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

Direct Line

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Spring 2011

I can hardly believe that it was four years ago this Memorial Day that Dartmouth welcomed then-Senator Barack Obama for a visit to campus that drew upwards of 5,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members to the courtyard outside the entrance to the Rockefeller Center.  We may never see a presidential election campaign as wide open as 2008 again in our lifetimes.  It was the first time in many decades that neither party had an incumbent president or vice president in the running.  The 2012 campaign will be more typical, with almost all of the activity expected to be in one of the major political parties, as Republicans use the primary season to nominate a challenger to President Obama. As is always the case, the economy will play an important role.  Economist Ray Fair of Yale has been studying the link between economic conditions and electoral outcomes for decades.  His latest PDF icon

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Winter 2011

In years with Presidential or Congressional elections, we typically turn our attention to public policy at the national level. But many of the most pressing problems are occurring at the state and local level. An example is the underfunded status of many defined benefit pension plans for state and local public sector workers. According to a recent study by economists at Rochester and Northwestern universities, state-sponsored pension plans have unfunded liabilities of over $3 trillion and municipal plans have unfunded liabilities of over $500 billion when properly valued.

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Fall 2010

When he campaigned for President, Barack Obama used a slogan, “Change We Can Believe In,” which also served as the title of the book he published before the election outlining his plan for America.  Change in our public policies is very gradual, sometimes frustratingly so, but the promise of change by candidates and demands for change by voters figure prominently in most of our elections.  This year’s midterm elections are no exception.

"The Direct Line"- Winter Term 2009

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term. 

As we begin a new year, our nation finds itself with an odd juxtaposition of ideas. We recently the electorate to propel a relatively new face on the political scene into the White House. But in the closing two months of the campaign, it became painfully evident that financial markets and economic activity were contracting, suggesting that our expectations of what will be possible in the near future should be diminished. What is to be done about this conundrum?

"The Direct Line"- Fall Term 2008

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term. 

"The Direct Line"- Spring 2008

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term.

"The Direct Line"- Winter 2008

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term.

Consistent with the mission of the College, the Rockefeller Center seeks to develop students' potential for leadership. With a broad range of programs, we are focused on leadership skills and experiences both in and out of the classroom, on and off campus. One framework we use is asking students to assess their own strengths andweaknesses, moving on to considering how they would work well on a team, and concluding with a discussion of the way teams work within and across organizations. The Rockefeller Center is no different than other organizations in this respect. Its success over the years has been based on the teamwork of many people who have worked here, and its future success depends heavily on maintaining a staff of talented and dedicated people.

"The Direct Line"- Fall 2007

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term.

In my spring 2007 “Direct Line,” I noted that the 2008 Presidential primary season was off to an unusually early start, with many of the candidates in a crowded field visiting campus. I particularly enjoyed visits by Senator Barack Obama, who captivated a crowd of several thousands assembled in the courtyard outside the Rockefeller Center on Memorial Day, and by former Governor Mike Huckabee, who delighted the group of students who took a study break during finals to hear him in the Center’s Class of 1930 Room.

"The Direct Line"- Spring 2007

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term.

New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation Presidential primary generates both excitement and learning opportunities for Dartmouth students every four years. As Presidential candidates started arriving in the state this winter, we at the Rockefeller Center were quick to partner with both the College Democrats and the College Republicans to host candidate visits. No matter what their political persuasions, all Dartmouth students share in the unique opportunity to engage with emerging leaders as they come to campus.

"The Direct Line"- Winter 2007

Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick provides commentary on a variety of issues in the Direct Line, which is published at the start of each term.

Two hundred members of the Class of 2010 flocked to the Center's fall Open House. Greeted by Rockefeller student leaders and staff, they were introduced to the many curricular and co-curricular offerings at the Center. It was a festive and informative event, but most exciting was the positive response of the 2010s to the new First-Year Initiative (FYI). Created and implemented this year to bring students interested in public policy to the Center earlier in their Dartmouth career, the FYI provides the opportunity for them to delve into a comprehensive plan of study and activity. Open House is a tradition at the Center, and it is one of my favorite days each academic year.

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