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


Winter 2015 Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Experiential Learning

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. 

Inauguration of Philip J. Hanlon '77

In his inauguration address, President Hanlon issued a call-to-action to build Dartmouth’s academic enterprise around four themes: experiential learning, learning technologies, research impact, and affordability. The programs at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center incorporate all of these themes—most prominently experiential learning—in the realms of public policy and leadership development.

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Winter 2014

Our programs at the Rockefeller Center are designed to enable our students to acquire both the knowledge that is relevant to public problems and the capacity to use it in ways that will make progress in solving these problems. Many of these problems will have an international dimension, whether comparative or cooperative.

Global Consciousness and Global Citizenship: Rockefeller Moves Forward with Student Program

As ideas, capital, and people move freely across geographical borders, essential collaboration has becoming increasingly complicated with teams from various time zones, languages and backgrounds attempting to address the most pressing issues facing our society. Leaders in this fluid network need a variety of tools to successfully navigate professional and interpersonal situations: profound cultural understanding, impeccable communication skills and the ability to fully utilize technology navigating the shrinking globe.

Recognizing this reality Dartmouth students will face upon graduation, the Rockefeller Center has been working over the past couple of years and has tested and implemented initiatives designed to meet the needs of students going on FSPs, students who are interested in global issues, or students who have been selected for internships abroad. A total of 120 students have participated in these various initiatives and the Rockefeller Center has now directed its attention to establishing one of its newest offerings, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP).

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.

Nearly 30 Years of Dynamic Inquiry: Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Spring 2013

This September marks a special anniversary for the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center. Thirty years ago at its founding, Rodman Rockefeller '54, Nelson's son and a driving force behind the Center's creation, aspired for it to become "a true center of dynamic inquiry, controversy, and cross-fertilization." Speaking at the same ceremony, Dartmouth President David McLaughlin '54 described the challenge of the new Center to "Fill these physical spaces with intellectual excellence. Realize within these walls the excitement and stimulus of the life of Nelson Rockefeller."Each director and staff of the Center in the intervening three decades have had the task of making these aspirations relevant for successive generations of students, faculty, and the wider Dartmouth community.

Policy Research Shop Reaches Milestone: 100th (and 101st) Policy Briefs Produced by Dartmouth Students

On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, four students from the Policy Research Shop (PRS) of the Nelson A.

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Winter 2013

During the December break, I had the opportunity to speak to the Dartmouth Club of Utah about interesting developments both at Dartmouth and in the world of public policy.  With the fiscal cliff looming, the topic of budget policy was on everyone’s mind.  (See this recent Faculty Forum and Op-Ed for my views on the underlying issues.)  During our discussion, I made the suggestion that, in the future, if we want our public policy done sensibly, we should favor its devolution to the States from the Federal government.  The reaction to my suggestion was decidedly mixed – the Beehive State is known, for example, for spending the least amount per pupil in its public schools, and is ranked at about the middle of the fifty states.  Many of the alumni in attendance that evening were working or had worked in th

Alumni Profile: Michael Belinsky '08 - Innovating for Social Impact and Public Good

Many Dartmouth alums are involved in public service. This includes not only elected officials, but innovators for the public good. 

One such alumnus is Michael Belinsky ’08.  Belinsky was involved in a number of Rocky programs including RLF and the 2007 Democratic Presidential Debate.  He has also given back to undergrads as a MLDP speaker. 

Belinsky was recently featured in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine Newsmakers section and the Boston Globe when his Harvard Kennedy School of Government team won the Public Sector Innovation Award in the Harvard College Innovation Challenge.

Fall 2012 Rockefeller Center Newsletter

Vol. 18, No. 2 -- Fall 2012

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Fall 2012

During the last 80 years, no incumbent President seeking re-election has been defeated in the general election unless he first faced serious opposition for his party’s nomination.  Since President Obama faced no opposition in securing the Democratic Party’s nomination, it would be unprecedented in the modern era for him not to carry the election in November.  Prediction markets currently assign a 59.7 percent chanceto President Obama winning re-election.


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