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

Public Programs

Fireside Chat with Steve Glickman, Moderated by Tuck Dean Slaughter

On Monday, April 8, 2019, current Founder and CEO of Develop LLC Steve Glickman spoke in a fireside chat with Dean Matthew Slaughter on Opportunity Zones, a new tax incentive program enacted under the December 2017 tax bill. The event was the Portman Lecture in the Spirit of Entrepreneurship.

Steve spoke passionately about the potential of the program to drive private capital to real estate and various other sectors in approximately 8,700 low-income areas. When asked of the selection process that led to these Opportunity Zones, he offered his praise for the work done by state and local governments in curating the list. Governors were given criteria and general guidance but ultimately had a high degree of agency in selecting their own zones. Steve felt that of the more than 8,000 zones selected, there were less than 200 that he disagreed with.

Todd Henderson on the Importance of Societal Trust in Human Progress

As part of the Thurlow M. Gordon Lecture 1906 Lecture series, the Rockefeller Center hosted Todd Henderson, the Michael J. Marks Professor of Law and Mark Claster Mamolen Research Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School, who gave a presentation in Rockefeller 003 on the importance of societal trust in human progress and the role of trust-creating institutions.

Henderson introduced his presentation with the assertion that the norm of “stranger danger” ends up being highly limiting since individuals ends up forgoing many potential opportunities. Therefore, Henderson asserted that the cultivation of societal trust is the key to prosperous economies since it allows individuals to be more willing to engage in cooperative endeavors. He then transitioned into an overview of the institutions which have historically been guarantors of societal trust, as well as their pitfalls.

Marton Speaks About Mass Incarceration and Decarceration

Graduating in the Class of 2004, Janos Marton '04 attributes Dartmouth as the place where he got his “intellectual bearings and found a lot of [his] passions.” In an interview, he remarked that “When it comes to criminal justice, taking the raw emotional feelings I had behind it and translating that into an understanding of how the system works propelled me into a career that I have.”

Throughout his transitory careers, Marton noted that there has been a continuous focus on detail and aiding those directly impacted by the system. Evidently, he has pursued intellectual engagement with direct community impacts. The socioeconomic issues conflated with mass incarceration have since led to Marton’s involvement in JustLeadershipUSA, a national advocacy organization for decarceration. The organization is committed to cutting the correctional population in half by 2030 through the empowerment of communities most harmed by mass incarceration, including groundbreaking organizing efforts for those inside and coming from prison.

Tom Herman Explores His Motivations and Inspirations for His Film Dateline-Saigon

In honor of Veterans Day, Dartmouth College celebrated the service of all U.S. military veterans through a week of special programming. Events included a November 7th screening of the film, Dateline-Saigon, followed by a discussion with producer and director Tom Herman and History Professor Edward Miller, Founding Director of the Dartmouth Vietnam Project.

Dateline-Saigon is the story of five young journalists who risked their lives to share the story no one else dared to explore during the early years of the Vietnam War. Herman spent twelve years researching, filming, and interviewing over 50 writers, photojournalists, radio and television correspondents, government officials, historians, and others for this project.

Guest Speakers Enhance Student Learning

Each year, the Rockefeller Center hosts a robust agenda of public programs to offer an even closer look at public policy and policymaking through the lens of public officials, distinguished scholars, political figures, journalists, and other civically engaged leaders and activists.

These special events inform, educate, and enrich the discourse amongst faculty, staff, and students from across campus, as well as with members of the broader community.

These invited guests also serve as an important part of the educational experience for students by visiting classes while on campus. During these interactions, they expose students to real-world life experiences, sharing insights and perspectives from their particular field.

During the 2016 summer term, former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg visited Professor Charlie Wheelan’s course, Economics of Public Policymaking.

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.

Recognizing Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant: Olivia Bewley ’19

Olivia Bewley ’19, a Government and Anthropology double major from Moorestown, New Jersey, is currently serving her fifth term as one of the Rockefeller Center’s Student Program Assistants for Public Programs. Olivia has been involved with the Rockefeller Center since her freshmen year when she started to attend several of Rocky’s programs and events to learn more about public policy.

Olivia began to develop her academic interest in public policy by taking PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy with Professor Ron Shaiko her freshmen winter and later by being selected as a First-Year Fellow. Interning in Washington. D.C. her freshmen summer as a Fellow helped further spark her interest in public policy. Coming back to campus after her Fellowship, Olivia began working with Joanne Needham, who is the Program Officer for public programs and special events, and has been in same position ever since.

The Brooks Family Lecture: “Ten Years after the Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences”

As part of the Brooks Family Lecture series, Aaron Klein ’98 gave a lecture entitled “Ten Years after the Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences”.

Aaron Klein elucidated the consequences and causes of the 2007-2008 financial crisis by detailing how the “perfect storm” of factors combined led to the financial crisis. In particular, he focused on the convergence of the housing bubble and the proliferation of new financial instruments that decoupled loan repayment from profitability origination. He then transitioned into an overview of how repeated warnings about predatory lending practices and subprime mortgages went unheeded. Klein contended that Glass-Steagall would not have prevented the financial crisis because most of the subprime mortgage players—Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, AIG, among others—would not have been impacted, and also argued that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not responsible for the crisis because they did not originate any mortgages.

2017 Constitution Day: Professor Duchin Discusses Geometry and Political Representation

In honor of 2017 Constitution Day, the Rockefeller Center hosted Professor Moon Duchin of Tufts University, who gave a presentation on the impact of geometry in the determination of voting districts and the larger implications for political representation.

Professor Duchin provided an overview of how congressional districting works and the policy tradeoffs inherent to the current systems of voter counting and apportionment of Congressional representatives. She focused on gerrymandering and its various and often overlapping manifestations: political gerrymandering, which is the redrawing of voting districts for partisan gain; racial gerrymandering, which is the redrawing of voting districts for the purpose of diluting the voting strength of minority groups; and incumbent gerrymandering, which is the redrawing of voting districts for the purpose of creating safe seats for Republican and Democratic politicians. Professor Duchin also explained the different and often complementary mechanisms by which gerrymandering is achieved, specifically, the practices of voter “packing” and voter “cracking.”

Dartmouth Conference Explores ‘Interacting Across Difference’

Original article by Bill Platt appeared in the Dartmouth News on September 15, 2017.

The Boston neighborhoods where Assistant Professor of Sociology Emily Walton is conducting ethnographic research are quite diverse if you look at the demographic data, but what she sees when she walks along the streets is a story of people living in separate worlds, side by side.

“There’s enormous income inequality. On one side of the street you have housing projects, but then the area is gentrifying so quickly that across the street you have a luxury condo building where each unit sells for $2 million,” says Walton. “So the kinds of services the people in the condos want—the Whole Foods, high-end retail stores, dog parks—don’t serve the needs of the folks living in the subsidized housing across the street.”


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