Ash Center: Harvard Kennedy School Expands Commitment to Public Policy Research in China

January 14, 2013
 Ash Center: Harvard Kennedy School Expands Commitment to Public Policy Research in China
Dean Ellwood with LU Mai, secretary general of the China Development Research Foundation at the China's Leaders in Development Signing Ceremony on January 14, 2013.

Harvard Kennedy School Expands Commitment to Public Policy Research in China

By Kate Hoagland 

Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Dean David Ellwood this week will take part in a series of commemorative events in China along with other Harvard faculty to celebrate the School’s ongoing commitment to the study of public policy and governance in China. Commencing with the inaugural Alumni Public Policy Forum held Sunday (Jan. 13), the dean and others will sign agreements to deepen the School’s commitment to training and policy research and take part in several conferences on US-China relations later this week.

The events mark the culmination of more than 15 years of training of Chinese government officials and scholars by the Kennedy School. Under Director Anthony Saich’s leadership, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation has hosted more than 1,150 scholars, policymakers, and high-ranking government officials for executive training and Rajawali research fellowships. In the last ten years, more than 500 Chinese government officials have participated in the Center’s China’s Leaders in Development (CLD) program, a six-week training program designed to provide officials with alternative public management strategies and new analytical skills so that they are better equipped to handle the country’s unprecedented reform challenges upon return to office.

The New World Fellows program offers similar executive education training to high ranking Chinese officials, and also supports the semester-long scholarship of vice-ministerial-level officials in residence. Considered by the Chinese government to be one of the best overseas training programs worldwide, the New World Fellows program encourages collaboration with rising Chinese leaders and their international peers and supports policy reform scholarship exchange between the US and China. More than 200 Chinese policymakers and civil servants are former New World Fellows.

Alumni Public Policy Forum
More than 150 Harvard alumni and top Chinese government officials attended the HKS Alumni Public Policy Forum, a newly created network of alumni and training program graduates that will convene throughout the year to discuss policy issues. The inaugural forum began with a panel discussion featuring key partners that have been integral to the success of both the New World Fellows and CLD programs. Along with Dean Ellwood and Center Director Anthony Saich, panelists included LIU Yanguo, WU Jiang, and XUE Lan, dean at Tsinghua University which co-hosts CLD each year and other periodic training events.

The Path of Public Management
In addition to the forum event, current Ash Center Rajawali Senior Research Fellow WANG Huiyao discussed his newly released book The Path of Public Management Elite at Harvard, co-authored by former Rajawali Fellow ZHANG Xiaomeng. WANG discussed his book’s evaluation of the HKS model for training Chinese government officials and attributed such training programs’ unique case teaching format, curriculum, and internationally acclaimed faculty as the inspiration and basis for formalizing China’s own public management discipline in academic institutions. The publication includes interviews with Dean Ellwood and Ash Center Director Saich, who both offered commentary on the book during the evening’s panel discussion moderated by ZHANG Zhe, HKS MPP 2012 and former HKS China Society president.

Training Future Leaders in Asia
Among the attendees at last night’s event were many former participants of CLD and New World Fellows programs, both of which initiatives are to be extended this week as part of the School’s commitment to public policy research and training in Asia. Today (Jan. 14) at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing, Dean Ellwood, HOU Yunchun of the Development Research Center of China’s State Council, and XUE Lan will sign a memorandum of understanding to continue CLD for five years.

On Thursday (Jan. 17th), Dean Ellwood, as part of a delegation with Professors Joseph Nye and Anthony Saich, will participate in a signing ceremony with the Hong Kong-based New World Development Company to commemorate the 15-year anniversary of the New World Fellows program, honor the outstanding contributions of the Cheng family in supporting the program, and extend the program for three additional years.

Challenge and Cooperation: US-China Relations Conference
Throughout the week, Dean Ellwood and Professors Graham Allison, Joseph Nye, Dwight Perkins, Anthony Saich, and many other notable faculty members from throughout Harvard and other academic institutions will participate in the “Challenge and Cooperation” conference at Peking University.

Sponsored by the Institute for China-US People-to-People Exchange, and both the Ash and Belfer Centers at HKS, the event will convene both scholars and practitioners to explore the changing power relationship between the United States and China. Among the event’s panels are discussions on the implications of China’s new leadership and President Obama’s second term, the roles both countries should play in promoting international security, and the potential for more open models of trade and investment during the global economic crisis. Following the conference, attendees will meet with LI Yuanchao, HKS EE ’02 and current member of the Politburo. Dean Ellwood will offer concluding remarks.

“Challenge and Cooperation” is part of the US-China Futures Project, a broader research initiative of the Belfer Center and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and led by Richard Rosecrance, HKS adjunct professor. Launched in 2006, this will be the eighth event of the project.

China’s Prospects: The Probable and the Possible
On Thursday (Jan. 17), Saich will participate in a panel discussion about how China’s new leadership will affect the direction reform takes as part of The Economist’s China Summit, “China’s Prospects: The Probable and the Possible.” Saich’s panel will be led by Rob Gifford, China editor for The Economist. Dean Ellwood will also be in attendance at the event.