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SIPA News – The Water Issue

The latest issue of SIPA News is now available.  The magazine is published twice per year and features articles written by students and faculty at SIPA.   The topic for this issue is water.  The importance of such a simple substance is underscored in the Dean’s introduction:

With more than 6 billion people on the planet today and the combined effects of global warming and industrial and urban pollution, the supply of water safe enough for drinking, recreation, production, and other uses is becoming scarce. In some parts of the globe, prolonged droughts and other weather events (like the freeze that burst pipes in Ireland last December) or humanitarian crises and refugee camps have already created emergencies that threaten entire populations.

The following are just a few of the articles in this edition:

  • As Waters Rise, Environmental Migration Surfaces
  • El Niño Drought Leads to Blackouts, Power Rationing, and Political Fallout in Venezuela
  • In Cambodia, Development Pushes Ahead at the Expense of a Lake
  • A Beachgoer’s Duty: A Surfer and a Fisherman Lead the Way to Curb Runoff Pollution on the JerseyShore
  • Mass Freshwater Exports: Alaska’s Latest Cash Crop Heads to India

The full magazine is available for viewing as a PDF by clicking here.  All previous issues of SIPA News can also be viewed on line by clicking here.

SIPA Media Notes

It is not uncommon for SIPA faculty to be featured in the media.  Here is a recent compilation of some appearances.


Steven Cohen asks “Can Obama Get His Sputnik Moment?”
CNN, January 26, 2011
“By recalling the challenge of Sputnik, the president is trying to summon America to a national effort to retool and revitalize our economy. America brings great resources and great difficulties to this newly competitive environment.”

Jeffrey Sachs gives State of the Union address a “thumbs down”
Wall Street Journal, January 26, 2011
“Professor Sachs … says the numbers won’t add up. That’s because [education, infrastructure and basic research] already take up a large chunk of the more than $600 billion of nondefense discretionary spending undertaken by the government.”

Dorian Warren provides commentary on State of the Union address
NY1, January 25, 2011 (Windows Media Player)

“I think it was a very good speech. I think he was drawing from the Tucson speech where he came across as post-partisan, as willing to reach across the aisle as unifier, that he defined the ‘we’ as a nation.”

Helios Herrera discusses the State of the Union address

Rede TV, January 26, 2011 (Portuguese)

“Obama’s proposed budget cuts will not be enough to cut the whole budget deficit and the Republicans might repeal them for that reason. The climate of bipartisanship at the speech will not change overall the political game. The republicans will do what is possible to make sure Obama does not get reelected in 2012.”

William Eimicke previews State of the Union address
WNYC, January 25, 2011
“Professor Eimicke said the president needs to get more specific. He’d especially like to hear more about the president’s plans for improving the nation’s infrastructure to help boost the economy and create jobs.”

Anya Schiffrin examines “Davos and the Gender Quota”
The Guardian, January 25, 2011
“The air is thin in Davos, and every January it gets saturated with testosterone as economic and business leaders swoop in for the annual meeting, momentarily replacing the resort town’s sea of ski parkas with a cloud of black suits. But we didn’t know how bad things were until it was reported that sponsors of the meeting have been told to make sure they bring one woman for every four men in their delegation.”

David Dinkins discusses his legacy as the first black NYC mayor
, January 24, 2011
“Sometimes you will feel criticism is inaccurate and unfair. And sometimes you might feel, you know, you’ve got a point.”

William Eimicke presents the Picker Center’s police consolidation report to the City of Schenectady, NY
Albany Times-Union, January 25, 2011
“You’re spending less on rent, you’re spending less on technology, you’re spending less on equipment.”

Joseph Stiglitz comments from the World Economic Forum in Davos
Washington Post, January 24, 2011
“’If you work in emerging markets, you feel the energy. If you are in the U.S. or Europe, you see the numbers and it’s hard not to feel depressed.’”

Scott Barrett comments on Bill Gates’ donation to polio eradication
Associated Press, January 24, 2011
“Professor Barrett said if the World’s Health Organization’s next polio deadline is missed, it may be time to abandon the efforts  ‘Eradication cannot continue indefinitely. The situation is very fragile and at some point the alternative needs to be examined more carefully.’”

