The last three days of The Washington Campus course, “Business and Public Policy: How Washington Works and What Issues Matter”, continued to be busy and full of valuable information. We started Day 3 with a grim report on the federal budget and US economy by Joseph Minarik, Senior Vice President of the Committee for Economic Development. Then Shirley Zebroski, Faculty Director of The Washington Campus, discussed US Trade Policy in general and pending trade policy with Korea specifically. After lunch, Adam Cobb, Professor of International Relations at Command and Staff College of Marine Corps University, talked to us about US strategic relationships with other countries. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to a computer simulation showing us a glimpse of what it is like to be a first-term member of the House of Representatives. We had to make quick decisions about what policies to support and how to handle a variety of situations. With each round, we received a report detailing how our constituents, colleagues, media, and other interested parties felt we were performing. It was a demonstration that a representative can never make everyone happy.
Day 4 started with a lesson on political campaigns and how to run one with Joe McLean, President of McLean/Clark. Then Timothy Brennan, Senior Fellow of Resources for the Future, talked about US energy policy. After lunch, Chris Hansen, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, talked to us about US health policy and specifically about the new Affordable Care Plan. The Assistant Vice President for Federal Relations of Ohio State University, Stacy Rastauskas, talked about lobbying Congress for federal funding for research and student loans. Lastly, Kevin Hassett, Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies at American Enterprise Institute, made it just in time from testifying to Congress to talk to us about taxes, tax reform, and his ideas for improving the federal budget.
Our last day started with a talk from Shannon Penberthy, Associate Director of Federal Government Relations at P&G, about her work in lobbying Congress and advocacy strategy. Kiki McLean, Global Head of Public Affairs and Managing Director of Porter Novelli, talked about her work on Hilary Clinton’s campaign and how to manage a crisis. After taking our exam based on the readings and lectures throughout the week, we took a bus to the National Press Club. We had lunch, and then Steve Roberts, Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, talked to us about the changing role of media and its impact on public policy.
It was a fabulous week full of great information, and I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in business and how government and business interrelate.