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


Jonathan Shrier '85 to give talk, “U.S. Leadership in Fighting Hunger, Poverty, and Undernutrition” on 10/21/13 at 7 PM

UPDATED 10/1/13:

Nearly 870 million people suffer from chronic hunger. The world’s population will exceed 9 billion by 2050. Population growth and changes in diets will require at least a 60 percent increase in global food production in the face of pressure from climate change and strained natural resources.

Jonathan Shrier ’85 is currently the Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security for the U.S. State Department. Responsible for coordinating all aspects of U.S. diplomacy related to food security and nutrition, he had studied and worked all over the world and helped establish the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas launched by President Obama.

RLF Recap: Leadership in Civil Society with Prof. Ronald Shaiko

Professor Ron Shaiko, a leading member of the Rockefeller Center public policy faculty, came to RLF to speak about navigating the space we call the “civil society.” He started his lecture by referring to experiences he had in Eastern Europe with varying attitudes about community service and aiding strangers in need. Then, Professor Shaiko asked us to reframe our understanding of social capital, especially in terms of how it relates to bonding and bridging. 

MLDP kicks off Fall 2013 with Dr. Darin Eich

Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Management Leadership and Development program below. For more information about MLDP, click here.

MLDP participants were awarded the great opportunity to hear from the session’s guest speaker, Dr. Darin Eich, following staff introductions and a general program orientation. As the founder of several leadership development and innovative initiatives, such as the student-based consulting firm BrainReactions and Create Your Path at the Rockefeller Center, Dr. Eich brought his expertise in the fields of communication, networking, and creativity to the MLDP program through a series of engaging presentations and activities. 

Prof. Miller Gives Talk on Ngo Dinh Diem and the Vietnam War


Addressing a mixed audience of both students and community members, Associate Professor of History Edward Miller invited his audience to reconsider a frequently under-addressed chapter of America's history. 

In a talk entitled "Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Roots of America's Intervention in the Vietnam War", Professor Miller challenged conventional views that the final actions of Diem and his brother were driven by desperation. On the contrary, according to Miller, Diem went to his grave with the firm belief that "he was the smartest guy in the room." Diem and his brother firmly believed that they were winning the war, their Strategic Hamlet Program was succeeding in winning over the populace, and that government loyalists also in the military would swiftly crush any coup against the Diem regime. It was this final assumption, accompanied by Diem's refusal to flee the capital and his subsequent belief that he would be safe in military custody, which cost Diem his life.

Miller to Present Talk on "Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Roots of America’s Intervention in the Vietnam War” - 9/24 at 4:30 PM

During the 1950s, U.S. leaders hailed South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem as a model Cold War ally and funneled massive amounts of aid to his regime.  But in 1963, Diem was ousted and assassinated in a coup backed by Washington. This drastic shift in political attitude greatly contributed to the course of the Vietnam War, one of the major events that effected late 20th century American foreign policy.

Edward Miller, an Associate Professor in the Dartmouth College History Department, focuses his studies on American foreign relations, with a special focus on the Vietnam War. His lecture, “Misalliance: Ngo Dinh Diem and the Roots of America’s Intervention in the Vietnam War” will focus on the tension between Diem’s vision for Vietnamese modernization and the American government’s ideas of reform and development.

Emphasizing the importance of nation building and development in light of the military coup that led to Diem’s death, Miller will explore the combination of a shrewd, ruthless leader, rising internal resistance, and American influence that ultimately fractured an alliance and changed the result of the Vietnam War.

RLF Recap: In the Arena: Translating Thought into Action as a Young Leader with Nate Fick '99

Last Thursday, Nate Fick, class of ‘99 and current Dartmouth trustee, spoke to the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows about his experiences as a marine officer and as a CEO. Fick’s astounding track record includes two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, executive management of both corporate and nonprofit enterprises, and a bestselling autobiography, but more impressive is his endearing modesty and keen perception for how morality, authority, and responsibility fit into the choices we make. 

Students Participate in "Tools and Techniques for Group Facilitation" Workshops with Darin Eich

On September 17th, I had the pleasure of attending Darin Eich’s workshop “Tools and Techniques for Group Facilitation.” I took part in this event because I believe the ability to organize and lead discussions is important in the professional world. This is an ability that one should develop before it is actually needed. Dr. Eich’s workshop offered the opportunity to discover new techniques that I could use in my future endeavors.

Dr. Eich exhibited an amicable personality from the moment he arrived at the workshop, proceeding to individually greet each participant. His emphasis on “keeping the roots in” was demonstrated throughout his presentation as he introduced his background, as well as the learning model that he believes best represents how people learn. This model, which emphasizes action and engagement, guided the workshop as Dr. Eich taught facilitation strategies by implementing them in the session.

Rockefeller Center Funds 5 Students for Fall 2013 Public Policy Internships

The Rockefeller Center is one of several Dartmouth Centers that grants funding support for unpaid internships to undergraduates. Rockefeller Public Policy Internship Grants are designed to enable students to work in an unpaid non-profit or governmental agency on issues of public policy research, public policy analysis, issue evaluation, or activities that help shape and determine public policy - whether at the local, state or national level. Grants of up to $4,000 are awarded to students through a competitive application and interview process each term. The deadline for Winter 2014 consideration is Wednesday, October 16, 2013.

Congratulations to the 5 interns funded by the Rockefeller Center, working in a variety of host organizations during the Fall 2013 term.

TIP: Expand the slideshow above to full-screen (the button on the bottom right), then click "show info" to view the student's bio.

Open House Draws Over 150 Eager '17's to the Rockefeller Center #dartmouth17s

On Thursday, September 12th, the Rockefeller Center had its annual open house for the Class of 2017 and to say it was a resounding success is a bit of an understatement. Over one-hundred and fifty ‘17’s packed Hinman Forum to learn about all of the programs the Rockefeller Center has to offer.

Professors and students alike took the time to talk to the ‘17’s and explain what the Center has to offer. This includes the public policy minor, the Policy Research Shop, the Dartmouth-Oxford Exchange Program at Keble College, and funding the center offers for students to pursue public policy internships.

In addition, the ‘17’s also took the time to review programs that are a little more timely for them such as our popular (and competitive) First Year Fellows Program and Civic Skills Training. They were also treated to a glimpse of their futures with the introduction of the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP), the Rocky Leadership Fellows (RLF), and the honors thesis grants that the Center gives out to seniors.

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Fall 2013

Milestone anniversaries are a time for reflection. When the Rockefeller Center was dedicated thirty years ago this week, the world of public policy was very different from today. There was one defining, existential threat – the Soviet Union, and particularly its nuclear arsenal held at bay by threats of mutually assured destruction. It was a challenge not of our own making. Despite their imperfections and the lingering scandals of Watergate a decade earlier, there was a sense that our political institutions could find a way to function in the face of this threat.

Today, we are blessed that this particular nuclear threat has abated. Most of the problems that shape our public policy debates focus on challenges of our own making – a health care system that costs too much for what it delivers, an educational system that no longer offers the widespread promise of upward mobility, inadequate progress against environmental degradation and climate change, and the continued presence of an economic underclass being left behind. Sadly, confidence in our political institutions to contribute to solutions to these challenges is extremely low.


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