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


Emergent Leadership for Life

Kate Hilton ’99, a senior faculty member at ReThink Health, spoke to the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows on February 9, 2017. Kate is an expert in issues such as designing organizing efforts, teaching leadership skills, and strategizing with multi-stakeholder teams to take collective action.

Kate’s session began with a reading of her father’s high school graduation speech, as well as his eulogy. The two readings, although far apart in time, displayed the importance of consistency. Her father’s high school speech was focused on tolerance and the pursuit of vocational mastery. These themes were also clear in his eulogy, as his fellow doctors saw that his care for both patients and other doctors alike knew no bounds.

Public Program: Jon Kohl '92 “The Future Has Other Plans”

More and more often, we are hearing about the impacts that our modern lifestyle has on our world and the natural resources contained therein. Particularly, parks and heritage areas worldwide are in the midst of a crisis, and little attention is currently devoted to their preservation. While it is true that preservation planning is often underfunded, it seems that there is also a fundamental issue in the assumptions used to create resource management plans in these crucial spaces.

Public Program: “Crime and the Constitution: Arrest, Trial, Incarceration”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the United States had a total correctional population of 6,741,400 people at the end of 2015. Delving deeper into the prison system’s high numbers, we see a disparity in the inmates’ predominant socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. In questioning the social problems such as crime, poverty, prejudice and political corruption, we must also look at the legal system that perpetuates these ideas and systematic issues. The historical and contemporary patterns of inequality are directly influenced by the Constitution and the court. This event will focus on the constitutionality of arrests, trials, and incarceration following crime.

Student Dinner Discussion with Harry Enten '11

There were 180+ attendees at the “Aftermath: What the 2016 Election Taught Us About Polls, Predictions and American Politics” event with Harry Enten ’11 on Feb 3, with a majority of students in the audience.

Interesting aspects of the lecture included Enten’s assessment of how little the greater majority of the polled public understands about polling and statistical data analysis. The background information of the data covers confidence intervals and also concerns itself with the weighting of groups in a data sample to be representative of a population. Without knowledge of this, we really do not have a firm grasp on what the numbers mean. Enten did a great job contextualizing the decisions FiveThirtyEight made and how it presented its data to the public. Highlights of the event also included the degree to which he dispelled some commonly held notions about the inaccuracy of polls and polling this past cycle. Some audience members asked about specific signs prior to the election; in turn, Enten discussed political trends and variability in political figures.

Notes from the Field: Alex Frye ’17

Alex Frye interned at the Office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman '78 in Washington D.C. during the 2016 Summer Term. The following is a brief recap of his experience in his own words.

Several constituent services that I helped with included giving tours of the Capitol building, answering phone calls, sorting mail, and assisting with casework. I also helped set up and assist with our weekly constituent coffees where constituents could come into the office for breakfast and to talk with Senator Portman in person. In helping the communications staff, I composed news article summaries that were sent out to the office first thing each morning. I also researched different quotes and statistics regarding the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, which Senator Portman has been supporting for years and was finally passed in the summer. In addition, I transcribed speeches from the Senator. To assist other staffers, I drafted letters to be sent to constituents and wrote memos on hearings.

Increasing Students' Intercultural Leadership Competencies

The Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) was first piloted in the 2012 spring term to develop the leadership competencies of students during intercultural experiences, both academic and professional, while at Dartmouth and beyond. RGLP begins each term on campus with weekly sessions. There is a culminating fieldwork excursion during its seventh week that helps students experience cultural diversity firsthand.

During the 2016 Winter term, 24 RGLP participants, along with the Center’s Deputy Director Sadhana Hall and Program Officer Vincent Mack, traveled to New York City for the off-campus portion of the program, organized in large part with the hands-on involvement of two Center Board of Visitors, Robert Tichio ’99 and Maya Wiley ’86, who work in the city.

“We have a unique opportunity to engage this generation of up-and-coming leaders to make a difference in the communities where they work and serve,” said Robert Tichio, Partner and Managing Director of Riverstone Holdings, who moderated a panel discussion of three fellow alumni on “Diversity in the Public and Private Workplace: Advancing Understandings of Race, Gender and LGBT Identities.”

Don't Go It Alone

This past week, we were excited to have Alison Fragale, Dartmouth Class of 1997, join us at our Rockefeller Leadership Fellows (RLF) session. Alison’s session, entitled “Don’t go it alone: Effective delegation and empowerment for leaders”, engaged the fellows with a variety of effective learning experiences. First, Alison has the fellows dive into a group activity. Students were split into managers and production teams and were tasked with putting back together a square following a very specific plan that only the managers could see. The managers had to figure out how communicate effectively with the production team about how to build the shape before the “production” process of reassembling the figure could begin. As Alison explained after the activity, the job of a manager is to “get people to draw their own diagram” rather than just explain things to them. This lesson resonated with us and got us all thinking about how to inspire the people we lead to make their own understanding of how to do something.

Board of Visitors' Fall Meeting

The Rockefeller Center Board of Visitors (BoV) convened this month for their 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, non-profit organizations, and the law.

In addition to their regular agenda items, and time spent meeting with faculty and staff, Visitors had the opportunity to hear in more detail about two projects the Center has been piloting in collaboration with the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.

First Year Fellow Mentor: Michael Morris P'10 & ’14

The First-Year Fellows program is a unique opportunity for first-year students to engage meaningfully in public policy early in their Dartmouth careers. Each year, around 20 students are selected and placed in fellowships with Dartmouth alumni in Washington, D.C., who are willing to take on a significant mentoring role.

“At National Disability Institute, we are so pleased to again be a mentor to a First-Year Fellow. This summer, our Dartmouth student has again demonstrated a love of learning, strong analytical skills, and a motivation and commitment to advocacy, policy change and social justice. We have also benefitted from her time with us as we share insights about how policy evolves and she has shared her insights about government in action and the dynamic landscape we work in. Thank you for the opportunity to develop future leaders with such strong skills and values!” –Michael Morris

Michael Morris: First-Year Fellow Mentor since 2011

Getting to Yes: Practical Applications of Negotiation Strategies

On September 17th, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows welcomed Amanda Prentice ’06 to lead a session on the book “Getting to Yes: Practical Applications of Negotiation Strategies.” Ms. Prentice presented to fellows a high-level overview of the book; prior to the session, fellows prepared by reading the book, allowing for an engaging discussion. Ms. Prentice applied the lessons of negotiation to two potential real life examples: negotiating a higher salary and negotiating for lower rent. Following this discussion, fellows participated in a negotiation exercise.

Ms. Prentice highlighted that negotiation is not about “winning,” especially as negotiation is about dealing with other people. Her main focus was on avoiding positional bargaining as positions are concrete, while interests can be flexible and negotiated. Ms. Prentice also elaborated on the concept of BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement), specifically that having a BATNA is above your bottom line and allows you to know your own interests.


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