Spring 2011 State & Hill: All in the Same Boat?

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The Magazine of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy


S p r i n g 2011

From Our Corner to the Four Corners of the Globe

All In The Same Boat? Views on international economics, development, and growth

Lake Malawi, Malawi




F E ATURE from the dean

trikes, demonstrations, and rallies are spreading through the Middle East and North Africa as citizens challenge dictatorships, human rights violations, and policies that perpetuate extreme poverty. Hundreds of thousands are displaced by the earthquake, tsunami, and unfolding nuclear crisis in northeast Japan. These events illustrate how complex and interconnected our world truly is. One demonstration inspires others—as well as an international response. One disaster ignites others—as well as international efforts for humanitarian relief. At the Ford School, our community has been deeply moved by these events—which touched several of our international students and alumni directly. Last week, our students organized a benefit event to raise money for children whose parents were injured or killed in the disasters in Japan. Although ours is a small school, nearly 100 attended that event—raising more than $2,000 for Japanese relief efforts in a single evening. The week before, one of our first year master’s students, a former U.S. Marine with family in Egypt, shared photos from his recent visit to Cairo in the aftermath of the “Youth Revolution” (p. 22). While the Ford School student body is increasingly diverse and involved in international affairs, this global engagement only serves to fortify the school’s traditional strengths in local, state, and national policy. More and more, we find that local issues—like the U-M’s new policies regarding the return of Native American artifacts and human remains to Michigan tribes (p. 20)—are part of a larger policy shift that’s taking place across the world. More and more, we find that international events—like seismic shifts in the global distribution of economic power (see the article about the fascinating work of Ford School Committee member Allen Sinai on p. 16)—enhance our understanding of domestic ones. These are powerful synergies that catalyze new insights in our classrooms.

State & Hill Dean: Susan M. Collins Associate Dean: Alan V. Deardorff Director of Communications/Editor: Laura K. Lee (MPP ‘96) Lead Writer: Erin Spanier Contributors: Katie Talik, Sarah Obed (MPP ’11), Ryan Pretzer (MPP ’12) Design: Savitski Design Printer: University Lithoprinters, Inc. Printed on paper made from 100% postconsumer waste using biogas energy.

Two weeks ago, we hosted the fourth annual Gramlich Showcase—one of my favorite Ford School events—to highlight some of our students’ many accomplishments. Everywhere I walked, I overheard animated conversations about pressing domestic and international policy challenges. A presentation on waste management challenges in Grenada sat beside another on domestic policies that help students with disabilities transition to postsecondary education. A poster on the international microfinance institution Kiva sat beside one investigating how divorce impacts U.S. women’s risk of health insurance loss. Much of this wonderful student work is inspired and encouraged by our stellar Ford School faculty, who engender excellence by the extraordinary work they do in the classroom and in the world. Three of these faculty members—Barry Rabe, Susan Waltz, and Brian Jacob—were recognized with prestigious U-M awards just this semester. We’re so proud of their accomplishments. As I write about all of the activities taking place here at the Ford School, however, I am intensely curious about what’s taking place in your lives, and hope you’ll stay in touch. As always, your continued support for and engagement with the school is deeply appreciated.

Let us know what you think:


fspp-editor@umich.edu, or Editor, State & Hill, Ford School, University of Michigan, 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor MI 48109-3091 Susan M. Collins

Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy ®

Regents of the University of Michigan Julia Donovan Darlow, Ann Arbor Laurence B. Deitch, Bingham Farms Denise Ilitch, Bingham Farms Olivia P. Maynard, Goodrich Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park S. Martin Taylor, Grosse Pointe Farms Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor Mary Sue Coleman (ex officio)

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Spring 2011

& A Thinner Blue Line 4 Widening disparities in public safety

Transition Economies 7 Svejnar advises post-Soviet Bloc countries

Accounting for Growth 9 What drives development?

A Powerful Anti-Poverty Tool 11 Improving effectiveness of migrant remittances

A Macro Lens 16 Sinai surveys the economic landscape

In Addition PhD Research in Rural Malawi 14 New Policies Seek Return of Native American Remains 20 Spring Break in Post-Revolution Cairo 22 Undergrad Tackles Daily Sports Beat 24 Investing in Detroit 25

Departments Faculty News & Awards 26

Courtesy of: Brian Callahan

Class Notes 28 The Last Word: Elisabeth Johnston 30

Cover photo courtesy of Jessica Goldberg



Fac ulty F EATURE

A thinner blue line David Thacher explores the growing gulf in public safety between haves, have-nots.


lint and Ann Arbor, Mich., are roughly equal in size. But that’s where the comparison ends.

Ann Arbor is home to a rapidly growing tech industry, a highly educated and affluent population, and a $26 million police services budget. Flint is the birthplace of both Michael Moore and General Motors, but home to neither. Instead, the city is home to high poverty and unemployment, one of the most startling violent crime rates in America, and a $17 million budget shortfall that forced Flint Mayor Dayne Walling to lay off more than 60 officers last year alone. As a result, the most recent national figures show that Ann Arbor has more than seven times as many officers per violent crime as Flint does. Unfortunately, these disparities aren’t unusual, explains David Thacher, associate professor of public policy and urban planning at the Ford School. Thacher’s research casts a spotlight on the growing national trend of public safety disparities—one that he’d like to see reversed.

David Thacher

In 1967, in response to a series of race riots that broke out across the nation (one of the worst of them in Detroit), President Lyndon Johnson appointed an advisory commission to investigate why the riots had taken place, and what could be done to prevent a recurrence. The commission’s report, which uncovered extensive complaints about police abuse in poor, black neighborhoods, concluded by saying that these concerns might actually be overshadowed by another belief: that “ghetto neighborhoods are not given adequate police protection.” A spate of new research examined this claim. Much of this research, however, focused on examining policing disparities within cities, explains Thacher. In New York City, for example, researchers would investigate whether the city allocated more officers to Harlem or Park Avenue. What researchers found was that police departments distributed their officers pretty evenly between high and low income areas. They valued equity, and sent officers out to address crime wherever it occurred.

Ann Arbor



What researchers didn’t investigate, however, were disparities between cities—in part because the data were much more difficult to compile. To explore this, Thacher spent months compiling data on the number of officers, number of violent crimes, and demographic characteristics of some 20,000 police department jurisdictions in the United States. His discovery: that wealthy, white jurisdictions did indeed have far more police per crime than poor, predominantly black ones. In fact, he explains, the contrast has become increasingly pronounced since the 1970s. Today, the whitest jurisdictions have seven times as many officers per violent crime as the blackest ones. This may seem a fairly obvious point to anyone who lives in a community plagued by high crime rates. But as a matter of public policy, contends Thacher, the glaring inequity in police protection flies surprisingly under the radar of analysis or debate.

Meet David Thacher •

Since earning his PhD in public policy and urban planning from MIT in 1999, David Thacher has focused much of his research on ethical issues in public policy, trying to identify and draw attention to values often neglected by policymakers and analysts—particularly in the area of public safety.

Thacher is currently working on a book about humanistic policy research, in which he explores the moral foundations of public policy and examines how studies that rely on narrative, ethnographic field research, and case studies help to clarify the values that public policy should aim to achieve.

Thacher’s research projects include a study of employment programs for ex-convicts and a long-term research project on the management of shared spaces in diverse societies.

So why the disparity? Mainly, it’s a matter of funding. To illustrate, let’s take the example of education. In America, education has always been a local concern. The one-room schoolhouses of our grandparents’ generation were constructed and paid for by local residents. The teacher’s salary and supplies came from those same pockets. During the Civil Rights movement, however, the problems with this system became glaringly apparent. Schools in white, wealthy neighborhoods had significantly more funding than those in poor or black ones, with the wealthiest five percent of school districts spending more than two and a half times as much per pupil as the poorest. To address this problem, Washington and state governments intervened, providing funding intended to reduce those inequities. These efforts continue to this day, and are important means of extending equal opportunities to all children—regardless of wealth or race. Like schools, firehouses and police stations have also historically been built and financed by local residents; however, without significant federal or state revenue sharing, the inequity has grown. Case in point, Ann Arbor (with a median home value of $200,000) has a well-funded department, while Flint (with a median home value of $62,000) has a much thinner blue line. Ultimately, these disparities mean some neighborhoods suffer enormously from crime, says Thacher. As a consultant for the Boston Housing Authority, Thacher once interviewed residents, managers, and local police at the Mission Main and Orchard Park Housing Developments to better understand and address their public safety needs. What he learned was that safety in those neighborhoods was a huge concern, particularly in Mission Main, which unwillingly hosted the largest open-air heroin market in New England. High crime has spillover effects, too, he explains. “Police get so strapped in these places that they can’t attend to the everyday quality-of-life issues—like public drinking, noise, and street harassment—that we take for granted in places like Ann Arbor.” As a result, quality-of-life declines as people spend more time indoors, become suspicious of their neighbors, and lose trust in government. Thacher’s research, which explores policing disparities in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, notes that the problem has worsened over time—with one exception.




