The McDonough School of Business announced the launch of its Business, Society, and Public Policy Initiative on Oct. 15. The initiative focuses on how business and public policy intersect in modern society and the opportunities and consequences these interactions provide.
The program will provide for a wide variety of events, including lectures by prominent business and government leaders, and will serve as a platform for faculty research.
“The purpose of the program is to address the intersection of business, government and society,” Managing Director James Moore said. “The best way to explain that is to address how public policy decisions affect business and what business could and should be doing as an agent for change.”
Moore formerly served as the assistant secretary of commerce for trade development, but returned to Georgetown to run the initiative at the request of MSB Dean David Thomas. He has taught international business, corporate ethics and leadership and management at the MSB since 1999 and served on the boards of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Overseas and Private Investment Corporation and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, among other involvement in international affairs during the Reagan administration.
“We are excited to have him at the helm of the initiative. He is extremely accomplished in his own right and will bring vision and leadership to the initiative,” Thomas wrote in an email.
The advisory board of the initiative is comprised of a number of renowned individuals, including Thomas Farley (COL ’97), president of the New York Stock Exchange, former Mexican president and CEO of Coca-Cola Mexico Vincente Foxand Ann M. Veneman, executive director of UNICEF from 2005 to 2010 and U.S. secretary of agriculture from 2001 to 2005.
“Georgetown McDonough has the distinct advantage of being a top business school located in Washington, D.C., which has fast become an international hub of business and public policy,” Thomas wrote. “We launched the Business, Society, and Public Policy Initiative to capitalize on this unique advantage. We want the world to understand that we already have significant research and other faculty-led centers and initiatives in this domain, making us a major nonpartisan, global venue to address critical business issues of the day.”
All schools at Georgetown will be able to participate in the initiative, as well as all areas of the MSB.
“We also envision that the initiative will support and integrate the nine other centers and initiatives within the McDonough School of Business, as well as involve the greater Georgetown community — including all of the university’s other schools — in important discussions,” Thomas wrote.
However, the initiative is meant to involve more than just the Georgetown community.
“On a local, national and international basis, we are going to be able to focus on issues that are of great importance to the general public,” Moore said.
Already, a multitude of different people from all sectors of Georgetown have been brought together in the development of the initiative.
“It’s very exciting to have a student body and faculty that have already made clear their genuine interest to see that the initiative exists and to support it,” Moore said. “I am delighted that I have been working with all the different schools.”
Moore emphasizes the roles of students in the initiative, believing student involvement is critical to the project.
“My heart has always been in the classroom, and I want very much to get the students’ input because to build the best possible initiative, the input of students on every level is critical to success,” Moore said.
He hopes that students will be influenced by the initiative and seek out opportunities to gain skills in critical thinking, analysis and strategy both in the classroom, through lectures and in collaboration with influential global and government leaders and the members of the advisory board. These skills could then be applied to solve prominent, current business issues.
“The initiative will begin holding events in the near future, primarily focused on connecting our students with business, nonprofit and government leaders to engage in conversations about the role of business in society,” Thomas wrote. “We also are working to develop a certificate program for MBA students.”
Looking ahead, the initiative seeks to connect many facets of society and to broaden the minds of those who partake in it.
“To be able to take this on and see that Georgetown can contribute to national and global dialogue is very important,” Moore said.
Georgetown’s location gives it an incredible advantage and opportunity in examining issues of business, government and society, and the initiative helps spread Georgetown’s core values.
“Collectively, we strive to educate our students to be globally minded, principled leaders in service to business and society,” Thomas wrote.