Comments are closed. This week’s guruAmericans shocked at Geneva conventionSo, just as Personnel Today predicted, that slow moving European juggernauton staff consultation was finally agreed. At least now the CBI will have tocome up with a strategy that goes beyond blank denial. But if the CBI is having difficulty coming to terms with it, then UScompanies operating in Europe haven’t got a chance. At a roof-top drinks do in the City, an American chum of Guru’s explainedthat US companies rarely realise the staff responsibilities that come withhaving a European presence. As a legal type he has attempted to warn more thanone American CEO about the dangers of opening a European HQ in Geneva for taxpurposes. “What!” screamed one in his ear, “When I make themredundant after six months, I’ve got to tell them first and pay them a year’ssalary. That’s crazy!” Still seeking the perfect 10 It is not just footballers who deal in clichés. Guru was introduced to lingobingo the other day. Each player gets a card with 10 of the best-loved businessclichés on it. To win you simply have to guess the corporate-speak on otherpeople’s cards. Included in Guru’s list was “Singing from the same hymn sheet, movingthe goalposts, win-win situation, who’s in control of the dancefloor, touchbase, I’ll see if I have a window, it’s a no-brainer, do we have closure?,hyperarchy, step-change, leverage our position, edutainment and learningorganisation”. Unfortunately, Guru lost abysmally to a go-getting consultant in changemanagement who rattled them out like a machine gun. Can anybody come up with a better list of 10? It’s pants when you’re on parade Guru was relieved to hear that Mickey and Minnie Mouse have won the right towear their own clean underwear. Staff who play the cartoon characters at Walt Disney World, Florida, were forcedto wear company-issued jock straps and tights beneath the costumes becausenormal underwear has a tendency to bunch and be visible. But staff complained that the underwear was not cleaned properly, afterseveral caught pubic lice and scabies. Pluto and the gang will now get pantsthey can take home each night and clean themselves, and they’ll all livehappily ever after (except the lice). Will it be chicken feed if they sue?Guru is calling for all disciples to stop taking the rise out ofvegetarians. Not only is it unfair to call them “sandal-wearinglefties”, but it might drop you in the soup (leek and potato, of course).A leading vegan organisation is calling on its members to use the Human RightsAct to defend themselves against discrimination. London Vegans is also demanding that employers treat vegetarianism as areligion. A spokesman said, “We will use the Human Rights Act if we arediscriminated against at work. You can get quite harassed if you are a vegan.”Well, for one Guru has never abused the resident tree-hugging hippy in hisoffice, and he always eats his veal sandwich discreetly. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Americans shocked at Geneva conventionOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today
The atmospheric histories of two potent greenhouse gases, tetrafluoromethane (CF4) and hexafluoroethane (C2F6), have been reconstructed for the 20th century based on firn air measurements from both hemispheres. The reconstructed atmospheric trends show that the mixing ratios of both CF4 and C2F6 have increased during the 20th century by factors of similar to 2 and similar to 10, respectively. Initially, the increasing mixing ratios coincided with the rise in primary aluminum production. However, a slower atmospheric growth rate for CF4 appears to be evident during the 1990s, which supports recent aluminum industry reports of reduced CF4 emissions. This work illustrates the changing relationship between CF4 and C2F6 that is likely to be largely the result of both reduced emissions from the aluminum industry and faster growing emissions of C2F6 from the semiconductor industry. Measurements of C2F6 in the older firn air indicate a natural background mixing ratio of < 0.3 parts per trillion (ppt), demonstrating that natural sources of this gas are negligible. However, CF4 was deduced to have a preindustrial mixing ratio of 34 +/- 1 ppt (similar to 50% of contemporary levels). This is in good agreement with the previous work of Harnisch et al. (18) and provides independent confirmation of their results. As a result of the large global warming potentials of CF4 and C2F6, these results have important implications for radiative forcing calculations. The radiative forcings of CF4 and C2F6 are shown to have increased over the past 50 years to values in 2001 of 4.1 x 10(-3) Wm(-2) and 7.5 x 10(-4) Wm(-2), respectively, relative to preindustrial concentra tions. These forcings are small compared to present day forcings due to the major greenhouse gases but, if the current trends continue, they will continue to increase since both gases have essentially infinite lifetimes. There is, therefore, a large incentive to reduce perfluorocarbon emissions such that, through the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the atmospheric growth rates may decline in the future.
