between the Rockefeller Center and Dartmouth alumni, who find many ways to contribute to the education of each successive cohort of Dartmouth students,” noted the Center’s Director, Professor Andrew Samwick, during his brief remarks at the reception.

This summer, 23 First-Year Fellows, all members of the Dartmouth Class of 2020, are serving fellowships in a diverse range of host organizations with a Dartmouth alumni mentor.

The Class of 2020 First-Year Fellows in D.C.

The Class of 2020 First-Year Fellows arrived in Washington, D.C. this week and are currently participating in the Civic Skills Training (CST) component of the program. The Fellows have already completed four on-campus training sessions during the spring term and will now spend an additional five days of training in Washington, D.C. before their fellowships begin on Monday.

The CST curriculum covers everything from public speaking, networking, and advocacy writing to project management, team work, and professionalism and is designed to prepare the students for a successful internship experience and beyond. The week includes classroom sessions facilitated by Deputy Director Sadhana Hall and Program Officer Sam Williamson, workshops hosted by area alumni, and excursions around the city to familiarize the students with Capitol Hill and the surrounding area.

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