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


RLF Recap: "Developing Identities and Capacity to Engage in Leadership for Social Justice"

On October 11, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows had the privilege of participating in a workshop entitled "Developing Identities and Capacity to Engage in Leadership for Social Justice" with Dr. Kerry L. Priest. Dr. Priest has her PhD and is an Associate Professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University. She focuses on how to combine critical perspectives and engaged methods of practice in order to foster conditions for students to exercise leadership, as well as to contribute scholarship that progresses the field of leadership education. Dr. Priest explores the overlaps between leadership development and community-engaged teaching and learning in higher education, specifically through lines of inquiry around leadership identity, leadership educator identity, and leadership educational practices. 

Ambassador Tim Roemer and Congressman Zach Wamp Speak on Divided Government

On Wednesday September 25, 2019, former Ambassador Tim Roemer and former Congressman Zach Wamp spoke at the Rockefeller Center about the nature of partisan politics in the United States and presented solutions to this political dysfunction. Ambassador Roemer and Congressman Wamp are co-chairs of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition arguing for cooperative and pragmatic solutions to the structural problems plaguing our political system. They enjoy the support of more than 200 current and former members of Congress and serve as an inspiration for the bipartisan Congressional Reformers Caucus in the House of Representatives. 

The lecture began with both Roemer and Wamp expressing alarm at the country’s current trajectory, with Roemer warning of an American democracy afflicted by discord at home and under assault by foreign powers and the rise of authoritarianism abroad. Wamp bemoaned that the U.S. had devolved into a “tribal environment” and that “confidence in our institutions is on the decline.” Congress is “institutionally corrupt,” he declared. 

RLF Recap: "The Art of Difficult Conversations"

Dr. Roshini Pinto-Powell is the Associate Dean of Admissions and the current course co-director for OnDoctoring and Geriatrics and Ambulatory Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. She is also a passionate teacher and mentor to students, residents, and junior faculty. 

Dr. Roshini Pinto-Powell led the RLF session entitled, "The Art of Difficult Conversations." The topic of difficult conversations was the core principle tackled in the Fellows' summer reading texts. She began her talk by coining the concept of the fine 'art' of communication as central to handling difficult conversations efficiently. She stressed that the skill of effective communication guides leaders to do and say the right things in the right way. Dr. Pinto-Powell also broached the following crucial traits of true leadership: integrity, authenticity, listening, and reflection. 

RLF Recap: "Designing Your Life"

After two packed days, Eugene Korsunskiy’s session “Designing Your Life,” wrapped up the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Fall Retreat. 

Eugene Korsunskiy is currently a professor of Design Thinking here at Dartmouth College, where he teaches ENGS 12 (Design Thinking) and the Senior Design Challenge, a two-term course. Before Dartmouth, he was the Senior Coordinator of Design Initiatives at the University of Vermont, where he taught similar classes, including “Design Thinking” and “Design Your Life.” Throughout his career, he has been a speaker at several TEDx events and the Aspen Ideas Festival and has received a Fast Company Innovation by Design Award. He graduated from Williams College with a BA in Art & Art History and from Stanford University, where he received a MFA in Design.

In this interactive, hands-on workshop, Fellows were led through three main activities to learn how to apply design thinking principles into everyday life. 

Arthur Brooks Reflects on Capitalism in September Lecture at the Rockefeller Center

On Monday, September 23rd, 2019, former President of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Arthur Brooks, spoke at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, delivering a lecture on the nature of capitalism, specifically on whether it is a force for good or a system that encourages materialism and greed. 

Brooks approached this question in two parts, focusing first on the good that capitalism has wrought for the world’s poor. Brooks praises capitalism for being the “most effective” means to alleviate extreme poverty throughout the world, pointing to large increases in American income and the reduction of starvation-level poverty by 80% in his lifetime. 

RLF Recap: “Telling Your Story"

At the annual Rockefeller Leadership Fellows Fall Retreat, Luke Katler ’15 spoke to 25 Rocky Fellows about “Telling Your Story: Connecting to Others Through Personal Narrative and Vulnerability.” Katler has done theater all his life, and currently works as an assistant producer for Scott Rudin, known as one of Broadway’s most prolific producers, while concurrently producing his own projects.

He worked as a theatre producing associate for the multi-Tony-winning producer Barbara Whitman and Broadway agent Susan Weaving. With Deby Xiadani ’15 and Alec Ring ’15, Katler co-produces and co-hosts a parody cooking show called Good Cooks. At Dartmouth, he studied American History and Theatre and worked a 10-month stint as a teaching assistant for the Italian Department’s foreign study programs.  

Through theatric performance techniques and improv, Katler urged Fellows to utilize public speaking techniques and weave strategic vulnerability into their individual narratives such that it allows them to find common ground with their audience. Fellows also explored how to wield their story to benefit their personal brand. 

Constitution Day Program with Boston College Professor Ken Kersch

This Constitution Day, September 17, 2019, Boston College Professor of Political Science Ken I. Kersch delivered the Brooks Family Lecture entitled, “Conservatives and the Constitution.” In addition to the lecture, Professor Kersch had lunch with a group of students.

The lecture focused on a subject explored in his most recent book, Conservatives and the Constitution: Imagining Constitutional Restoration in the Heyday of American Liberalism. The book focuses on the role “originalist” legal theory played in the coalescing of the modern conservative movement and on implications this history carries for modern-day politics. “It is a story about how the conservative movement ultimately becomes a key constituent of the Republican party and ultimately takes over the Republican party.”

RLF Recap: "Leading in a Noisy World"

Sarah-Marie Hopf’s session entitled "Leading in a Noisy World: How Intentional Solitude Can Help You Be An Effective and Resilient Leader" necessitated self-reflection about our own understandings of and relationship with solitude. 

Sarah-Marie Hopf is a graduate of the College from the class of 2013. While at Dartmouth, she participated in the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program and graduated with a BA with Honors in Anthropology modified with Economics and Development Studies. In her professional career, Hopf is deeply invested in the practices of mindfulness and meditation. 

She is currently part of Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach’s 2-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, certified through UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and the Awareness Training Institute. Hopf is also an experience designer, integral coach, and social innovation strategist. She founded Thriving in a Noisy World which seeks to assist leaders in developing their skills in mindfulness and resilience in our 21st century world. 

Han Vale '20 Presents at the 2019 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery ‘Food and Power’

This summer, thanks to the support of the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth, I was able to attend and present my paper at the 2019 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery ‘Food and Power’. While I expected to learn so much at this conference about the role of food in history, our lives, cultures, and relationships to land, I learned so much about what the discipline looks like and myself too. As it was my first conference, I was overwhelmed in wanting to attend all of the sessions that ran concurrently – and spent ample time researching the presenters, reading their papers, and preparing questions to try and focus my time and energy in the places that most interested me.

Celebrating Ten Years of MLDP

The Rockefeller Center is honored to announce the 10-year anniversary of the Management and Leadership Development Program, fondly known to many as MLDP. What began as a pilot program in 2009, has impacted the lives of over 1000 leaders from the Dartmouth undergraduate and alumni community. MLDP is a one-term program designed for sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduates from any major who are looking to expand and develop their leadership in theory and in practice. Students meet weekly to engage with a variety of guest speakers and hands-on learning in core management and leadership skills.

When Andrew Samwick took over as Director of the Rockefeller Center in 2004, the co-curricular offerings that existed at the Center consisted of a few small programs. He sought to expand leadership programming dramatically. With a five million dollar gift to start such programming from Fritz Corrigan ’53 and Glenda Corrigan, MLDP got its start.


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