The McDonough School of Business and the Bipartisan Policy Center are collaborating through the school’s Business, Society and Public Policy Initiative, a nonpartisan venue that aims to provide students, faculty and the public with an increased understanding of the intersection between business, society and public policy.
MSB Dean David Thomas and BPC President Jason Grumet signed a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations March 26 at the university.
The BPC was founded in 2007 by former Senate majority leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell. It is a nonprofit organization that seeks to drive politically balanced policymaking through analysis, negotiation and dialogue.
“BPC is committed to forming innovative partnerships that strengthen our work, expand our reach, and keep us on the leading edge of national policy debates,” Grumet said in a press release. “We are delighted to join with Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business in bringing together the best aspects of corporate leadership, policy development, and public service.”
BSPP Initiative Managing Director James Moore said that the common missions of the two organizations played an integral role in the initiation of the relationship.
“There was a shared interest in being able to speak to critical issues that are facing businesses and political leaders in the 21st century,” Moore said. “On the part of the Bipartisan Policy Center, it was to minimize the partisan bickering that we see in Washington, D.C.”
John Mayo, founder and executive director of Georgetown’s Center for Business and Public Policy, also stressed the importance of this relationship and how its development fits into the MSB’s mission.
“It demonstrates a desire on the part of the business school to build bridges between it and the greater Washington D.C. policy community,” Mayo said. “The agreement really advances the goal of the school to transfer knowledge being generated out of a strictly academic environment to a broader audience of businesspeople and policymakers as they discuss critical issues of the day in Washington.”
Thomas added that Georgetown’s Jesuit values of service for others also plays out in the partnership.
“At the McDonough School of Business, we examine how we can best use our greatest asset — our world-renowned expertise in business — to the benefit of others. Applying our expertise to government is one of the ways in which we hope to positively impact our city, our nation and the world,” Thomas wrote.
The relationship will consist of joint projects and conferences that aim to develop a set of business principles that could be integrated into government practices.
Moore said this aspect is particularly important considering that a new presidential administration will be established in 2017.
“Thinking about the next administration that comes into office, we are concerned about inefficient and wasteful government,” Moore said. “The opportunity for us to take these next two years and figure out realistic, constructive ways and integrate them into the government I think is something very worthwhile and compelling.”
Thomas also stressed the critical component of the partnership’s intended work.
“We hope these recommendations will allow for greater efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability in government,” Thomas wrote. “I cannot overemphasize the critical nature of this particular project.”
MSB students will be heavily involved in the development of these principles and practices, as the partnerships offer additional opportunities for professional development, including symposiums on Capitol Hill and speakers on campus sponsored by the BPC.
“This memo of understanding is also a pathway for our students to secure mentorships with very senior policy makers and internships at the BPC,” Mayo said.
A six-person working group composed of members from both institutions will meet by the end of the month to move plans for the relationship forward. The team from the MSB will consist of Moore, Mayo and Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative Founder Bill Novelli. They will be joined by Grumet, former Maine Senator Olympia Snowe and chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America Dan Glickman.
Moore highlighted the unique nature of the memorandum of understanding and his optimism about the future of the relationship.
“We are the only business school that has this kind of relationship with the Bipartisan Policy Center,” Moore said. “We are going to take off the partisan blinders and really give it our best to be as evenhanded as possible. It is something that hopefully will last for some time to come, and members of the faculty, students, and administrators of the Business School are very excited about the opportunity.”
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