Pockmarks are one of the most obvious and abundant structural features of the North Sea seabed, yet their influence on fauna is virtually unknown. We report the distribution of benthic megafaunal assemblages in and around four “pockmark complexes” in the North Sea to determine the structure of megafaunal communities inside pockmarks and whether these ubiquitous topographical features acted as refuges against trawling and other disturbances. The study focuses on the large central pockmarks in each of the pockmark complexes. These large pockmarks had depths of around 10 m and diameters of 160-235 m. Remotely operated vehicle video transects showed that megafauna increased in abundance, species richness, and diversity from outside (background seabed) toward the center of the pockmarks. The number of taxa present in the center of pockmarks was approximately double those of similar surrounding areas, and the centers had almost an order of magnitude more individuals than outside. Carbonate rocks were found in the centers of all the pockmarks and may be indicative of their formation (past methane seeps). These rocks also provide novel habitat to fauna: a complex hard substrate for colonization and shelter in an otherwise homogeneous soft sediment environment. Habitat enrichment and morphological protection are suggested to be the main reasons for the increased faunal abundance and species richness. Indeed, despite fishing data showing the area to be intensively disturbed, large slow-growing (old) and vulnerable species, such as gorgonian corals, were found in the center of the pockmarks. Pockmarks may offer important refuges from trawling activity.
Unravelling the long-term evolution of the subglacial landscape of Antarctica is vital for understanding past ice sheet dynamics and stability, particularly in marine-based sectors of the ice sheet. Here, we model the evolution of the bedrock topography beneath the Recovery catchment, a sector of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet characterized by fast-flowing ice streams that occupy overdeepened subglacial troughs. We use 3D flexural models to quantify the effect of erosional unloading and mechanical unloading associated with motion on border faults in driving isostatic bedrock uplift of the Shackleton Range and Theron Mountains, which are flanked by the Recovery, Slessor and Bailey ice streams. Inverse spectral (free-air admittance) and forward modeling of topography and gravity anomaly data allow us to constrain the effective elastic thickness of the lithosphere (Te) in the Shackleton Range region to ~20 km. Our models indicate that glacial erosion, and the associated isostatic rebound, has driven 40–50% of total peak uplift in the Shackleton Range and Theron Mountains. A further 40–50% can be attributed to motion on normal fault systems of inferred Jurassic and Cretaceous age. Our results indicate that the flexural effects of glacial erosion play a key role in mountain uplift along the East Antarctic margin, augmenting previous findings in the Transantarctic Mountains. The results suggest that at 34 Ma, the mountains were lower and the bounding valley floors were close to sea-level, which implies that the early ice sheet in this region may have been relatively stable.
