Every two years, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government holds an “orientation” for new members of Congress. Several of our new members of Congress, including MA-9’s new star Ayanna Pressley and MA-4’s Lori Trahan, protested outside. I skeptically read a few descriptions of the event as “corporate”, “centrist”, and so forth. Well, look at the list of speakers, and decide for yourself:
Hon. Elaine Chao, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, former Secretary of Labor and Director of the Peace Corps
Hon. Ash Carter, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs
Hon. Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans, IOP Visiting Fellow
Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors
Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School
Gary Cohn, former Director of the National Economic Council
Douglas Elmendorf, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School
David Gergen, former Presidential adviser, Public Service Professor of Public Leadership, Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School
Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson
I suppose if you squint hard, based on her areas of publication, you could call Danielle Allen a liberal; she’s an ethicist with an antiquarian bent, decidedly not a partisan. Other than that, there’s two Trump appointees; center-right professionals Gergen, Elmendorf, and Carter; the head of the right-to-hard-right American Enterprise Institute; and moderate Landrieu.
Can I ask what the CEO’s of Johnson and Johnson and GM are doing here? Beyond the obvious, of course: The expectation that it’s corporations that actually run this game. Ya gotta know the territory, incoming Congressfolk …
They couldn’t get Marshall Ganz to talk labor (say)? John McDonough to talk health care? Robert Stavins on climate? etc? These are just resources around Harvard, off the top of my head.
Was it really that bad? Yes it was. Better to be out in the cold with Pressley, Trahan, and Ocasio-Cortez.