The CiTizen

Vol. 18 No. 10 | apri l 8, 2 013
The official student newspaper at Harvard Kennedy School
Spring Break
Top Ten Must-Dos
Before Graduation
By Chrissie Long, Staff Writer, MPP’14
Students on the Palestine/Israel Trek traveled like Palestinians alongside
this Israeli-built wall that divides Palestinian villages from one another.
HKS Spring Break Trekkers’ Perspectives
Over the course of 10 days, hundreds
of students sought out exotic locations
on what is now aptly termed “studentled treks.” These trips ranged from
politically charged regions to relaxing
beachfront destinations.
All places served to inspire, inform
and integrate students with local culture, food, and of course, government
perspectives. The following are stories
shared by just a few of the participants.
Continued on page 10
With less than two months before
commencement, time is running out
to experience all of those things you
wanted to do but never got around to
due to problem sets or papers.
Pretty soon, you’ll be walking across
the stage to receive your diploma. Late
nights spent reading long texts or cramming sessions for exams will be a distant
memory. The important moments will
be those gained beyond the pages of a
course packet.
Given the hourglass is slowly draining, you may want to pick up that
mental list of ‘must dos’.
To provide some guidance in the final
weeks, The Citizen has developed a ‘top
ten’ of things to do before leaving HKS
(and Cambridge).
Feel free to add to these recommendations in the online version of this story
Run, walk or picnic along the
Charles River: Winding 80 miles
from the river’s head in Hopkinton (starting line of the Boston
Marathon), the Charles River cuts
through the Harvard campus and
provides a much needed retreat for
those who come to study here. If
you haven’t taken the time to walk,
run, bike or sit along the Charles,
outline an entire afternoon to
enjoy this urban treasure.
Continued on page 5
Student Profile: HKS Student
Speaks at TEDxChange
By Alexandra Raphel, MPP’14,
Staff Writer
When Halimatou Hima (MPP’14)
received a phone call from the Gates
Foundation one Sunday morning during
winter break, her first thought was that
they had the wrong number.
In fact, they were calling to invite
Halima to speak at TEDxChange, an
event co-organized by TED and the
Gates Foundation that brings together
a diverse group of experts to discuss
innovative solutions to global health and
development challenges. The 90-minute
discussion is hosted by Melinda Gates in
Seattle and live streamed on
for audiences around the world.
“I was thrilled. I panicked. I almost
declined. I created excuses,” Halima
says. “Finally, I accepted the idea that
I would stand for a full fifteen minutes
to give tribute to the women that have
inspired me thus far by their extraordinary resilience. This type of opportunity, I realized, knocks on one’s door
once in a blue moon.”
The theme for TEDxChange 2013 is
“Positive Disruption,” which Halima
finds exciting.
“My hope is that my talk will unsettle
the community of change makers (and
aspiring change makers) to think differently about the way we engage with
communities in rural areas, especially
Faculty Focus: Lawrence Summers shares
his perspective on U.S. economic issues
Continued on page 2
Continued on page 2
By Khurram Ali, MPP’14,
Last week, I had the opportunity to sit
down with ex-Harvard President and
current Charles W. Eliot Professor of
Harvard University, Lawrence Summers.
Known as one of the most brilliant
economists of his time, Larry Summers has also served as the U.S. Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton and
What will replace
Development as we know it?
Kennedy School’s
Five Coolest PAEs
Ask what you can do
against free riding
Why I won’t be donating
to the HKS Fund
By Peter Harrington and
David Garfunkel, Correspondents
Page 6
By The Citizen Staff
Page 7
By Tarun Cherukuri
Page 15
By Alexi White
Page 16
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Summers explains how inequality is inherently addressed in economic theory
Continued from page 1
as Director of the National Economic
Council for President Barack Obama.
I had the chance to ask Professor
Summers about inequality in the United
States and other pressing economic
issues. First, I wanted to know whether
inequality is solely a distributional
concern (which, in itself, is a deeply
important issue), or also a hindrance to
general economic well-being (and the
mechanisms through which it affects the
economy’s health).
Summers acknowledges that inequality has roots in moral and philosophical
thinking, but its effects are real and felt.
He calls inequality “a central issue for
middle-class families” especially in light
of U.S. economic history: “Productivity
growth, real wages and median income
all move very closely together in the
first 60 percent of the postwar period.
But over the last generation, wages and
family income fall short of productivity
Summers argues that you should care
about inequality because of the concept
of diminishing marginal utility, “that
an extra dollar means much more to an
average working family than it does to
Bill Gates or the average wealthy indi-
vidual.” It is particularly important for
the middle class, he argues.
When asked whether inequality gets
enough attention as an economic issue,
Summers argues that it is starting to get
substantial attention. He explains that
“societies with more inequality may
have less good health care performance
and may have less good ultimate growth
impacts” too.
implication here is that consumption
taxes are especially susceptible to tax
“There is the further issue,” Summers
adds, “that if you try to exempt specific
items, you get various kinds of absurdities like people buying jacket and trousers separately when buying suits, to
fall under minimums.” And of course,
“every time you narrow the base of any
tax, including a consumption tax, you make
“The economists’ idea of Pareto optimality it necessary to raise the
is precisely designed to reflect the fact that rate even higher.”
On the topic of the
economists can’t speak to issues based on
Occupy Wall Street
efficiency alone but can only speak to issues movement and some
when you recognize questions of fairness.” variants that have tried
to reshape the teaching
of introductory economics courses, Summers
added that he rejects the characterizaGiven that some have argued that
tion that standard economics doesn’t
consumption taxes are less distortionconsider issues of equity and efficiency.
ary than income taxes, I asked Professor Summers about the effects of placing In fact, “any policy decision has to
weight economics and has to weight
more emphasis on consumption. His
response suggests that it is far from clear equity,” he said.
As a student of economics, I found
if consumption taxes are actually more
efficient. Further, Summers explains that Summers’ next point particularly
people might have a tendency to convert intriguing: He argued that “the economists’ idea of Pareto optimality is preconsumption income into capital. The
cisely designed to reflect the fact that
economists can’t speak to issues based
on efficiency alone but can only speak to
issues when you recognize questions of
fairness.” Clever.
Though we normally associate Pareto
optimality with questions of efficiency
only, the concept inherently limits what
we can do: you can’t make someone
better off without making someone else
worse off in a Pareto-efficient world.
Finally, Summers discusses his teaching experience at the Kennedy School.
“I have particularly enjoyed, given my
recent experience, the opportunity to
interact with Kennedy School students
who are pursuing careers in government, who in many cases have impressive experiences in government and the
private sector.” Summers provided one
piece of advice for students looking to
building their careers in economics:
“Don’t be fungible. Develop some kind
of specific expertise, develop some kind
of orientation that makes you somebody who would be the desired person
for some situation, not just one of many
abled people.”
“Make yourself something special,” he
TEDxChange talk by HKS student addresses challenges for women and children
Continued from page 1
for programs on girls’ empowerment.”
Prior to becoming the first woman
from Niger to enroll at HKS, Halima
worked in the child protection unit of
UNICEF in her home country, frequently partnering with the government
on initiatives in rural areas.
“This experience was unique because
it allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities
facing women and girls living in highly
precarious conditions,” she explains.
“I could not have asked for a better
gift because you have to be able to first
understand communities and people
in order to be able to help them in their
stride for a better life.” One of the major portfolios she
focused on pertained to girls’ empowerment and child marriage. “My country
has one of the highest rates of child mar-
riage in the world, and the problem is as
structural as it is cultural.”
In 2011, she received a grant from
the Moremi Initiative, honoring her as
one of Africa’s top 25 emerging leaders under 25. With the grant, she started
a series of businesses run by women
entrepreneurs with ideas and drive, but
limited financial resources and training.
Halima also did some research with a
Gates Foundation team on family planning, women’s access (or lack of thereof)
to certain services, and the supply and
demand chains for treatments. It was
through this research that she was initially introduced to the Foundation.
“Honestly, I did not think Melinda
Gates would remember me. Apparently
I was wrong! Her team mentioned that
when they debriefed about potential
speakers for the TED conference, my
name immediately came up.”
In fact, as she introduced Halima to
a packed auditorium on the day of the
event (April 3), Melinda Gates clearly
recalled details of the time she spent
with Halima walking through a village
in Niger to understand the barriers in
access to contraceptives for the women.
And then, Halima addressed the audience with a graceful yet powerful talk,
beginning with the question, “Every
now and then, I would ask myself, did I
give lately of what I hold dearest?”
Halima incorporated what she learned
in Cambridge into her talk at TEDxChange. In particular, she notes “System
Dynamics,” an MIT class that “focuses
on the interactions between various
actors that may seem completely unrelated and the importance of incorporating elements that may initially be per-
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
ceived as irrelevant.”
She also found Professor Nathalie
Laidler-Kylander’s management class
valuable for thinking about effectively
sparking social change: “The class provided me with a space to analyze some
of my mistakes that may have delayed
social impact. I used to do much of my
work intuitively, but here I learned about
social change and policy in a more systematic manner.”
“I intend to use this beautiful gift
to bring about change in the lives of
women and girls and to give them the
means to empower themselves and the
opportunities to achieve their highest
potential,” Halima says.
The TEDxChange event was streamed
live via webcast on April 3, 2012 and is
available for viewing at http://www.ted.
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
2012-2013 Masthead
Christina Marin, MPP ’14
News Editor
Ishani Mehta, MPP ’14
Assistant News Editor
Nathan Finney, MC/MPA ’13
Opinions Editor
Jaya Bhagat, MC/MPA ’13,
Mason Fellow ’13
Assistant Opinions Editors
Neil Gundavda, MPP ’14
Nikoloz Anasashvili, MPP ’14
Culture Editor
Erin Patten, MPP ’14
Online Editor
Marcus Haggard, MPP ’14
Benjamin Weinryb Grohsgal,
MPP ’14
Staff Writers
Jon Murad, MC/MPA ’13
Alexandra Raphel, MPP ’14
Neil Gundavda, MPP ’14
Forrest Fontana, MC/MPA ’13
Bryann Dasilva, MPP ’14
Jennifer Hoegen, MC/MPA ’13
Karly Schledwitz, MPP ’14
Zach Crowley, MC/MPA ’13
Nick Wilson, MPP ’14
Public Relations
Zaher Nahle, MC/MPA ’13
Layout & Design
Janell Sims
It’s Showtime: Students gear up for
HKS Talent Show
on Friday, April 12.
