In the comments section, this is from David King of the Harvard Kennedy School pushing back on our (and others’) characterization of the Kennedy School’s “orientation” for new members of Congress. His bio: “David C. King is Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at The Harvard Kennedy School and Faculty Chair of the Masters in Public Administration program. Professor King chairs Harvard’s Bi-Partisan Program for Newly Elected Members of the U.S. Congress, and he directs the Program for Senior Executives in State & Local Government.”
Sometimes it’s a little crazy-making reading posts like this. And really, if anyone wants to know about the New Members program design… just ask. We get pilloried by the left and the right – though, seriously – we’re happy to share why and how the program is structured.
For example, on climate change, Rob Stavins was indeed on the program. As was Phil Sharp, the long-time member of Congress and recent head of Resources for the Future.
Raj Chetty led a lively conversation about poverty and opportunity. The New Members heard from – and were moved by – Bryan Stevenson.
It seems odd to me folks have downplayed the presence of Danielle Allen in the program, and have glossed over Samantha Power’s presence. Richard Frank and Sheila Burke led conversations on healthcare and prescription drugs. The whole group was transfixed by Malala Yousafzai.
Yes, Gary Cohn was at our gathering. He was on a panel to talk about economic policy – since he was a recent Director of the National Economic Council, which is a position he had *after* he was at Goldman Sachs. Another big “corporate type” was Mary Barra, and her perspective on the future of manufacturing is crucial for all to hear.
By the way, the New Members of Congress program takes no money – zero – from any outside interests. The program used to get some Non-Profit grants to help, though that all stopped in 1996, when we decided that we didn’t want any possibility of feeling outside pressures linked to dollars.
– David King (at HKS)
My response is that my source of information was the Kennedy School’s very own press release. I’m happy to hear that our characterization — and that of others — may have not represented the entire scope of the event. But if policy heavy-hitters are what HKS has to offer to new members … why wouldn’t they advertise that first and foremost?
And I’d still ask … What are the CEOs of J&J and GM doing on this panel, except to illustrate the overwhelming power of corporations in Congress? I suppose that’s a “fact on the ground”, but it’s an ugly one.
I’m happy to admit error — to an extent. But what are we supposed to think? “Crazy-making” cuts both ways.