Home » News » Associations & Bodies » Feefo, partners with new Federation of Independent Agents previous nextAssociations & BodiesFeefo, partners with new Federation of Independent AgentsMembers will deploy Feefo’s smart customer insights platform, in a major commitment to heightened levels of service, transparency and innovation.Sheila Manchester9th May 20190840 Views Feefo, the reviews and customer insights technology company is partnering with the Federation of Independent Agents – ‘empowering the new UK – wide organisation’s members to deliver market – leading levels of service in the property industry’.Deploying Feefo’s AI – powered, invitation – only insight platform, FIA says that its members will differentiate themselves by collecting, displaying and analysing thousands of real reviews from genuine customers, demonstrating a transparent commitment to the highest standards of service and best practice.The platform’s powerful machine learning capabilities will give members unique, near – real – time insights into demand and sentiment, enabling a new level of responsiveness and improved customer experience.“As a new federation with a modern mindset, dedicated to using innovation and technology to drive game – changing improvements in customer experience, Feefo is the right partner for us,” said Graham Lock, Founder and Chairman at the FIA. “We are about putting more power in the hands of independent agents and value transparency and openness above all else. The Feefo platform will be a key tool, enabling us to measure our members’ customer service at the coal – face, while empowering FIA agents to improve and demonstrate they are uniquely customer – focused.”“We are thrilled to be partnering with a no – nonsense, innovative organisation such as the FIA,” said Matt West, CEO at Feefo. “They understand that our technology empowers brands to engage more smartly and more intimately with their customers than ever before. This is another significant moment for the property industry, who as a collective are looking to improve transparency and customer service, which our technology enables them to do.”Matt West AI Sheila Manchester Federation of Independent Agents Feefo Feefo customer insight technology company Feefo reviews May 9, 2019The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
×Local charter school, HOLA, celebrated their first class of graduating eighth graders last week (see brief). Local charter school, HOLA, celebrated their first class of graduating eighth graders last week (see brief). Former Council President Campos found guilty of fraud ThursdayJoon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced in a press release that a federal jury had found former Hoboken Council President and attorney Christopher Campos, age 40, guilty of bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. Campos was charged in 2016. “Campos and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained millions of dollars in car loans by using at least 20 straw buyers to acquire more than 200 new automobiles based on false representations that, among other things, the straw buyers would use the cars for their personal use when, in truth and in fact Campos and his co-conspirators obtained the vehicles in order to lease as livery cabs,” sates the release.Campos served on the Hoboken City Council from 2001 to 2007. Also, in 2014 he served as a $35,000-$40,000-per-year full-time aide to former Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia. Campos is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 20 and could face up to 30 years in prison. Campo’s co-defendant, Julio Alvarez, pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud on June 9 and he will be sentenced on Sept. 8. “As a unanimous jury found, Christopher Campos, an attorney and former Hoboken City Council president, defrauded lenders out of millions of dollars,” said Kim. “He recruited straw buyers to obtain loans for cars supposedly for ‘personal use,’ when in fact they made up a fleet of over 200 vehicles Campos and his co-conspirators leased to livery drivers. Campos now awaits sentencing for this massive fraud.” In total, the scheme carried out by Campos (a Hoboken native who now lives in Palisades Park), Alvarez, and others involved at least approximately 20 straw buyers, the purchase of more than approximately 200 new vehicles, and more than $7 million in fraudulently obtained loans from a variety of financial institutions.Mother of Hoboken’s Cake Boss dies, age 69Mary Valastro, mother of TLC’s “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro, died Thursday morning after a long battle with ALS at the age of 69. ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that weakens muscles, impacts physical function, and is always fatal. There is no cure.According to the ALS Association, a little over 6,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year and it is estimated that as many as 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.Buddy Valastro, whose Hoboken bakery spawned a TV show and franchises, took to social media after her passing. “It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I must share the news of my mother’s passing. She left for heaven this morning, surrounded by the family. This is a difficult time for all of us and I do ask for your patience and respect while we let this sink in. Her battle with ALS has ended, she is no longer suffering and I hope she’s dancing to ‘I Will Survive” with my dad right now.’ he wrote on Instagram. Buddy Valastro took over Carlo’s Bakery when his father died in 1994 and turned it into a popular tourist attraction and brand opening several more locations, a line of bakeware, cookbooks and of course a reality tv show. His mother, who appeared in the early seasons of the show, retired after her diagnoses in 2012.First class of eighth graders graduates Hoboken Dual Language Charter SchoolHoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) graduated