For the final session of this year’s colloquium, Professor Condoleezza Rice joined Public Policy graduate students for a discussion about the connections between the academic study of public policy and the experience of working in government. In sharing her perspective with the class, Rice drew on her background both as an academic and as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under President George W. Bush.
Rice emphasized the importance of quantitative literacy and communication skills — both important components of the Public Policy core — for prospective policymakers. Understanding economics and econometrics, in particular, she said, helps decision-makers frame choices and ask the right questions to make sure they fully understand the problems they are solving. Similarly, she suggested that the ability to write well and present ideas clearly is a critical skill that is often undervalued in the public sector.
After her initial remarks, Rice took questions from students and discussed the future of U.S. relations with China and Russia, the challenges posed by North Korea’s continued aggression, and the difficulty of adapting well-established government institutions to new challenges.
By Zach Sorenson, '17