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

Public Programs

Dr. Nicholas Christakis on the Coronavirus Pandemic

On November 2, 2021, Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Yale University joined members of the Dartmouth community to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. The discussion was moderated by Amber E. Barnato, the Director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Christakis directs the Human Nature Lab and focuses his work in the fields of network science, biosocial science, and behavioral genetics. His talk was focused on his 2020 best-selling book Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live. The book offers readers a global history of widespread disease, discusses the social costs of such public health crises, and concludes with Christakis’ predictions for the duration and eventual conclusion of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

He began his remarks by announcing that living through the Covid-19 pandemic is a “deeply human experience.” Like our ancestors, we are confronted with a “once-in-a-century” event in which a pervasive pathogen is released and circulates among us. “Plagues are a feature of the human experience,” Christakis explained. “They’re in the Bible. They’re in the Iliad.” 

FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips ’00 Discusses Politics, Markets, and Populism with the Rockefeller Center

On Wednesday, October 27th, 2021, Noah Phillips ’00, a commissioner on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and former Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator John Cornyn, of Texas, met with Dartmouth students and community members to deliver the Thurlow M. Gordon 1906 Lecture at the Rockefeller Center.

The FTC is a government agency that “protects consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business practices through law enforcement, advocacy, and education, without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.” The Commission is led by five commissioners, three of whom are Democrats and two of whom—including Commissioner Phillips—are Republicans.

Commissioner Phillips used the occasion to offer his thoughts on the state of the FTC and of antitrust policy in the United States more generally. Before beginning, he emphasized that “what I’m going to say tonight is not the view of the Federal Trade Commission and is not the view of my fellow commissioners. It’s really not the view of my fellow commissioners.”

Tina Nadeau Discusses Harm Reduction with the Rockefeller Center

On Monday, November 8th, 2021, Tina Nadeau, Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court, convened with Dartmouth students and community members in Filene Auditorium for the Rockefeller Center’s Perkins Bass Distinguished Lecture.

Judge Nadeau has led a distinguished career in the justice system, with much of her work having been in New Hampshire’s drug courts—specialized court programs that target individuals with drug dependency problems. Among other accomplishments, in 2016 she received the New Hampshire Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Association Kathleen Taylor Legislator Award; in 2017 she received the New England Association of Drug Court Professionals Leadership; and in June 2020 she was appointed as an inaugural member of the national Council on Criminal Justice and served as a member of the COVID-19 task force. Synthesizing these contributions, Nadeau’s lecture outlined her approach to drug treatment in the New Hampshire court system.

Katyal and Garre Discuss the Current State of the Supreme Court of the United States and Reflect on Their Time as Advocates

On October 21, 2021, the Rockefeller Center, the Warren B. Rudman Center at the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, and the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education co-hosted a conversation with Greg Garre ’87 and Neal Katyal ’91 titled “Renewing Trust in Democracy: the Role of Courts.” Moderated by Laura Knoy, former host of NHPR's "The Exchange," their discussion centered around the role of the Supreme Court in maintaining a balanced democracy, the threats the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) faces in maintaining this role, and how Garre and Katyal’s own extensive experience as advocates have informed their own understanding of the Court’s critical work.

President Emeritus Wright Calls for Greater Recognition of Veterans’ Service and Sacrifice

On November 11, 2021, the Rockefeller Center and the Dickey Center for International Understanding co-sponsored a Veterans’ Day lecture by Dartmouth President Emeritus James Wright titled “Veterans Today and the Wars in Which They Have Served.” Hosted by Rockefeller Center Director Jason Barabas ’93, Wright invited listeners to reconsider the shifting landscape of America’s wars and, in doing so, better understand the sacrifice, struggles, and valiant work of those who have served.

Having spent years giving remarks in remembrance of service members and visiting veterans to learn their stories and encourage them to continue pursuing their education, Wright noted that these experiences—and in particular, one speech at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.—inspired him to “sharpen” his understanding of those who serve, what they experience, and the challenges they face. Much of America today only hears about the details of a war—casualties, victories, losses—through numbers; however, Wright argued, “numbers can numb our recognition” of those who serve and “their humanity.”

Discussing the Past, Present, and Future of the Supreme Court

Nina Totenberg
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On April 29, 2021, the Rockefeller Center welcomed NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg hosted at an event titled “The Supreme Court and Its Impact on You.” In a discussion moderated by Professor Charles Wheelan ’88, Totenberg provided insight on the future of the Supreme Court and answered audience questions regarding current pending cases as well as her decades of experience in covering the Court.

Women, Entrepreneurship, and Atlanta in the New South

Veteran Panelists Reflect on Diversity and Inclusion in the Military

In commemoration of Veterans Day, the Rockefeller Center co-hosted a conversation on diversity and inclusion in the military co-sponsored with the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding on November 11, 2020. Moderated by Associate Professor of Government Jason Lyall, panelists included Brad Carney ’20, an Army veteran who served in the 82nd Airborne Division and later as an Army Ranger in the 3rd Ranger Battalion, and Karla Rosas ’20, who served in the Air Force for five years as a Security Forces member.

Jake Tapper '91 Muses on Biden's Win, Politics, Career Tips

Article from Dartmouth News by Bill Platt, November 13, 2020

Dartmouth students had the chance to talk over the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, discuss the state of politics going forward, and get some career advice from CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper '91 Thursday during a post-election discussion sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy.

2020 Presidential Election Night Watch Party

This event has already occured.




On Tue. Nov. 3rd at 7pm ET join the Rockefeller Center and CBS New National Correspondent, Chip Reid on Tuesday for a 2020 Presidential Election Night Watch Party!

What would a Biden victory mean?

What would a Trump victory mean?

Is this a turning point in American history?



 Join us in person at:

Collis Common Ground – hosted by the Collis Governing Board

Cutter Shabazz – hosted by College Democrats

Collis 1010 and One Wheelock – hosted by the Student Assembly


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