Fac ulty F EATURE

In 1994, President Clinton signed a bill (“COPS”) designed to allow local communities to hire 100,000 officers across the nation. The federal government eventually spent $9 billion on this effort, making it, Thacher says, “by far the largest police revenue-sharing program in U.S. history.” That funding narrowed the inequality slightly, but only made a dent in the underlying problem, says Thacher. “While COPS was a large program, it only covered one percent of the total amount spent by local police jurisdictions.” In education, by comparison, state and federal funding covers more than 50 percent of school expenses across the nation today—the result of more than

problems like homeland security and cybercrime, it enables disparities to continue and grow, and it locks the country’s police resources into particular places, even as crime and safety problems move around.” One of the participants in the Executive Session was Christine Nixon, the former commissioner of Australia’s Victoria Police. “She was baffled by our American system,” says Thacher. “She can reallocate officers all across the province of Victoria, which is about as big as Arizona in size and population. If there’s a problem over here, she moves police here. If there’s a problem over there, she

Some have argued that public safety—like leaf removal, public art programs, or parks—is an optional service that taxpayers choose when they select a community. three decades of new revenue-sharing policies in that field. Some have argued that public safety—like leaf removal, public art programs, or parks—is an optional service that taxpayers choose when they select a community. If a community isn’t providing the level of services and taxes that residents demand, they can move to another that does. Thacher, however, argues that public safety has far more in common with education than it does with leaf removal. In fact, he believes, it’s a right we’re all entitled to, and as such, should be distributed equitably. In the spring 2011 edition of The Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Thacher’s article, “The Distribution of Police Protection,” explains these issues in detail. He also explored them at a recent meeting of the Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. At that meeting, prominent scholars in policing and public safety joined emerging and established police leaders to discuss the field’s most pressing contemporary challenges and opportunities. There, Thacher argued that scholars and police leaders needed to explore new variations on the status quo. “For all its virtues, our extremely decentralized approach to policing faces more and more challenges in the contemporary world,” he says. “It’s mismatched to new


April ’09 groundbreaking for new Ann Arbor Police Services and 15th District Court facility.

puts them there. But if we have a problem in Saginaw or Flint, we don’t send police from Ann Arbor.” Dayne Walling, the mayor of Flint, probably wishes we would. In the meantime, he told State & Hill, he’s looking for alternate solutions. The C.S. Mott Foundation recently provided a grant to maintain some of Flint’s foot patrols and conduct an independent analysis of the city’s “Minimum Strategic Service Level,” the lowest possible number of officers required to respond to safety needs. That analysis, conducted by Michigan State University researchers, set the baseline at 150 officers—23 more than Flint now has on active duty. In the face of continued budget shortfalls (and a paucity of state and federal revenue-sharing options), Walling is hoping Flint’s voters will recognize the need to at least maintain current funding levels for safety services. This May, Flint ballots will include two millage proposals: $2 million to continue to fund 16 Flint officers (if this doesn’t pass, Walling will be forced to extend the layoffs), and $2 million to reopen the city jail (state and local officers believe this will help prevent crime). According to the results of a small, independent survey, some 60 percent of the voters were in favor of a third millage proposal, too—another $2 million to hire additional police and fire department personnel—but the proposal was rejected by City Council. At the Ford School, Thacher regularly teaches courses on values and ethics in public policy, and notes that the equitable distribution of police—and the equitable distribution of safety—is an important and currently overlooked value. “Caring about public policy means caring about whether policies are good or bad, and how well they serve the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society,” says Thacher. “Right now, the funding mechanism for public safety doesn’t allow us to do that.” ■

Issue Focus: Global Economies



Economist Jan Svejnar advises post-Soviet Bloc countries

Jan Svejnar

Professor Jan Svejnar, the son of a prominent development economist, was forced to flee his home when the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. Svejnar, who lived through the rise of the Berlin Wall, and its undoing, is now an internationally recognized expert in transition economies, which he believes are a wonderful laboratory for anyone who wants to understand economic development.


t began with a wire fence in 1961. Then houses were razed all around the perimeter so guards would have clear lines of fire. A concrete wall was put in later, then reinforced and strengthened with barbed wire, anti-vehicle trenches, and guard towers. The Soviets argued that the wall was installed to protect its citizens from fascists, but others say it was built—at great expense—to control mass defections. To the east, explains Czech-born Ford School Professor Jan Svejnar, there was autocracy, a centrally planned economy, Marxist and Leninist indoctrination, and shortages of goods and services. To the west: democracy, a free market economy, freedom of speech, and a flourishing standard of life. No wonder so many were fleeing the Soviet Bloc. Jan Svejnar was 15 when the USSR reimposed its reign over Czechoslovakia through a military occupation. By then, the Berlin Wall “death strip” had been added, and the concrete enforcements begun. He joined hundreds of university students in protests, and had no plans to leave, but his father—a development economist—knew the communists would soon blacklist and persecute anyone who had extolled democracy and free market forces. The elder Svejnar found a visiting professorship in Nigeria and fled with his family.

Two decades later, after earning his bachelor’s in industrial and labor relations at Cornell and his master’s and doctorate in economics at Princeton, Svejnar had become, like his father, a noted development economist. So when the Berlin Wall was torn down in response to increasing civil unrest, and Vaclav Havel led the bloodless Velvet Revolution to end communist rule in Czechoslovakia, Svejnar quickly became Havel’s top economic advisor, helping guide the country toward a free market economy. In 1991, Svejnar and his colleague, Jozef Zieleniec, established the Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education (CERGE) in Prague to educate future leaders who could shape the economies of former Soviet Bloc countries. In the House of the Angel, on the Street of Political Prisoners, this American-style university has educated thousands of students from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Romania, Russia, the Czech Republic, and many other post-Soviet states. Today, the Czech Republic is a flourishing member of the European Union, and Svejnar has become an internationally recognized expert in “transition” economies—economies, like the Czech Republic, that shift from central, autarchic control to free market forces.



Transi ti o n ec onom i es

Picture a society where nearly all prices are set and every business is owned and run by the government—from the factory manufacturing hammers and nails, to the electric company, the phone company, the corner store, and the media. Now picture that country, in response to political or social pressures, suddenly turning all of those businesses over to private sector investors and allowing market forces to determine prices. This is an economy in transition, the “Big Bang” to some economists. “Where natural scientists look to the Big Bang as the start of the Universe, we see here the unique example of the launch of a market system,” says Svejnar, who believes transition economies are a wonderful laboratory for anyone who wants to understand economic development. Studying these countries not only helps Svejnar explain the particular economic forces at work in transition economies, but also how advanced market economies might have looked at their earlier stages (before we had good data on them) and how developing economies with similar imperfections might respond to specific economic policies. In this transition, some economists argue for gradualism. Others argue for economic shock therapy, a rapid privatization process. Svejnar is in the latter camp, but believes it’s critical for transition economies to take time to establish a detailed legal framework to guard against monopolies, to prevent corruption, and to protect their citizens, before they make the shift. “The goal of the legal system in a totalitarian country is to control the population and make sure that everybody

behaves,” says Svejnar. In the new legal system, he asserts, laws and policies need to be put in place that will guard against corporate and government corruption, combat unemployment and inflation, encourage long-term economic growth, and ensure that all citizens benefit from the new free market economy. Svejnar’s research shows that some transition strategies produce better results than others. For example, he argues, privatization of state property to foreign firms improves overall performance, but privatization to domestic owners—on average—did not. This finding initially surprised Svejnar, his collaborators, and the profession at large. “Everybody assumed back in 1989, 1990, when things were formulated for privatization, that privatization was unambiguously going to lead to better outcomes,” says Svejnar. In fact, while a few countries did succeed by privatizing to local firms, most did worse by privatizing to locals over foreign investors. Principally, Svejnar says, this was attributable to corruption (including asset stripping from previously state-owned firms) and limited ability to operate in a market system on the part of many local owner-managers. Attracting foreign investors, says Svejnar, not only imports capital, but also knowledge, technology, and managerial skills. Plus, foreign investors introduce a climate of competition and train local workers. So when foreign firms come in, there’s a positive spillover, he says; domestic firm performance improves as well.

Photo: Getty Images/AFP

Svejnar also studies unemployment rates in transition economies—an important measure of success. “In centrally planned systems, there was no unemployment,” says Svejnar. “The planners assured that everybody had a job. It was also compulsory for everyone to work—if you did not, you were prosecuted as a social parasite.” While everyone had a job, however, it didn’t mean they were working. Effort, and hence productivity, was often very low.

Above: Prague residents surround tanks on August 21,1968 during the Soviet-led invasion. Below: The lively Charles Bridge in present day Prague.

To maximize employment, Svejnar emphasizes policies such as infrastructure development and job training, which enable workers to move from regions and professions where jobs are scarce, to areas where there is demand. Similarly, tax policies can be designed that encourage firms to hire workers, rather than discourage them. Back in the Czech Republic, Svejnar’s efforts on behalf of his country’s transition economy did not go unnoticed. In 1997, Vaclav Havel offered Svejnar the post of prime minister, although he could not accept, having surrendered his citizenship as a teenager to enable his emigration. In 2008, his Czech citizenship restored, Svejnar announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Czech Republic. While he ended up losing the parliamentary election very narrowly to current president Vaclav Klaus, Svejnar ran a successful campaign and remains an influential economic advisor to Czech leaders. At the Ford School, Svejnar teaches a well-received graduate seminar on leadership, sharing with students his well-earned insights on what makes a policy leader effective and how innovative leadership approaches can result in sound public policy. ■

Issue Focus: Global Economies


“Accounting for growth” Susan Collins’ influential data helps economists, policymakers understand what drives development Susan M. Collins and co-author Barry P. Bosworth, both senior fellows at the DC-based Brookings Institution, will release an update to their widely used growth accounts this spring. The data allow students, researchers, and policy analysts to compare and contrast the growth experiences of 84 emerging and industrial economies from 1960-2008, the period just before the recent economic crisis.


ighteen years ago, Susan M. Collins had recently joined the Brookings Institution as a senior fellow when a colleague, Barry Bosworth, asked for her help with some research on international economic growth. The question that motivated them was simple: inspiration or perspiration? The answer, however, was complex. In the field of international economic development, trying to understand why some countries struggle while others are able to achieve robust, prolonged periods of growth is a perennial question. One academic camp emphasizes perspiration, the other inspiration. Bosworth and Collins didn’t know the answer, but they were interested in whether new data could improve our understanding. “One of the things countries do to grow is the hard work of saving,” says Collins. “You tighten your belts, you consume less, and you use those resources to invest so you can accumulate more capital.” You might invest in roads, or ports, or factories, or tractors, or schools. That’s the accumulation or “perspiration” dimension of economic growth, she explains.

