Kellogg World Alumni Magazine Summer 2010

Leaders in the public sector

In the U.S. and abroad, Kellogg faculty and alumni are making significant contributions at the highest levels of government. Kellogg professors conduct research on policy and advise public agencies, while alumni apply their management skills in a wide variety of leadership roles. Here are just a few who are making an impact in the world of government and politics.    

"In my role as the senior budget officer for a $55 billion national security investment portfolio at the White House Budget Office, I assist the President by analyzing issues and presenting options for national policy in the areas of budget, legislation, regulation, financial management and human capital management. Kellogg prepared me for this role by giving me a solid foundation in finance and accounting while emphasizing the importance of ethical leadership. The mix of classes I took at Kellogg assures this nation's leadership that the advice I provide is both financially sound and highly ethical. Kellogg trained me to give high-level presentations and instills in me the confidence to work with the President's administration and the most senior national security leadership."

James Charles Hundt '07, senior budget officer, White House Budget Office

"I believe my ability to work in teams, honed by the team-building culture at Kellogg, prepared me for tackling the nuances of managing individuals from various backgrounds, including civil servants, politicians, bureaucrats and political appointees. In these challenging situations, I recall the different cultures I worked with at Kellogg to serve as a guide to my day-to-day dealings with stakeholders."

Teodoro (Ted) B. Padilla '93, executive director, Congressional Oversight Committee on Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, Senate of the Philippines

"The government is highly diverse and highly bureaucratic. Having the ability to work with different teams in a cohesive, collaborative and motivational manner has been a great skill for accomplishing numerous goals and tasks. Additionally, the ability to strategically look at and analyze problems and operations has allowed me to help the government in various capacities."  — Justin Williams '07, unit chief, FBI

"Having an MBA from Kellogg put me ahead of many candidates with similar or more experience. The leadership and ethics lessons I learned at Kellogg come in handy every day while I am making tough choices between seemingly right and really right decisions."

Hardik Bhatt '05, chief information officer and commissioner, Department of Innovation and Technology, City of Chicago

"My role at the Consulate General is to promote Canadian arts and education in our three-state territory of Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. Kellogg's emphasis on teamwork and collaboration was excellent preparation for the relationship development with universities and arts organizations essential to my work. The network of contacts I developed and the increased understanding of diverse perspectives supports my understanding of the priorities and methodology of partner organizations, assisting in the creation of relationships that are valuable to all parties."

Colleen Duke '02, academic and cultural relations officer, Canadian Consulate General in Chicago

"Kellogg helped me prepare and develop important skills needed for this role, from leadership and crisis management to interacting with other countries, governments and cultures. The challenges and opportunities you face in a government role are quite complex, and the knowledge acquired during my MBA experience, plus the best-practice sharing (with) the excellent peers in my class, are invaluable these days. It helps me contribute and make a positive impact at a different level."

Gloria Guevara Manzo '09, minister of tourism, Mexico

An expert on finance and macroeconomics, John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Finance Janice Eberly is a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers, a group of distinguished financial and economic experts who provide advice and information on economic forecasts, research and policy. Eberly's research interests include household finance and the cost of updating wealth portfolios, as well as the difficulties and implications of reallocating capital across sectors. "I was invited to serve on the panel in April 2010 by the director of the CBO, Doug Elmendorf," says Eberly. "The office was created by Congress to provide objective, nonpartisan and timely analyses on which to base decisions about legislation. CBO also provides financial estimates on which the federal budget is based, including official estimates of how much new government programs will cost, such as the healthcare package and changes in taxes. It has a staff of about 250 to implement this mandate, but calls in a panel of independent outside economists to get feedback on issues relevant to economic policy and the economic outlook."

Tokai Bank Professor of Finance Sergio Rebelo is a recognized expert on macroeconomics and international finance. His research focuses on large exchange-rate devaluations and currency speculation episodes. Rebelo has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the European Central Bank and the McKinsey Global Institute, among other organizations. He is often called on to share his expertise on the current economic crisis.

"There is a general perception that there was a very large increase in government purchases in the U.S. as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," says Rebelo. "But total government purchases, which are the sum of federal, state and local purchases, actually barely increased. This result reflects two facts: First, a substantial part of the stimulus plan involved an increase in transfers to households. Second, there was a large fall in state and local purchases that offset a substantial part of the increase in federal government purchases."

Associate Professor of Finance Joshua Rauh is a faculty research fellow in the corporate finance and public economics programs at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His area of expertise is corporate investment and financial structure, with an emphasis on how corporations respond to government incentives. His research posits that reforms to the current pension system are critical to preventing many large state-pension funds from running out, which could result in federal bailouts. Rauh was recently invited to participate in a roundtable discussion led by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the pension crisis and the need for reform.

 "For decades, states have been making pension promises to employees without setting aside enough money to be able to pay the benefits when the employees retire," explains Rauh. "In California, as in many other states, the consequences are now placing a massive burden on the ability of states to serve essential government functions such as supporting infrastructure, education and healthcare. The roundtable discussion was not about revoking promises already made, but rather the need to stop the further growth of unfunded liabilities by reforming the structure of compensation for public employees. Gov. Schwarzenegger is one of the few state leaders in the country who is really facing this critical issue. The nonpartisan discussion focused on facts and the need to reform compensation for public employees. Hopefully, these ongoing efforts will serve as a wake-up call to legislators and governors around the country."

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