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


Public Policy 85 - From Athens to Frankfurt

After five eventful days, we bid a fond farewell to Athens, and began our day with an early morning flight to our next destination: Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital and home to the European Central Bank and Bundesbank.  To keep our final moments of Athens memorable, our caravan of taxis seemed to take the initiative, making it from our downtown Psyri hotel to the Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in what must have been record time.

Public Policy 85 - Weekend Sightseeing and a Farewell to Athens

The Parthenon was a delight,

Among additional historic sites,

Like the Temple Olympian,

And Socrates’ prison,

Our sore feet; for tourists, a plight.


At night we explored the Foundation,

Among the best spots in the nation,

To enjoy tasty snacks,

And also relax,

the light shows were quite a sensation.


Today was our last day in Greece,

We enjoyed learning and (relative) peace,

Tomorrow Deutschland,

With more meetings planned,

Now farewell to the fresh feta cheese.

Public Policy 85 - Third Full Day in Greece: Protest and Questions of Economic Justice

During our third full day in Greece, we had the opportunity to explore the city of Athens and all it has to offer.  Many chose to tour a variety of cultural and historical sights, while others chose to observe a large protest that was occurring near the University and Hellenic Parliament, an annual event commemorating the 12/6/2008 police shooting of a 15-year-old student and the riots that followed.  A building we had visited for meetings on each of the two prior days -- the Bank of Greece, the country's central bank -- was now festooned with a freshly spray-painted anarchist symbol on its main entrance.  Indeed, there are no shortages of sightseeing opportunities -- whether political or archeological -- in Athens, and we were grateful for beautiful weather to accompany our mostly open day.

Public Policy 85: Second Full Day in Greece

On the second full day of their trip, we, the students of Public Policy 85, had a full set of deeply-informative conversations with a generous and diverse group of experts.  

These conversations began over an enjoyable breakfast with Nikolas Karamouzis, President at Grant Thornton and former Chairman of the Eurobank Group and Hellenic Bank Association.  The wide-ranging discussion generated throughout the breakfast with Mr. Karamouzis flowed out to the hallways of the Hotel Grand Bretagne, through the streets of Athens, and back to the Bank of Greece. We, at this point a known entity to the security staff, was next welcomed at the Bank of Greece by Spiros Pantelias, Director of the central bank's Financial Stability Department, and his colleague Nikolas Stavrianou of the Financial Stability Department.  This conversation addressed policy reforms and new mechanisms of ensuring financial stability, and also broader questions, fundamental to democratic politics, about executive branch independence and expertise, and how the independent experts tasked with implementing public policy foster trust among the public.

Juliana Bastos de Mello '22 Attends a Conference While in Cuba

Juliana Bastos de Mello '22 attended the Jornada Continental por la Democracia y Contra el Neoliberalismo, while in Cuba.

As a Latin American student from Brazil I was looking forward to meeting with leaders in social and political movements all over the continent whose actions have an active role in the sociopolitical innovations, challenges and requests of the region. For instance, I was thrilled to meet the president of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) – the worker’s party – in Brazil, Gleisi Hoffmann, as well as the former president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, who was the victim of a coup in 2012.

Public Policy 85: First Full Day in Greece

Our day started off with a protest. We could hear it as we made our way toward our first appointment of the day, a tour of the Museum of the Bank of Greece with Dr. Yorgo Seferlis. As we got closer it was clear that the protest was, in fact, right outside of the Museum of the Bank of Greece. We later learned that they were protesting recent staffing changes at one of the nation's largest private bank, Piraeus Bank, rather than Greek public financial institutions. 

After our tour, we met with Professor Dimitros Malliaropoulos, Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Research & Analysis Department of the Bank of Greece, Greece’s central bank. We then walked a few blocks to the National Bank of Greece, one of four Greek private banks, for a meeting with the former Greek Minister of Finance (2014-2015), Professor Gikas Hardouvelis. Next on the agenda was a tour of the Hellenic Parliament, located in an ornate building that formerly housed the royal palace. 

The late afternoon was ours to fill as we pleased. Some explored Athens, many took a nap — we are all pretty jet-lagged. 

Sarah Chong '21 Attends the Ivy Leadership Summit

As the leader of the Dartmouth delegation traveling to the 19th Ivy Leadership Summit at the University of Pennsylvania, I expanded my leadership in an unexpected way; leading a group of students to a new campus in a 9-hour road trip was a new experience. No longer in a classroom and an educational setting, it was a challenge to get strangers to be comfortable with each other in a cramped van. I also had to make it clear that there were expectations for us to be respectful and professional, as Dartmouth representatives. I went from being a discussion facilitator to an almost chaperone-like authority, and it was hard to jump between the stricter necessities of being punctual with open-minded debates on sustainability.

Public Policy 85: Arrival in Greece

Despite a snowstorm causing minor delays at Newark International Airport, the students of Public Policy 85: Topics in Global Policy Leadership departed on Monday night for Athens, Greece to begin their two-week research trip to Greece, Germany, and Switzerland to examine the response to the global financial crisis and Eurozone crisis.

After arriving in Athens with a layover in Frankfurt, group was able to briefly explore the city on the way to their first interview with Georgios Pagoulatos, former senior advisor to the Greek Prime Minister and the Director General of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), Greece’s leading think tank.

The Journey of an Anti-Apartheid Lawyer in Namibia – Justice David Smuts

Before he became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Namibia, Justice David Smuts played a key role in dismantling the apartheid system in Namibia. On October 14th, 2019, Justice Smuts gave a lecture at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, co-sponsored by the Department of English and Creative Writing. During the lecture, entitled “Dark Days to a Brighter Future,” Justice Smuts reflected on his experience with social justice and apartheid and read passages from his memoir, Death, Detention, and Disappearance: One Lawyer’s Battle to hold Power to Account in 1980’s Namibia. 

RLF Recap: From Public Narrative to Policymaking

How does one translate personal stories from a place of “we’re mad” into a force for lasting change? On November 14, Shasti Conrad helped answer this question in an evening session with the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows on “Activism and Institutional Change: Tools for People-Powered Policymaking”. Shasti Conrad holds positions as Chair of the King County Democrats, and most recently as U.S. campaign manager for the 100 Million Campaign. She has worked with three Nobel Peace Prize winners, including President Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and Kailash Satyarthi. As of October, Shasti left the foundation and is now working with the Democratic presidential campaigns to connect artists, actors, and musicians to their campaigns. 


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