The other dimension is “inspiration,” or what economists like to call Total Factor Productivity—figuring out ways to produce more output (goods and services) with the workforce and capital on hand. These increases in efficiency might come from improving how firms organize their operations; or from making new discoveries like disease-resistant seeds; or smaller, faster computers; or the Internet. Advanced and emerging economies face distinct challenges and opportunities with each of these paths. In more advanced countries, inspiration typically means new innovations, made possible through investments in research and development. Especially in poor and emerging economies, “it is more likely to be learning how to do things that other people have already figured out how to do—adopting existing technologies or implementing best practices,” Collins explains. “For poor countries, postponing consumption in order to invest can be particularly challenging,” says Collins, “but taking out loans to invest in roads or schools leaves countries in debt; so efficiency increases—such as from the adoption of existing technologies—promise a faster way for poorer countries to catch up.” To begin their exploration, Collins and her partner needed to compile relevant and reliable data for a large group of countries, across a long period of time. Eighteen years ago, putting all of that information together required extensive review of data from a variety of sources. They ended up with growth accounts for a total of 84 countries that are home to roughly 85 percent of the world’s population and 95 percent of the world’s GDP. Over the years, Bosworth and Collins have used the resulting data often. They’ve compared single countries to regions, they’ve compared rapidly growing countries to slowly growing ones, and they’ve compared ‘success stories’ to one another. During 2003-2006, they used the data as part of an in-depth case analysis to understand why Puerto Rico’s economy stopped catching up with the U.S.

Susan Collins




G rowth Ac c o un ts

mainland—and what the commonwealth’s policymakers might do to revive their economy. More recently, the growth accounts were the basis for a comparison of the growth experiences of China and India. With each study, Collins and Bosworth have learned that there’s no single ‘recipe’ for achieving sustained economic growth. “It requires both perspiration and inspiration, as well as increases in education,” says Collins, “and all of these pieces interact.”

provide a pre-crisis snapshot that will facilitate intriguing comparisons in the future. Collins notes that the most recent update confirms some interesting patterns and offers additional insights. Since 2000, for example, African countries have outpaced Latin American ones, she says; however, relatively little of that growth is due to perspiration. Instead, most of it seems to be associated with inspiration—more output given the

“They certainly don’t provide all the answers,” she warns. “However, these data are very useful as benchmarks and as starting points for further analysis. Growth accounts can help to set your compass and get you thinking.” Collins is extremely cautious about over promising what the growth accounts can do. “They certainly don’t provide all the answers,” she warns. “However, these data are very useful as benchmarks and as starting points for further analysis. Growth accounts can help to set your compass and get you thinking.” This year, Bosworth and Collins were asked to do a study of growth experiences in the Pacific Rim. Because this dynamic region includes a diverse set of countries in Asia as well as the Americas, they decided to update the entire growth account dataset, which is now current through 2008. While Collins would love to have more recent data to take a look at how countries weathered the economic crisis, this will have to wait a few years, given lags in international data reporting. “Still, this is a good time to take another look,” she says. Much has happened since the accounts were last updated, and this version will

available workers and capital. African nations are rapidly figuring out ways to use technologies—like cell phones— that are making them more productive. Other changes, such as extended periods of peace that allow people to focus on producing goods and services, are also part of the story. But for their growth to be sustained, these countries will eventually need to increase their capital, as well, by investing in roads, factories, and hospitals. Increasing output per worker—a function of both perspiration and inspiration—is critical for raising the supply of goods and services available per person, says Collins. “It’s essential for raising living standards,” she explains, which is the ultimate objective of international economic development. “We don’t know of any country that has done significantly better—pulled people out of poverty and substantially improved their well-being— without economic growth.” ■

Ford School Spotlight  SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT The Ford School welcomed development economist Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and author of The End of Poverty, to give a 2010 Citigroup Foundation Lecture.

 GOOD POINT Ford School BA student Maria Liu (right) and her partner, Edmund Zagorin (red sweater), led the U-M debate team to a first-place finish, defeating Harvard 3-0 at a tournament in Georgia. Pictured with teammates Kyle Deming and Bala Sekaran.

Issue Focus: Global Economies



Sharpening a powerful anti-poverty tool Development economist Dean Yang wields “gold standard” research design to boost the impact of the wages migrants send back home.


fficial development assistance, the amount contributed worldwide to promote the welfare and development of emerging economies, fell to $120 billion in 2009—down from $128 billion before the economic recession began. In the same year, remittances—gifts working migrants sent home to their loved ones—amounted to nearly three times that amount: $307 billion. Clearly, remittances are a powerful tool for combating extreme global poverty. A powerful tool for combating extreme global poverty

For the families that receive them—roughly one-third of the developing world—remittances are a lifeline. They help ease poverty, increase food security, purchase critical medicines, finance educational investments, launch entrepreneurial ventures, and build family savings.

Let’s say researchers want to better understand how a particular development tool—microloans, for example— works in the world. In an RCT, they would begin by identifying a hundred neighborhoods that look very similar from a demographic standpoint. They would survey those neighborhoods to capture baseline data about entrepreneurism, consumption, and savings. Based on the results of those surveys, they would randomize their selection of 50 neighborhoods to receive the microloan offer, and work with local banks to market and administer the loans in those neighborhoods. Six months or a year later, they would return to conduct a follow-up survey of entrepreneurism, consumption, and savings. Sometimes, they would follow up with another survey to capture longer-term outcomes. Sounds like a lot of work? It is.

For the families that receive them—roughly one-third of the developing world— remittances are a lifeline. While these basic outcomes are well documented, little is known about policies that can boost the size and impact of remittances. Dean Yang, associate professor of public policy and economics at the Ford School, is designing powerful studies to find out. “Politically, increasing our national contribution to development aid presents a huge challenge in today’s economic climate—however much it’s needed,” says Yang. “But if we can find programs and policies that encourage the number, value, and impact of remittances, we could have a substantial impact on poverty in developing countries.” Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and why they matter

To test the impact of remittances and other microfinance tools, Yang employs what some are calling today’s “gold standard” in economic research—randomized controlled trials (RCT) that are very similar in design to the clinical trials used in medicine. “One of the most important innovations in economics in the last fifteen years or so has been the rise of a new methodology for economics—the use of randomized controlled trials in real-world settings,” says Yang.

“RCTs aren’t easy to do,” admits Yang, explaining that they require substantially more donor funding and up front work than the traditional econometric evaluations conducted by most development economists. The advantage, though, is threefold. First, in many cases RCTs make it possible to clearly and precisely identify the impact of a microfinance innovation that could be offered more broadly. Second, without isolating controls and testing variations, we can’t fully understand the impact of development interventions—and those impacts aren’t always what we’d expect them to be. Finally, policymakers and practitioners get the methodology, says Yang, which is often not the case with more sophisticated econometric evaluation techniques. As such, RCTs are making big waves in real-world policy spheres. In the microfinance field, for example, RCTs have provided a much more nuanced understanding of when microlending can be beneficial, and when it might not be. In households

Dean Yang



m i gran t re m i tta nc es

with an entrepreneurial bent, RCTs have shown that microloans increase business profits. But in other households, they increase consumption, and have little impact on the future success of the family—leaving loan recipients in debt that’s difficult to recover from. For policymakers interested in microlending, this means it’s important to screen for entrepreneurial qualities, and to offer financial literacy and entrepreneurial education programs in conjunction with all loans. Understanding how savings can best benefit Africa’s rural farmers

While microloans have received considerable attention from the media and policymakers, opportunities to save are at least as important, if not more so, because they provide the poor with resources for investment, without the burden of loans. To understand the impact of savings, Yang recently received funding from the World Bank Research Committee and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to offer rural farmers in Malawi a way to set aside a portion of their harvest earnings. Test groups were randomized, with half given an opportunity to open a standard savings account (one that could be accessed at any time) and half given an opportunity to open a

commitment account (one that would restrict access until a date determined by the farmer—typically just before the next planting season). Yang’s finding: While Malawian farmers enthusiastically took advantage of both account types—not surprising, since many in developing economies are willing to pay high fees for an opportunity to save—those offered commitment accounts both saved more and spent more on agricultural inputs like seeds and fertilizer in the subsequent planting season. This is impressive evidence that commitment savings accounts produce strong benefits for Africa’s rural farmers. Yang’s next question, of course, is to quantify how those agricultural inputs affect the subsequent crop yield. As of press time he’s still crunching those numbers. Boosting the development power of remittances

Yang thinks his most distinct work, however, is the research he’s done—and is continuing to do—on remittances, which he’s been studying since 2004. In June 2009, he completed a two-year study that explored how remittance fees and joint bank accounts influenced the size, frequency, and impact of remittances among Salvadoran migrants in Washington, DC.

Beyond the matter of trust, Yang learned that migrants and remittance recipients disagree over how the money itself should be spent. Going into the project, Yang had two theories. First, that the frequent policy recommendation of reducing remittance transaction fees (in El Salvador, these can range from 1.25 percent to 16.5 percent for a $200 remittance) would encourage migrants to increase their remittances. Second, that giving migrants more control over their contributions could potentially lead to expenditures with longer-term development impacts—like investments in education, housing, businesses, and savings.