Auditions were held
March 28 and 29 with
over 20 acts attemptIt is that time of the year again when
ing to get a coveted
Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) stuspot in this year’s varidents get to showcase their talents.
ety show.
While we know that these students have
The judges, comachieved greatness in the fields of public
prised of HKS stuservice, we see very little of their talents
dents and staff, were
outside of the classroom.
impressed by the proThe HKS Talent Show is a Kennedy
fessionalism and range
School community event held annually
of talent exhibited by
in April and features the talents of HKS
the students. The top
students, faculty and staff. While the
“30 Years of Movies in Five Minutes!,” a humorous interpretation. Pictured from left to right:
performers were careTalent Show began as a student event, it
Manoah Koletty MPA/ID 2012 and Nick Bayard MPA/ID 2012. Photo Credit: Martha Stewart.
fully chosen
show is captivating. It’s a night students
after much deliberation and were
“This is one of my favorite events. It selected to go forward as compet- willAsnever
with last year, HKS students and
re-humanizes people you go to school itors. The other amazing talents staff partner to raise money for the
be showcased as performers.
with. Beyond their passion to change will
Summer Internship Fund (SIF). Raffles
All the performers are expected
are sold with all proceeds from the raffle
the world, they have a variety of
to go to a dress rehearsal to
benefiting summer internships.
passions for music, theatre, etc.”
ensure that the final packed two“Since 1985, the SIF has been empowhour production is flawless.
ering students to serve their commu- Rohit Malhotra, Kennedy School
The show’s organizing team
nities, their countries and their fellow
put a lot of thought in every
Student Government (KSSG) President
citizens of the world by providing stidetail of the evening. On April
pends for unpaid summer jobs in the
12, the event will start off with
non-profit and public sectors.” Some of
a reception at 4:00 p.m. with the show
has gone through several name changes
the SIF’s raffle prizes include a Dell XPS
and has been adopted by the entire HKS starting at 5:00 pm. This year’s lineup
13 Ultrabook Laptop (donated by Dell),
community. It fills the Forum, where the proves to be entertaining, energetic and
an overnight at the Charles Hotel with
school comes together to revel, relax and surprising. You can expect to see dance,
Brunch (donated by the Charles Hotel)
music, spoken word, comedy and more.
show off their talents.
and an iPad Mini (donated by a Friend
Every class degree program, from the
This year, the Talent Show will be held
of HKS).
MPAs to the MPPs, is represented in the
The HKS Talent show ‘Show What
You Can Do!’ will be on April 12in the
“This is one of my favorite events,”
Forum. Admission is free of charge.
says Rohit Malhotra,
Kennedy School Student Government
(KSSG) President. “It
re-humanizes people
you go to school with.
Beyond their passion
to change the world,
they have a variety of
passions for music,
theatre, etc. This event
is another way to connect students in a way
Amin Toofani, Kennedy
that the school doesn’t
School Talent Show
“How Do I Go Back To Harvard?,” a musical number. Pictured from left to right: Roly Cliftondo formally. Every
2011 - Winning Act.
Bligh MC/MPA 2012, Mary McCall MC/MPA 2012, Claire Rice MC/MPA 2012, Claire Szabo MC/
minute of the talent
By Leila El-Khatib, MC/MPA’13,
MPA 2012, Bassem Nasir MC/MPA 2012.
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
speaker series
Tuesday, April 9, 12 p.m.
Taubman 275
“China Wired: Internet Activism in the PRC.”
KeiTh RichbuRg, Fellow at the Institute of Politics and
China correspondent for The Washington Post from 2009-2013.
Tuesday, April 16, 12 p.m.
Taubman 275
“The New Ecosystem of Journalism and Where It Is Leading.”
AlAn KhAzei, founder and chief executive officer of Be the
Change, Inc.; co-founder of City Year and adjunct lecturer at HKS.
Wednesday, April 17, 6 p.m. | Wiener Auditorium, Taubman Ground Floor
Screening of Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law, a documentary film
featuring Beatrice Mtetwa, a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe.
The screening will be followed by a conversation with producer/director
lorie conway and Alex S. Jones, Shorenstein Center Director.
Stay up to date
with the
Shorenstein Center
shorensteincenter | @shorensteinctr
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Exploring Boston, engaging in HKS
activities are must-dos before graduation
Continued from page 1
Charles River. Source:
a faculty to lunch: The ‘Take
4. Take
a Faculty to Lunch’ program is an
under-utilized resource that gives
students personal access to the
Kennedy School’s greatest asset:
the faculty. The program enables
students to grab a few friends, pick
a professor and enjoy lunch – for
free! Contact [email protected] before April 12
for more information.
in another Harvard
2. Study
library: There are over 70 libraries
at Harvard. If your studies brought
you only to the dungy Kennedy
school basement hideout, it’s time
to try a few others. We’ve heard
good things about the Widener
Library, the Harvard Law School
Library and the Lamont Library.
and drink local: While you
3. Eat
are in Boston, you might as well
try some of the things Boston is
known for. I highly recommend
free brewery tours at Samuel
Adams and Harpoon; you may try
the country’s oldest and continuously operating restaurant (the
Union Oyster House) or indulge
in a Boston Cream Pie where it
was invented (at the Omni Parker
House). Did you know the chocolate chip cookie was invented in
Massachusetts or that the state is
home to the first Dunkin’ Donuts?
Though the following ‘firsts’ aren’t
edible, you
should know
that Massachusetts
is home
to the first
subway and
park (Boston
Common) in
the United
States, the
first computer and
first basketball game.
Harpoon Brewery. Source:
Henrietta’s Table. Source:
a weekend outside of
5. Spend
Boston: New England (i.e. Bos-
ton’s backyard) is renowned for
charming towns, magnificent
countryside views and fun outdoor activities. If you haven’t
rented a car to explore life outside
the city, you are missing out. For
quaint seaside towns, try Newport, Portsmouth or Gloucester.
If you are into hiking, the White
Mountains (especially the Presidential mountain range) are not to
be missed – Mt. Washington, Mt.
Chocorua and Mt. Moosilauke are
personal favorites. And, now that
the weather is improving, you may
want to try some of the area’s best
beaches, which include Gloucester’s Crane Beach, beaches on the
Cape Cod National Seashore and
Hampton Beach State Park in New
In its special graduation issue,
The Citizen will feature any
graduating student who is
able to complete all of the top
ten experiences listed here
and provide proof (a photo or
soccer), you haven’t experienced
10 new HKS people: As
Pack an entire day full of study
6. Meet
much as you want to solidify exist- 9. groups, speakers and forum
ing relationships in the last few
months, don’t let that keep you
from doing some last minute networking. This is what you came
to the Kennedy School
for, right?
You never
know, that
last minute
friend request
could become
the next head
of state or
Harvard Paraphernalia. Source: www.
nonprofit big
some Harvard parapher7. Buy
nalia: Yep, you’re going to be a
graduate in a few weeks and that
entitles you to pretentiously sport
Harvard sweatshirts, baseball caps
and t-shirts. Rather than order
these keepsakes online, pick them
up while you’re still here.
events: Have you ever tried to
make it to all the events on the
HKS Today listserv? Even if you
had an empty schedule, attending
all the events is impossible, but it
doesn’t mean you can’t try!
HKS Forum. Source:
what you can do: Perhaps
it’s just an overused Kennedy
School motto. Either way, make
sure you ask what you can do
at least once while here: Spend
a few minutes cleaning up the
forum, volunteer with a student
event, help a friend with homework or participate in Public
Service week (April 15-April
Red Sox. Source:
for a Boston sports team:
8. Cheer
Beyond historical sites, clam
Newport, RI. Source:
chowder and its annual marathon;
Boston is renowned for its rowdy
sports fans. If you haven’t been to
a professional sports game here
(this is the season for baseball and
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
HKS Serves. Source:
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Development as we know it is dying.
What will replace it?
By Peter Harrington, MPP ‘14
and David Garfunkel, MPP ‘14,
When the deadline for the Millennium
Development Goals ( MDGs) expires
on January 1, 2015, the world will look
back on the most concerted global
effort to improve human wellbeing ever
attempted and see mixed success. Global
citizens will ask: “What next?” The
answer is no one knows.
Incredible progress has been made in
the last two decades, on almost every
front. Take poverty reduction. For the
first time in history, both the number
of people living in extreme poverty and
the poverty rates fell in every developing region—including in sub-Saharan
Africa, where rates are highest. The
number of low-income countries was
cut almost in half, from 63 to 36. And
on a broader timescale, since 1960,
GDP per capita in poor countries went
from an average of $668 to $2,008
In health, the spread of HIV/AIDS
has been stemmed, half the mothers die
in childbirth today compared to 1990
and, since 1960, infant mortality has
plummeted from 166 deaths per 1000
births to 38 today. Similar progress has
been made in blunting the impact of
malaria and other diseases.
By any measure, these advances are
huge. But not all the news is good. Education is a sine qua non of development
in poor countries, but progress towards
the MDG goals for primary and secondary enrollment stalled after 2004. More
than half of all out-of-school children
are in sub-Saharan Africa, and illiteracy
still holds back more than 120 million
young people. Child mortality will also
fall far short of its MDG target.
In gender equality, while trends point
to an increase in women’s parliamentary
representation, the rate of representation
remains low overall, and progress has
been spread unevenly. The MDG in poverty reduction will only be met because
of an economic miracle that pulled more
people out of poverty more quickly
than any time in history (also known as
The reality is that on January 1, 2015,
probably only five out of 15 MDGs will
have been met, and close to a billion
people will still be living in extreme poverty.
Is this a failure? There is little consensus within the development community.
And there is even less consensus about
whether we now need new MDGs, or
a new approach entirely. The truth is
that the questions facing development
go much deeper then the post-MDG
agenda. So much so that there is legiti-
lypse in the rich world and a political
earthquake in the Arab world, and the
rate and scale of change is astonishing.
These global forces are tearing the
traditional models and orthodoxies of
international development to pieces. As
the world continues its journey from G8
to G80, emerging economic powers like
India and China are now clearly challenging the West’s monopoly on aid.
