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Friday, October 24, 2014

Public Program: The Brooks Family Lecture - "The Coming Battles over Social Security" with Michael Astrue

Please join us for the Brooks Family Lecture presented by Michael Astrue entitled, “The Coming Battles over Social Security,” in Filene Auditorium, Moore Hall at 5:30 pm on October 27, 2014.

Social Security has remained a source of controversy as the United States considers how it can reconcile the program’s increasing costs with budgetary demands. The current gridlock raises questions as to how we can address disability and retirement in the United States. Additionally, it is important to discuss what will happen with Social Security looking forward.

Michael Astrue, the former Commissioner of Social Security, will discussing the implications of the insolvency of the disability trust fund in 2016 and the insolvency of the retirement and survivors trust fund in 2033. How will we fix disability? How will we fix retirement?

Former Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue

Michael Astrue has split his career between public service and the biotechnology industry. He led one of the most successful turnarounds in the history of the industry as CEO of Transkaryotic Therapies and served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. He also worked for thirteen years in senior positions in four Administrations. Among other positions, he served in the Reagan and Bush White Houses as Associate Counsel to the President, and as General Counsel of HHS (1989-1992), where he personally litigated the first federal HIV discrimination and patient dumping enforcement cases.

As Commissioner of Social Security (2007-2013) he reported directly to Presidents Bush and Obama. He overhauled the agency’s antiquated IT systems and electronic services, reduced backlogs, created fast tracks for patients with severe rare disorders, and significantly improved the economic information provided to the public, particularly to women, as they make retirement choices. A graduate of Yale and Harvard Law School, he has received two honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the Public Health Award from the National Organization of Rare Disorders and Humanitarian of the Year from the Alzheimer’s Association.

This event is hosted by the College Republicans.

RGLP Recap: Yoga

This ongoing series explores sessions of the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) through participant narratives. RGLP engages Dartmouth students who have demonstrated leadership skills and would like to extend these skills on a globally conscious level. In this program, students focus on and further develop international leadership competencies, which have become increasingly crucial in corporate, public and non-profit sectors today.

When we had our first session of RGLP and the program overview presentation mentioned yoga as the activity for one of the sessions, I was definitely skeptical of its relevance to the RGLP curriculum. To me, yoga has always been just a glorified stretching routine. I never really saw its importance or took the people who regularly practiced and swore by it seriously. I had never done yoga before, so jumping right in at “hot” yoga had never really crossed my mind as a potential activity of mine.

From the moment I walked into the room, I realized how out of my element I was. At the same time, I noticed how other people seemed to fit in right away and knew exactly what to grab or do. As the instructor talked us through the different movements, I felt myself falling behind and was frustrated. This made me focus more on what I was doing so that I could figure it out. I wish I could say that the breathing and relaxation routines helped fully clear my mind of any stresses I was experiencing, but this would work for only a short amount of time before all the random thoughts poured back in. I think, however, that I’d be able to better handle this sort of situation if I were to try it a second time.

In the end, I saw the similarities between RGLP and yoga and understood why this outing was included as a session. The idea of mindfulness and being “present” is essential to “getting more out of” yoga, but it is also necessary to succeed in the realm of cultural interaction. While I may not have been the best at it, the lesson I took away from the session was that a focus on yourself and how you are acting and simply existing in a situation is fundamental to reaching your goal whether it’s in yoga or in life.

-Written by Dylan Everett '15, Fall 2014 RGLP Participant

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Internship Opportunity: New America Foundation

This is an internship opportunity from outside the Rockefeller Center. The Rockefeller Center occasionally posts opportunities for students to become involved in the political process. Such postings do not constitute an endorsement of the political objectives of any person or organization.

New America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States and world. New America embodies a commitment to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age.

This position is located in the Office of Former Assistant Surgeon General of the United States, Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, MD, MPA. The mission of the Office is to improve health by advancing national and international research, service delivery, and education programs through evidence-based public policy. Dr. Blumenthal currently serves as a Senior Fellow in the Health Policy Program at New America.

Position Type: Health Policy Intern

Location: Washington, DC

Sector: Nonprofit

Start Date:

Wage or Benefits: Stipend

Time Commitment: Full time for up to Ten Weeks

Desired Class Year:
Open to All Class Years

Desired Major or Interest: Open to All Majors

Application Deadline: Rolling

Organization Website:

Description of the Intern’s Role: In this position, the health policy intern will work closely with Rear Admiral Blumenthal, MD on national and global health policy issues including healthcare reform implementation, disparities, women’s health, an aging population with a concomitant chronic disease epidemic, declines in funding for biomedical research, ethical issues arising with scientific discovery, and emerging concerns such as obesity, pandemic flu and Ebola.