Yang checking tobacco plants in Dowa, Malawi

Transaction costs, Yang discovered, do indeed have a dramatic impact on remittances. He tested price points that ranged from $4 to $9 per transaction, and found that every $1 reduction in transaction fees led to 11 percent more remittances per month, and $25 more in contributions per month. The takeaway? As the policy community expected, increasing competition between the companies that provide remittance services, and offering an easy way for migrants to comparison shop, has the potential to boost remittance contributions significantly. Control, too, makes a big difference. In a pre-study focus group, DC-area Salvadorans shared stories about problems they or their acquaintances had experienced with remittances. One would only send money to the family members he trusted to spend it wisely, fearing other relatives would spend it on liquor. Another had an acquaintance who had sent tens of thousands of dollars to his mother to purchase a home in El Salvador, only to

Talking with farmers in Nkhotakota, a town on the western shore of Lake Malawi


Dean Yang has also conducted microfinance research in rural Guatemala. At this local bank, Acredicom, the majority of those pictured are here to pick up remittances.

find out she had lent the money to another relative who threatened to kill him if he ever returned. Beyond the matter of trust, Yang learned that migrants and remittance recipients disagree over how the money itself should be spent. The most dramatic differences are in the areas of consumption and savings. Remittance recipients felt 65 percent of the funds should be spent on food and other daily consumption needs, with only 3 percent reserved for savings. Migrants, on the other hand, felt only 42 percent of their contributions should be spent on consumables, and that seven times as much of the money (21 percent) should be reserved in a savings account for future needs. To test how increased migrant control would impact savings and expenditures, Yang worked with a Salvadoran Bank, Banco Agricola, to offer DC-area migrants three savings tools. While the control group received no savings account, channeling remittances with the standard feeper-transaction method, the others were assigned to one of three account types: 1) an individual remittance recipient account that wouldn’t be accessible to the migrant donor; 2) a joint account that would allow both the donor and recipient to withdraw funds and check balances; and 3) both a joint account and a migrant-only account that would allow the migrant to both monitor the remittance account and build his or her own savings. Yang’s discovery? Six months later, amounts saved in accounts only accessible to remittance recipients were negligible, but accounts accessible to both migrants and recipients held $211 on average—roughly a 50 percent increase over baseline savings in remittance-recipient

households. The takeaway here? That channeling remittances into savings accounts doesn’t necessarily promote savings accumulation, but channeling them into joint savings accounts works wonders. Influencing policymakers and practitioners

The multilateral Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is excited by these findings and is hoping they will influence policymakers throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Ernesto Stein, lead research economist in the IDB’s Research Department, believes that any studies that contribute to a better understanding of migrant remittances are important—particularly to Central American countries where it’s not unusual for remittances to provide between 10 and 20 percent of Gross National Income. However, Stein says Yang’s research—because it’s so methodologically rigorous—is especially attractive. “Policymakers may be inspired to subsidize the cost of remittances, to foster increased competition among transmitting banks, or to place restrictions on allowable remittance fees. They might also put in place vehicles so that the sender can have some measure of control over what the money is used for,” says Stein. “These are exciting findings that will likely inspire new ways of thinking about remittances.” The IDB is working on a book to publicize these and other remittance research findings, and will be promoting them more broadly both within the Bank and to an audience of policymakers in Central America. ■



Issue Focus: Global Economies


P hD P rofi l e

PhD student ‘becomes the demand’ Understanding labor patterns in rural Malawi


essica Goldberg understands the precepts

of labor economics well enough to know when something doesn’t seem right.

“I see things all the time in Malawi where I observe someone’s behavior and I think, ‘That is not what was predicted by the model I was taught in my PhD program,’” said Goldberg, a joint PhD candidate in economics and public policy. Such observations helped her identify the crux of her recent research, which suggests daily laborers in rural Malawi will take the same job even if their wage drastically changes each week. Goldberg’s findings on labor supply elasticity could impact the design of public sector employment programs in the region. Malawi is one of 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa with such a program. The goal, she said, is to implement policies that allow workers to take advantage of high wages and save “enough of a cushion” to decline low-wage offers. The research design: real work for real money

Goldberg first visited Malawi, located in southeastern Africa, in the summer of 2007 as a research assistant for Dean Yang and Xavier Gine. Speaking with farmers about their finances, Goldberg learned about ganyu, a common arrangement for unskilled day labor in developing countries. Workers are hired on a daily basis to do manual work, with no contract or guarantee of future employment. “One of the things they told me is they did ganyu when they needed cash, and they didn’t save the money,” she

said. “They spent it immediately for things they couldn’t produce at home.” Wages are highest when employers need the help most— in the planting season (November and December) and again for the harvest in April. Most rural Malawians grow their own food, so wages must also rise at those times to entice workers to spend time away from home. “For many people in developing countries, their own labor is their most valuable resource,” Goldberg said. “Understanding how people manage this resource is a first step toward understanding what policies or financial tools might help them use the resource more efficiently.” Prior research on how wages affect the labor supply is relatively scarce. In most empirical studies of labor elasticities, it is difficult to pinpoint whether changes in employment are produced by a shift in supply or demand. To clear this hurdle, Goldberg ran the first field experiment of its kind by becoming the demand. Working with a local horticultural organization, Goldberg hired workers previously known to participate in ganyu for one of two commonly offered tasks, hoeing fields and depositing compost. She controlled the fluctuation of wages. “I hire real people, I have them do real work, I pay them real money,” she said. “What’s funny to them is that the wages change.” Goldberg hired 529 workers across ten villages located in Lobi, near the Mozambique border. Workers were offered employment one day a week for twelve weeks. All workers in a village received the same wage, set one week in advance. “You can make your decision about whether or not you want to work already knowing the wage,” she said. Over the 12 weeks, Goldberg varied wages from 30 kwacha ($US 0.21) to 140 ($US 1.00), representing the middle 80 percent of offered wages in rural Malawi. The villages were far enough apart that workers would not know the wages in other villages.

Goldberg in Dowa, Malawi

In observing the decisions of the same 529 workers, “Everyone acts as their own control group,” Goldberg said. “I don’t have to compare that individual to other people who may or may not be like him. I can compare him to himself.”


Those individuals ultimately displayed very similar patterns, and the overall trend confirmed what farmers had told Goldberg in 2007: willingness to do ganyu does not change much, even for a much different daily wage. The elasticity of labor officially recorded was 0.17, which meant a 10 percent increase in wages produced only a 1.7 percent boost in job acceptance. Goldberg cautions this may not be true of all rural areas or even true of Malawi year-round, and that more research must be done to understand how other factors impact their economic decisions, such as changes to the price of their crops and financial aid programs. She hopes her research can help policymakers understand how, in the context of budgetary pressures, to best balance the dual goals of public sector employment programs: infrastructure development (i.e. building roads) and income support. Home away from home

Goldberg has found a comfortable existence in Malawi, staying 4-9 months at a time in an apartment in Lilongwe, the capital city. She goes to the office, pores over surveys with students, cooks dinner with friends, and finds time for Ultimate Frisbee. “In some ways, my life in Lilongwe is not that much different than my life in Ann Arbor,” she said. A developing country still presents obstacles to conducting first-rate research. Fuel shortages are not uncommon, threatening to prevent survey teams from reaching the villages, and acquiring the precise currency to pay workers could mean an hours-long ordeal at the bank. “Sometimes you’re running Stata by candlelight because the electricity’s out and you’re trying to get as much done as possible before your laptop battery dies,” she said. Such occurrences won’t keep Goldberg away, though. She’ll return to Malawi in May to continue ongoing projects. In August, she will join the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland as an assistant professor. “I love being out in the villages because it’s the best way to learn about what’s really happening,” she said. “I can look at numbers all day long, but it’s by talking to people and letting them tell their stories that I understand the real challenges that people face.” ■

Above: Tea estate workers in Mulanje, Malawi Below, from top: Goldberg with tea farmers in Mulanje. Group discussion with paprika farmers in Dedza, Malawi. Tobacco auction in Lilongwe, Malawi.




Issue Focus: Global Economies

Committee member Allen Sinai surveys the economic landscape


n the early 1990s, TIME magazine invited some of the nation’s top economists to share their insights on the “recessions, recoveries, and wrenching trends that sweep through the U.S. economy like weather systems.” In a summary of the economic forecasts that emerged, TIME’s editor tipped her hat to a panelist whose remarks she found particularly eloquent. That economist was University of Michigan alumnus and Ford School Committee member Allen L. Sinai (BA ’61). The quote—“Anyone who thinks that economists practice a dismal science has never been treated to the vivid commentaries of Allen Sinai”—is a line he’s never lived down, and one that makes him slightly uneasy. “I get introduced that way a lot and it always makes me nervous. I think, ‘Geez, now I’ve got to say something dramatic….’” However self-effacing he may be, though, it’s clear that Sinai—perhaps one of the most often-cited economists of our time (he’s made the cover of Money magazine twice, and spoken on three nationally broadcast news shows this month alone)—has no shortage of insightful things to say about the economy and financial markets. Macroeconomists like Sinai labor over predictions and policies. What actions can legislators take to combat growing unemployment? How will rapidly increasing oil prices impact other commodities and the economy? How can people and businesses safeguard their assets during turbulent times? To do this, Sinai monitors hundreds of constantly shifting data points—consumer spending, purchasing, and sentiment; managers’ surveys; national compensation data; median house prices; and more—and analyzes them using a proprietary approach, the National Economic and Financial Information System, which he has pioneered over a long career as an academic and global economist. His predictions are uncannily accurate. In December 2007, he warned of “seismic shifts” in the global economic landscape, writing forebodingly, “the (U.S.) economy is now on a short fuse.” While it wasn’t officially recognized

as such for another 12 months, the recession had just begun. At about the same time, Sinai predicted we’d “rewrite the record book on length for this recession.” The Great Recession, as it’s now known, was the longestrunning economic decline since the Great Depression it was named after. Over the years, Sinai participated in a number of meetings with Democratic and Republican leaders to discuss some of the economic problems he believed were looming, and ways these policymakers might preempt trouble. Unfortunately, almost no one else was expecting it, says Sinai, so no actions were taken to prevent it. For Sinai, however, it’s not about being right or wrong; it’s about battling back the kinds of catastrophic economic shocks that rocked the neighborhood of his youth. Born, raised, and schooled in the center of Detroit, Sinai recalls how the fortunes of the Motor City’s auto industry directly influenced the prosperity of his friends and neighbors. The experience instilled in him a lifelong concern about unemployment. “There’s a lot of human tragedy from joblessness,” says Sinai, simply. “That’s something I saw up close and personal growing up in Detroit.” Today, as president of Decision Economics, Inc., with offices in New York, London, Boston, and Chicago, Sinai leads a company that monitors, analyzes, and forecasts the economies and financial markets of 47 countries— those it deems most germane to the decisions of financial institutions and businesses worldwide. Sinai’s biggest worries are what he calls America’s “Twin Deficits”—the jobs deficit, and the budget deficit—both of which are compounded by a sluggish economic recovery. National debt, he believes, hasn’t reached the crisis point yet, but a crisis is looming. He describes unemployment as “sticky-high” and “far above any reasonable notion of where it should be.” Unfortunately, the standard macroeconomic policy medicine—lowering taxes and increasing federal spending—won’t work this time, says Sinai.

