Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Days 1 & 2 of the Washington, DC course: Business and Public Policy

The first two days in The Washington Campus course, “Business and Public Policy: How Washington Works and What Issues Matter”, have been busy and full of valuable information. On the first day, we met our fellow students – 15 students from Indiana University’s Kelley Direct program and 38 MBA students from Ohio State University – along with our faculty director, logistics coordinator, and program coordinator. Then we had four excellent speakers with diverse experiences in Washington. John Shelk, President and CEO of Electric Power Supply Association, spoke about the US Congress and policymaking including the changing roles of congressional committees. Jeff Weinberg, Legislative Attorney for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), talked to us about the executive branch and policymaking and how Presidents have differed in policymaking over the years. Jonathan Gledhill, President of The Policy Navigation Group, spoke to us about the regulatory process and the role of the OMB in that process. Douglas Bennett, Vice President of Federal Affairs for Liberty Mutual Group, talked with us about lobbying and interest groups. Afterward, we had a social event at James Hoban’s Restaurant and Bar.

On our second day, we visited the US Capitol where Marjorie Glick spoke to us about her role as a staffer in Senator Sherrod Brown’s office. Then Senator Sherrod Brown himself spoke to us about being a senator for Ohio and answered lots of questions. Afterward, we were free to choose which Senate or House hearings we wanted to attend. I attended the hearing on Deficit Reduction where all 12 members of the Super Committee presided over it. After lunch, we all met at the Veterans of Foreign Wars building where Mickey Edwards, former representative for Oklahoma in the House of Representatives, reflected on his time as a representative and discussed the changes in Congress today. Afterward, we had a choice to see the Supreme Court or to visit the Senate or House galleries. I chose to see the Senate gallery and heard senators discussing FEMA funding for victims of natural disasters in their states.


The next three days are packed with more valuable information and events, and I’m looking forward to learning more.


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