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


Q&A with Former NH Governor John Lynch

Governor Lynch was elected in 2005 as the 80th Governor of New Hampshire; he served in this role for four consecutive terms until 2012. Under Gov. Lynch, New Hampshire was named the “Most Livable State” in the nation, as well as the “Safest State” for three years in a row.

RLF Recap: “How to Frame Three Hard Cases: Abortion, Same Sex Marriage, and Affirmative Action”

Sonu Bedi, an assistant professor in the Government department, urged the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows to be critical about the ‘language of rights’ when framing constitutional debates. This is because the language of rights is the language of the law. However, when used in a discussion, the language of rights can make discourse difficult. Ultimately, it may lead to a breakdown in conversation and result in one’s inability to convince others to think differently. 

Professor Bedi then encouraged the Fellows to participate in an activity. He broke the group down into three sub-groups to discuss abortion, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action. Each group was assigned one of the three topics for discussion. The discussion revolved around four main questions. What is the law being discussed? What is the legal challenge to the law? What is the retort? How would we reframe the debate without the use of the language of rights?  Professor Bedi went through these questions for each of the three topics in order to show the Fellows that the debates can indeed be reframed in a way that does not use the language of rights.

MLDP Recap: Presentation Design for the User Experience with Dave Uejio

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.

I haven’t had to give too many visual presentations during my time here at Dartmouth. However, during the few times I have had to put together a PowerPoint, let’s just say the results weren’t exactly spectacular. So predictably, I was interested in tonight’s session with David Uejio because I wanted to learn how to improve these skills for future projects not only in school, but in the professional world as well.

Noche Dorada Celebrates Indigenous Identity

This year's Noche Dorada was a celebration of America's first inhabitants—“Indigenous Identity in the Americas”. It was an event filled with cultural diversity and expression, delicious Salvadorian cuisine, amazing speakers, and salsa dancing. The event was constructed with the intent to educate the Dartmouth community on the presence of Indigenous people in the Americas. It included two well-known Indigenous scholars, Ruben Reyes and Jorge Estevez, who gave presentations on the early inhabitants of Latin America. These presentations fostered a cross-cultural dialogue on the complex intersections of identity in the Americas, and exposed the audience to the Indigenous people, not only of North America, but also of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. 

Q&A with Law Professor Gus Speth

   James Gustave “Gus” Speth is currently serving as a Professor of Law at the Vermont Law School. His research involves how environmental changes can help alleviate America's problems, such as poverty and standard of living. The American political economy requires deep, systemic changes in order to improve societal conditions for the future.   Before presenting his public lecture on System Change Not Climate Change: Manifesto for a New Economy, Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Gus Speth for a brief interview. 

Courtney Wong (CW): How does global environmental sustainability help alleviate other issues, like poverty? 

Q&A with Political Philosophy Professor Will Kymlicka

Professor Will Kymlicka is the Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University and focuses his studies on multicultural citizenship. He questions whether animals are the type of being with whom humans can establish fair terms of cooperating citizenship. His most recent book, co-authored with Sue Donaldson, is Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2011).   Before presenting his public lecture on Animals and the Frontiers of Citizenship, Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Will Kymlicka for a brief interview.

Courtney Wong (CW): What made you interested in political philosophy in the first place?

Film & Discussion: "ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" on Tuesday 2/12 at 4:30 PM in Rockefeller 003

Having narrowly survived the Supreme Court’s 5-4 split decision, the Affordable Care Act, popularly deemed “Obamacare,” is anxiously awaited – for its benefits and its potential repercussions. This law, through its controversial Individual Mandate, will provide every American citizen with medical coverage. The law largely fails to address the bigger issue, however, which is the astronomically high cost of care in the U.S. as compared to other developed countries.

ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, a powerful documentary by filmmakers Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, chronicles the numerous powerful forces stagnating our current system by maintaining the status quo. Our broken system currently aims at quick fixes, rather than prevention—for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. America’s healthcare system is a hostage of powerful corporate interests, and the health of the nation is the victim. ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out of our current crisis.

Policy Research Shop Participants Present to the Vermont House of Representatives Committee

On Thursday, January 24, 2013, a policy brief produced by Kevin Schorr ‘15, Kamran Ali ‘15, and Edgar Sandoval ‘14 in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center’s Policy Research Shop, was presented to the Vermont House of Representatives Committee on Fish, Wildlife, and Water Resources in the State Capitol building in Montpelier, VT.  Kevin Schorr, the lone member of the team on campus for the winter term, provided formal testimony on their brief, "Assessing the Feasibility of a Vermont Statewide Stormwater Utility," and responded to questions from Chairman David Dean and committee members. Currently there are more than 1,300 stormwater utilities established across the nation.  While some of these utilities serve populations as large as Vermont and other occupy land area close to the size of Vermont, there has yet to be a statewide stormwater utility established in the United States.  The PRS research team developed a comparative case study design in order to construct a compendium of best practices across six design and implementation criteria that will serve the Committee in its future planning.

MLDP Recap: Writing in the Workplace with Julie Kalish ‘91

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.

I work as an RWIT Tutor and Writing Assistant. Thus, Professor Julie Kalish’s presentation on writing particularly resonated with me and gave me valuable tips on how I can do better at my work.

We began the session by examining an email sent by the President Jim Yong Kim last year during a sensitive time. Collectively, we critiqued the email, discussing the tactful wording, choice of topic, structure, and appropriateness for its audience. I thought the exercise was well planned because the email was about an event and context with which all students were familiar and impressed us with how difficult it can be to write a non-inflammatory email during controversial times.

RLF Recap: Rocky's Own Andrew Samwick Speaks to Students about the "Resource Curse"

Professor Samwick used the resource curse to teach us valuable lessons about leadership. His highly interactive session began with a discussion regarding the definition of the resource curse, the difficulty that resource-rich countries face relative to comparable resource-poor countries.  Professor Samwick then helped characterize the causes of the resource curse, breaking them into active and passive, making us realize how deeply ingrained this obstacle is. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of this session was taking the resource curse and applying it to non-state situations.  All kinds of suggestions were brought up for resources that can negatively affect individuals if not managed properly, from increasing information on the Internet to newfound popularity of a cappella groups.  After a rousing discussion, Professor Samwick brought the conversation back to leadership – not only is the resource curse caused by mismanaging resources, but as individuals, we can mismanage our own personal talents that make us the leaders we are.  This newfound awareness will serve as a powerful tool in our personal, academic, and professional lives. 


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