Photo: Getty Images/Bloomberg

m ac ro po l i c y

A macro lens


In a paper he published recently with Doug Holtz-Eakin, “An ‘Out-of-the-Box’ Policy Playbook and the Bush Tax Cuts,” he offers a new prescription: reduce federal spending, extend the Bush-era tax cuts (but not for those who earn $1 million or more), and expand consumptionbased taxes, among other things. The personal income tax, he explains, places the tax burden on “the amount of labor hours, effort, skills, capital, and risk-taking that individuals supply” to the economy. Consumption taxes, on the other hand, levy on what’s taken out. “To be effective, tax policy should support not only household consumption but also household saving and household balance sheets to lay the foundation for permanent gains in consumption later.”


Recently, Sinai has been advising his clients to shift their allocations away from the U.S. and other “Big Three” currencies (the dollar, yen, and euro). “The United States, United Kingdom, and several countries in the Eurozone have lived beyond their means for an incredibly long time, compromising their ability to finance the future,” says Sinai. The result, he explains, is yielding “seismic shifts” in the global distribution of economic power—away from the “Haves” and toward the “Have-Nots.” “Developing economies have sacrificed and worked diligently to make this impressive growth possible—and no one wants to see them fail,” says Sinai. “But if the U.S. wants to maintain its position in the world, and to maintain the standard of living it has long been associated with, we will have to work equally hard.” ■

Tax cuts…tax increases…might make you wonder whether Sinai’s a Democrat or Republican. If so, that’s just the way he wants it. Over the years, Sinai has advised hundreds of elected and appointed leaders on both sides of the aisle; whenever he deals with Washington, objectivity is key.

Meet Allen Sinai Allen Sinai is a member of the Ford School Committee, a group of public and private sector volunteer leaders who help the school develop new initiatives to further education, research, and service in public policy. Allen (’61) and his wife Lee Etsten Sinai (’63) have established the Allen Sinai Professorship in Macroeconomics at the University of Michigan, joint with the Ford School and Department of Economics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Their goal: to provide students with access to talented researchers and educators in quantitative macroeconomics and economic policy—fields they believe are vital to making the kind of sound policy decisions that improve lives and well-being.


Issue Focus: Global Economies


al um ni vi ews

A view from the banks

Issues in international economic development, as seen by Ford School alums Ford School alumni work for hundreds of worthwhile organizations—from economic development agencies in Detroit, to policy research organizations and think tanks, domestic and foreign government agencies, NGOs, and more. As analysts and leaders, these alumni help shape our responses to the complex challenges of today—and help us anticipate challenges we’ll face tomorrow.

For this issue of State & Hill, one that’s loosely focused on international economic development, we’ve interviewed Ford School alums who work for multilateral development banks, asking them to share their opinions about the major challenges and opportunities these organizations are confronting in the field.

Since the start of the economic crisis, developing economies have grown at a much faster rate than developed ones—and this is expected to continue. How will this impact the future of international development?

providing technical support to government leaders who are trying to launch Conditional Cash Transfer programs that give families financial rewards for keeping kids in school. It’s important to look around and answer, ‘What would be the most effective way of providing assistance now?’” – Laurence

“It’s true that most developing economies weren’t badly hit by the crisis because they’re predominantly closed markets that are insulated from finance market shocks. However, many countries felt the shocks in other ways— particularly through food price inflation that hit as major food companies cut back their exports. This food crisis may bring about larger bilateral trade agreements between China and India, and small, emerging market economies. This is already happening to some extent, particularly on the African continent where China and India are investing heavily. It may also lead to more international development aid from China and India as developed countries are forced to reduce their international aid budgets as a result of the crisis.” – Santhosh Srinivasan, MPP ’07, Research Analyst, World Bank (Washington, DC)

“Emerging market economies are growing at a faster rate than developed ones, but that doesn’t give anyone a sense of the economic well-being of the people in those countries. BRIC countries [Brazil, Russia, India, and China] are growing well, and have a clear path and vision. Other countries are still looking for a growth path. Multilaterals have to learn to be flexible, to adapt to the circumstances of the countries they serve. IDB has gone from mega-development infrastructure projects—like roads—to

Telson, MPP ’89, Institutional Capacity of the State Senior Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)

Many environmental advocates criticize the World Bank and other multilaterals for funding fossil fuel projects and neglecting sustainability principles. How do you see these issues from the inside? “In my 14 years at the World Bank, my role has been dedicated to promoting clean energy projects and climate change policy. These are areas in which I’m proud to say the Bank has made substantial progress, rapidly growing its portfolio of clean energy projects and recently even making investments in smaller entrepreneurs and early stage, innovative clean energy technologies. However, there are still circumstances, particularly in the poorest countries that face power shortages and lack access to modern energy services, where the use of fossil fuels remains the best short-term option.” – Alan Miller, MPP ‘74, Principal Projects Officer, International Finance Corporation, World Bank (Washington, DC)

In January, the Associated Press ran an article, “Fraud plagues global health fund,” that received major international attention. How serious is the problem of corruption in international development? “The Global Fund did a self-audit in 2010 and discovered it had $34 million in leakage across several country programs. As a result of their findings, which they did not keep secret,


the Global Fund took steps to recover misappropriated funds. The AP article spawned a fair amount of talk in development circles, including some blogs, which suggested the Global Fund and other major donors were making light of that leakage by saying that $34 million is somewhat of a pittance when looking at the larger program, which was worth something like $13 billion. I think what should be lauded here is that multi-donor initiatives, like the Global Fund, World Bank, and other multilaterals, are conducting self-audits, utilizing rigorous monitoring and evaluation, and focusing on good governance in all of their projects. The instances where corruption is uncovered get highlighted, but I would say that the international development field has come far in terms of curbing corruption in programming, as well as creating mechanisms for accountability across the board.” – Maggie Koziol, MPP ’07, Human

2011 Class Giving Campaign Underway

Innovative matching gift puts premium on participation

Development and Governance Analyst, World Bank (Washington, DC)

What’s the biggest challenge in meeting the Millennium Development Goals? “The Asia and Pacific region has provided a truly amazing economic success story, lifting half a billion people out of poverty over the past two decades. However, the region remains home to almost two billion without basic sanitation, and nearly 500 million without safe drinking water. Infant mortality in some countries is over ten times higher than in developed countries, and illiteracy rates in some parts of South Asia are among the highest in the world. A key challenge to further reducing extreme poverty, and providing basic services to all, is generating the political will to make reduction of disparities and deprivation a top policy priority— and designing public budgets accordingly. Additional challenges include rapid urbanization, economic and food price shocks, environmental degradation, climate change, and aging populations. A major task for the region is making the transition to a more sustainable, inclusive development path.” – Bart W. Édes, MPP ’87, Director, Poverty Reduction, Gender and Social Development Division, Asian Development Bank (Manila, Philippines) ■


“One Ford. One Community. One Pledge.” That’s the slogan for the 2011 Class Giving Program, but will the graduating classes be able to achieve such unity of purpose and commitment? Alumnus and Ford School Committee Chair Jim Hudak (MPP ‘71) and his wife, Mary, added some fuel to the students’ competitive fires: an innovative matching gift designed to spur maximum participation from the students who will graduate this spring. Thanks to the Hudaks’ generous incentive fund, the MPP/ MPA and BA classes of 2011 will each have access to up to $2,500 in matching funds, but their reward will depend on the extent of their class buy-in. A 70 percent participation rate will net an additional $500. If 80 percent of the class pledges, they’ll receive an additional $500. And once that thermometer hits the 90 percent rate, an additional $1,500 will be contributed to the effort. The five graduate students and six undergraduates on the organizing committee hope to hit or exceed the 90 percent participation level and raise a total of $18,000 to support the Graduate and Undergraduate Annual Funds. Annual giving coordinator Alicia Boltach joined the Ford School staff in January. She’s impressed with the students’ passion for the Class Giving effort. “Working with the students on the Class Gift Committee has been a really fun way to get started at the school,” Alicia says.“Their drive and enthusiasm to help future students speaks volumes about our community.” The Graduate and Undergraduate Annual Funds are designated solely for student support, and each year provide funding for many fellowships, summer internships, and other educational opportunities outside of the school. The campaign kicked off on March 10 with a celebration at a local establishment, Conor O’Neill’s. It will wrap up by early April. Check our website for the final results.




Ancestors returning home Ford School faculty John Chamberlin and Yazier Henry reflect on a new effort to return University-held human remains to Native American tribes.

In spring 2009, Native American organizers moved the Ann Arbor Dance for Mother Earth Powwow—one of the town’s major cultural traditions since 1972—off University of Michigan property to a junior high school in nearby Saline. The move signaled a troubled relationship between the U-M and Michigan’s tribes, a dispute in some part over human skeletal remains lying in the University’s Museum of Anthropology. For years, Michigan’s Native American tribes had petitioned the University—mostly unsuccessfully—for the return and burial of those ancestors and their belongings. Now, new policies at both the University and federal levels seek to speed the returns and mend relationships. Repatriation, slowly

As settler communities developed land across Michigan, Native American human remains were unearthed—now 200 to 12,000 years old, some buried with sacred funerary objects such as tools, stone adzes, awls, pottery, and jewelry. Over the years, the remains and items took a wide variety of routes to the museum: purchased from amateur archeologists, uncovered in University-sponsored digs, donated by landowners or by other museums, loaned by other entities (e.g. the National Parks Service or the U.S. Army), and more. Head veteran and son at Land of Falling Waters Powwow in Jackson, Mich.