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Provide research support and conduct policy writing for the Health Policy Program’s initiatives.
  • Assist with social media marketing of SNAP to Health, a project on obesity and nutrition in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of health policy initiatives and programs.
  • Attend meetings and conferences at Federal agencies, health organizations, and international groups.
  • Attend Congressional hearings and national organization briefings.

How to Apply: Please send a resume with relevant coursework, cover letter, SAT and/or additional standardized test scores, GPA, and a 1-2 page writing sample to

Notes from the Field: Simone D'Luna '16

Rockefeller Center-funded interns reflect on their experiences as part of our Notes from the Field series. The Rockefeller Center helps students find, fund, and prepare for a leave-term internship experience in public policy research, public policy analysis, issue evaluation, or activities which help shape and determine public policy.

Student Intern: Simone D'Luna '16

Internship Organization:
Net Impact

How would you describe your employer in one paragraph? What’s the elevator pitch?
Net Impact is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire a new generation of leaders to enact social and environmental change in the workplace and beyond. It is a chapter-based organization with over 300 chapters of students and young professionals worldwide. These chapters hold events and programs varying from pro bono consulting for nonprofits to sustainability initiatives and networking events. Net Impact also holds an annual conference and provides its members with resources to connect them with "impact" careers and opportunities.

What are your specific responsibilities in the organization?
I assist with outreach and support for Net Impact's chapters. The projects I've been working on so far include developing a strategy for online support, restructuring the distribution and communication of resources, and analyzing similar organizations.

What is your favorite part of the internship so far?
It's been fascinating to see the inner workings of a small company and how all the components come together to tackle ambitious goals. Inspiring a new generation to be impactful through their careers seemed like an abstract concept until I started work, so I've enjoyed seeing the metrics Net Impact uses to quantify their progress. I love the passionate energy inside the office as well. It's wonderful to stumble into casual conversations about corporate social responsibility or B Corps and to witness my colleagues' faith and dedication to the possibility of creating a better future.

What challenges have you faced so far?
At first, I was uncertain how my projects with Net Impact would relate to my overall career aspirations and whether I would be able to develop the skills I wanted through this internship. Early on, I was able to sit down with my supervisor to discuss my goals, and together we decided which projects would provide relevant experiences and opportunities to grow. She also directed me to others who have experience with fields I am interested in.

Broadly speaking, what do you hope to achieve by the end of your internship?
I hope to learn more about the ways I can be impactful through my career. I'm also looking forward to seeing concrete results from my projects, as most of them have yet to be fully rolled out. Using metrics to quantify and evaluate the success of projects is especially satisfying for me, and I hope to learn more about the analysis of such results while I'm here. I would like to hone some of the professional skills I've begun to develop and come away with a bit more intentionality about pursuing a career. I have already learned so much from the professional office culture, the environment of a small company, and the vigor of my colleagues.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Internship Opportunity: US Department of the Interior

This is an unpaid internship opportunity from outside the Rockefeller Center.

The Office of Environment Policy and Compliance (OEPC) provides leadership on a national and regional level for environmental policies and compliance for the nation's premier resource management and conservation agency. It is the Department of the Interior's unifying and lead voice for a wide range of environmental issues and ensures environmental stewardship and sustainability through compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), executive orders, regulations, and reporting requirements. OEPC also manages the Department's funding program for long-term cleanups of hazardous materials and oversees the Department's activities to protect and recover natural and cultural resources and historic properties during emergency response actions.

Organization Name: Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, US Department of the Interior.

Position Type: Regional Environmental Internship

Location: San Francisco, CA

Sector: US Federal Government

Start Date: Rolling Application

Wage or Benefits: Unpaid

Time Commitment: 6 months part-time (minimum 24 hours/week), OR 3 months full-time (40 hours/week)

Desired Class Year: Must be a current student and have U.S. citizenship.

Desired Major or Interest: Open to All Majors (environmental policy interest or background a plus, but not required)

Application Deadline: Rolling Application

Organization Website:

Description of the Intern’s Role: Interns are an integral part of the functioning of OEPC. General office duties include forwarding National Response Center notifications, logging environmental review (ER) notifications, and ensuring that Departmental comments for ERs are filed on time. OEPC interns gain an understanding of existing and evolving regulations and resources; coordinate with Department of the Interior bureaus and other Federal, state, and tribal agencies; review proposed agency actions, and conduct general document research. Interns have a hand in several of OEPC's ongoing projects, which include water policy, air quality, energy regulations, environmental impact statement review, assessment of new renewable technologies, US-Mexico border cooperation, hazardous waste cleanup and response, and regional response team activities. Depending on evolving needs of the office, interns could be asked to facilitate a new project. These opportunities are offered in a supportive environment.

How to apply: Please send a resume and cover letter to our Regional Environmental Officer, Patricia Port, at