For all the hand-wringing and Western angst, China is building Africa the
infrastructure it needs today, not 10
years from now. State-directed economies in places like China, Ethiopia and
Rwanda are
toppling lib“So is this the end of development? That is exactly the eral economic
question that the 19th Annual Harvard International and political
dogma, while
Development Conference wants to provoke. One of
the longest-running and largest Harvard Conferences, market-driven
the April 12 and 13 event will bring together about like the rise of
500 practitioners, students, academics and activists impact investing and social
to examine the forces of fragmentation affecting
business are
development, and how to respond.”
disrupting the
traditional nonmate doubt whether in 10 years time
profit NGO model.
international development will still even
The importance of politics and instituexist as a thing at all.
tions is increasingly recognized in creSince 2000, the world that bequeathed ating effective states, but without clear
us the MDGs has turned upside down.
solutions or agreement about what kind
A global War on Terror redrew the
of capacity building actually works. And
international landscape of politics and
all the time an explosion in technology
human rights. China went from an upand communications in the developing
and-comer to a looming superpower,
world is transforming where and how
and threw out the development ruledevelopment actually happens.
book in the process.
When you add to this the shrinking
While the rich world fretted about
Western government budgets, austerity
BRICS, the rest of the world quietly got
measures and greater pressure on results
on with a revolution in ‘South-South’
and aid-effectiveness, you add a dizzyinter-dependence that goes far deeper
ing list of challenges to the status quo for
and far further than lazy bromides about international development.
China in Africa.
So is this the end of development?
Traditional aid recipients like India
That is exactly the question that the 19th
Annual Harvard International Develand Brazil founded their own aid agenopment Conference (IDC) wants to
cies, even as foreign NGOs continue to
cater to their vast poor populations. And provoke. One of the longest-running
underneath it all, global poverty began a and largest Harvard Conferences, the
April 12 and 13 event will bring together
permanent and seismic shift from a gulf
about 500 practitioners, students, acabetween countries to gulfs within coundemics, and activists to examine the
tries. Add to that an economic apoca-
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
forces of fragmentation affecting development, and how to respond.
Development has never been a simple,
unified field and what it will look like in
10 or 20 years is far from clear. What is
certain is that the world of development
practice – and the world around it – is
changing fast. Practitioners and thinkers
must adapt to these powerful trends or
risk failure and irrelevance.
But how? To answer this, the development community has to ask difficult
questions and discard its own orthodoxies. Lip-service to aid effectiveness and
results must finally translate into much
more ruthlessness in allocation of funds.
NGOs must start to get serious about
making themselves obsolete, instead of
hanging around indefinitely.
Big donors must become less squeamish about politics and start to make their
approach to governance more closely
aligned with the local political landscape. And development must become
intellectually more open, more porous
and more ready to learn from others –
listening closely to those in the developing world and taking lessons from the
private sector, which is ultimately the
only sustainable route out of poverty.
In the end, there will be no choice
in the matter. As the world’s economic
playing field is torn up and replaced with
something much more even and much
more crowded, countries who once happily received advice and money will
no longer be as ready to swallow bland
prescriptions from well-meaning advisors from the rich world. It is already
happening, as emerging economies start
to reject what they see as failed Western
economic models. We are witnessing the
beginning of a long-overdue democratization of development. It should be welcomed, and embraced.
The Harvard IDC is on the 12th and 13th
of April at Harvard Medical School and
the Harvard Kennedy School. Tickets are
almost sold out. For more information go
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Kennedy School’s Five Coolest PAEs
By The Citizen Staff
Capping more than seven months of
research, meetings and phone calls; the
Kennedy School second year Masters of
Public Policy (MPP) students turned in
their culminating project last week.
The Policy Analysis Exercise (more
commonly known as the PAE) is an
extensive research project for an organization or government agency that aims
to solve a policy or management problem.
Working in tandem with a faculty
advisor through a specialized seminar,
students shape a project on any area of
interest – from evaluating the economic
benefits of trails in Maine to analyzing
zero tolerance discipline in schools.
PAEs are borne out of summer internships, past work experiences, proposals
from the Career Advancement database or class projects. The final product
is a 40-page double-spaced consulting
report or briefing book to be presented
to the student’s client.
The Citizen (with the help of faculty
advisors) selected the five coolest PAEs
of the 2012-2013 school year. A brief
synopsis of each follows:
Ratz, Organizing for Arms
1. Leon
Control: The National Security Implications of the Loss of
an Independent Arms Control
Hometown: Fair
Lawn, New Jersey
before HKS: Student (Boston College)
Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr., President Clinton’s Special Representative on
Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
--Established during the early months of
the Kennedy Administration, the Arms
Control and Disarmament Agency
served as Washington’s independent
advocate for arms control, disarmament
and non-proliferation interests. In 1999,
however, the agency was abolished
and its functions folded into the State
Department. This project argued that
the decision to merge the agency was
a mistake, one that has led to negative
consequences for both arms control and
national security.
--About the Project
“Despite the fact that the Cold War is
more than twenty years behind us, our
arms control challenges are becoming increasingly complex. Iran’s nuclear
enrichment program and North Korea’s
nuclear tests are placing renewed strain
on the global non-proliferation regime.
Further rounds of nuclear arms reduction (should there be any) will likely go
hand-in-hand with decreased tolerances
for uncertainty in verification, creating
new technical challenges for old arms
control problems. Missile defense, the
global proliferation of nuclear energy,
and the specter of nuclear terrorism
further complicate the arms control and
non-proliferation picture.
For thirty-eight years, the United
States had an executive branch agency
that did nothing else but work on arms
control and non-proliferation challenges, not all-too-unlike the challenges we face today. In 1999, however,
the Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency (ACDA) was abolished, largely
as a result of a political bargain struck
between the Clinton Administration and
Senator Jesse Helms. Now that ACDA
is gone, do we have an organizational
structure that is optimally designed to
handle these challenges? The findings of
my report suggest that the answer is no.
I wanted to write about this subject
ever since I learned about the extraordinary achievements of this small agency
(it negotiated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces
Treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty, to name a few of its accomplishments). I was always puzzled by the
government’s decision to get rid of such
a low-cost agency
Advice for MPP1s about the PAE
which had done so
Think about whether you want to build on your summer
much for national
internship for your PAE. If you do:
security during
• Talk to the faculty member who will be teaching your
and immediately
PAC seminar next fall to get advice.
after the Cold War.
• Talk to a faculty member who is knowledgeable
As I learned
about the topic or your client to get ideas of how you
writing this report,
might build on your summer internship for your PAE.
ACDA’s abolition
2. Take the human subjects training this spring. You will
was the result of
need IRB approval to conduct interviews for your PAE. You
a political barcan take the CITI training online. It has a modular design,
gain done mostly
so you can do the training over a period of time in small
segments. Here is the link to the training: https://www.citibehind closed
doors. Fourteen
years later, we’re
3. You should talk to your future PAC seminar leader about
the need to get IRB approval for your summer work. You
now faced with
will need to do this in the fall and the approval is good for
the negative conone year. So you might want to work with your future PAC
sequences of the
seminar leader for advice on whether you should do that
agency’s abolition,
now. You can get the initial application form at: http://
including the loss
of arms control
4. If you want your PAE to focus on a topic other than your
technical expertise
summer internship work, think about background reading
and the weakenon your PAE topic that you might do over the summer.
ing of a delibera– Professor Julie Wilson
tive arms control
their product – what experts call labelprocess. Nobody
washing. Therefore, it is incumbent
had written extensively about the implion the federal government to enforce
cations of ACDA’s loss, so I thought I
stronger regulations to make the term
would take up the challenge –and I’ve
more meaningful.
honestly enjoyed every minute of it.”
Advice to MPP1s: “Choose a topic
--that you’re passionate about—you’ll be
About the Project
spending a lot of time with it!”
“Food claims can be important for conColin Schwartz, Is Your Food
veying accurate information to help
“Natural”: What Does “Natuconsumers make more informed deciral” Mean and How Should it be
sions. However, the term ‘natural’ carRegulated?
ries very little to no information because
federal regulators have not been able to
Hometown: Simi
establish a strong regulatory model. In
Valley, CA
this vein, ‘natural’ is a uniquely difficult
regulatory issue because unlike other
before HKS: Govfood claims, it does not have a uniform
ernment relations
and agreed-upon definition. Despite
manager for state
this, regulators have come up with varihealth department
ous definitions that further complicate
trade association
its usefulness and integrity.
Partnering Organization: Food &
Under the Food and Drug AdminisWater Watch
tration (FDA), ‘natural’ means without
artificial ingredients and does not con--tain substances not normally expected
Food labeled as “natural” would likely
to be present whereas, under the
not meet consumer expectations. Most
United States Department of Agriculcompanies use the term to maximize
Continued on page 8
profit without substantively changing
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Second-year students say, ‘Choose a PAE
topic you are passionate about’
Continued from page 7
ture (USDA), it means without artificial
ingredients and no more than minimally
processed. Much of this is up to interpretation and many exceptions have
been granted. My PAE reports that the
lack of strong and consistent federal regulation has contributed to three major
problems: (1) diminished consumer
confidence and corporate accountability
of ‘natural’, (2) rampant illegal use under
federal law and (3) unfair competition
with organic.
While ‘natural’ is an unprecedented
issue, equally vague terms that lack
consensus-based definitions are likely to
be created by an increasingly complex
food industry. The federal government
will have to better regulate these kinds
of claims to make sure they are not false
or misleading. In this respect, ‘natural’ is
both the most notorious form of labelwashing today and a potential regulatory model for resolving forms of labelwashing tomorrow.
My client is a non-profit consumer
advocacy organization interested in
knowing more about the regulatory history and current status of ‘natural’ in
addition to having regulatory recommendations as a model for what could
be done. My client plans on using my
report and sharing it with partner
organizations to add to ongoing advocacy efforts.”
Advice to MPP1s: “Pick a client that
is responsive, grateful, knows what they
want and you both understand what you
are doing. Also, overloading yourself is
unnecessary – be strategic in picking
the PAE that gives you the maximum
returns and be realistic about your time
commitment and the demands of the
Olberg, Teacher Com3. Amanda
pensation System Analysis
Hometown: New
York City
before HKS:
Research Assistant,
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Organization: Uncommon Schools
Troy and Rochester
--Uncommon Schools Troy and Rochester manages five charter schools in
upstate New York. In the past, teacher
compensation decisions at the network’s
schools have been made at the individual school level. This project contributed to the network’s efforts to formalize
a teacher compensation system for the
network as a whole.