its first class of eighth graders on Monday, June 19, an historic achievement for the school. The students started their journey with HoLa as second graders in 2010 when the school opened.Charter schools are public schools that are founded by community members, teachers, and parents.The school has been the subject of a lawsuit by the Hoboken Board of Education. In 2015, the school board sued the state to prevent HoLa’s expansion to eighth grade, the board majority arguing that the charter schools siphon too much money and resources from the other public schools. So far, the outcome has favored HoLa, as the NJ Department of Education granted the schools’ expansion. The case is currently awaiting a decision by the state’s Appellate Court, which heard oral arguments in May.The ceremony attracted several politicians: Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Freeholder Anthony Romano, both of whom spoke at the ceremony, as well as council members Ruben Ramos, Michael DeFusco, and Ravi Bhalla. More than 50 percent of those are running for mayor.The commencement speaker was Carlos Lejnieks, Hoboken resident and executive director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union counties.The New Jersey Department of Education designated the school a Model World Languages School for two terms in a row—a distinction our school still holds.HoLa is also the first charter school in the state to implement a low-income preference in its lottery, a spokesperson said. Over 400 students apply for 44 kindergarten spots every year.Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteersLearn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, on Tuesday, June 27 at 7 p.m.Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures. For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.orgHoboken Historical Museum hosts talk with Ramapough-Linape Indian Nation representativesThe Hoboken Historical Museum will welcome two representatives, Owl and Two Clouds, from the Ramapough-Lenape Indian Nation to speak about their history and the significance of their Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in Mahwah, NJ. The talk will take place at the Museum, 1301 Hudson St., on Sunday, June 25, at 4 p.m., and admission is free. The Ramapough are descendants of a nation of indigenous Lenape people whose ancestral lands included the western banks of the Hudson River where Hoboken now sits, and whose language gave rise to the city’s name, a Dutch interpretation of “Hopoghan Hackingh,” or “Land of the Tobacco Pipe.”In October 2016, they formed the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in Mahwah, formed in solidarity with the Standing Rock Indian Reservation out West, to educate the public on the impending crises of the oil and natural gas pipelines that threaten the water supply there.Celebrate the historic game of baseballOn Saturday, June 24, at noon, the 1859 Hoboken Base Ball Club (formerly known as the Hoboken Nine) will commemorate the historic game of June 19, 1846, played by the New York Nine and Knickerbockers that is widely regarded as the birth of modern baseball. The Hoboken squad will play the Chesepeak 9 at Stevens Institute of Technology’s Dobbelaar field and admission is free. The game will be played using the original rules from 171 years ago. Visit https://hobokennine.jimdo.com/PSE&G to begin electric reliability workPublic Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), will begin construction on new critical underground electrical infrastructure in Hoboken as part of the utility’s Madison Street Substation Project. This work is part of the overall plan for the station to ensure reliable electric service for residents and businesses in the area.Construction is planned to begin on or around Monday, June 26, and will continue through December of 2017.Construction will occur between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Work preparation may begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Road closures will not take place prior to 9 a.m.For questions, call 1-800-901-5035 or visit pseg.com/hoboken.Fundraiser for charity that helps needy with legal servicesOver 150 people attended the Fourth Annual “Justice for All” Fundraiser in Jersey City on June 20 in support of The Waterfront Project, Inc., a nonprofit in Hudson County that provides free legal services to low-income residents. The signature event featured a tribute to its founder, Monsignor Robert Meyer, Pastor of the Catholic Community of Saints Peter and Paul in Hoboken.The project started in Hoboken.“In just the last 12 months, The Waterfront Project grew from a part-time staff of two to a full-time staff of five, serving close to 200 residents a month and more than doubling its operating and fundraising budgets,” stated Board President Isabel Chou. She said the growth “really speaks to an underserved need in Hudson County.”Monsignor Meyer developed the idea of a free legal clinic when he observed the development of high-rises, brownstones and condos along the waterfront, in stark contrast with a growing homeless population.Local Girl Scout troop urges residents to help save the beesHoboken Girl Scout Troop 12032 educated community members about the importance of bees and how to help sustain the bee population at Rummage and Ruffage last Saturday. Part of their outreach efforts as they work to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award, the girls researched the issue, wrote informational flyers, and produced and distributed seed bombs.Seed bombs are hardy, pebble-sized nuggets of dirt, clay and organic seeds for local flowers that will attract bees and promote pollination.On Saturday the girls also had children’s activities including seed planting.“The bee population has been in decline in recent years. If this continues unchecked, crops including coffee and many fruits and vegetables would be negatively impacted,” according to the release.