In 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act was signed into law. The federal legislation, better known as NAGPRA, introduced a process for the care of the human remains, calling on federal institutions and museums to return the remains and sacred items to the Native American tribes to which they belonged. While NAGPRA was a step in the right direction for native communities, the repatriation process it instituted was cumbersome. And crucially, the new laws did not clearly address what should be done with unaffiliated human remains—remains that could not be linked reliably to any existing tribe. In the decades that followed, skeletal remains and sacred items slowly made their way back to the custody of tribes. Across the country, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior approved agreements between federal agencies and tribes allowing for the return of 4,000 ancestral remains. One such agreement was forged in 1997 between the University of Michigan and the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians; it provided for the return of one individual’s remains, as well as silver ornaments, glass beads, brass and copper kettles, tools, and a tomahawk pipe—all of which had come from graves in Emmet County, Mich. But those returns involved just a small fraction of the approximately 1,500 skeletal remains held by the U-M or of the 166,000 others held by hundreds of other museums and federal agencies across the country. Over the decades, the slow progress of the returns and ongoing disputes over unaffiliated human remains took a considerable toll on the relationship between the University of Michigan and the state’s Native American tribes, many of whom found the University more difficult to work with than other colleges and universities within the state.

Courtesy of Brita Brookes

The issues are extraordinarily complex and touch on deeply held values for those who have been involved in the debate over the years. In short, the tribes feel culturally obligated to care for their dead. “Care taking of the dead has been our responsibility for thousands of years,” explains Eric Hemenway, the repatriation officer for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. “We have an inherent duty to protect these ancestors and respect them.” On the other hand, some university researchers and administrators argued that they felt the weight of public trust for the items—particularly those that weren’t easily or clearly affiliated with a particular tribe—and contended that the disputed items held scientific and research value that would be lost if returned.

Photo: Martin D. McReynolds


Little Traverse Bay, on the northwestern shores of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Finding new footing

In March 2010, twenty years after the passage of NAGPRA, previously reserved portions of the law were finalized. New regulations simplified the repatriation process and provided additional guidance on repatriating culturally unidentifiable human remains (CUHR)—skeletal remains not clearly associated with any present-day, federally recognized Native American tribe. Under the new regulations, returns are based on the aboriginal or tribal lands of people as can sometimes be determined by research into treaties or other historical records. In 2009, partly in anticipation of these changes, the U-M’s Vice President for Research, Stephen Forrest, formed an advisory committee to offer recommendations for University policy on culturally unidentified human remains, associated funerary objects, and other NAGPRA issues. The Ford School’s Professor John Chamberlin, director of the U-M’s Center for Ethics in Public Life, served on that committee. He described its charge in part as “understanding what the stakes are here for researchers, scholars, and for the Native American community.” As they deliberated, the committee heard from a number of people from those groups, including tribal representatives, archeologists, anthropologists, and students. Those conversations were broad and open-ended, as Chamberlin recalls. Visitors were asked, “tell us what you want to tell us, it can be the history as you see it, why this matters to you, anything you think we ought to know.” “It was clear that there was a lot of mistrust,” says Chamberlin. “At some point we decided to take that as fact about this relationship. Not to assign blame to anybody— that wasn’t our role—but to ask, ‘How are we going to put this relationship on a new footing?’” In September 2010, the committee forwarded a number of recommendations to Vice President Forrest. Among them were recommendations that a process for handling claims and information requests be developed; a NAGPRA website established; and new staff hired to identify, preserve, and inventory NAGPRA related items and to work with tribal representatives on claims and inquiries. After a month-long public commentary period, Forrest issued his decisions, which largely echoed or strengthened the group’s recommendations. His response emphasized proactive consultations with tribes, imposed a moratorium on new research with NAGPRA-eligible remains, affirmed as policy the return of funerary objects, and made the committee permanent.

One of the goals of the initiative, said Chamberlin, was to “have the process be better documented, more open, and hopefully seem more like a level playing field. That is, to have it look like a consultation to both sides, not just to one side.” The Little Traverse Bay Bands’ Eric Hemenway has seen changes since the new policies were put in place. “There has been more consultation, with face-to-face meetings, more open dialogue, and a willingness to have the tribes at the forefront or onset of negotiations.” Hemenway explains that working with the new staff highlights not simply the willingness of the University to comply with the law, but also a commitment “to building better relationships with the tribes of Michigan.” A global context

Ford School lecturer Yazier Henry, a human rights advocate born and raised in Apartheid-era South Africa, has studied the new NAGPRA legislation and followed closely the active campus conversation. “NAGPRA legislation is about the dead, as well as the living,” says Henry. “It is easier to manage and ‘speak’ to skeletal remains that date back several thousand years, as some of the remains do. But a large number of the human remains held in many universities across the U.S. can be traced back to settlements and battlefields from just the last two hundred years—barely ‘History’ at all for some, but rather, within intergenerational reach.” He sees the new regulations as reflective of both a growing indigenous rights movement in America, as well as progress on the larger international human rights framework laid out in the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This document proclaims as a human right that states will seek to repatriate ceremonial objects and human remains through “fair, transparent, and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples.” (The U.S. had been one of a handful of nations that voted against the U.N.’s declaration, but in December, President Obama reversed that decision and announced his endorsement of the document.) Henry sees in the University’s deliberations an “acknowledgement of the unwitting harm that may have occurred” over the decades, and he is encouraged to see the University responding to the spirit of the new regulations with leadership. He hopes that the U-M will continue to lead on this issue, “like it led with the creation of the Peace Corps, and like it led the divestment campaigns in the anti-Apartheid movement.” ■




After the revolution: Spring Break in Cairo S TAT E & H I L L

First-year MPP student Sharif Sokkary, a former U.S. Marine, spent Spring Break 2011 visiting his father’s family in Egypt. From the Weill Hall computer lab, Sharif booked his flight to Cairo the same week public protests prompted President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, ending his 30-year reign. Sharif’s cousins, Ahmed and Adel—who had participated in the protests—served as his tour guides to a transformed Egypt. State & Hill asked Sharif to share his pictures and impressions about what he saw in the aftermath of “The Youth Revolution.”

The Egyptian flag was everywhere, which was very good to see. Just very patriotic stuff. It shows that Egyptians now feel ownership of the country. It’s not a revolt against Egypt; it’s a revolt against the regime that was in Egypt.

Military service is required of all Egyptian sons, which is part of why

The Egyptian people understood the power of the message, and that’s

the people felt a kinship with them during the protests. I personally

why many of the signs were in English. This signs says, “Tourism now

experienced this during my visit. We asked a nearby soldier if we could

better in new Egypt.” There were a number of signs and professionally

take pictures of his tank, and he was incredibly friendly about it, offering

produced billboards put up in the days after the protests ended, which

to take pictures of us. There was another tank further down the road. He

just goes to show in terms of economics and business, Egypt is still

called ahead on the radio and by the time we got down there, they had


sent two soldiers out to meet us, and again take pictures. You could tell from the conversation my cousin was having with him that the people and the military are very much together.


I think it’s important that people realize Egyptians have taken ownership of this revolution, and the country. It is not in chaos; it is not falling apart. The Egyptian people realize there’s a tough road ahead. It’s an evolutionary process and if this is the first step, it’s a very positive step.

Behind me is what’s left of the National Democratic Party Building,

There is a lot of concern about whether or not Egypt will continue to

which was Mubarak’s party headquarters. The revolutionaries set the

respect the peace treaty with Israel. Seeing this sign of Anwar Sadat

building on fire. It was allowed to burn for days; the building is totally

was an incredibly positive sign for me. He is the one that brought

destroyed. There were two factors to that. One, there were firemen

peace with Israel and it cost him his life. The sign says, “God bless the

who refused to fight the fire. Two, all the vehicles the government had

martyrs of the January 25 Revolution.” Under Sadat’s picture, “Yes, to

used all day to shoot water at the protesters, left them with no vehicles

the youth of the January 25 Revolution,” identifying Sadat as “the hero

to fight the fire.

of peace and war.”

The first interim prime minister resigned under public pressure during my visit. I thought this would ruin my chance to take part in a demonstration in Tahrir Square, where a protest against the former Mubarak regime member had been scheduled. Instead, the demonstration became a tremendous rally for the new interim prime minister, Egypt’s former Transportation Minister, a very popular figure. This rally was his first public appearance, and the place was going crazy.



In tervi ew

Undergrad covers big-time sports between Ford School classes


riting concise policy memos was no sweat for Nicole Auerbach (BA ’11), who covered U-M basketball, hockey and, in 2010, football for the Michigan Daily during her undergraduate career. Auerbach has interned at USA Today and freelanced for the Wall Street Journal, SI.com, and ESPN.com. The Hillsborough, NJ, native will intern this summer at the Boston Globe. Auerbach spoke with S&H about how a public policy liberal arts degree meshed with sports writing at the U-M. How did you decide on public policy as your major?

I was considering political science and one of my editors at the Daily was in the first BA class. He told me it was like applied political science. He also said there’s good food. I went to the info session, and the food was good, as promised. That was the first time I went to an info session where it all sounded perfect. I went to others and they were competitive and Auerbach and Chengelis (L-R) crazy, talking about job prospects. The Ford School was about the small community and the topics we’d get to study.

When Brady Hoke was hired, I had my campaigns class with Rusty (Hills) at 5:30 and couldn’t go because I had to stake out Schembechler Hall. This was my last assignment for the Daily so I sent an email to Rusty apologizing. The class meets only once a week and I felt terrible. And he’s like, “Don’t worry about it. I really hope Brady’s a good fit. What do you think?” What’s your proudest professional moment so far?

USA Today called me to do a Denard Robinson feature after the Notre Dame game. My deadline was in four hours and I thought it was one of the best stories I’ve written, so I was happy about that. That was the same game when a Daily photographer took the “Heisman” shot of him, and USA Today ran that photo with my story on the front sports page. We have a big poster of it in the Daily. It’s hard to pick just one moment but that was pretty exciting. Do you find the writing you do for class compatible with your career?

