The MSB’s Center for Business and Public Policy recently announced that next week it will begin hosting periodic public forums to debate issues regarding American and international businesses in the fields of economics, regulation and ethics. These events, which will be open to students, will feature political and academic individuals that can provide insight into the relationship between business and public policy.

Executive Director of the Center for Business and Public Policy and MSB Dean John Mayo stressed the importance of providing policymakers with a neutral forum in which to voice their ideas about public policy’s affect on economics. “We hope that placing a discussion on campus will encourage participants to take a small step back from the daily political fray and take a fresh look,” Mayo said in a Feb. 4, 2003 Georgetown University press release.

On Feb. 21, the series of forums will commence with a roundtable format discussion entitled “Future Directions for the Telecommunications Industry.” It will focus on how to move this struggling industry forward. The discussion will bring together leading academics, financial analysts, industry experts, consumers and state and federal policymakers as the Federal Communications Commission reviews regulations designed to encourage competition in the industry.

Mayo also emphasized the immense opportunity presented to Georgetown students because of its location . “One of the great advantages of a business school in Washington, D.C., is its ability to observe first-hand the way government decision-making affects business development and operations,” Mayo said. “Through these forums, our students will hear firsthand the multiple, sometimes conflicting, considerations that confront policymakers and that are critically important to businesses success.”

He further noted that he encourages learning outside of the classroom for MSB students. “The McDonough school is uniquely positioned to provide its students with access to the business, labor, regulatory and political leaders that represent the full array of complex decision-making required in the `real world,'” Mayo said.

MSB Director of Communications Jessica Botta further discussed the motivations for this new program. “The forums were initiated to facilitate distinctive dialogues between various stakeholders at the intersection of business and public policy,” Botta said. “The goal is to bring together conflicting and complementary viewpoints from various stakeholders – from policymakers to investment analysts, from technologists to consumers, all within a framework of academic integrity to promote rich debate and real interaction.” Botta credits Dean Mayo with the launch and implementation of the program.

Botta further discussed the logistics of planning the forums. “The forums will be planned by the Center staff – including the dean – in conjunction with faculty members, who will provide a great deal of

support and thought leadership in terms of setting the agendas as well as inviting speakers and panelists,” Botta said. She cited Assistant Professor Bennet Zelner and Associate Professor Willis Emmons as instrumental in planning future forums.

Mayo also said that there would be at least one more forum in the current calendar year that will correspond to an active issue. The Center is currently planning its annual Workplace Safety Summit to be held in April.

In the future, Botta anticipates big names in the political and business world to be involved with the program. “Our hopes and our standards are set high. The first Workplace Safety Summit brought U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill. The Feb. 21 telecommunications roundtable will host FCC Commissioner Kevin J. artin,” Botta said. “Our goal is to keep the forums relatively small but of very high quality.”

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