Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Tom Perez study group

Spring 2021 practitioner-led student study groups

These not-for-credit study groups provide an opportunity for students to delve deeply into topics and apply theory and research to real world challenges. Study groups will take place over Zoom and are limited to 25 students.

Impact Policy, Create Change 
Pamela Reeves '87 

Meeting dates are Mondays, March 22, March 29, and April 5, from 1-2:30 p.m.

Registration closes Monday, March 1.

The goal for this Study Group is to introduce students to a variety of successful policy practitioners, and engage students in in-depth discussions about how to prepare, plan, and execute policy change.

Topics covered will include levers for policy change, realistic pitfalls and barriers, what has changed over time and what the future looks like, why policymaking is so important and why it’s important to get it right, what is the right way to formulate a strong policy and how to guarantee its sustainability, what makes a good policymaker, and more. Students will have an opportunity to ask experienced policy practitioners questions about the specifics of policymaking, as well as potential career paths.

Guest speakers include Ann Norris, Don Baer, and Julia Santucci.

Pamela Reeves is a Senior Fellow in International Affairs and Public Policy at Brown University, and an international development and policy strategist who advises governments, foundations, and companies. She has contributed to global strategic agenda-setting as advisor to Nike and Mars, Inc., and as the consulting senior advisor on gender strategy to the executive office of Melinda Gates. She served as director of Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s International Fund for Women and Girls at the U.S. Department of State.

Leadership and Governance in Challenging Times

Tom Perez '83

Meeting dates are Tuesdays, February 16 and 23, March 2 and 9, from 2:30-4 p.m.

Register here 
Registration is now closed.

This Study Group will explore problem solving in today's challenging world. Today, the journey to form a more perfect union often appears as difficult as ever. The “shortest distance” theory is seldom part of the playbook of progress in Washington, DC or elsewhere. A host of factors have created an atmosphere of hyper partisanship in which effective governance is elusive, and principled compromise is frequently derided as a four letter word.

As a result, public confidence in our public institutions, especially at the federal level, is at a low ebb. A principal goal of this Study Group is to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Specifically, I want to give you a front row seat to problem solving in a government setting—the “how does it really happen (or not happen)” dimension that is often absent from traditional classroom dialogue.

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