--About the Project
“The appropriate design of a teacher
compensation system is important for
advancing the organizational mission
of supporting student achievement at
the highest levels. Teachers are widely
recognized in literature and practice as
the most important school-based factor
in student learning, and compensation
system design has significant implications for teacher recruitment, retention
and effectiveness, as well as for school
In my PAE, I addressed three central
research questions: 1) On a network
level, how does Uncommon Schools
Troy and Rochester currently compensate its teachers? 2) How should the
network revise its teacher compensation system? 3) What is the appropriate
change management for the transition to
a revised teacher compensation system?
In pursuit of these research questions,
I conducted a literature review, interviewed the network’s ten school leaders,
analyzed the network’s compensation
data and considered alternative compensation models in five case studies of
high-performing charter management
In my PAE, I proposed two options
for revising the network’s teacher compensation system: a salary schedule
model and a performance bands model.
Uncommon Schools Troy and Rochester is currently in the process of selecting the option best suited to the network
and further tailoring that option to the
network’s needs, with the objective of
implementing a revised compensation
system for the 2013-2014 school year.
Although I had previously done
research on teacher compensation in an
academic context, this PAE was my first
chance to work on teacher compensa-
tion in a real-world setting and have
the opportunity to be a part of directly
making change.”
Advice to MPP1s: “Work on a project
that matters to your client organization,
and make sure that your contact person
at your client organization is as excited
about the project as you are. This will
position your project to be successful
and also make the experience fun.”
Pylväinen, The Insti4. Helena
tute for Veterans and Military
Families at Syracuse University
Hometown: West
Bloomfield, Michigan
before HKS: Program Evaluation
--Through an online survey of nearly
800 women veterans, this project found
that the most important issues for military women transitioning to civilian life
were: (1) finding a sense of purpose, (2)
finding employment and (3) strengthening social relationships. This finding
held regardless of whether respondents
faced gender-related challenges such
as Military Sexual Trauma or parental responsibilities. Respondents also
reported that the resources available for
finding employment and finding a sense
of purpose were much less adequate
than resources to meet their health and
educational needs.
--If these PAE summaries got you excited, check out the inaugural “PAE Showcase” being organized
by the MPP Office, to be held in the Forum on April 11, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The event will afford a select group of second-year MPPs the opportunity to showcase their PAE
findings through displays arranged throughout the Forum.
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
About the Project
“Many people assume that I am a veteran when I tell them about my PAE
topic. I’m not. I chose to study women
veterans because I am passionate about
gender equity and because, as an American, I believe I share responsibility for
the welfare of our nation’s veterans.
Women currently make up 9 per-
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
cent of the U.S. veteran population and
this figure will increase to 16 percent
by 2032. What does this mean for government agencies and Veteran Service
Organizations (VSOs) working to ensure
all returning veterans are well supported
in their transitions to civilian life? Do
services, programs and support strategies need to be adapted to the changing
veteran gender composition?
There is some evidence that women
veterans have higher rates of unemployment and homelessness than male veterans or female civilians, and face particular health challenges, but how do these
issues relate to the actual types of services and support women veterans need?
When I began my research, I was
surprised to see how little data we have
about women veterans. The monthly
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment figures contain such a small
subsample of women veterans that
subgroup comparisons aren’t even statistically significant, and the rates fluctuate
wildly from month to month. The data
available also isn’t very rich — what can
unemployment numbers or health studies say about the overall needs and priorities of women veterans?
I decided to conduct an online survey
to obtain some information directly
from women veterans. Since it is virtually impossible for someone outside
of the Department of Defense (DoD)
and the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) to obtain a representative random
sample of veterans, I decided to use
online social networking to reach as
large and diverse a group of women veterans as possible. To my surprise — and
to the credit of the HKS Armed Forces
Committee and other military contacts
who helped me launch the survey — I
managed to reach a diverse and relatively representative group of nearly 800
women veterans in just two weeks! I
turned in my PAE, but I’m still trying to
analyze all of the data.”
Advice to MPP1s: “While my lack
of military experience meant I faced a
steep learning curve, my PAE led me
to confront some of my preconceived
notions about military service members.
I hope more civilian HKS students will
engage with veteran policy issues in the
future: Not only can this help bridge the
military-civilian divide, but the HKS
military community contains a wealth
of resources and experiences to sup-
port such research. More research on
these issues is crucial to maximizing the
impact of the billions of dollars spent to
support the nation’s veterans.”
Tan, Dawoun Jyung,
5. Victoria
Reaching the Most Vulnerable
– An evaluation of the impact
of the Essential Package and
strategies to scale in Malawi and
Sydney, Australia (Victoria);
Long Island, NY
before HKS: Management consultant at BCG (Victoria), Teach For
America, Middle
School Math
teacher in Bronx,
NY (Dawoun)
Save the Children
--“The PAE can be one of the most
rewarding and invaluable experiences at
HKS. It’s more than just a requirement
to fulfill, but a privilege – a privilege to
work with a real client, on a real policy
issue of your passion, for a real impact.
We are grateful for the opportunity to
have applied what we have learned at
HKS to help Save the Children with
their strategies to better serve vulnerable
children and their families in Africa.” Dawoun
--About the Project
Working for Save the Children, Victoria and Dawoun assessed the early
implementation of the Essential Package program in Malawi and Zambia.
The Essential Package (EP) is a holistic
early childhood intervention program
designed to address the needs of vulnerable children from 0-8 years of age and
their primary caregivers.
The pair evaluated what impact EP is
having on the vulnerable children and
their families. They then made recommendations on how the EP implementation can be improved and suggested a
scale-up strategy for Save the Children
to successfully expand EP in Malawi
and Zambia.
According to Victoria, the dream
PAE is getting the right client, right
policy area, right geography and right
project work. She said, “Most of us
aren’t lucky enough to find the dream
PAE and we make tradeoffs, this came
pretty close for me. I respect the work
of this organization, I am interested
in early childhood development and I
came to the Kennedy school wanting to
learn more about program evaluation
and scaling social interventions.
“The PAE was the highlight of my
Kennedy school experience,” she continued. “It was hard work, managing
communications with the client and
organizing logistics across time zones
for our field work, but it was extremely
rewarding. We drew heavily on lessons
learnt in stats, politics and Professor
Julie Wilson’s Children and Families
“I think our PAE will be used by Save
the Children to make improvements to
the Essential Package itself as they work
with key stakeholders (e.g. funders,
other NGOs, governments) to scale it
up nationally in Malawi, Zambia and
The PAE was a continuation of
Dawoun’s summer internship so she
had already established relationship
with her client before the school year
Dawoun said, “That is not to say you
should look for an internship that can
lead to a PAE, but starting early to think
about what topics you want to pursue
is very helpful and less stressful. I also
found working with a partner helpful.
“Victoria and I come from two very
different work experiences and have
different working styles, but learning
to work together and drawing from
each other’s expertise and strengths
was extremely valuable,” she continued. “Plus, visiting two countries in
two weeks, staying at eight different
hotels and conducting 30+ interviews
and focus groups was more enjoyable
because we had each other.”
Advice to MPP1s: “Find a PAE
topic that gets you excited and passionate. Your PAE has to matter to
you, especially when you are up late at
night.” - Victoria
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
Roma Day with
first conference on
Roma rights
By Margareta Matache, Chair, PostDoctoral Research Fellow, FXB Center
for Health and Human Rights
April 8 marks the International Roma
Day, an occasion to reflect on the history and culture of Romani people,
as well as to confront contemporary
threats to Roma human rights and dignity.
At Harvard, International Roma Day
(April 8) is being recognized with the
organization of the first Roma conference at the university, on the theme
“Realizing Roma rights: addressing violence, discrimination and segregation
in Europe.” Located at the Center for
European Studies, the half-day event is
organized by the FXB Center, in collaboration with the Mahindra Humanities
Center, Center for European Studies
and the OSCE/ODIHR/Contact Point
for Roma and Sinti Issues.
International Romani Day was established in 1971, on the occasion of the
first international Roma congress in
London. The participants at the meeting agreed the term Roma instead of
Gypsy and adopted the Roma flag and
Roma anthem Gelem, Gelem.
April 8 also became the day of commemorating the Romani people murdered during the Holocaust. Of the 14
million-plus Roma or Roma-related
people living in the world, 10-12 million live in Europe, with about one
million living in the USA, and the
remaining in the Middle East and Latin
In Europe, Roma groups face economic, social and political exclusion in
their daily lives. Many Roma individuals live below the national poverty line
and are unable to claim their fundamental rights to decent housing, educaContinued on page 14
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Spring break treks forum for dialogue on world issues
Continued from page 1
Morocco Trek: A Holistic Experience
By Stephanie Sobek
Walking through the winding alleyways
of the medina in Fez felt like taking a
trip through time. This ancient Moroccan city came alive, with its historical traditions still a part of daily life. It
quickly became apparent that the 2013
Morocco Spring Trek truly was “A Journey into a Land of Tradition and Modernity.”
The Trek was composed of twenty-
Spring has affected Morocco to JewishMuslim relations. We also met with
leaders of OCP, the largest company in
Morocco, and with Harvard alums at
BCG Casablanca and Attijariwafa Bank.
These meetings, as well as the personal
connections we made with local Moroccans, provided critical insights into
both the challenges and triumphs of the
country. Overall, the Trek was an amazing experience that instilled a new admiration for Morocco in the hearts of all
those who participated.
in his inaugural address he described
his vision of “The Chinese Dream.”
Comparisons between the Chinese and
American Dreams emerged consistently
throughout the Trek’s many meetings.
The Trek included a series of conversations with government officials as well
as visits to media agencies, high schools
and universities, and major corporations – with stops in Shanghai, Xi’an
and Beijing. The Trek helped students
develop insights into China’s infrastructural development and rapid economic
growth in recent decades.
three students representing thirteen different nationalities. One of the greatest
aspects of the trek was that it provided
a holistic view of the country. Traveling from Marrakech, through the Atlas
Mountains, to the Sahara Desert, Fez,
Rabat and Casablanca, the group witnessed a wide range of landscapes and
lifestyles, from bustling commercial
centers, to serene agricultural oases.
