Event Summary – Bullets to Books: The Role of Education in Development

The following is a news digest from an event hosted by Wilson Center on the Hill and the Program on America and the Global Economy.

Education can play an integral role in development and economic growth internationally.  Many studies have shown that an increase in education can result in higher productivity and earnings, as well as decreased crime and infant mortality.  At a Wilson Center on the Hill event on Friday, June 17 titled “Bullets to Books:  The Role of Education in Development and What the U.S. Can Do,” panelists discussed the relationship between education, development and economic growth. The panelists also touched on current USAID education initiatives.  Kent Hughes, Director of the Program on America and the Global Economy at the Wilson Center, moderated and opened the conference with a brief introduction of the panelists.

After introductions from Hughes, Harry Patrinos, Lead Education Economist for the Education Human Development Network at the World Bank, began by discussing the economic benefits of education.  He noted that education is key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and that currently over two trillion dollars are spent each year on education around the world.  He also discussed Learning for All, the World Bank’s new education strategy, and its three messages:  investing early, investing smartly, and investing for all.  This will also launch their program on benchmarking education systems.  Patrinos analyzed the economic benefits of education from both the microeconomic and macroeconomic perspectives.  He noted that at the individual level, “a year of schooling increases earnings on the order of ten percent a year, on average, and perhaps as high as twenty percent in the poorest countries in the world.” Read more of this post


Watch Live – Book Discussion: Reckless Endangerment

What caused the home mortgage crisis? Who—if anyone—is to blame? In this important new book, co-authors Gretchen Morgenson (a journalist with long experience covering business) and Joshua Rosner (a financial analyst who raised early warnings in the mortgage market) provide some answers. Their analysis ranges from New York to Washington, scrutinizing the actions of policy makers, legislators, regulators, and financiers. Looking at the financial failures of Fannie Mae and HUD as well as Wall Street and the Fed, the authors create a catalogue of culprits, including key individuals such as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Congressman Barney Frank, and Fannie Mae CEO James Johnson. Join us for a comprehensive discussion of one of the key events in the current economic meltdown.

To watch a live webcast of this event click here.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

Event Summary – Perspectives on the U.S. – Korea Free Trade Agreement

The following is an event summary from an event hosted by the Program on America and the Global Economy on April 19, 2011.

On April 19th the Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) hosted speakers from the U.S. Department of State to discuss the pending U.S. – Korean (KORUS) free trade agreement.  Korea and the United States penned the initial agreement in 2007 and the Obama administration finished negotiating an amended FTA with the Korean government in early December, 2010.  Kent Hughes, PAGE director, moderated the event.

Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez opened the discussion by emphasizing the “human bond” embedded in the agreement between Korea and the United States.  He cited the experience of Dartmouth College’s president Jim Yong Kim—the first Asian-American to lead an Ivy League institution—as an example of the fundamental cultural connection of between the two nations.  The relationship is strategic as well as natural, Fernandez argued, noting that Korea is “a vital part of defense and development in the region.”

To help “bring the promise” of Korean –U.S.free trade, the Obama administration intends to “submit KORUS to Congress without delay,” Fernandez said. The agreement is “critical to the National Export Initiative” to double exports over the next five years. The Assistant Secretary stressed that the number one focus would be job creation.  Fernandez suggested that the “tariff cuts alone could increase exports $10-$11 billion annually and create 70,000 jobs” in the affected sectors.  He expects the agreement to boost agricultural exports by $1.8 billion per year and for the large Korean service market to allow for greater competition from U.S. companies.

With bilateral trade at $88 billion the trade relationship between the two countries bolsters U.S.-Korean ties and strengthens “one of the world’s most vibrant economic relationships.” Korea is the United States’ seventh largest trading partner, and the U.S.is third on the list of Korea’s commercial partnerships.  Fernandez acknowledged however that the 2007 agreement had its shortcomings, notably in the auto industry.  After talking with congress and industry leaders, Fernandez said the new 2010 agreement “ensures a level playing field for U.S.car manufacturers.” Among the new provisions: the elimination of tariffs on electric cars in 5 years and an overall reduction in Korean auto tariffs by fifty percent while U.S. tariffs stay stable for five years. Read more of this post

Event Summary – BRICS: Shaping the New Global Architecture

The following is an event summary from an event held at the Wilson Center on July 28, 2011. 

