Tag: Brookings Institution

After a whirlwind week in New York, we headed south to Washington, D.C. to immerse ourselves in the workings of government and financial regulation with Olin’s Brookings Executive Education (BEE) team as our guide. The day started with welcoming remarks and introductions from Ian Dubin, Associate Director, and Chris Mancini, Program Coordinator. They explained the general agenda for the week, and the long and special history between the Brookings Institution and Washington University in St. Louis.

Day 6 - Brookings Ian DubinAfter the brief introduction, Mr. Dubin gave us an overview about the basic structures of U.S. government and legislative processes to set the stage for the week. He explained the unique roles of the Executive Branch, Senate and House of Representatives, and the complexity of the legislative process.

We also learned about the Brookings think tank and how it contributes to making public policy. The Brookings Institution is one of the most important and influential public policy research think tanks in the world.

The rest of the day was spent learning more about the various key financial sector regulators as well as learning directly from current and former regulators from both the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

First, we learned from David Wessel, who is the Director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy. He briefly explained the function of the United States Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), and also introduced 10 micro-prudential regulators in the system, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and The Federal Reserve, to name a few. Although the FSOC provided the chairperson of each of the 10 agencies with the opportunity to communicate with each other, he stated that those 10 chairs have different missions and have issued regulations on financial institutions (banks) that are conflicting. This resulted in banks having a hard time fulfilling the requirements outlined by different regulators. He also touched upon the importance of Macro-Prudential Regulation (FSOC role), and highlighted the differences between finance and other industries, especially in terms of contagion risk. Last but not the least, he compared the FSOC structure with that of the Bank of England.

Winthrop Hambley speaks to Olin students during their visit with Brookings Executive Education.

Winthrop Hambley speaks to Olin students during their visit with Brookings Executive Education.

Our last speaker of the day was Winthrop Hambley, former Senior Advisor, Board of Governors, The Federal Reserve. He first introduced the structure of the Federal Reserve and its key monetary policy-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

He then proceeded to explain to us both traditional monetary policies as well as non-traditional monetary policies, which were introduced after the financial crisis–namely, large scale asset purchases, forward guidance, and maturity extension.

Last but not least, to address the popular topic of the Fed rate hike expectation, he spent some time explaining to us the rate normalization process and considerations during Q&A.

This is part of a series of blogs chronicling the experiences of 41 Global Master of Finance (GMF) dual degree students during their two week long immersion course in New York and Washington, DC. Each blog will be written by a small subset of students during their experience.

Jo Lea Wigley is a 2013 graduate of the Brookings Legis Congressional Fellowship. The following article depicts her experience in the Legis Fellow program and the value it has added to her home agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Use of the following article for publication on the Olin Blog is granted by author Kristen Mackey, Public Affairs Officer of the NGA Office of Corporate Communications.

An analytic adviser with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Office of Corporate Communications Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division recently returned from a one-year fellowship on Capitol Hill.

Legis Fellow

Jo Lea Wigley

Jo Lea Wigley, who now works as a conduit between OCCC and the Analysis directorate, worked for Maine Sen. Susan Collins and said her time on the Hill broadened her experience and will help in her NGA career.

Although part of the reason she chose Collins’s office was the senator’s appointment to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and its relevance to Wigley’s own career in the intelligence community, Collins’ solid reputation and known leadership on the Hill was the most appealing reason for choosing the senator, said Wigley.

“I had followed Collins’s career and viewed her as a hardworking, pragmatic, reputable public servant,” said Wigley. “She works issues that are vital to the well-being of the nation, not just her home state of Maine. She is well respected by other senators on both sides of the aisle, which I believe is largely due to her grasp of substantive policy issues, her attention to detail and her ability to work out compromises.”

Years of interest in the legislative process prompted Wigley to answer NGA’s competitive-education call for a congressional fellowship offered in conjunction with the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, she said.

