An Extraordinary Journey to the Brookings Institution: Class 16 Met with 16 International Top Scholars in Washington,D.C
To help students expand their international experience and views, the WashU-Fudan EMBA program organized U.S. Residency every year, taking students to communicate and exchange ideas with top international professors, entrepreneurs, and scholars. In mid-October, Class 16 visited the Brookings Institution, which is the world's top think-tank, in Washington, D.C. Students were able to have face-to-face interaction with the world's most prestigious "think-tank" scholars and explored cutting-edge international trends.
The Brookings Institution is one of the oldest academic societies in the United States, devoted to research and education in social sciences, and is known to many in American academia and politics. Its predecessor was the Government Research Institute (IGI), founded in 1916. Its mission is to be "the first organization dedicated to the analysis of public policy issues at the national level."
The founder of the Brookings Institution, philanthropist Robert S. Brookings, also funded the establishment of the other two organizations – the Institute of Economics and the Robert Brookings Graduate School. The three institutions were merged into the Brookings Institution on December 8th, 1927. As the founder of the Brookings Institution, Robert S. Brookings was also the Chairman of the board of Washington University in St. Louis, so Washington University in St. Louis and the Brookings Institution have established a long-standing, good relationship.
Compared with other major think-tanks, the Brookings Institution has more academic characteristics and, for many years, has been at the top of the most influential think-tanks in the United States with influence at a global level. Back in 1966,President Lyndon B. Johnson once said of the Brookings Institution: "The staff of the Brookings Institution work by questioning the way things are done by analysis, dedication, objective writing, and a wealth of imagination, then propose alternative methods... After 50 years of constant advice to the government, it is no longer just a private research organization... It is such an important State institution that, if it did not exist, we would have to find someone to create it. "
△ Lyndon B. Johnson 美国第三十六任总统
Since its inception, the Brookings Institution has made significant achievements in the academic field and has applied its findings to the United States Government's governance process, with positive effects on society. During the Great Depression, economists at the Brookings Institution launched a large-scale study to explain the underlying causes of the Great Depression. In 1948, the Brookings Institution was asked by the Government to draft a proposal on how to manage the European Renaissance Plan, or the Marshall Plan.
The Brookings Institution was once known as the "Global First Think-Tank" and many researchers there advanced into key positions in the United States government. In contrast, many U.S. government executives, after leaving office, also choose to work at the Brookings Institution for research. Two recent Federal Reserve chairmen, Bernanke and Yellen, for example, both joined the Brookings Institution after leaving office.
△ Ben Shalom Bernanke前美国联邦储备委员会主席
△ Janet L. Yellen 前美国联邦储备委员会主席
The frequent two-way flow of talents between the Brookings Institution and United States government agencies is also known as the "revolving door" phenomenon, which is very common in western capitalist countries, especially in the United States. Thanks to the “revolving door” mechanism, the Brookings Institution has had an important influence over successive governments.
During the U.S. residency in mid-October, a series of courses on the latest trends in China-U.S. economic and trade relations were arranged, as well as a series of related courses that were also organized regarding emerging economies such as India, Russia, Africa, and Latin America.
Presently, when Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations are rather tense, the escalation of the trade war has given negative effects on Sino-U.S. and even global trade. Therefore, during the residency, a special session on "Trade Relations between the U.S. and China: The Impact of Business Communities and Bilateral Relations," was given by Meridith Sumpter, Head of Research Strategy & Operations at Eurasia Group (a leading U.S. think-tank). This lecture focused on the current trade war from the perspective of both China and the United States, and discussed the long-term political, economic and strategic implications of the trade war on both sides, as well as its influence on business communities.
△ Meridith Sumpter
In today's business world, the impact of government policy on business is growing, says Jen Psaki, former White House Communications Director from the Obama Administration, who is currently Vice President for Communications and Strategy at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She shared with her fellow students on the topic of "Business and Government Relations" – a topic of general interest to many senior executives.
△ Jen Psaki
The study also arranged a course on "Sino-U.S. Global Influence" to discuss the expansion of China's political and economic influence, what impact will it have on U.S. policy in Asia, and how America copes with China's rise. Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States (also actor in Beijinger in New York) and Li Cheng, Director of the John L. Thornton China Center and Senior Fellow in the Brookings Institution, co-led the presentation.
△ Robert Daly
To help students understand the details of the White House policies, Sally Katzen, formally the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget, and now currently working at the New York University School of Law, introduced the "White House and Regulatory Procedures" to students.
△ Sally Katzen
Because of the influence of the Trump Administration's immigration policy changes, the tour also arranged a special course on "Major Impact of Immigration Reform on U.S. Economic Growth" by Tamar Jacoby, President & CEO of the ImmigrationWorks USA, a well-known think-tank.
△ Tamar Jacoby
Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution, gave a lecture on "American Foreign Policy and Business" to help students understand more about the impact of U.S. foreign policy on business.
△ Michael O'Hanlon
In addition to focusing on economic and trade issues between China and the United States, the Brookings Institution invited Edward C. Chow, a former Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the United States, to share on energy and geopolitics issues, along with Steven Chabinsky, former Commissioner on the President’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, who stressed that cybersecurity was an issue that every executive should take seriously.
△ Edward C.Chow
△ Steven Chabinsky
Based on the major regions of the globe, there were also other courses arranged for the students. Examples include a course given by Ambassador Joseph R. DeTrani, former Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks on North Korea; “ASEAN Business Opportunities” by Marc Mealy, Vice President-Policy at the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, and Tanvi Madan, Fellow in the Project on international Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution on “India: Regional or Global Power? How to Understand the World's Largest Democracy”; Theodore Piccone, Senior Fellow of the Latin American Initiative Project at Brookings Institution, on "Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges in Latin America"; Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly, Senior Fellow and Director of the African Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution on "Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges in Africa"; Alina Polyakova, Fellow in the Foreign Policy program’s Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings College, on "The Challenges Facing Russia."
△ Marc Mealy
△ Tanvi Madan
△ Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly
△ Alina Polyakova
During the mid-October study tour, the students had heated discussions and exchanges with many experts from top U.S. think-tanks, thanks to the arrangement and support from the Brookings Institution, gaining a better understanding of the latest trends in the Sino-U.S. economics’ international trade relations and directions. Many participants said the study helped to broaden their viewpoints and acquire a more realistic framework of knowledge and analysis through face-to-face interaction with the elite Washington think-tanks.
One of the characteristics of EMBA education is to emphasize the unity of knowledge and practice. Through this U.S. study tour, we also aim to help students to integrate business theory with the practical activities of Sino-U.S. political and economic relations at present, helping them to always be on the cutting edge of global business in today’s world.
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