Five scholars and experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa spoke on 28 June 2011 at a Woodrow Wilson Center conference on “BRICS: Shaping the New Global Architecture.” The original BRIC acronym traces its origins to a 2001 paper by Jim O’Neill, a Goldman Sachs economist, which analyzed the emergence of Brazil, Russia, India, and China as economic powerhouses. This analytical concept took a life of its own when the leaders of the BRIC nations agreed to hold regular summits starting in 2009 to discuss a broad range of issues. In late 2010, the BRIC countries invited South Africa to join in recognition of that country’s natural resources and as a gateway into the African continent. The group held its third summit in April 2011 in Sanya, China with all five leaders.

Over the last decade, the BRIC, now BRICS, term has come to symbolize the growing power of the world’s largest emerging economies and their potential impact on the global economic and, increasingly, political order. All five members of BRICS are current members of the United Nations Security Council—Russia and China are permanent members with veto power, while the rest are non-permanent members currently serving on the Council. The BRICS countries collectively represent about 26 percent of world’s geographic area and 40 percent of the world’s population.

Moderator Amy M. Wilkinson, Senior Fellow, Center for Business and Government, Harvard University, and Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center, guided the discussion among panelists João Augusto de Castro Neves, Founding Partner, CAC Political Consultancy, and Contributing Editor, Politics and Foreign Policy, The Brazilian Economy; Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor, Global Affairs, Moscow; Inderjit Singh, Professor of Economics and Strategic Studies, National War College; Da Wei, Director and Research Professor, China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR); and Francis A. Kornegay, Research Associate, Institute for Global Dialogue, Pretoria. Read more of this post

The Atlantic Century

Yesterday, Kent Hughes, Director of the Program on America and the Global Economy, spoke at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.  The occasion was the release of an updated version of ITIF’s study The Atlantic Century: Benchmarking U.S. and E.U. Innovation and Competitiveness.  To learn more about the event, watch the video, or the read the report, click here.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

Watch Live – The Business of Education: Avoding a Skills Gap

To watch a live webcast of this event click here.

The Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE) Presents:

The Business of Education: Avoiding a Skills Gap

Rick Stephens, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Administration for The Boeing Company

and Founding Member, Business Industry STEM Education Coalition

Moderated by: Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy,

Woodrow Wilson Center

Future U.S. competitiveness will depend on whether our students are given the proper skills to be college and career-ready.  Businesses, maybe now more than ever, are investing in education and forming partnerships with schools to help ensure that our students are ready to join and compete in a 21st century global workforce.  Boeing is no exception.  Project-based learning and an emphasis on STEM subjects will be key to winning the future.


Rick Stephens is Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration for The Boeing Company, and member of the Boeing Executive Council. Stephens, a 31-year Boeing veteran, oversees all leadership development, training, employee relations, compensation, benefits, Global Corporate Citizenship, and diversity initiatives at the Chicago-based aerospace company. During his career with Boeing, Stephens, 58, has led a number of business areas at sites across the U.S. and around the world that have been as large as 30,000 and $10B. Passionate about improving education both inside and outside of the classroom, he works directly with community and education leaders to prepare future workers to meet the challenges necessary to succeed in an ever-changing and competitive business environment. A former U.S. Marine Corps officer, Stephens is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Chair of the Aerospace Industries Association Workforce Steering Committee; a member of the Business Higher Education Forum; founding member of the Business Industry STEM Education Coalition (BISEC); member of the Illinois P-20 Council; chair of the Global Midwest Alliance; and chair of the Illinois Business Roundtable. He has served on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the President’s Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities and on the National Science Resource Center Advisory Board. Stephens received his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics in 1974 from the University of Southern California, where he is the Boeing executive focal, and his Master of Science degree in computer science in 1984 from California State University, Fullerton. A former US Marine Corps officer, Stephens is an enrolled member of the Pala Band of Mission Indians and served as tribal chairman from 1988-89.

Monday, July 18, 2011 ~ 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The Joseph H. and Claire Flom Auditorium, 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center. 

Please RSVP acceptances only to page@wilsoncenter.org.

Posted by: PAGE Staff

Announcing Budget Hero

Lawmakers from both parties have said the country needs a national conversation about the national debt. At an event on Capitol Hill on July 13, they embraced the popular game Budget Hero as a way to jump start that discussion.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Public Insight Network at American Public Media launched an updated version of Budget Hero at this event, hosted by Senator Mark Udall, (D-DO), and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee. The Senators were joined by former Representatives John Tanner (D-TN) and Robert Livingston (R-LA), who was House Appropriations Committee Chair in 1997 when a balanced budget was enacted.

“The point of the game is to educate and empower us and I hope it is played in schools and right here at the Capitol,” Sen. Udall told reporters.

To play Budget Hero click here.

Posted by: PAGE Staff