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


RGLP Participants Self-Assess Using the Intercultural Developmental Inventory

Before week three of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, “Self Assessment with IDI,” began, participants took an online test, the Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI). This purposefully vague assignment (RGLP’s leaders intentionally did not provide much context), asked me to respond to many statements that evaluated my culture with respect to others.

"Embers of War: Vietnam Reconsidered" Fredrik Logevall Contextualizes the Vietnam War with Regards to Current Events

In his talk based on his new book “Embers of War: Vietnam Reconsidered," Professor of History and International Studies at Cornell University Fredrik Logevall brought the Vietnam War out of isolation and into the context of world events.

MLDP: Writing in the Workplace with Professor Sara Chaney

As a college student, learning how to communicate professionally is extremely useful, whether I want to establish a good relationship with a professor or excel at an internship. This week, Professor Sara Biggs Chaney of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric challenged us to consider how we come across when we communicate in a professional setting. Professor Chaney emphasized approaching this issue from a rhetorical perspective, which particularly focuses on the audience, and the rest of the session showed us how important it is to keep your audience in mind as you write.

RGLP discusses "Are We There Yet?" with Dr. Gama Perruci

Having spent significant time in both the United States and Korea, I often ask myself about where I belong. Am I a Korean-American or a Korean with an American passport or an American with a Korean passport? As a member of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program, I stepped into the lecture room with these questions in mind.

Dr. Gama Perucci's lecture titled "Are We There Yet" delves into the issues of nation-building and nationalism. Throughout the lecture, he discussed the birth and the demarcation of a state prior to 1600 with the introduction of conscription and taxation, and the democratization of the nation in 1800s spurred by a series of revolution that introduced the notion of citizenship.

MLDP Recap: "The Art of the Narrative" with Kate Hilton '99

Students watched the above video with James Croft for a real-life example of a call to action.
“Leadership is taking responsibility to enable others to achieve purpose in the face of uncertainty,” according to guest speaker Kate Hilton ’99, Director of Organizing for Health, a project of ReThink Health, and Principal in Practice for Leading Change at Harvard University.
One way to motivate people toward achieving purpose is by using the narrative, a topic that we explored during this session. We learned that the basic components of the narrative are a story of self, which includes a call to leadership; a story of us, which is used to acknowledge shared values and shared experiences; and a story of now, which comprises of a strategy and action.

Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium

On Friday, March 28th, I attended Mr. Amory Lovins’ keynote address at the Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium hosted by the Thayer School of Engineering. This event was organized to discuss the past, present, and future of nuclear energy— a topic that has gained more relevance with the United States’ search for energy independence and the world’s reactions after the Fukushima incident three years ago. 

I was excited to hear Mr. Amory Lovins, Cofounder and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute because we had learned in class that he was one of the leading voices in the nuclear energy discussion. I expected him to focus more of his presentation on the negative aspects of nuclear energy. Therefore it was a good surprise to hear him talking more about solutions to nuclear energy rather than just expressing his opinions. Lovins condensed his solution for an ideal energy portfolio into a “trifecta between energy efficiency, renewables, and cogeneration."

RLF Recap: Leading People and Delivering Results with David Ager

Although Professor David Ager from Harvard Business School wasn’t able to make it up to campus last term due to a snowstorm, he was able to join us this Thursday for a spectacular session on management and the work environment. With his extensive academic and international experiences, Professor Ager presented various frameworks for thinking about manager-employee relations.

The session revolved around a classic HBS case study, the Rob Parson at Morgan Stanley case, and walked through each stage of decision-making. At the start, most of the Fellows were not in favor of giving Parson a promotion, and Professor Ager pushed both sides to defend their views using evidence from within the case. The focus moved from achievements and job descriptions to an analysis of risks and assumptions. Parson’s performance appraisals were brought into the discussion before the Fellows enacted roleplays in groups of how to tell someone they have not received a promotion.

Reflection on the 7th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University 2014

I was fully funded by the Dickey Center for International Understanding to attend the 7th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) 2014 meeting at Arizona State University from March 20-23. CGI U hosted a Codeathon and brought together over 1,000 passionate young leaders who are implementing innovative projects to address various pressing global challenges.

My highlight of the conference was when my team, MediText, won the inaugural CGI U 2-day Codeathon. The challenge - less than 36 hours, 4 different nationalities, 3 different schools, 1 team, 1 goal - developing a "product" to address the problem of medical adherence in developing countries. After my team was announced as the winner of the Codeathon, Chelsea Clinton acknowledged the team members on stage at the closing plenary session! While backstage, President Bill Clinton shook my hand and congratulated me. At that moment, I was thinking to myself, "Wow, the 42nd president of the United States congratulating me." As of now, my team is currently moving forward with our product to form a start up.

Students Debate Their Motivations Regarding Why They Want to be Leaders

On April 1, Gama Perruci, Ph.D., visited MLDP participants and conducted a session called "Leadership and Followership." We began the session with a brief discussion about traditional views of leadership. In particular, we analyzed a painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware River and debated how the characteristics of the painting made him stand out as a leader. To further develop our definition of leadership, we looked at the Rockefeller Center's definition of leadership, and, finally, discussed the differences between management, followership and leadership.

David Cobb connects with Dartmouth Students on Social Justice

After his provocative speech and question and answer session, David Cobb took part in an equally impassioned discussion over dinner with students at the Rockefeller Center. While his speech focused more on the constitutionality of corporate rights and limited liability, the dinner discussion took on a more social justice-oriented character.

Cobb, when asked how he came to be so committed to his cause for creating a dialogue about changing the political system and incorporating the voices of those typically excluded into the electoral process, spoke first of his extremely modest upbringing in rural Texas and his introduction to activism and injustice as a college student. He engaged students in a heartfelt talk about his aspirations and his commitment to working with college students today to promote change. Students voiced their personal struggles with reconciling their viewpoints on property rights, incentivized action and inequality.


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