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

Class of 1930 Fellow

Class of 1930 Fellow Amb. Jane Hartley on "The French-American Relationship"

As part of the Class of 1930 Lecture series, the Rockefeller Center hosted Ambassador Jane Hartley, who shared her knowledge on the French-American bilateral relationship and her experience as U.S. Ambassador to the French Republic and the Principality of Monaco between 2014 and 2017.

Although she had previously served in the Carter administration and on the Business Roundtable, in fall 2013, Amb. Hartley was running an international consulting firm and had no political ambitions, which made the call from the White House offering the ambassadorship all the more shocking. She described the whirlwind of affairs between her acceptance of the position and her first steps on French soil in the capacity of ambassador, particularly describing the intensity of the vetting process and divestment procedures as well as the overwhelming media reception she received upon landing in France. The most difficult adjustment she had to make though was getting used to constant security escort after a lifetime of living in New York and taking taxis at will.

Public Program: "Islam and the West: Dialogue or Clash of Civilizations?" with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed

Please join us for Ambassador Akbar Ahmed’s talk, "Islam and the West: Dialogue or Clash of Civilizations?" Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall at 5:15 pm on April 27.

Students, register here for a dinner with Ambassador Ahmed from 6:45 to 7:45 pm in Morrisson Commons, Rockefeller Center.

The relationship between the West and Islam has been one of constant tension post-9/11, as highlighted by reactions to the recent extremist attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris as well as recurring acts of terrorism by ISIS. In the resulting dialogue, Samuel Huntington’s thesis of a "clash of civilizations," which argues that there is an inherent clash between Western and Islamic values, has gained new fervor.

Recap: Cass Sunstein discusses Impersonal Default Rules and Active Choosing

Cass Sunstein, author of the popular 2008 non-fiction Nudge, Harvard Law professor and husband of US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, punctuated his visit to Dartmouth this week with an extremely provocative speech in Filene Auditorium. In his speech, “Free by Default," Sunstein presented and qualified the pros and cons of personalized default rules – in comparison to the models of impersonal default rules and active choosing.

Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein to give talk, "Free by Default," on 1/23/14 @ 4:30 PM

When is it appropriate to fill in the gaps of incomplete legal contracts with default rules? More importantly, how do personalized default rules compare to impersonal ones? In the fast-paced U.S. economy, contractual agreements are being found to work to the benefit of individuals, in essence ‘freeing’ them, in a number of interesting ways. Find out exactly how next week with Mr. Cass Sunstein.

Class of 1930 Fellow Cass Sunstein to give talk, "Free by Default" at Dartmouth on 1/23/14 at 4:30 PM

Impersonal default rules, chosen by private or public institutions, establish settings and starting points for countless goods and activities – cell phones, rental car agreements, computers, savings plans, health insurance, websites, privacy, and much more. Some of these rules do a great deal of good, but others are poorly chosen, perhaps because those who select them are insufficiently informed, perhaps because they are self-interested, perhaps because one size does not fit all.

The obvious alternative to impersonal default rules is active choosing, by which people are asked or required to make decisions on their own. The problem is that if active choosing were required in all contexts, people would quickly be overwhelmed; default rules save a great deal of time, making it possible to make other choices and in that sense promoting autonomy.

Nobel Laureate Peter Diamond Talks to Dartmouth About National Unemployment and Debt


On May 15, Nobel Laureate and MIT economist Peter Diamond came to Dartmouth to deliver a talk on the current country's crisis on unemployment and debt. Diamond was the guest speaker during a student lunch organized by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center before going to the Tuck School of Business to give a presentation as part of the Global Insights Distinguished Speaker Series. 

He argued that the U.S. must address the unemployment crisis immediately, a subject that resonated with college students who will soon be joining the workforce. He said, "The longer we go on with high unemployment, the more we’re going to have people suffering this pattern for years into the future.” In order to alleviate this crisis, Diamond believes that economic stimulus is the solution that will drive growth. He recommends investments in long-term infrastructure as well as education and basic research.

Click here to access more detailed summary of Diamond's talk, written by Kirk Kardashian.


Nobel Prize Winner Peter Diamond on "Unemployment and Debt" at 5 PM, May 15 at Tuck

America’s sluggish ascent out of the economic recession has included a growth of the national debt to almost $17 trillion and an unemployment rate that, while falling, remains disquieting. Both of these statistics are indicators of the health of our economy, and they both clearly highlight the vulnerability of America’s financial state.




"The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism" with Theda Skocpol on Tuesday 5/1 at 4:30 PM




Theda Skocpol to Give Class of 1930 Lecture on May 1st - “The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism”

Plan to join us on May 1, 2012 for the Class of 1930 Lecture, which will take place 4:30-6:00 pm in Room 003, Rockefeller Center.

“The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism”
Theda Skocpol
Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University

On February 19, 2009, CNBC commentator Rick Santelli delivered a dramatic rant against Obama Administration programs to shore up the plunging housing market. Invoking the Founding Fathers and ridiculing "losers" who could not pay their mortgages, Santelli called for "Tea Party" protests. Over the next two years, conservative activists took to the streets and airways, built hundreds of local Tea Party groups, and weighed in with votes and money to help right-wing Republicans win electoral victories in 2010. In this penetrating new study, Harvard University's Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson go beyond images of protesters in Colonial costumes to provide a nuanced portrait of the Tea Party. What they find is sometimes surprising.

Public Program Preview: Jeffrey Sachs, Class of 1930 Fellow

Jeffrey SachsDirector, Columbia University Earth Institute Ending Poverty in Our Generation: Still Time if We Try Wednesday, October 13, 20104:30 PM • Room 28, Silsby Hall  Class of 1930 Fellow Jeffrey D. Sachs, the director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University will be visiting campus this fall as the Center's Class of 1930 Fellow. Professor Sachs is one of the leading international economic advisors of his generation. For more than 20 years, he has been in the forefront of the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and enlightened globalization, promoting policies to help all parts of the world to benefit from expanding economic opportunities and wellbeing.  Sachs believes that ending extreme poverty is not a dream but a practical possibility.

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