The agency selected Wigley as its candidate for the program in February 2012, she said. She received word from Brookings in late 2012 that she was accepted and would start the program in January 2013. She chose to do the 12-month fellowship to maximize her experience on the Hill. Brookings also offers a seven-month fellowship.

Senator Susan Collins

Senator Susan Collins

During her time with Collins, Wigley focused on foreign affairs, defense and national security, she said. Her job included researching topics, drafting legislation, coordinating with other congressional offices, weighing in on vote decisions, and meeting with think tanks, lobbyists and academia – many of which vie for congressional aid and support. She spent most of her time doing hearing preparation.

“The most important part of hearing preparation was crafting questions for the senator to ask the witnesses,” said Wigley. “We had to know specific topics the senator was interested in, research positions of other senators on the topic, collect public statements of the witnesses, then craft questions for her that were pointed and well sourced.”

People don’t understand how hard Congress works, said Wigley.

“Most of us have an impression of Congress from Hollywood, TV shows and the news media – with crooked staff, fine dining and ‘bad’ lobbyists,” said Wigley. “In reality, the staff and members work tirelessly for issues they believe in, and the lobbyists are legitimately seeking support for important issues.”

One of Wigley’s proudest accomplishments during her fellowship was drafting a piece of the Iran sanctions legislation, she said. She worked for months with another fellow and a variety of experts from the Congressional Research Service, industry and experts on foreign affairs to negotiate the first draft of the sanctions language.

There were policy differences between the fellows and their respective offices, said Wigley. But, they were able to reach mutual agreement and coordinate with other committees, special interest groups and the State Department to address all concerns before presenting the final language of the bill to the senators.

“Being a fellow gave me an unprecedented understanding of Congress and how it works,” said Wigley. “I know that my experience there makes me a better NGA employee in that the fellowship helped me understand how members think about issues. That’s invaluable.”

The Legislative Fellows Program consists of an intensive orientation to the operations and organization of the U.S. Congress, followed by a full-time assignment on the staff of a congressional member, committee or support agency.

Learn more about the Brookings Legislative Congressional Fellows Program

Article originally published in theNGA Pathfinder, Magazine of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, page 18 of Vol. 12, No. 2 Spring 2014.

Main image of Dirksen Senate Office Building. Image taken from the public domain Architect of the Capitol website.

Students in Olin’s Brookings Executive Education Master of Science Leadership program based in Washington D.C. traveled to St. Louis  for a week long course, “Daring to Lead”. During this immersion week, the goal is for students to develop and understand their principal motivations for leading. Students also learn how to design organizations and lead them dynamically so that they can deliver superior results while avoiding unintended consequences.

Sunday was opening day of the Daring to Lead course. Dean Gupta gathered the 20 students in Bauer hall overlooking the quad and welcomed to them to Olin Business School, lauding them for their commitment to service and lifelong learning.


William Danforth, Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis (1971-1995), discussed leadership and his grandfather’s book, I Dare You! with the students.

The curriculum for Daring to Lead is built around 3 themes: motivation to lead, the mindset of leaders, and the mental models of leaders. Through conversations with Olin faculty, guest speakers, including members of the Brookings family, and the St Louis corporate community, students learned about courage in action to support their commitment to lead and dare greatly.

The MS-Leadership candidates were enthusiastic about being on campus and engaging with the St.Louis campus and community. The students are mid- to senior- level government managers and until this week have taken their courses in Washington, D.C. at the Brookings Institution.

Olin launched the Master of Science in Leadership (MS-Leadership) degree program delivered through Brookings Executive Education (BEE) in 2011. This distinctive degree is one of the few offered in the United States for leaders in the public sector and is unique in its emphasis on practical application for tackling the multifaceted problems that the government is called upon to solve.