Each stop provided insight into the rich
history and culture of Morocco. The
group visited ancient Kasbahs, mosques
and madrasas and had the opportunity
to camp in the Sahara Desert with local
Beyond these cultural and historical
aspects, the trek also provided the group
with the opportunity to meet and engage
with critical political and economic
leaders within the country. In Rabat,
we had the great privilege to meet with
André Azoulay, the Counselor of King
Mohammed VI, to discuss various political issues ranging from how the Arab
China Trek: The New Chinese Dream
By Parisa Roshan, MPP’14
For Spring Break, a delegation of 23
MPPs, MPA-IDs and Mid-Careers from
the Kennedy School traveled to the Far
East for the 2013 China Trek. The timing
of the Trek proved to be fortuitous; Xi
Jinping took office as the new President
of the People’s Republic of China just as
the delegation arrived in country, and
Colombia Trek: El único riesgo es te
quieras quedar
By Mark Asuncion, HKS MC/MPA ’13
The HKS Trek to Colombia was an
incredible experience of contrasts.
The trip began in Cartagena de Indias,
where Fermina Daza’s opulent villa from
‘the time of cholera’ contrasted with
the earthen floors in the impoverished
township of Mazanillo. It progressed to
Medellín, a city that once owned the title
of ‘Murder Capital of the World’. It now
officially owns the title, ‘Most Innovative City in the World’. The trek ended
in the capital, Santa Fe de Bogotá, where
self-congratulatory efforts to build sidewalks, a bus-rapid-transit system and
parks somehow did not reach the slums
of Cazucá.
Like the cities visited, the politicians
we met were equally contrasting. Former
Bogotá Mayor Enrique Peñalosa’s fiery,
sometimes jarring, expressiveness differed from the dignified aura of former
President Álvaro Uribe. The Governor of Antioquia (and former mayor of
Medellín), Sergio Fajardo, portrayed an
academic, grassroots approach to governing, while his predecessor and current Mayor of Medellín, Aníbal Gaviria,
exuded a more traditional, technocratic
style of management. Though very different in presentation, they all shared a
passion and commitment to improve
their daily lives of Colombia’s citizens.
These contrasts highlighted the most
visible aspect of Colombia: progress.
Arguably, no other country in the world
has experienced so much progress
over the last 20 years. Once paralyzed
by narco-terror of the drug cartels,
bombings and political kidnappings by
the FARC, and the murderous “social
cleansing” of the paramilitary groups,
Colombia has now become the thirdlargest economy in Latin America, the
greatest exporter of military expertise to
the region, and perhaps the best examContinued on page 11
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Student treks tap into alumni network while abroad
Continued from page 10
ple of democratic governance.
Yes, problems still exist. Its incomeinequality is the highest in Latin America, urban crime has increased over the
past five years and a major cocaine laboratory was discovered (and dismantled)
just a week before the trek. Yet there is a
strong, underlying sense of confidence
that these problems can be overcome.
Hope now exists in a country once all
but devoid of it. Colombia is a truly
remarkable story of progress.
It was a great privilege to visit such
a beautiful and inspiring country, and
one that is moving forward so rapidly. It
lived up to its claim: “El único riesgo es
te quieras quedar.” Viva Colombia!
Over the course of 10 days, the group
visited East Jerusalem, Bethlehem,
Hebron, Ramallah and Jericho. We also
visited Yaffa (Jaffa), Haifa, Nazareth and
unrecognized Bedouin villages in the
Nakab (Negev). We crossed paths with
history as our time in Palestine coincided with President Barack Obama’s
vacuous visit to Tel Aviv and Ramallah.
President Obama’s four-hour visit to the
presidential palace in Ramallah underscored his apathy toward understanding the realities of Palestinian life under
Israeli control.
Debate ensued very early among
students as to what to call the brutal
situation in the land where Jews gave
themselves power and privilege over
Palestinians. What term(s) should we
Israel, I felt that I was never too far from
a profound and unfortunate contradiction – a striking example was that the
site of Jesus’ baptism is now surrounded
by a minefield. It was also humbling to
learn that the city of Jerusalem is built
on the rubble of 17 prior civilizations,
which is a reminder that history is long
and that all things must pass.”
- Eric Jenkins-Sahlin, Staff at the Carr
Center for Human Rights
Israel Trek: A Country that was First
an Idea
By Marina Linhart, MPP ‘13
I am in awe of Israel. One of the speakers we met on the first day of the trek
purported that, ‘Israel was first an idea
before it became a country.’ That phrase
stuck in my mind as we traveled north
Palestine Trek: Breathtaking Beaches
and a Brutal Occupation
By Sami Jitan, partner and Asma Jaber,
MPP ‘13
Between March 16 and March 25, fortyeight Harvard Students embarked on a
student led excursion through one of the
most heart-wrenchingly beautiful places
in the world – the land between the
Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea,
known as Israel to some and Palestine to
others. For most of the trekkers, this was
the first time they had ever set foot in
the Holy Land.
For my Palestinian fiancé and me, this
trek to our homeland would allow us to
experience what would otherwise be difficult for exiles.
adopt to describe what we saw: “occupation,” “apartheid” or “settler colonialism”?
In nine days, we paid our respects
to countless holy sites. We listened to
stories of resilience while breaking
bread with those who risked their lives
for their land and dignity. Some of us
spent more time than we would have
liked being strip searched at the airport.
Overall we moved away from the false
dichotomy of pro- vs. anti-Palestine or
Israel and toward experiential understanding that no newscast or Ivy League
tome could conjure: the feeling of justice
in abstentia – a transformative feeling
that only being in the land of historic
Palestine could conjure.
“Whether I was in the West Bank or
we climbed to the top of the Fortress
Israel was first an idea. It was created
from the determination of a people who
transformed marshlands and desert into
fields for cattle and agriculture. Today,
ideas drive the Israeli economy that
thrives on innovation.
Over the course of the week, we met
with members of Parliament, a Supreme
Court Justice, the PLO spokesperson,
the Minister of Labor for the Palestinian
Authority, young Israelis and alumni,
journalists, policy advisors and ideologues. We discussed Iran, Syria, settlements and the Palestinian conflict
until we were blue in the face. Everyone seemed to present three sides to
the coin, leaving me more entangled in
the challenges facing Israel than when
“Whether I was in the West Bank or Israel, I felt that I was never
too far from a profound and unfortunate contradiction – a striking
example was that the site of Jesus’ baptism is now surrounded by a
minefield. It was also humbling to learn that the city of Jerusalem
is built on the rubble of 17 prior civilizations, which is a reminder
that history is long and that all things must pass.”
- Eric Jenkins-Sahlin, Staff at the Carr Center for Human Rights
to the Golan Heights looking into wartorn Syria, as we walked in the footsteps
of Jesus along the Sea of Galilee, as we
crossed through checkpoints to visit
Ramallah, as we debated the IsraeliPalestinian conflict with members of
Parliament, as we visited the Holocaust
Museum, as we stood on the rooftops
in the old town in Jerusalem, and as
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
I started. Yet that made the Israeli story
even more impressive. Despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges the
country and its people face on a daily
basis, life goes on. I guess if you can
create a country out of an idea, nothing
is impossible.
Continued on page 12
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
More than 100 students travel with HKS treks
Continued from page 11
I didn’t get much sleep during the trip,
but I came away inspired. Israel renewed
my hope that ideas really can change
the world. And I cannot thank Jessica
Brandt, Shimon Levy, Oded Gilutz and
Yaniv Rivlin enough for making that
experience possible.
Japan Trek: Seeing with your feet
Leighton Walter, MC/MPA ‘13
Over the last week, the members of
the HKS 2013 spring treks have been
exchanging stories about what they
did. For those of us who went to Japan,
it included the Tsukiji wholesale fish
market (at 4 a.m.), visits to the Meiji
Jingu shrine and national assembly, a
tour of the control center of the country’s Shinkansen “bullet train” network,
an audience with the country’s minister
of agriculture, and an HKS Japan reunion – and that was the first day. We were
giddy, energized, and exhausted for a
solid week, and often simultaneously.
What sticks with me are the contrasts.
All big cities have theirs – the wealth
and squalor of some, the endless sprawl
and sudden density of others – but in
both Tokyo and the countryside we visited, contrast was everywhere: A traditional tile-roofed izakaya (Japan’s equivalent of an English pub, French brasserie
or American bar) behind which loomed
a glassy tower. A web of highway, metro
and pedestrian overpasses shading a
narrow street that somehow managed
to retain its life and intimacy. Massive
seawalls dividing baseball fields (on the
river side) from rice patties (far more
important). A country that has the
most reliable high-speed rail network
on earth, yet where they still count the
coins from parking meters by hand.
“High-tech Japan,” someone noted with
an affectionate measure of irony.
Moreover, such extremes are very
much at home with each other. In
Shanghai, it seems like it’s just a matter
of time before the next crop of towers
wipes out what’s left of the city’s history. In Japan, you get the sense it will all
last forever, even if it was built yesterday. And details not only matter, they’re
taken seriously. Toward the end of the
trip, I started noticing lines of yellow
tiles on major Tokyo streets, not unlike
the Freedom Trail in Boston. Yet these
were everywhere, even on subway platforms, and their ubiquity, consistency
and careful design hinted at a larger
“They’re for the seeing-impaired,” I
was told, and the simple logic of this
citywide system became clear: Ridges in
the direction of the sidewalk meant “all
clear,” and their spacing is wide enough
to exert telling pressure on the soles of
the feet. When you get to an intersection, the lines become big dots, “You
have a choice,” they say. Before the edge
of a subway platform, the dots become
smaller ones: “Stop.” The system isn’t
perfect or complete, but it’s there, even
in some shopping centers and hotel
complexes. Genius.
Yet such considered thought and
careful execution never deadened the
thrum of life in ancient gardens and
shrines as well as temples of a more
recent sort. Karaoke bars never seemed
to lack for clients, in spite dolorous talk
of Japan’s “lost decade” and the stillpainful wounds from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. The
public-policy challenges are everywhere,
but given Japan’s ability to reconcile the
modern with the traditional, the massive
with the minuscule, and even make a
city of 13 million people literally readable, there’s a good measure of hope.
Korea Trek: Dancing Gangnam with
the Mayor of Seoul
By Kevin Rowe, MPP ‘14
During the March 16-24 Spring Break,
17 students from HKS and other Harvard graduate schools traveled to Seoul
for the 2013 Korea Trek, organized by
Warren Choi, Han Lee, Jamie Lee, Jane
Lee and Kyu Sin, all from the MPP’14
The students were welcomed through-
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
out the week by Seoul’s mayor, advisors
to the President, senior policymakers
from the Ministry of Defense, a Member
of the National Assembly, reporters and
executives from major media, officials
from top Korean companies Samsung
and Hyundai and, yes, KPop stars.
