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


An Interview with Political Writer Lisa Lerer

Lisa Lerer is a national political writer at the Associated Press (AP), where she was a lead reporter covering the 2016 U.S. presidential race and its aftermath. She has reported in Washington for 10 years, covering the White House, elections, Congress and lobbying for the AP, Politico, Businessweek and Bloomberg News. Her work has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Slate, Fortune and the American Lawyer, where she covered business and legal issues. She appears regularly on PBS’s “Washington Week,” CNN’s “Inside Politics,” Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” NPR, and other programs.

This year, Lerer gave the Bernard D. Nossiter ’47 Lecture on “A Second Suffrage: How Women are Remaking American Politics in the Trump Era.” Before her lecture, Lerer sat down with Lauren Bishop ’19 for an interview and took a closer look at the upcoming midterm elections.

Hamza Alsarhan T'18 attends the Emerging Markets Conference

Mini-Grant recipient, Hamza Alsarhan T'18, shares his experience attending the Tuck Emerging Markets Conference during winter term.

The inaugural Emerging Markets Conference brought the Dartmouth community together to explore how private and public sector leaders are driving innovation and growth in the developing world and beyond. This event – Leapfrogging the Developed World: Lessons from Emerging Markets – highlighted the successes of multinational and local organizations addressing both local and global challenges in emerging markets. 

I have always been intrigued by business in the emerging markets. Though it constitutes a large portion of the global growth, business in the emerging markets has not been discussed enough. Participating in the Tuck Emerging Markets Conference in the winter term provided me with several valuable insights. For example, I learned that, according to the International Monetary Fund, about 60% of global growth comes from emerging markets. I also learned that close to half of the world’s population will be living in emerging market cities by the end of the next decade.

Class of 2018 Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

Front Row (left to right): Rajiv Ramaiah, Maria Jose Auil, Charlotte Blatt, Samuel Colello, Abhilasha Gokulan, Alyssa Heinze, Kristen Virkler, Dale Li, Raunak Bhojwani

2nd Row (left to right): Gricelda Ramos, Christopher Huberty, Lucia Pierson, Jonathan Chu, Emma Marsano, Carolyn McShea, Jessica Colin, Arati Gangadharan, Zoe Snow, Kaina Chen

3rd Row (left to right): Matthew Sindelar, Akanksha Wasan, Marley Peters, Julian Marcu, Caroline Berens, Jarrett Taylor 

*Fellows not pictured: Daniel Propp

Notes from the Field: Debora Han '20

Debora Han '20 interned with Senator Gillibrand’s Legislative Office in Washington, DC for the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

I was motivated to seek this internship after I spent two consecutive terms studying abroad in China and Scotland, where, for the first time, I was able to view the U.S. from the outside. It struck me that the biggest difference between American society and other societies is its emphasis on citizen involvement: i.e., the “democratic process.” I found myself wondering about the authenticity of this process and the depth of our citizen involvement and wanted to witness both for myself. 

As a legislative intern, I had four main duties: answering constituent phone calls, sorting through and categorizing constituent mail (which is sent to DC from each of the eight regional offices), electronically assigning response letters to constituent mail, and giving Capitol tours to constituents and VIPs. These duties allowed me to interact directly with the electorate, as well as gave me insight to how politicians interact with their constituency.

Todd Henderson on the Importance of Societal Trust in Human Progress

As part of the Thurlow M. Gordon Lecture 1906 Lecture series, the Rockefeller Center hosted Todd Henderson, the Michael J. Marks Professor of Law and Mark Claster Mamolen Research Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School, who gave a presentation in Rockefeller 003 on the importance of societal trust in human progress and the role of trust-creating institutions.

Henderson introduced his presentation with the assertion that the norm of “stranger danger” ends up being highly limiting since individuals ends up forgoing many potential opportunities. Therefore, Henderson asserted that the cultivation of societal trust is the key to prosperous economies since it allows individuals to be more willing to engage in cooperative endeavors. He then transitioned into an overview of the institutions which have historically been guarantors of societal trust, as well as their pitfalls.

Jimmy Fitzgerald '20 on Management and Leadership

The Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a one-term program that prepares students to succeed in all of their management and leadership endeavors.

James “Jimmy” Fitzgerald ’20 is an Economics major from Champaign, IL, who took MLDP in the winter of 2018.

Jimmy implemented a Personal Leadership Challenge (a component of the program) which focused on the founding of his own student group, the Dartmouth Real Estate Club. According to Jimmy, the club’s framework already existed, but it had been dormant for the past few years. The challenge he gave himself was to revitalize the club by crafting a mission of purpose and setting goals for its new members.

The club officially launched at the end of the winter term.

Reflecting on the Actions of Nobel Laureates in Effecting Change

Shasti Conrad, U.S. Campaign Manager for the 100 Million Campaign with Lailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation, shared her experiences working with Nobel Laureates at the Rockefeller Center this spring. Conrad has worked with three Nobel Laureates: President Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and Kailash Satyarthi.

When asked about working with three major change agents, Conrad revealed that the “most common thread is that they all have a very strong sense of self.” She went on to say that while each had a different approach to using their platform for the greater good, they “started movements that all are much bigger than themselves individually, they inspire folks on the ground to create a title wave of change.”

Conrad started working with global leaders when she was not much older than the students who attended her talk. Right out of college she went to work as a field director for President Obama’s 2008 Presidential Campaign.

Grace Thompson '19 attends the International Systems Dynamics Conference

Mini-Grant recipient, Grace Thompson ’19, shares her experience attending the International Systems Dynamics Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland during the summer term.

The International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC) invites system dynamists of all levels from all corners of the world to share their work and learn from other contributors to the field. Practitioners hail from a breadth of occupations including teaching, consulting, research and policy making. The conference runs over the course of a week and is composed of sessions intended to demonstrate how system dynamics can unveil key insights in all fields.

At the conference, I attended multiple sessions where a speaker would deliberate the application system dynamics to society. Jorgen Randers delivered a particularly insightful presentation on the subsequent lessons learned from system dynamics failures. Each lesson captured the notion that solutions are not always embraced, no matter how clear their benefits may be. This is a big reason why problem-solving strategies, such as system dynamics, can help to find other alternative solutions to problems.

Notes from the Field: Sadie Red Eagle '19

Sadie Red Eagle '19 worked as a legislative intern in the office of U.S. Representative Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA 50th District) during the Winter 2018 term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.

Representative Hunter currently serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, House Armed Services Committee, Education and the Workforce Committee, and serves as the chairman on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation subcommittee. In his office, I was able to work on projects with the nine legislative assistants, the Deputy Legislative Director, and the Chief of Staff. 

Dartmouth College Public Service Legacy: Thaddeus Stevens, Class of 1814

This article is part of a series of articles honoring Dartmouth Alumni who have served in public office and demonstrated their commitment to the ideals of public service, leadership, and civic engagement.

A man of single-minded purpose, Thaddeus Stevens, Dartmouth class of 1814, spent his life vehemently fighting for racial and social equality in America. Historian Hans Trefousse noted in a biography on Stevens that he "was one of the most influential representatives ever to serve in Congress.” According to Trefousse, Stevens “dominated the House with his wit, knowledge of parliamentary law, and sheer willpower….” However, Trefousse also concludes that Stevens’ influence was often limited by his extremism.


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