Brookings Legis Fellows

The new year welcomed the Brookings’s Legis Congressional Fellows—Class of 2014. Participants in the Legis Fellows program acquire an in-depth understanding of the legislative process that helps their agency or company interact more effectively with Congress, gain an insider’s knowledge of congressional affairs and public policy, and build their resume with a unique fellowship. Fellows chose a seven-month fellowship or a twelve-month fellowship to serve in a wide variety of congressional and committee offices.

“Though threads of policy thought is more or less consistent, the spin of politics that swirl around policy can … well … leave one’s mind spinning. After a year of up-close observation and involvement Brookings Legislative Fellows will never read, blogs, journals, news or watch cable public affairs (read entertainment) content the same way again. Their understanding and insights will be levels above their peers.”

– Bob Carr, Former Congressman (D-MI); Senior Advisor, Brookings Executive Education

On January 2, Legis Fellows from federal government agencies such as Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of State, and several others gathered to begin their eight day orientation program. The intensive orientation was led by experts at the Brookings Institution and on Capitol Hill.

“Every year I look forward to the start of the new class and finding out their unique identity. Each year, each class presents new ideas and is truly distinct.”

– Ian Dubin, Director, Legis Fellows, Brookings Executive Education

Within 10 days of orientation completing nearly 100% of the Legis Fellows were placed in congressional and committee offices. Brookings Legis Fellows are currently serving in the following offices:

  • Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
  • Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA17)
  • Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)
  • Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX12)
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
  • Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA22)
  • Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA22)
  • Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL8)
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Majority)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
  • Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO1)
  • Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA3)
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX10)
  • Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY13)
  • Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY13)
  • Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL4)
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
  • Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (Maj)
  • Senate Budget Committee (Maj)
  • Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA52)
  • Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD)
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA5)
  • Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

“The opportunity to witness the adaptation of participants from the Executive branch of the government to the Legislative branch is remarkable and exciting. Fellows become ingrained in the culture of this once unfamiliar system.  At the end of their year on the Hill they leave the institution with a fundamental understanding of Congress and how to effectively navigate it in the future; that is truly the unique value of the fellowship.”

– Trevor Corning, Legis Program Manager

School’s not out yet for Olin undergrads in a new course called Business & Government: Understanding and Influencing the Regulatory Environment.  While their classmates packed up for summer destinations, the pioneers in this class trekked to the nation’s capital for a weeklong immersion into the regulatory workings of Washington D.C.

The program is designed and delivered by Brookings Executive Education (BEE), a unique partnership between Olin and the Brookings Institution. Students in this inaugural course include undergrads, MBAs and PMBAs.

Students were greeted on Sunday by Trevor Corning, BEE program coordinator, and led on a lively tour of Washington. The group is lodged in the heart of the city, at DuPont Circle, a short walk to Brookings and other notable sights such as the White House.

The class got down to business early Monday morning with an overview by BEE’s Mary Ellen Joyce of a heuristic by which to understand the process and the role of a policy entrepreneur.

Former Oklahoma Governor and now President of the American Banker’s Association, Frank Keating, keynoted the program sharing his observations about the importance of government-business interaction.

Governor Keating was followed by John Hudak, a Brookings Fellow, who discussed the publicly underestimated power of the President and his Cabinet secretaries, providing insight into opportunities to engage with decisionmakers.

Following lunch, the vibrant Ilona Nichols (Public Policy Consultant; former House and Senate Staffer, and Congressional Research Service expert on legislative procedures), briefed the students on the legislative process, confirming notions that Congress is indeed a “sausage factory.”

Next up was a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol led by former Congressman Jack Buechner who represented the district surrounding St. Louis. Buechner brought the students onto the floor of the House, creating lasting memories for the group.

The day concluded with a visit to the Washington office of Monsanto where students learned about the business perspective of the policy process and the importance of active participation in policy conversations.

Then it was back to work. Monday evening, students met in their groups to start discussing their assignment to develop an advocacy plan. Students were assigned roles to play in the debate over a high-level nuclear waste repository. We’ll see at the end of the week if the nuclear industry will hold sway over the anti-nukes!