A week of non-stop meetings, visits
and tours offered an immersive introduction to the history, politics, and
culture of the Korean Peninsula, not to
mention other important issues such
as karaoke and Soju bombs, how to eat
live octopus and the current season of
Korea’s Dancing with the Stars.
Aside from the wide-ranging discussions with Korea’s political and business leaders, trip highlights included
briefly stepping across the border into
North Korea in the Demilitarized Zone;
watching Ben Pittman MPP’14 and
Miriam Al-Ali MPP’13 dance Gangnam
Style with the Mayor of Seoul before
the Korean news media; and bumping
into Harvard President Drew Faust for
drinks and dinner (she brought along a
few hundred of Korea’s Harvard Alumni
too). A group of undergraduate volunteers from Seoul National University
assisted with the trip and helped ensure
that trekkers met the no-sleep, neon
Gangnam District of 1.5 billion YouTube
viewer fame by night.
By the end of the week, all participants were exhausted and unanimously
agreed that months of planning by the
organizers had resulted in a most memorable, fun and enriching introduction
to South Korea.
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Who are the Lee Kuan Yew Fellows?
The LKY Fellowship program explained
By Richard Domingo Tan
LKY Fellow 2012, Correspondent
Twenty students from Asia arrive in
Cambridge each fall to attend a semester of classes at the Harvard Kennedy
School. In a program that began in 2001,
these students are Lee Kuan Yew (LKY)
Fellows who are under the supervision
of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
Named after the first Prime Minister
of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, the LKY
Fellows are candidates for the degree
of Master in Public Management at
the National University of Singapore’s
(NUS) LKY School of Public Policy.
Targeting mid-career officials from
Asia, the MPM Program was modeled
after the Mid-Career Master in Public
Administration Edward S. Mason Program (Mason Program), the flagship
HKS international program.
The latest batch of LKY Fellows began
their one year program in January 2012.
They completed one semester and a
summer term at the NUS-LKY School
of Public Policy in Singapore before
spending their second and culminating
semester as full-time students in residence during the fall term at HKS. Their
summer term in Singapore included
a 5-week experience with a Singapore
Government Ministry or Statutory
Board relevant to their field of expertise
or interest.
In the fall term, 23 LKY Fellows
attended HKS. They represented twelve
different Asian countries, including Singapore (5), India (4), China (3), Philippines (3) and one each from Brunei,
Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Sri
Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Mostly from the ranks of the civil
service in their respective countries, the
background of each of the 23 LKY Fellows was quite diverse. Three students
each came from the trade and board of
investment, foreign service, and finance
and central bank; two each from the
police service, armed forces, manpower
and labor, and agriculture; and one each
from education, tourism, water utilities,
justice, economic affairs and the private
sector (banking). Additionally, two of
the Fellows were senior police generals,
another two are brigadier generals in the
armed forces, three are lawyers, five have
MBAs, and one has a Masters of Law
from the Harvard Law School.
While in Harvard, LKY Fellows were
required to take four courses which were
mostly electives in their chosen fields
of study or interest. Many LKY Fellows
also participated in JFK Forum events
and brown-bag seminars that provided
networking opportunities to meet and
exchange views with the Harvard University community.
Moreover, the Ash Center prepared a
separate LKY Lecture Series during the
term. These lectures were led by HKS
professors, including David King (on
US Government), Alex Keysar (on US
Electoral History), Ken Winston (on
Ethics) and Marty Chen (on the Informal Economy). To cap these special
lectures and related initiatives, the LKY
The 2012 LKY Fellows at The Widener Library.
The LKY Fellows with Singapore’s 2nd Prime Minister and ESM Goh Chok Tong.
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
Fellows also had a special audience with
Singapore’s Second Prime Minister and
current Emeritus Senior Minister Goh
Chok Tong who visited Harvard University in October.
A number of the 2012 LKY Fellows
took part in the activities of numerous HKS-based organizations. These
included the South East Asian Caucus,
wherein they were given a formal welcome by its officers and members, the
China Society, the Japan Caucus, and
the South Asia Caucus. Many of them
also enthusiastically attended the various HKS student events during the fall,
such as the HKS Cruise, Head of the
Charles, and the Dean’s Reception.
It was a quick and short stay in Cambridge but one greatly memorable
semester. We gained a few things in our
own way: fresh cultural encounters, the
awe of new sights and tastes, the pleasure of making new acquaintances, the
broadening of social/professional networks and the acquirement of “higher”
Besides the formal send off dinner
held Dec. 5 by the Ash Centre’s HKS
Singapore Program, some HKS-based
organizations, including classmates and/
or group mates also initiated a warm
farewell celebration for LKY Fellows
who were leaving Cambridge for their
respective countries. After a short vacation back home, all went back to Singapore in early January to fulfill their final
requirement in order to graduate in the
MPM Program.
For the next academic year, there will
not only be LKY Fellows during the first
semester or fall term but also during the
second semester at the HKS.
For regular-degree students of HKS,
the LKY fellows program offers a unique
opportunity to network as many of
the LKY Fellows are well-entrenched
in Asia. Surely, an LKY Fellow will be
among their valuable leading contacts
should opportunities arise that professional, or even personal reasons, brings
them to the vicinity.
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Abenomics needs repression to save Japan
By Josh Rudolph, MPP ’14,
After enduring two decades of falling wages and prices in the wake of the
1992 financial crisis, Japan’s leaders have
finally decided to follow Ben Bernanke’s
advice from back in 2000 and persuade
the central bank to buy as many bonds
as it takes to create inflation.
Unfortunately, given the enormity of
the debt burden racked up by the government over the two lost decades, it
may be too late for this strategy alone to
successfully avoid another crisis.
Having spent spring break on the HKS
trek to Japan and meeting top policymakers all the way up to Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe himself, I am convinced that
they are moving in the right direction,
but not boldly enough.
Three Arrows of Abenomics: Monetary, Fiscal, Micro
Abe’s economic strategy includes
shooting three “arrows” to boost the
economy. The first arrow is doing whatever it takes to generate 2 percent inflation. The second arrow is “fiscal flexibility,” which apparently means stimulus
until this summer’s upper house election and austerity afterwards. The third
arrow is “microeconomic reforms,”
which means making Japanese companies more competitive by slashing both
barriers to entry and barriers to exit.
Given that the second and third
arrows require both time and political
capital, it is really just the first arrow,
monetary easing, that boosted the Japanese stock market by 45 percent and
weakened the Yen by 20 percent in the
months following the election.
From one perspective, inflating away
debts sounds great when the government debt burden is an award-winning
245 percent of GDP (the second highest in the world today is Greece at 182
There’s only one problem with this
strategy: Japan’s government debt is rela-
tively short-term, with an average life
of only six years. As that debt is rolled
over, investors may insist upon being
compensated for the higher expected
inflation in the form of higher interest
rates, which could push up the portion
of Japan’s budget spent on interest payments from 10 percent to about a third.
That, in turn, would require the government to sell even more bonds, which
could push up interest rates further.
Using new debt to pay the interest on
old debt was Hyman Minsky’s definition
of a Ponzi scheme.
Missing Fourth Arrow: Financial
What can Japan do to avoid this debt
spiral? The same thing the US and UK
did when their debt loads exceeded 200
percent of GDP after World War II: use
financial repression to liquidate the debt
at a rate of 3-4 percent of GDP per year
(30-40 percent of GDP per decade without even compounding).
This strategy, analyzed in the work
of HKS professor Carmen Reinhart,
involves generating inflation while instituting an arsenal of both formal regulation and informal pressure on domestic banks to cap nominal interest rates,
effectively taxing savers by limiting their
investment alternatives to government
bonds with negative real yields.
Luckily for Japan, they’ve already laid
the groundwork for financial repression
by doing the hard part, which is developing a large captive domestic investor
base. Few people realize that the Japanese government owns the largest bank
in the world, Japan Post (which is far
more than a post office, holding about a
quarter of all Japanese household deposits and investing three quarters of them
in Japanese government bonds).
The easy part of financial repression
should have been creating inflation,
but the Bank of Japan is only getting
around to this now. At this stage, with
Continued on page 16
Conference conjoins academicians, practitioners and activists to focus in
removing social exclusion of Roma groups in Europe
Continued from page 9
tion, health care and employment.
Despite national and European Union
(EU) commitments to Roma inclusion, top-down policies and programs
have failed to meet the needs of Roma
communities on the ground. The Roma
face disproportionately low access to
the labor market, as well as pervasive
discrimination and marginalization in
schools. Half of all Roma students in
Europe do not complete primary education and most do not complete secondary education.
Structural discrimination and exclusion creates a situation in which Roma
children and adolescents are at grave
risk of experiencing human rights violations and lack the knowledge and
agency to claim the equal rights and citizenship to which they are entitled.
The first Roma conference at Harvard attempts to bring these realities to
the fore and initiate discussion on the
issues. The conference brings together
academicians, policy makers and activists from the U.S. and Europe to discuss
extremism, structural discrimination
and youth disempowerment faced by
Romani people, and to spot repertoires
of ideas and strategies in response.
Panelists include Nobel prize laureate Amartya Sen, whose insights on how
marginalized groups can build their
social and cultural capital in unwelcoming though economically developed
environments are of relevance for securing Roma rights.
Recent work of the FXB Center for
Health and Human Rights has focused
on promoting the rights of Roma children and adolescents, and on confronting the escalating climate of anti-Roma
violence in Europe.
The conference is a step in realizing
the center’s goal of placing Roma rights
on academic agendas, especially in the
United States, and to generate dialogue
on the role of youth in promoting Roma
inclusion. In this vein, a focus area of
the conference is the mechanisms of the
anti-Roma violent events in Central and
Eastern Europe, reflecting on general
patterns from the past in a discussion
led by Dr. Jennifer Leaning, the Director
of the FXB Center.
Another panel focuses on structural
discrimination and Roma school segregation in Europe, with Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, Director of Research
of the FXB Center, serving as panel
chair, discussing the impact of the EU
legal framework on combating segregation and discrimination persisting in
schools, as well as the drivers (political,
economic, social, legal) of this enduring
structural discrimination.
Other panelists include renowned
academicians such as Michele Lamont,
Jack Greenberg, Grzegorz Ekiert, Will
Guy, Kalman Mizsei, Iulia Motoc; leading Roma activists and scholars such as
Marian Mandache, Anna Mirga, Oana
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
Mihalache, Iliana Sarafian, Dezideriu
Gergely; and representatives of U.S. and
international government institutions
including Andrzej Mirga, Michael Uyehara, Morten Kjaerum, Erika Schlager,
and Roberta V. Gatti.
