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

Alumni Conference 2018

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At the heart of the Center’s strategy is a commitment to a connection between alumni, students, staff, and faculty. The Rockefeller Alumni Conference fulfilled that pledge. Over 150 alumni and students came together in May 2019 for “Finding Your Purpose: Leadership, Public Policy, What Matters and Why.” This conference brought the Rocky family together not only to celebrate each other and the mission of the Center, but also the 35th anniversary of the Rockefeller Center and the conclusion of Andrew Samwick’s 15 years as the director.

The weekend was filled with a full slate of speakers and events. The keynote speaker, Neal Katyal ’91, captivated the audience with candid reflections from his career and dove deep into the theme of the weekend—what matters and why and was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award. From negotiation to leadership in action to thriving in the digital age, participants had the opportunity to experience professional skills workshops led by alumni leaders. The room was buzzing during the policy panel with Bobby Charles ’82 and Leah Daughtry ’84, moderated by Professor Dean Lacy, who spoke about the future of politics in the United States from their respective sides of the aisle. A highlight for many, ROCKYx brought together seven diverse alumni speakers, including a shamanic storyteller, a data-driven journalist at CNN, and a former chief of police. Their stories wove together a narrative about the importance of community.

Alumni and students were able to reflect on their time at Rocky and connect with each other. Shoshana Silverstein ’15 was excited to be back at Rocky, the place where she developed many competencies she uses today. “Everything from little basics, such as the etiquette dinner, to the bigger ideas of how to work with a team and how to leverage different leadership styles to make sure a team works effectively all came into play post-Dartmouth.” Current student Tara Burchmore ’19 adds, “It’s exciting for me to see alumni who have leveraged experiences at Rocky to launch into successful careers in public service.” This was a conference with a heart, with a group of alumni and students who care deeply about leadership, public policy, what matters and why.

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