I’ve said this a lot, I think that they’re very similar. As a sports writer, it’s beneficial for me to take Ford School classes, because when I’m writing a really concise memo, I have to hit my points quickly. You can’t waste any words and it’s the same with sports writing. Do you think you could switch to policy-related

How did you choose gender and health studies as


your focus?

The people I meet as a sports writer always ask, “What’s public policy?” and I have to explain it to them. But in policy, [sports writing] is a benefit because it shows I can write about current events and meet tight deadlines. Maybe it’s not as exciting as sitting courtside at a Lakers game, but it’s something I could definitely do and probably do well. ■

I enjoyed the introductory women’s studies class, and I knew I’d be interested because it always related to me. Sports writing is such a male-dominated profession, it’s nice to have a different perspective, taking classes about women’s issues like reproductive rights. Have these classes added any insight to sports writing?

There really aren’t that many female writers, and I think my classes made me more aware of it. Angelique Chengelis [from the Detroit News] is respected and really great at her job, but I think she’s the only other female beat writer for U-M football, and there’s probably 20-30 of us. Did your assignments interfere with class?

When I covered basketball last year, there were a lot of road games in the middle of the week and I’d miss class. But my professors always understood. The professors kind of use it as an opportunity to talk sports briefly. I guess if you teach at Michigan you have to pay a little attention to sports.

Courtesy of Sam Wolson/The Michigan Daily



Michigander finds new reasons to love Detroit Last summer, life-long Michigander Mynti Hossain (MPP ’11) won a competitive internship with the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). The Ford School’s longstanding partnerships with DEGC and other Motor City nonprofit and government groups allow graduate students to work in the heart of the city’s revitalization efforts. Now approaching graduation from the Ford School’s master’s program, Hossain reflects on her experience, and on her hopes for the future.


nyone who’s visited Detroit knows how striking the city can be. A block of abandoned buildings will be punctuated by historic churches and classic Art Deco architecture. It’s a startling contrast—and one of the things that makes the Motor City so compelling. On the 500-block of Griswold Street, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) works from inside one of those drop-dead, gorgeous buildings—a Deco number that’s a testament to the city’s bright past and, possibly, its brighter future.

Mynti Hossain

The lead agency for business retention, attraction, and economic development initiatives in Detroit, the DEGC was a great place to intern, says Mynti Hossain. Throughout her 10-week internship, which was funded by Johanna and Mitch (MPP ’78) Vernick, Hossain worked closely with DEGC’s vice president of business development, Ford School alumna Olga Savic-Stella (MPP ’99). One of the projects she worked on was an investigation of data sources that could be used to supplement U.S. Census figures. Hossain identified reputable organizations that were compiling figures about land use, zoning, business development, and other details that would be of interest to business investors, then studied the methodology to determine whether it was sound and usable. She also wrote detailed descriptions of the tax and fiscal incentives available to businesses that were relocating to the city, creating new jobs, or launching development projects. A recent Washington Post article framed Detroit’s challenges—population loss, a shrinking tax base, debt, and more—as “a giant testing ground for urban planners and developers.” Her internship, Hossain says, allowed her to interact with some of those potential problemsolvers. “I met urban planners, people at the mayor’s office, and staff at the Chamber of Commerce.” And every one of the people she met, says Hossain, was passionate about the city’s future. “Because of that, I think Detroit is going up—towards a good place.” Savic-Stella, who has been with the DEGC since 2007, shares that vision. “The groundwork for economic and

community revival has been laid over the last ten years, and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of it.” When probed about future plans, Hossain says she’ll stay in Michigan. “I’m really passionate about the state: I have a lot of faith in it. Like Detroit, Michigan was hard hit by the recession, but I think there’s a lot of potential and opportunity.” And one way Michigan will improve, Hossain says, is via its largest city, which is at the center of business activity and growth. “If Detroit does better, Michigan will grow.” ■




Fac ulty

Faculty News & Awards is a member of the Committee on the LongRun Macroeconomic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population. This group—convened by the National Academies and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Treasury—is intended to inform U.S. policies and planning. Collins was recently appointed vice president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs Executive Committee and in January, she traveled to South Korea for APSIA’s annual meeting. Susan M. Collins

Paul N. Courant —as

part of a number of national leadership groups—is engaged with issues around how digital information technologies have transformed almost every two-dimensional object in the world into nearly pure public goods (with attendant policy challenges for how to get those goods produced and priced efficiently). His posts include the steering committee to plan a National Digital Public Library; the board of HathiTrust, led by the U-M and now the largest digital library in the world; and the board of ARTstor, a digital library of art images. was elected to the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) Policy Council, the organization’s board of directors. Danziger will serve a four-year term helping set policy and strategy for APPAM. She joins current council members Brian Jacob and Kristin Seefeldt (MPP ’96, PhD ’10). Sandra Danziger


gave an invited Social Scientist Distinguished lecture at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in December. He also spoke at Peking University’s School of Transnational Law on “Poverty and Income Inequality After the Great Recession: Implications for China.” With National Poverty Center postdoctoral fellow Patrick Wightman , Danziger presented a paper at a conference on child and family policy research at Australian National University in Canberra in January. Sheldon Danziger

and Brian are co-principal investigators on a $687,000 federal grant that will establish a new postdoctoral training program at the Ford School and the School of Education. The program will train a total of five postdoctoral students, each for a two-year fellowship. Fellows will receive rigorous training in the education research sciences. Susan M. Dynarski Jacob

made a presentation in Lansing, Mich. in February titled “Can Michigan Local Governments Cooperate Their Way Out of Fiscal Crisis?” Gerber was invited to speak by the Wolverine Caucus, a group of U-M alumni working in and around State of Michigan government, including legislators, lobbyists, staff, and advisors. Elisabeth Gerber

has two publications coming out this summer. In June, his article with Kate V. Bradley, “Lobbying and Legislative Strategy,” will appear in CQ Guide to Interest Groups and Lobbying in the U.S. (CQ Press, ed. Loomis). In July, the 8th edition of Interest Group Politics (CQ Press, ed. Cigler and Loomis) will include Hall’s article with Richard Anderson, “Issue Advertising and Legislative Advocacy in Health Politics.” Richard L. Hall




In March, Yazier Henry was an invited speaker at the 2011 Cultural Studies Association at Columbia College in Chicago. Henry’s workshop was titled “Study Abroad as Radical Transnational Pedagogy.” In March, Melvyn Levitsky held a press conference at the United Nations in New York to present the annual report of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). Levitsky is one of 13 elected members of the INCB. In December, Levitsky was a featured speaker at the Huron Valley chapter of the United Nations Association’s commemoration of Human Rights Day. was one of five University faculty to receive a Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award last fall. The award recognized Mackie-Mason’s “cutting-edge research on the economics of the Internet” and his exploration of “questions situated at the intersections of disciplines, most notably economics, computer science, and psychology.” Jeffrey Mackie-Mason

and Elisabeth are on the host committee for a major conference on political networks being held at the Ford School in June. The fourth annual event, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, will feature three days of training workshops and two days of academic presentations. Some conference events will be live streamed; visit www.fordschool. umich.edu. Philip B.K. Potter Gerber

and co-author Simon Evenett had an edited volume, “Systemic Implications of Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation and Competition” published in World Scientific Studies in International Economics. Stern is currently a visiting professor at the UC-Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, teaching two seminars on the global financial crisis and issues of protectionism and trade liberalization. Robert M. Stern





was recently awarded two Honorary Doctorates from Czech universities: Technical University of Brno and Gregor Mendel University. Svejnar’s recent publications include “Subsidiary divestiture and acquisition in financial crisis: Operational focus, financial constraints, and ownership,” Journal of Corporate Finance, April 2011 (with X. Li and Y. M. Zhou). Svejnar has recently given lectures at Harvard, London School of Economics, and University of Ljubljana.





Three Ford School faculty win University honors this spring

Jan Svejnar

presented his research on microfinance at a plenary session at the 12th Annual Global Development Conference held in Bogotá, Colombia. The conference, titled “Financing Development in a Post-Crisis World: The Need for a Fresh Look,” is run by the Global Development Network. Dean Yang


was named one of six 2011 recipients of the prestigious Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship. The award honors just a small number of faculty members each year for “outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.” Rabe—who also holds appointments in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and the School of Natural Resources and Environment—was recognized for his commitment to enhancing and expanding undergraduate academic opportunities. Thurnau Professors retain this title for their entire U-M careers. Barry Rabe

was selected to receive a 2011 Faculty Recognition Award from the Rackham Graduate School. Each year, this competitive award recognizes a small group of University of Michigan faculty in the earlier phase of their careers who demonstrate significant achievements in scholarly research; excellence as a teacher, advisor, and mentor; and distinguished participation in service. Brian Jacob

received the University of Michigan’s Rackham Master’s Mentoring Award. For the past ten years, Waltz has served the Ford School and the University by offering outstanding courses in foreign policy and international relations, by mentoring graduate students with an interest in international concerns, and by conducting research and outreach activities that have earned her a distinguished reputation among human rights advocates and educators around the world. Susan Waltz

Ford School Spotlight  NEXT QUESTION? Rick Snyder held his first press conference as Michigan’s newly elected governor at the Ford School, announcing the first two members of his cabinet.


In the wake of the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Ford School students organized a benefit to raise funds for Ashinga, a Japanese orphan support organization.



