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


Elizabeth Wydra’s thoughts on Constitutional Accountability

Elizabeth Wydra is Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC)’s President. From 2008-2016, she served as CAC's Chief Counsel. A graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Yale Law School, Wydra joined CAC from private practice at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in San Francisco, where she was an attorney working with former Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan in the firm’s Supreme Court/appellate practice. Wydra’s legal practice focuses on Supreme Court litigation and high-stakes cases in the federal courts of appeals. She has represented CAC as well as clients including congressional leaders, preeminent constitutional scholars and historians, state and local legislators and government organizations, and groups such as Justice at Stake, League of Women Voters, and AARP. Wydra appears frequently in print and on air as a legal expert for outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX, BBC, and NPR.

Vanderbilt Professor James Blumstein visits Dartmouth

Jim Blumstein ranks among the nation’s most prominent scholars of health law, law and medicine, and voting rights. He is currently one of 13 University Professors at Vanderbilt; he was the first awarded that title in the law school and the first to receive a second tenured appointment in Vanderbilt Medical School. The director of Vanderbilt’s Health Policy Center, Professor Blumstein has served as the principal investigator on numerous grants concerning managed care, hospital management and medical malpractice. Professor Blumstein has been an Adjunct Professor at Dartmouth Medical School, and has served as former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s counsel on TennCare reform and has participated actively in a number of Supreme Court cases, arguing three. In 2014, Professor Blumstein was awarded a secondary appointment as a Professor of Management at the Owen Graduate School of Management. A dedicated teacher, Professor Blumstein has received the law school’s student-sponsored Hall-Hartman Teaching Award. He joined Vanderbilt’s law faculty in 1970.

Interview with Public Program Speaker Maya MacGuineas

Before MacGuineas’s discussion with Professor Charles Wheelan regarding the federal budget on October 19, 2015, Nikita Bakhru ’17 sat down with her for an interview.

Maya MacGuineas is the President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget as well as the head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt. Her areas of expertise include budget, tax, and economic policy. MacGuineas testifies regularly before Congress and has published broadly. Once dubbed “an anti-deficit warrior” by The Wall Street Journal, Maya comments often on broadcast news and is widely cited by the national press. In the spring of 2009 Maya did a stint on The Washington Post editorial board, covering economic and fiscal policy. Maya has worked at the Brookings Institution and on Wall Street. As a political independent, she has advised numerous candidates for office from both parties, and works regularly with members of Congress on health, economic, tax, and budget policy.

Nikita Bakhru (NB): Your areas of expertise include budget, tax, and economic policy. What led you to these interests?

Robert Odawi Porter gave the Thurlow M. Gordon 1906 Lecture at the Rockefeller Center

Robert Odawi Porter is an innovative and results-driven attorney, scholar and political leader who has devoted his professional career to advancing the rights of sovereign American Indian nations and tribes in the United States. Currently, he represents tribal governments, organizations, and businesses in Washington, D.C. at Dentons, the world’s largest law firm. Porter gave the Thurlow M. Gordon 1906 Lecture, “Indigenous Peoples, Economic Recovery, and the Reform of U.S. Federal Indian Law,” on October 8, 2015. Before his talk, Nikita Bakhru ’17 sat down with Mr. Porter for an interview.

Nikita Bakhru (NB): You have devoted much of your professional career to advancing the rights of sovereign nations and tribes in the United States. What inspired your interest in American Indian Law?

Public Program: Q&A with Harvard Professors Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen

Before their talk, "Southern Slavery and Its Political Legacy: How America’s Peculiar Institution Continues to Affect American Politics Today,"on Monday, June 1, Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen for an interview.

Public Program: Q&A with David Leonhardt, Editor of The Upshot for the New York Times

Before his talk, "Struggling Toward Meritocracy: The Need for Economic Diversity at Top Colleges," on Wednesday, May 20, Courtney Wong ’15 sat down with David Leonhardt for an interview.

David Leonhardt is a columnist at The New York Times and the editor of The Upshot, a Times website covering politics, policy and other subjects. The recipient of the Pulitzer Price for commentary in 2011, David joined The Times in 1999 as a staff writer and then became the newspaper’s Washington Bureau Chief. He is also the author of the e-single, "Here’s the Deal: How Washington Can Solve the Deficit and Spur Growth," an and New York Times bestseller. He graduated with a degree in applied mathematics from Yale University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News. 

Public Program: Q&A with Henry Chu, London Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times

Before the Bernard D. Nossiter '47 Lecture, "Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Europe in Crisis," with Henry Chu on Monday, May 11, Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Henry Chu for an interview.

The London Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times, Henry Chu has traveled all over the world, reporting from various countries about unique stories of the human condition. He has reported from more than 30 countries for the Los Angeles Times alone and has covered Europe since 2008. In addition to London, he has also been posted in Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, and New Delhi. Having received his B.A. from Harvard University, Chu returned to his alma mater 25 years later as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism.



Los Angeles Times London Bureau Chief Henry Chu speaks on the future of the European Union. Photo by Abigail Chen '17.

Courtney Wong (CW): After having been to so many countries, do you have a favorite place to travel?

Public Program: Q&A with Professor Heather Gerken

Before her Law Day Lecture, "Dark Money and Shadow Parties: The Real Problem in Campaign Finance" with Heather K. Gerken on Thursday, April 30, Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Heather Gerken for an interview.

This year’s celebration of Law Day at Dartmouth focused on the relationship between corporate spending and American politics, and how the Citizens United ruling has led to concerns about "dark money." Heather Gerken, a professor at Yale Law School who specializes in election law and constitutional law, delivered a public talk on the theme of money in politics, examining how the constitutional constraints on campaign finance have affected reform efforts.

Public Program: Q&A with Professor Steven Kaplan

Before the Portman Lecture in the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, "Are CEOs Overpaid?" on April 14, Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Professor Steven N. Kaplan for an interview.

The Neubauer Family Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Steven N. Kaplan is one of the world’s top researchers on private equity, venture capital, corporate governance, executive talent, and income inequality. Professor Kaplan is also the faculty director of Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and he teaches advanced MBA, law and executive courses in entrepreneurial finance, private equity, corporate finance, corporate governance, and wealth management. In addition, he co-founded the entrepreneurship program at Booth, which has successfully spawned more than 100 companies, including GrubHub and Braintree.

Public Program: Q&A with Former Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue

Before his talk on October 27 titled "The Coming Battles Over Social Security," Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Michael Astrue for an interview.


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