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

Public Program

Public Program: Living on Virtually Nothing in America

The number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to one and a half million American households, including about three million children. How has this happened? Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? What do they do to survive? There are many components to this issue: low-wage labor, unemployment, inequality, disability. At the core of it, however, are the people that are finding ways to survive amongst these challenges. There are so many questions regarding the causes of extreme poverty, aid, and welfare reform.

On Tuesday, January 31st, Class of 1930 Fellow Kathryn Edin spoke to a packed audience on the challenges of income inequality and offered some answers to these important questions. Edin discussed poverty, policy, and how they affect families in America. Her lecture focused on the complex background and future of income disparity, especially the discovery of households surviving on virtually no cash income. Professor Edin’s deep examination of these increasingly broad families living in extreme poverty has “turned sociology upside down,” Mother Jones reported.

Joshua DuBois on Race, Religion and Justice in America

Joshua DuBois led the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in President Obama’s first term and was called the President’s “Pastor-in-Chief” by TIME Magazine. He spearheaded the White House’s work on responsible fatherhood, grassroots community partnerships and religion in foreign affairs, and brought together community and religious leaders from across the ideological spectrum to tackle the nation’s biggest challenges. Joshua is the author of the bestselling book, The President’s Devotional: The Daily Readings that Inspired President Obama, a compilation of the devotional meditations he shared with the President and narratives of faith in public life. Joshua now leads a consulting firm, Values Partnerships, that creates community and faith-based partnerships for the public, private and non-profit sectors. Joshua is a frequent media commentator and has authored four cover stories for Newsweek magazine, including a seminal piece entitled “The Fight for Black Men” which historian Taylor Branch called “stunning.”

Public Program: Race, Religion and Justice in America: From Obama to Trump

How did we get here and where are we going? How can activism and faith aid us in making a difference? With the knowledge that a different world cannot be changed by indifferent people, we as the greater public must be aware. President Obama’s former spiritual advisor Joshua DuBois offers similar advice to president-elect Mr. Donald Trump in an interview with the Washington Post, saying we “must address the harm; only then can we have any chance of moving forward into hope.” As the nation deals with further racial polarization and divisive issues in religion and the nature of justice, Obama’s “Pastor-in-Chief” could shed some light on foreseen challenges in race and religion under the Trump Administration

Dartmouth Experts Discuss the New Administration

The following is an excerpt from a January 10th Dartmouth Now article.

Dartmouth is convening a week of panel discussions leading up to inauguration day that will feature the College’s leading voices on education, immigration, the budget, terrorism, trade, health care, and energy policy, addressing the “Opportunities and Risks” of a Trump presidency.

The panels are organized by four major themes—domestic issues, global issues, health policy, and energy and the environment—to run over four days from Tuesday, Jan. 17, to Friday, Jan. 20, when President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office.

Director Andrew Samwick participated on the Tuesday panel titled “Domestic Issues: Governance; Immigration; Education; and the Budget.”

Samwick believes the forums are an opportunity to think rigorously about some of the changes under discussion by the new administration.

2016 Dartmouth Experiments Conference

In July, political scientist, New York Times contributor, and Dartmouth Professor of Government Brendan Nyhan organized the 2016 Dartmouth Experiments Conference. This two-day event brought together researchers who use quantitative data to investigate phenomena surrounding elections, voter behavior, and public opinion. As an intensive quantitative research workshop, the conference featured presentations of new findings and study designs by graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty who study American politics.

Scholars from various backgrounds took advantage of this opportunity to collaborate and discuss the latest findings in their field, pooling together their own expertise with quantitative data.

Leadership Lessons from former White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card

Andrew H. Card, Jr., appointed in November 2000, served as Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush from January 2001 to April 2006. In this capacity, he coordinated the priorities of the Administration’s agenda, the development of policies, and appointments of Cabinet Secretaries and senior officials throughout the government. Mr. Card, the second longest tenured White House Chief of Staff, has served in senior government roles for three U.S. Presidents and presently holds numerous positions. Card serves on the Board of Directors of public corporations Union Pacific and Lorillard, on the Business Advisory Board of BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, on the Global Advisory Board of Alexander Proudfoot, on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and on a number of non-profit boards. 

The Rockefeller Center in collaboration with the Dickey Center hosted a student dinner with Mr. Card before his participation as a panelist in "Spymasters: Can We Kill Our Way Out?" on Wednesday, October 26, at 6:30-8:00 pm, in Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall.

Prior to the student dinner, Nikita Bakhru ’17 sat down with Andrew Card for an interview.

“Finally, It’s Over: The 2016 Election and Its Aftermath”

How did we get to where we are today? Where are we going to go from here? This election cycle has been one of the most divisive campaigns in our nation’s history. It has been a very long and out-of-the-ordinary presidential campaign and a neck-and-neck U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire. A panel of American politics faculty members assessed the results of the national and state elections. This event analyzed the candidates and what their win – and loss – means for the state of New Hampshire and the rest of the countr and wrestled with the questions that have been bothering us throughout this election.

The panelists included Dartmouth College government professor and department chair Dean Lacy. Professor Lacy also serves as the Director of the Program in Politics and Law at the College. His research and teaching focuses on American and comparative politics, particularly elections, public opinion, and lawmaking. Additionally, Professor Lacy has written on the use and importance of economic sanctions in international relations, third party candidates, economic voting, referendums and initiatives, and divided government.

2016 Constitution Day: Elizabeth Wydra’s Thoughts on Constitutional Accountability

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

Elizabeth Wydra’s thoughts on Constitutional Accountability

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

Spymasters: Can We Kill Our Way Out?

In today’s political climate, discussions of modern terrorism and the role of elite spying organization have become increasingly controversial. How far should these organizations go in order to protect our nation from terrorist threats? Have these organizations become para-militaristic?

On Wednesday, a distinguished panel of national security experts spoke on these questions. Excerpts from The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs was shown to illustrate some of the examples that panelists will used frame their arguments. The discussion centered around the lengths that America’s spymasters should go to protect our nation from terrorist activity, the development of international spying organizations, and whether said organizations will become a secret army. The nature of modern terrorism was also debated, as well as how our nation should adapt to this new threat.

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