Diane Vaughan addresses NASA and the Challenger disaster, 25 years later
Orlando Sentinel, January 23, 2011
“Professor Vaughan, who researched NASA’s culture after Challenger and Columbia, says NASA has taken a different approach after Columbia: ‘Look at the recent attempts to launch Discovery and how long they’ve stood down for that. It doesn’t mean they [NASA engineers] are doing poorly. It means they identified a flaw and are taking safety seriously.’”

Gary Sick writes, “While You Were Reading About Ukrainian Nurses…”
Foreign Policy, January 19, 2011
“Real news was buried in WikiLeaks — like this revealing cable on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Patricia Gorman Clifford discusses “What Do Business Schools Want?”
Washington Post, January 24, 2011
“The fact you are realistically evaluating your current skill set is a great place to begin. Some prospective students are so focused on gaining admission that they don’t think enough about managing the hard work and specific types of tasks that they’ll be expected to complete as a student.”

Jeffrey Sachs discusses the outlook for the European debt crisis
Bloomberg TV, January 18, 2011
Professor Sachs talks about the outlook for the European debt crisis, the economic growth outlook for Africa, the impact of globalization on U.S. society, and climate change.

Dorian Warren on Walmart and New York City
WNYC, January 18, 2011
“They waited until the political opportunity was much more advantageous for them in the sense of an economic recession. It’s muted some of the opponents’ claims about how Walmart will be bad for certain neighborhoods precisely because it’s hard to say we don’t want jobs Walmart would create.”

Joseph Stiglitz discusses “unsustainable imbalances” in emerging nations
El Mercurio de Valparaíso, January 16, 2011 (Spanish)
Professor Stiglitz visited Santiago, Chile to share his reflections on “unsustainable imbalances” in capital inflow with Columbia University graduates and former World Bank officials.

Arvind Panagariya comments on Indian growth and poverty
Times of India, January 14, 2011
In delivering the Raj Krishna Memorial lecture at the University of Rajasthan, Professor Panagariya said, “India’s economy is growing at over 12 percent in dollar terms. It’s $1.3 trillion economy can reach the size of China’s  $6 trillion in 15 years if it continues to grow at the current pace.”

Anya Schiffrin is blogging from the World Economic Forum at ReutersDavos Notebook. Read her latest “The Deepest Fear of the Davos Man.”

Howard Friedman blogs for The Huffington Post. Read his latest: “What Would Dr. King Think of Today’s Poverty?”

John Mutter was featured on TreeHugger in an article entitled, “Brooklyn’s Bamboo Bikes Hitting the Big Time in Ghana.”

Anne Nelson posted “Vietnam Fighting a Losing Battle Against Free Speech Online” at PBS’s  MediaShift blog.

Rodolfo de la Garza blogs for WNYC. Read his latest post, “The Case for Nonpartisan Redistricting.”

Gary Sick blogs at Read his comments on “And Life Goes On: An Iran Snapshot.”

Steven Cohen blogs regularly for The Huffington Post. Read his latest post: “Civility is More Than Symbolism.”

Stuart Gottlieb comments regularly on The Arena, Politico’s daily debate with policymakers and opinion shapers.


I sent out an email today regarding our FeedBurner service that you might have received but wanted to post a blog notice as well.  If you are on the blog and look over on the right you will see a box with the word “Subscribe” underneath.  If you wish to receive blog updates via email you can simply enter your email address and any day an entry is posted, you will receive an email with the content.  The software that provides this service is called FeedBurner.

Late in December the university Institutional Technology Department upgraded our blog software and for a short period of time FeedBurner service was interrupted.  I was informed on Friday that the service is restored and I am sorry for any interruption of service for those that are already subscribers.

As a reminder, you can also subscribe to this blog with an RSS reader.  For me discovering an RSS reader was akin to getting our first microwave back in the 70s.  I remember standing on our burnt orange linoleum floor (probably wearing a shirt with a collar the size of a national flag) staring slack jawed at this giant new addition to our kitchen.  My brothers and I used the microwave non-stop for the first month.  We heated up every consumable item, even if it did not need heating.