Independent flour miller FWP Matthews is to build a £1m warehouse at its Cotswold base in Shipton under Wychwood. Work will start on the 675sq m building in late summer and will be finished by the end of the year. It will house a new automated palletiser to speed up logistics while four lorry loading bays will mean loading can be done under cover for the first time. The family company had a mill re-fit last year and has recently employed a sales rep, which marketing manager Angela Francis said had prompted the move. “Production is higher and sales are up, which means we need more warehousing space to relieve the pressure. Staff have also been working in a Portakabin so it’s another reason why we had to take such a big step,” she said.The first floor will house office space as well as a test bakery where staff will be able to try out new ideas, along with a viewing area where visiting groups can see millers and bakers in action. FWP Matthews produces 600 tonnes of organic and conventional flour each week from UK wheat and sells a range of imported Moul-bie French flours direct to plant and craft bakeries as well as retail packs through the Co-operative Group. A mock-up Ronde des Pain shop, complete with Moul-bie flour branding, will be set up in the new warehouse for those bakers interested in linking up with the French brand. Said Francis: “It will have branded bags and literature and will give them a better idea of what their shop could look like.”French bakers will also hold bakery demonstration in the new facility.
The Marcus King Band has announced a new album, Carolina Confessions, due out on October 5th via Fantasy Records. Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson), the new album showcases the 22-year-old frontman’s maturation as a songwriter, as King takes writing credit on all ten tracks, in addition to on one co-written with The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach. The studio band features drummer Jack Ryan, bassist Stephen Campbell, trumpeter/trombonist Justin Johnson, saxophonist Dean Mitchell, and keyboardist DeShawn “D’Vibes” Alexander. Today, Marcus King Band has released two of the new album’s singles, “Homesick” and “Welcome ‘Round Here”, via World Cafe on NPR.As Marcus wrote about “Homesick”:Homesick is a feeling almost everyone can relate to. For me, I wrote it about the home I found in someone’s heart. When I’m with her I feel at home. I wanted the song to carry the emotion the right way. The R&B approach came about organically, There was never really a question for me as to what feel the tune would have. It was born as a soul song.“Homesick” – Marcus King BangAbout “Welcome ‘Round Here”, Marcus wrote:“Welcome ‘Round Here” starts with a dark, dirty, gritty and familiar sounding Southern blues rock riff, however it soon turns into a slamming and fiery horn and keyboard-driven blast of a jam, as King turns a psychedelic bridge into a searing and soaring guitar solo, long on dexterity and ferocity. The next time someone says to you that rock is dead, tell them to look no further than this King. “Carolina Confessions focuses a bit more on songwriting,” King writes. “There were a lot of things I needed to say, to get off of my chest, a feeling of admitting wrongs I had done and also hurt I had felt. The concept is that songwriting and performing are my ways of confessing my sins and feeling a weight off my spirit.“Welcome ‘Round Here” – Marcus King BandFor a list of upcoming Marcus King Band dates, as well as ticketing links, head to the band’s official website.