The event concludes with a reception,
and an exceptional performance by Lulo
Reinhardt, a musician born into a Roma
family with a legendary and famous
music tradition.
“My father gave me my grandfather’s
Django Reinhardt model guitar. My
father showed me my first chords too,”
Reinhardt said. “Whenever the family
got together, which was all the time, we
played for birthdays, weddings, communions, always learning and playing
Django’s songs. My first concert was in
1973 playing with the Mike Reinhardt
Sextet in front of an audience of four
thousand people. It was here that I felt
like a musician and knew that was what
I was born to be. I was twelve years old.”
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Disabled Americans: Victims of Tea-Baggers and Austerity
Access to in-home care for disabled children should be a guaranteed civil right
By Neil Gundavda, MPP ’14, Assistant
Opinions Editor
Last month, I was reading Stephanie
Mencimer’s “What’s It Like to Wake Up
From a Tea Party Binge?—Just Ask Florida!” in Mother Jones Magazine.
Mencimer highlights the preposterous machinations of Governor Rick
Scott and his tea party cronies such as
cutting $3 billion from the state’s education budget or rejecting federal money
for programs ranging from high speed
rail, teen pregnancies/STD prevention
and care for kids with terminal illnesses.
His administration has gutted essential
services like mosquito control and septic
tank inspections (I can attest that both
are necessary in Florida, where West
Nile Virus and feculence are always possibilities).
Scott’s previous criminality and general remorselessness has given him few
friends in the Sunshine State, and his
bald and gaunt visage has earned him
the monicker “Lord Voldemort.”
Governor Voldemort’s visceral rejection of Obamacare created a situation in
which a single mother with two children
cannot qualify for Medicaid if she makes
more than $3,200 per year. Obamacare extends this ceiling to $25,390 for
a family of three and even picks up the
tab for Medicaid for three years. Voldemort has hinted at reforming this absurd
Medicaid ceiling, but not before millions
of Floridians have had to scrimp by on
meager healthcare benefits.
However, what struck me most was
the story of Abdel Rahman Gasser, a
17-year old Egyptian immigrant who
was left with the cognitive functioning
of an infant after his car hit a concrete
pole. Gasser is stuck watching TV a
nursing home in Tampa away from his
family because the state is refusing to
pay for in-home care. Florida’s Medicaid
will pay for a nursing home bed for disabled kids, but not for at-home nursing
Keeping with the absurd slash and
burn mentality, the Scott administration
contracted a private company to review
services for disabled children “to control
the cost of home care.” The contractor argued that home care was only a
convenience and not medically necessary. Florida’s disabled children lost
funding for in-home care. The contractor claimed the state saved nearly $45
About 250 kids are now institutionalized – and neglected – in nursing
homes and geriatric care because the
state wanted to save a paltry $45 million. Obamacare offered the state $37.5
million to move these children out of
nursing homes, but Scott refused out of
Families of disabled children have to
work, since medication and equipment
for their children would be near impos-
sible without health insurance. However, these families also have the right
to spend as much time as possible with
their children and their children have
every right to not spend their time in a
geriatric ward.
Research on disabled children living
in nursing homes in the United States
indicates that this may be an endemic
problem. There are more than 6,000
people under the age of 21 living in
American nursing homes, meaning that
there are thousands more in their early
and late 20s trapped in such facilities.
NPR’s Joseph Shapiro actually reported
on the problem as far back as 2010,
and provides numerous heart-breaking
vignettes on parents forced to put children in nursing homes because statebased Medicaid would not support inhome care.
One mother in Georgia had to take
her severely disabled son to Montgomery, Alabama, since Georgia refused to
provide help outside of a nursing home.
She has made the 400-mile round trip
every other weekend for the past 13
The most egregious cases are not limited
to the South. Revenue-starved states
have been looking for ways to save cash,
and disabled children seem to always
be easy fodder. Illinois has around 600
with severe disabilities who receive inhome care, but that care ends when a
child turns 21. Once a child “ages out” –
about 20 per year – the child either stays
at home and overwhelms his/her family
or goes to a nursing home. The Department of Justice has intervened on behalf
of families of those who turned 21 in
Illinois, arguing that the children have a
right to stay at home with their parents.
The Obama administration has tried
to stop the switch to nursing homes
where it has occurred, and the Department of Justice also recently issued an
ultimatum to Florida. This points to a
larger problem: Why do we not consider
it a guaranteed civil right that disabled
children and young adults remain with
their parents at home? The U.S. Supreme
Court ruled as much in Olmstead v L.C.,
claiming that the American Disabilities
Act gives disabled people the right to
government-funded long-term homebased care.
Despite this, we have state governments forcing children into nursing
homes and nearly 400,000 elderly and
young disabled people on waiting lists
for home-based care funding.
Although the Justice Department is
working to represent these disabled children, the lessons from this case are clear.
Tea-Party politics hurt the most vulnerable in our society. Nothing, not even
disabled children dying alone in nursing homes, will stop the slash and burn
mentality of austerity.
Ask what you can do against free riding
HKS’s unspoken culture of free riding must end
By Tarun Cherukuri, MPA/ID’13,
I was taught a clear lesson growing up:
Earn your stripes with conscientious
hard work. Last week, I reached the
breaking point in my continuing frustra-
tion with HKS’s culture of free riding.
Free riding is a collective-action problem which societies have been trying to
solve for years. Economists define it as
a situation where some individuals reap
the benefits of a collective effort with
little or no contribution to that effort.
As I reflect on my two years at HKS,
I am disappointed with the amount of
free riding that happens here, especially
at a school that trains future public leaders. We ask a lot of hard questions here
– causal impact of X on Y, correlates
of poverty and growth, interaction of
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
institutions and culture, mechanisms for
delivering social justice, and so on. All
of those seem like third or fourth order
questions if we can’t ask ourselves a simpler first order question: Have I done my
Continued on page 17
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
We have more to contribute than money
Why I won’t be donating to the HKS Fund
By Alexi White, MPP ’13,
As many of us prepare to graduate in a
few short months, we are being asked to
give back by donating to the HKS Fund.
I, for one, refuse. I will not give to HKS
until it proactively engages its students
in a frank and open conversation about
the issues we face as a community. Since
words have proven an insufficient motivator, perhaps withholding money will
provoke change.
Before coming to HKS, I ran a small
non-profit representing the interests of
Canadian students to university administrators and government. At campus
after campus, I saw how proactively
involving students in university governance and accountability brings benefits
to the entire community. Just as we are
stronger for living in an open and inclusive society, principles of transparency
and participation make our university
communities stronger too.
When I arrived at HKS I found that,
far from being proactively involved,
students are often passively discouraged from questioning how our school
operates. Concerns are always listened
to politely, but administrators tend to
take the shortsighted view that genuine engagement is time-consuming,
risky and without much benefit. There
are, of course, notable exceptions of
people who believe strongly in the value
of engaging students, but the overall
unwillingness to have difficult conversations has left me, and dozens of my
peers, increasingly frustrated and disappointed with our school.
For readers who are unfamiliar with
such criticisms, let me illustrate with
two examples.
The annual HKS budget for financial
aid is $22 million – enough to cut tuition
fees in half if provided equally to everyone, or to provide even greater assistance to those with this greatest need.
Instead, 80 percent is currently distributed on the basis of merit to entice top
applicants to come to HKS. As Stephanie
Streletz, Director of Student Financial
Services, told The Citizen last year, “It is
a strong message from the school that
merit is more important than need.”
For a school that so badly wants to
serve others, this position may seem
a rather self-centered way to provide
aid. It is not unreasonable to hope for
a greater debate as to whether we, as a
community, support these principles. In
this case, however, a lack of basic financial transparency makes this impossible.
There is no doubt that much of the
financial aid budget is made up of
restricted donations, but just how much
room for change exists is unknown
because this level of specificity about the
HKS budget – financial aid or otherwise
– is actively withheld from students.
When I’ve managed to get past the ubiquitous reference to “Harvard policy”, I’ve
been told that the budget is a complicated thing that would require a great
deal of context to fully appreciate. HKS
may prepare us to understand a government’s budget, just not our school’s
If we cannot access sufficient information even to have a discussion about a
difficult but important issue, we are not
an open and inclusive community.
A second overdue conversation
regards what responsibility we have for
the investment decisions that pay for a
quarter of our school’s budget. We place
great value on promoting the public
interest, yet we benefit from an endowment invested in companies that systematically break labor and environmental
laws worldwide.
Earlier this term, students overwhelmingly supported a referendum
calling for more a responsible investment strategy. Rather than engage students in a meaningful dialogue, our
administration refuses to accept any
responsibility, deflecting to Harvard’s
endowment fund managers. Our role,
it would seem, is to take the money and
not ask questions.
In the past two years I have seen too
many friends grow disillusioned with an
administration that does not take their
concerns seriously, whether on issues of
faculty and student diversity, environmental sustainability, access to courses,
censorship, deficiencies in OCA, arbitrary rulemaking and many more.
I do not claim that the administration
is wrong in all of these areas, only that
reasonable people may question whether
we are living up to our mission. Unfortunately, conversations are often shut
down before they can begin by a lack of
transparency and an aversion to proactively engaging with student concerns.
Having experienced the benefits of an
open and transparent university community, I know we can do better and be
stronger for it.
Our graduating gifts may be our last
chance. In the late 1960s, successive
classes of Harvard College were so disillusioned with the administration of the
day that even now they do not donate
in large numbers. The resulting hole
in alumni support has not gone unnoticed by the Harvard Alumni Association or the central administration, and
it remains a reminder that ignoring
student concerns has long-term consequences.
Perhaps it is time HKS learned this
lesson as well. Join me in saying no to
the HKS fund. If our school values our
donations and support, it should first
value our voices.
Abenomics not enough to jumpstart Japan’s economy
Continued from page 14
so much debt to liquidate, 4 percent
inflation would be better than 2 percent. The government may also have to
get more creative in finding new ways to
induce domestic banks to hold government bonds, perhaps under the guise of
liquidity requirements and prudential
regulations. Some form of capital controls may even have to be reintroduced.
The need to lean on more banks would
be particularly elevated if Japan Post is
privatized to pay for earthquake reconstruction.