Al um ni

Class Notes Bono

Gary P. Timin ,

MPP/JD ’79, recently moved from Tallahassee, Florida, to Miami, where he is a partner with the international law firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. In his new role, Gary is charged with coordinating the firm’s insurance related practice. Frank Sung ,

MPP ’82, is the Deputy Minister of the Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission of the Taiwan Central Government. During a November 2010 visit to Washington, DC, he met up with former Ford School classmate, Beverly Godwin (MPP ’82). He is ready and willing to host Ford School faculty, staff, and students in Taiwan. David Rivait ,

MPP ’84, was appointed as Deputy Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in July 2010. DOT has nearly 60,000 employees and a budget of close to $80 billion. Gary Garbarino ,

MPP ’86, serves as the special assistant to Representative Kate Segal (D-62nd House District), Democratic Floor Leader in the Michigan House. During his tenure, he has hired several Ford School graduates and worked for another (Steve Tobocman , MPP/JD ‘97). James G. Potter ,

MPP ’88, BA ’83 was recently named the interim Executive Vice President/CEO of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. He maintains his role as Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Government Relations.

Class of 20?? Pictured are Madeleine Jane Burak, Alice Brask Carty, and Maya Gupta Verjee (L-R)


MPP ’90, MS ’85, and Bhavani Prathap Kasina , MPP ’09, had a Ford School reunion halfway around the world in India this February.

Hassinger et al.

Matthew Naud ,

Libbie Buchele ,

Matt, the City of Ann Arbor’s Environmental Coordinator, was invited to speak at the Delhi Conference on Cities and Climate Change as part of a U.S. delegation that also included Atlanta, Boston, and Sonoma County.

Eadie Wilson-Beeler ,

In 2008, Prathap was a summer intern in Matt’s group and, later, worked with Matt on a cost-benefit analysis related to options for Ann Arbor’s Argo Dam (see S&H, Fall 2009). Prathap now works for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) in India. Peter Nicolas ,

MPP ’92, BA ’91, co-authored a new book entitled The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps). Peter is the Jeffrey & Susan Brotman Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law. Gary Snoonian ,

MPP ’92, moved to Los Angeles to work in the television industry about 12 years ago and currently serves as the co-executive producer of the late-night show “Chelsea Lately.” You may have seen him on-screen in a few episodes of “After Lately,” which airs on Sundays on E! at 10 p.m. Penelope Naas ,

MPP ’93, BA ’92, works in Brussels, Belgium, as Citigroup’s Vice President for Global Government Affairs. She welcomes Ford School alumni to visit her offices in Belgium.

MPP/MPH ’95, BA ‘89 recently took a job as the Chief Operating Officer for the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), a Congressional commission tasked with reviewing Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies. She lives in NW Washington, DC, is married, and has three children: twin boys (5) and a daughter (2). MPP ’96, recently began a new job as Director of Development for Expeditionary Learning (EL) (www.elschools. org), a national education reform organization located in NYC. EL’s model is at work in 165 schools in 30 states and DC. Mellie Torres ,

MPP ’97, doctoral candidate at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development, is currently a Mainzer Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK. Mellie will use her time in Cambridge to work with professors with research interests in sociology of education, academic identity, and masculinity. Michael Landweber ,

MPP/MA ’98, after two years as Associate Director of the nonprofit Partnership for a Secure America, returned to work in the federal government. He is currently Senior Advisor and Director of Regional Affairs at the Office of Advocacy in the Small Business Administration. Michael lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and two children.



Naud and Kasina


Danielle Turnipseed ,

MPP/MPH ’00, recently joined the Institute of Medicine as Project Officer in the Executive Office. A recent law school graduate, Danielle previously clerked in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and has worked as a health policy analyst and legislative assistant to two U.S. Senators. Elisabeth Wright Burak ,

MPP/MSW ’01, and her husband Joe Burak (AB ‘98) are happy to announce the birth of their daughter Madeleine Jane Burak on October 22, 2010. That same day, the Ford School Alumni Board conducted its bi-annual meeting without Elisabeth, an outgoing member of the Board. Gladys Mitchell-Walthour ,

MPP ’02, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2008 and was a postdoc at the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences at Duke University 2008-2009 and a research fellow at Duke 2009-2010. Jeff Aronoff ,

MPP ‘03 was recently elected as a principal at the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock, and Stone, P.L.C. in Detroit. Justin Horvath ,

MPP/MA ’03, BA ’01, President/CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment, and a commitment to personal and professional growth. Bulbul Gupta ,

MPP ’04, and her husband, Aman Verjee, happily welcomed their first child on March 14, 2011, a daughter named Maya Gupta Verjee. The family is settled back into their home in Boston.


Sung and Godwin

Marisa Bono ,

MPP/JD ’05, recently joined the San Antonio office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) as a staff attorney. Marisa will primarily handle MALDEF cases related to immigrants’ rights, although she will also be litigating in the areas of education, voting rights, and employment. Vibeke Brask Thomsen ,

MPP/MA ’06, and Russell Carty welcomed new daughter Alice Brask Carty, born December 9, 2010 in Monaco. Vibeke also founded the organization GenderHopes, which informs the public and raises awareness about violence against women, education of women and girls, and participation of women in all spheres of life. Alex Hassinger ,

MPP ’09, got married in August 2010 and was delighted to have so many Ford School alumni attend his wedding. Pictured above (L-R): Jane Fritz, Alison Hassinger, Zack Mabel (MPP ‘09), Alex Hassinger , Peter Fritz (MPP/MBA ‘10), Ian Swedish (MPP/ MBA ‘10), Abby Newcomer (MPP ‘09), Suzanne Gill (MPP ‘09), Beth Uhlhorn (MS/MBA ‘10), John English (MPP ‘09). Andrew Renacci ,

BA ’09, is currently a second-year student at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. In the spring of 2011, he was elected by his peers as the Editor-in-Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review, a top100 U.S. flagship journal. Amanda Jones ,

MPP ’10, and fellow alumnus Nick Bartine (MPP/MSI ‘09) met at the Ford School in 2008 and were recently engaged. The two live together in Arlington, VA with their golden retriever, Bella, and will marry on October 15, 2011.


In Memoriam Desmond Saunders-Newton , MPP ’87,

passed away on November 25, 2010. ‘Dez’, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, was a pioneer in Computational Social Science who seamlessly blended qualitative, quantitative, and computational methods in his professional and academic activities. After completing his PhD at the RAND Graduate School, Dez worked and taught in state government, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and academia. In 2000, Dez turned his attention to national security issues, working for the Defense Department before eventually founding the Social Computation and Complexity Directorate at BAE Systems. Dez was an active mentor to young professionals and students and an institution builder who participated in a diverse array of organizations in order to benefit the scientific and policy communities. Dez is survived by his wife Clarissa, son Mounir, daughter Ayiana, his brother and sister, Tarandalete and Anthony, and numerous friends and colleagues all over the world. Dez served on the Ford School’s Alumni Board from 1989-1991.

Rachel White ,

BA ’10, is a Policy and Advocacy Specialist at The Ohio College Access Network, where she works on a project she hopes will help shape higher education policy for Ohio’s coming generations, The Ohio Student Education Policy Institute (OSEPI). The OSEPI is an effort to engage the voice of students in policy issues around college access and success. ■




School spirit Elisabeth Johnston returns to U-M, reaches out to alumni


he Ford School strengthened its commitment to alumni engagement this winter with the addition of Elisabeth Johnston. As the school’s full-time alumni relations manager, Johnston will work with staff from around the school to engage alums with student jobs and internships, recruitment, fundraising, communications, and more. Johnston, who received her bachelor’s degree in communications and women’s studies from the U-M in 2003, returns to her alma mater after an impactful stint in the Office of Alumni Relations at Wayne State University, where she also received her master’s degree in education. What have you enjoyed most about returning to the U-M? S&H:


I can walk to Blimpy Burger for lunch, so that’s nice.

Really, though, the school spirit of Michigan is a big thing for me. It drew me here as a student, and it’s great to come back to an environment like that. My first month here I had to walk across campus to a meeting and I felt like a part of me blended right in with the students. It was almost like I never left, except instead of a book bag I had a portfolio. S&H:

What are you looking forward to?

I remember in the fall hearing the band practicing, so it will be cool to have that experience again. EJ:

I’m mostly looking forward to working with alums. We have a lot to do! We’ll be working on strategic planning with the Alumni Board, a major data cleaning initiative, and plans for the school’s 100th anniversary, which is right around the corner in 2014. And alums will be hearing more soon about nation-wide “Spirit Days” as well. You had worked in the WSU Office of Alumni Relations since 2006. How is your role at the Ford School different? S&H:

At Wayne State, I worked with multiple alumni associations from several different colleges—education, business, nursing, and so on. At the Ford School, working exclusively with people in policy, I can have a directed focus. I’m also much closer to the student life here, which should help build more direct connections between alums and students. EJ:

Your first big event was the annual networking reception in DC in February. Any takeaways? S&H:

It was fun! The DC trip reinforced for me how important alums are to the school. I was impressed with the turnout and how diligent the alums were about giving back and helping the students in the room. EJ:

How should alums stay up-to-date on events like alumni receptions? S&H:

When we did a feedback survey from the DC trip, most of the alums who attended said they learned about the event from email and the feed, our Ford School email newsletter. So making sure we have an updated email address is the best way to know what we’re doing and stay connected. ■ EJ:

 Alums, please update your contact and employment in-

formation here: www.fordschool.umich.edu/stay-connected. Mention ‘State & Hill’ under comments/requests to be eligible for a prize drawing.



What do Huron Consulting, Direct Relief International, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and the City of Flint have in common?

A: They put the skills of Ford School graduate students to work. Could your organization use the analytic, problem-solving, and communication skills of top-notch MPP students? We are currently accepting project proposals for our Fall 2011 Applied Policy Seminar (APS). The APS enables our MPP students to serve as consultants to real-world policy organizations, developing key professional skills as they tackle significant policy challenges in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. For more information, contact Tom Phillips, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services, at 734-615-6454 or tdphill@umich.edu.

Ford School Annual Fund The Ford School is a leader in professional education, research, and public service. Be a leader, support the Annual Fund. To find out more about the Annual Fund and other giving opportunities, please contact the Development Office. 734-615-3892 or visit www.fordschool.umich.edu/giving




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