McDonald’s take out suddenly did not meet our temperature standard upon arriving home and obviously we needed to heat it up.  We especially had a blast microwaving eggs, although our learning curve meant a lot of clean up inside the microwave.  I am sure our usage of the microwave as a family led the hydroelectric power agency to have to run all turbines at full power to keep up with the demand we placed on the grid.  But I digress . . .

Just like a microwave is part of my daily life, an RSS reader is now a part of my life that I am really glad a friend turned me on to.  Basically you can get news from multiple sites, including this blog, all in one place.  Rather than having to visit a bunch of different sites, you can just visit one.  If you do not know about RSS readers, the following short YouTube video is a great introduction (length of video, 3:44).

I’m suddenly hungry for a Big Mac with an egg on it . . .

Direct YouTube link here.


It is not uncommon to see SIPA faculty, students, and alumni in the news.  Below are a few recent examples.

Helping TANF Help Children

Professor Swati Desai has been appointed as a senior advisor to the Urban Institute, on a project to improve state performance measures for TANF – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

TANF is a federal program, providing cash assistance to indigent families with dependent children. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, providing block grants to states, which administer their individual programs.

Desai, an expert in performance management, will spend much of 2011 advising the Urban Institute in choosing and analyzing the data for states that have implemented state-level TANF performance measurement systems that includes both outcome and process indicators and have been identified as having promising practices.

“As planning for TANF reauthorization approaches, there is a focus on improving the program’s accountability structure,” said Desai. “The program was created to help needy families reach self-sufficiency by providing cash assistance, work opportunities, and other services. But under the current accountability structure, it is difficult to know whether the program is actually meeting this goal.  The Urban Institute study will help inform the policy debate by conducting in-depth case studies of a few states.”

Desai is an associate professor at SIPA, teaching public and nonprofit management, and performance management. She previously served in a variety of positions with the City of New York’s Human Resources Administration, most recently as Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Evaluation and Research, which provides cash assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid to residents.


Stephen Sestanovich writes “America’s Facile, Self-Congratulatory Response to Wikileaks,” in The New Republic.

Here is short excerpt from the article:

The case for confidentiality in diplomatic communications doesn’t make exceptions. Most negotiations can’t be successful if every move—every embarrassing concession in which you compromise a point today that you declared sacrosanct yesterday—is made in public. By and large, because the United States is so powerful, we actually gain the most from confidentiality. Secrecy can shield the concessions that others make to us. Without it, they are more stubborn, more fearful, less able to act.

On the Front Lines of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

On December 18, Congress voted to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Veteran and SIPA alumnus Justin Johnson (MIA ’10) writes in the NY Daily News:

“Our battalion faced fierce combat as the 1,000 or so Marines conducted stability and security operations in a city of over 300,000. The bonds we formed in combat inspire and drive me to this day.

“The difficulty of this combat tour … forced me to confront my own mortality and make sense of what I experienced and what it meant for my life. I made the incredibly difficult decision to come out to my family and to leave active duty when my period of required service expired in June of 2005. I wanted to stay in the Marines, but did not want to serve in an environment where my entire life and career could be upended because of who I am – regardless of my performance in the position.” More

Using RSS to Help with Applying for Admission and Scholarships

The Internet has become a daily staple for most applicants to SIPA and obtaining pertinent information about our program and available financial aid is something that is best done on a consistent basis. RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is an easy and convenient way to have news and information delivered to you without having to repeat searches over and over every time you want to look for new news.

RSS feeds are most commonly used through either an RSS reader or through a news feed that provides new information to you in the form of email. RSS readers are free and many email providers (such as Google’s Gmail) build RSS readers into their user interface.

All you need to do to receive news as it is updated is to add an RSS enabled Web site to your reader. Each time you visit your RSS reader you will be able to see if new information has been posted. There is no need to visit every site over and over to find out if there is new news or updates.

You can subscribe to this blog by both email and through your reader. To subscribe by email simply add your email to the FeedBurner subscription box in the right margin near the top of the page.

If you are not familiar with RSS technology the following short YouTube video is a great introduction (length of video, 3:44).

Direct YouTube link here.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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