No Time for Half Measures
The need to scrape the bottom of the
barrel of Japanese savings comes at the
worst possible moment, since the population is getting older, which lowers the
country’s savings rates. The result of the
savings shortage will be that Japan will
have to issue more bonds to foreigners,
who would charge much higher interest
rates, given the glaring risk of currency
debasement. Financial repression can be
employed to roll over the existing debt
stock to domestic savers, but it can do
nothing to force foreigners to buy newly
issued bonds.
Thus, the second arrow of Abenomics, fiscal flexibility, must turn towards
austerity far more aggressively than has
been advertised to the public. Japan
must work towards closing its budget
deficit, and should probably also turn its
nuclear power plants back on to forestall
the day when its current account turns
None of this sounds appealing. But
neither does a debt crisis that forces
similar medicine to be swallowed all at
once. Abenomics is a step in the right
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
direction, but without turning up the
throttle it will not be enough to avoid an
even less appealing end game.
Josh Rudolph (MPP ’14) worked for
seven years on Wall Street, most recently
as a fixed income strategist. This piece
was written following a Harvard Kennedy School trek to Japan in which
group members met with ministers,
members of parliament and the prime
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Cherukuri: Students should
call out their free-riding peers
Continued from page 15
fair share of work?
I have observed three types of free
riding during my time at HKS. The first
are the ‘happy go lucky ones. They are
happy to admit that you must do the
lion’s share of work while they provide moral and nutritional support in
exchange. I am OK with this. Even if
they are not able to contribute directly
towards the work, they make no pretense of it. They are conscious of their
motivations and they try to make up for
them in ways they deem fit.
The second type of free riders is the ‘I
don’t care what you think of me’ kind.
They are willing to admit that this project doesn’t mean anything to them
and let you struggle with the burden
of responsibility. They see no social
cost incurred in losing their reputation
with you. You mean nothing to them.
I am OK with them to a certain extent
too. After all, what can you do if both
the work and your relationship don’t
mean anything to the other person? You
simply strike them off your guest list
The third type, for lack of a better
word, is the ticks (the most dangerous).
I have been unlucky enough to work
with some. So much so that I actually
now believe that third types are more
culpable than plagiarists. They not only
ride on your ideas but also your physical
and emotional toil. They are also fully
pretentious about doing their fair share
of work. I am not OK with them and this
needs to change.
It is quite natural to have your harp
strings pulled if you are at the receiving
end. But an angry response is only selffulfilling and tends to erase the distinction between the person’s role in the
system and the person’s traits. All of us
Ne w s 1– 13 | Opinion s 14– 17 | Cu ltu re 18– 19
assume roles in the system based on our
perception of the system’s reward- punishment norms, along with the underlying personal, cultural and institutional
One reason for the existence of three
types is the core course structure. Learning team work is central to being effective development professionals. But
being coerced to learn it on courses you
have not self-selected sets it up for perverse free-riding outcomes.
Letting students opt out of all core
courses through an exit mechanism is
a potential solution. It not only retains
the default course structure in its existing form but gives the choice to a highly
motivated student with clear personal
goals to qualify or make a case for
exemption. If not for third types, it is
safe to predict a reduction of the first
two types with this tweak. Self-selection
of groups and peer review at the end of
the project can be additional mechanisms to increase the level of motivation
for course work.
Having screened for motivation, it is
still likely that we will have free riders.
While calling them out can be personally hard for some of us, it is the right
thing to do. An institution built on
promoting values of equity and fairness
must reflect the same values within. And
it is up to each one of us to uphold those
values and impose sanctions on those
who do not. Naming the elephant in
the room is the toughest work of being
a leader. I have failed so many times on
that metric that I can’t take failure anymore.
My only humble and sincere submission to my peers at school is to be sensitive. Being a respected public leader can
start with doing your fair share of team
work at school. We can all change the
world after that.
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Not your typical field trip
Gleitsman and Zuckerman Fellows take NYC
By Anthony Barrows, MC/MPA ’13,
Staff Writer
As a Gleitsman Fellow at the Center for
Public Leadership, I had the privilege of
spending spring break in New York City
for our field experience. This four-day
trip gave the Gleitsman and Zuckerman
Fellows a snapshot of how America’s
largest city grapples with some of today’s
toughest public policy problems.
We met with leaders from across the
spectrum of ideologies and sectors and
spent much-needed time in reflection about how these approaches could
inform our own leadership. Although
each visit was incredible, I want to highlight a select few organized around four
themes that
emerged from
our exploration: holistic
the importance
of the physical
environment and
the centrality of
values to public
Holistic Interventions
The most
resonant lesson for me during the trip
was that people and communities must
be considered in their entirety. This
approach is both transformative and
deeply difficult. To use a medical metaphor, holistic interventions find ways to
treat underlying conditions rather than
fixating on symptoms.
Our very first meeting was with Robin
Steinberg of the Bronx Defenders. She
calls their pioneering work “Holistic
Defense.” Although the agency’s primary mission is public defense, they also
employ social workers, advocates and
organizers to meet the deeper needs that
may have drawn their clients into the
criminal justice system. It was inspiring
to see people who acknowledge that justice is more than just enforcing the law.
Another enterprise involving criminal
justice was Defy Ventures, an organization which believes that people with
criminal histories have the capacity to
translate their managerial, leadership
and entrepreneurial skills into legitimate
businesses. They look beyond people’s
deficits to create capacity from their
strengths. This requires the acknowledgement that even ex-cons have potential to make positive contributions in the
community. And this may be the most
profound shift a society can make, to
find ways to for the disempowered and
marginalized to
contribute to a
culture that traditionally leaves
them behind..
Physical Environment
The life of any
city is shaped by
its physical environment. Our
meeting with
Michael Arad,
designer of the
9/11 Memorial,
highlighted the
power of public
spaces and the struggle of using public
processes to serve community needs.
Arad talked about the need to grapple with paradoxes inherent in a sacred
public space like the World Trade
Center site. This included the need to
make “absence present” and to be “defiant without being bellicose.” Those
contradictions are realized beautifully
throughout his work in a way that words
cannot capture.
We also toured the High Line – an
urban park reclaimed from an elevated
rail line – with urban designers and
planners Justin Moore & Lee Altman.
Although that public space serves a very
different purpose than the memorial, it
also has to balance tensions; in this case
between economic growth and affordability as well as between development
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and displacement.
A fascinating aspect of the High Line
is its attention to “active design” which
aims to use public space to achieve
public health goals by promoting physical activity.
A very different approach to public
space came from the Creative Arts
Workshop for Kids, which employs
young people to create outdoor murals
collaboratively designed with community members.
Our walking tour of murals in Harlem
with founder Brian Ricklin gave us a
chance hear from the youth and see their
neighborhood and artwork up close. By
getting kids and neighbors involved in
shaping public art, they create an excellent example of democratic principles
and art in cooperative action.
Community Empowerment
Another thread throughout the trip
was the need to include the community
in decision-making. The best example
of this (and my favorite part of the trip)
was the NYC Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, composed of 20 talented high school students who aim to
improve their city. Working with Coro
New York, the Council advises Mayor
Bloomberg on youth-oriented policy
issues each year.
It was great to see young people
valued for their expertise, ideas and
Photos by Tom Fitzsimmons.
TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
capacity to enhance the well being of the
city and its people.
The OpEd Project also works to
expand the voices in the public sphere,
with a particular focus on amplifying
the perspectives of women. They help
people normally excluded from thought
leadership articulate their expertise and
connect their stories to public opinion
and public policy.
This project encourages commitment
to more inclusion and engagement to
create change that matters. Diversity
of voices is the antidote to a poverty of
Generation Citizen also works to
expand the voices influencing public
policy by teaching high school students
principles of civic action through democratic institutions. By employing college
students as “Democracy Coaches,” the
program gives young people an experiential lesson in civic engagement by
guiding adolescents through an advocacy campaign that addresses issues
directly relevant to the youth themselves.
I am a true believer in the need for a
broader array of perspectives in public
policy decisions and was pleasantly surprised to see so many people making
that a reality.
Values in Public Life
The Kennedy School generally has a
technocratic culture. This means that we
sometimes lose sight of the big picture
because we ask questions about technical and pragmatic solutions without
reflecting on the implicit values that
drive our society.
When we conflate means and ends,
we fail to invest energy and meaning
into our actual priorities. For example, I
believe that we value capitalist competition not because it is inherently good,
but because it can deliver us better lives.
When the means to achieving well-being are conflated
with well-being itself, we
quickly go awry. In essence,
we must ask ‘why’ and not
just ‘how.’
Bob Steel, the NYC
Deputy Mayor of Economic
Development and Chairman of the Board of the
Aspen Institute made an
excellent case for the role
of values in civic life. I was
heartened by his commitment to exploring dissenting views on public policy
issues and his passionate
commitment to equality of
Those values underlie the
spirit of urbanism, which
revels in the frisson of dis-
similarity in close quarters and the creative tension it can provide. His conception of economic development includes
livability along with more traditional
business concerns and definitely steers
fear and mistrust in young men of color
could be seen to serve the public.
We must remember that legality is not
equivalent to morality. Ultimately, I was
pleased to be able to hear candidly from
his approach to public service into areas
where political pragmatism might not.
Our meeting with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly also exemplified the
need for values-based dialogue about
government programs. Kelly faces the
enormous task of ensuring public safety
for a global city. This begs the question
of how the values of security and liberty
are being balanced against each other.
The Commissioner was very generous with his time and thoughts, but I left
our meeting with concerns. His message
seemed to be that security was worth
any cost to privacy or freedom, but this
thinking conflicts with my understanding of a democratic and free society.
Democracy implies that people affected
by decisions should have a voice in
them, so I struggle to imagine how a
policy like “Stop and Frisk” that instills
Steel, Commissioner Kelly and Joseph
Lhota, a Republican mayoral candidate
about these difficult issues, and to be
able to ask tough questions. The privilege of our high-level access comes with
a responsibility to further critical dialogue.
In the end, however, the most important aspect of this trip was certainly
the time I spent with the other fellows.
The bus rides, walks and shared meals
allowed us to engage in conversations
rarely afforded in the constant whir of
the classroom or the Forum. Our dialogue, especially around issues where we
disagreed, helped strengthen our ties by
illuminating our individual perspectives
and reaffirming something we all have
in common: our passion for the public
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TheCitizen | Monday, April 8, 2013
Spring Break Treks 2013
Columbia Trek
Israel Trek
Korea Trek
Japan Trek
Morroco Trek
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Palestine Trek