A Message From the Dean

robertson_thomas-300dpi_copyIt is time to strengthen the ties between business and public policy. With the global financial crisis, the center of focus has shifted from the world’s financial capitals to their political capitals. Governments do not understand business and finance as much as they perhaps should, while the business community does not understand governance as much as it should.

At Wharton we believe the time is right to bridge the intellectual divide. As a world leader in business education, we are positioned to be the go-between for policymakers and the financial and business community. We have launched the Wharton Public Policy Initiative with this ambitious goal in mind.

The Public Policy Initiative will offer independent, practical, timely, nonpartisan research and resources to key decision-makers in Washington, D.C. It will serve as a hub of cutting-edge research from across Wharton and the wider University of Pennsylvania campus.

Led by Professor Mark Duggan, the Rowan Family Foundation Professor and department chair of Business Economics and Public Policy, the initiative will generate knowledge and address the most pressing public policies issues.

Our work will ensure that public leaders at the federal, state and local levels—and ultimately, government leaders across the globe—will be better prepared to confront economic and social challenges.

In conjunction with our efforts toward policymakers and Capitol staffers, we are also increasing efforts to educate business leaders about the way public policy is made. CEOs and senior executives devote an increasing proportion of their time to external constituencies as to internal constituencies. At the top of the corporate ladder, they seek to think more broadly. Wharton can help them achieve this goal.


Thomas S. Robertson

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Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise

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