Leading a nation long considered a model of economic dysfunction, Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania has pushed for change since his election last year. And the change needed in his country is not the electioneering “change” promised by virtually everyone in U.S. politics, but sweeping reforms that remodel institutions and foster the economic revival taking hold oh-so-slowly in the former communist nation.“We have … the youngest government in the history of Albania,” Rama said during a recent visit to Harvard. “My choice was to have ministers who have never been ministers.”He added, “In politics, experience is what kills innovation and reform.”But Albania isn’t relying on youth alone. Rama’s government is in the midst of a two-year project, funded by the Open Society Foundations, that partners it with Ricardo Hausmann, a professor of the practice of economic development at Harvard Kennedy School, and with experts at the School’s Center for International Development (CID), which Hausmann directs.“Their findings are helping us structure or restructure sectors or subsectors,” said Arben Ahmetaj, Albania’s minister of economic development, trade, and entrepreneurship. “We feel lucky, but the cooperation goes beyond traditional consultancy. It’s a partnership [for] development.”“I cannot tell you how much I’m learning, how much I’m thinking about Albania,” said Harvard’s RIcardo Hausmann. “Things are much clearer to understand when they are in the extreme and Albania is an extreme case in many things.” File photo by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerFor decades, Hausmann said, Albania was a European version of North Korea, isolated from the rest of the world under the dictator Enver Hoxha. After the fall of communism in 1992, the nation made a difficult transition to capitalism, marked by a proliferation of pyramid schemes whose collapse led to unrest in 1996 and 1997.“There’s no reason in the world that the country shouldn’t have a per capita income like Greece or Italy except for the fact it’s been mismanaged for 60 years,” Hausmann said.With the Harvard-Albania project just past the halfway point, Ahmetaj and Rama see progress — analyses performed, reforms under way, and a 26 percent rise in exports.“It’s absolutely a fascinating and unique experience,” Rama said, “very much based on knowledge, innovation, dialogue, and — first and foremost — working together. It’s not experts on one side and pupils that have to follow on the other. It’s about … results.”While it’s not unusual for Harvard faculty members to advise or even serve in government, the depth of the relationship in this case is striking, said Elaine Papoulias, executive director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and a former director of the Kennedy School’s Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe.Papoulias said the CID project with Albania is an extension of a relationship between Rama and Harvard that reaches back to the early 2000s, when Rama was mayor of the national capital, Tirana. A onetime artist who had lived for years in Paris, as mayor Rama demonstrated a flair for the dramatic. He painted drab downtown buildings pink, yellow, and green, and took aim at the problem of rampant illegal development, reclaiming land for the city and encouraging green spaces. He was a Time magazine European hero in 2005.Rama’s first visit to Harvard was in 2003, when he was invited by Papoulias and the Kokkalis Program to participate in a mayors’ lecture series. The invitation stemmed largely from her observation of Rama’s “unique” and “authentic” leadership style, Papoulias said, one that set him apart from the region’s other political leaders.“His leadership was an ethos that was not only new for Albania, but for all of the region, a region … that had too many leaders who desired only to produce followers,” Papoulias said.Rama soon started thinking about the kind of technical expertise Albania needed, and began pushing talented young leaders to participate in HKS executive education programs, both in Cambridge and in Greece. Today, Papoulias said, a quarter of Rama’s cabinet has some sort of Harvard training.With Rama’s election to prime minister, the time seemed right for a more formal relationship between his country and the University. Backed by the Open Society Foundations, Hausmann began a two-year project aimed at institutional and economic reform.“HKS became active in Southeastern Europe starting in the late ’90s — a formative moment for this region,” Papoulias said. “The CID project in Albania is an evolution and deepening of Harvard’s involvement in this region, and demonstrates how impactful being at the right place at the right time in a country’s developmental trajectory can be.”Hausmann, former planning minister for Venezuela, former chief economist for the Inter-American Development Bank, and an expert on developing economies, started the initiative with a trip to Albania to talk to government officials about priorities, and to examine growth challenges and opportunities.An early priority was assisting in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, which in February approved $457 million to help Albania meet its financial obligations while it undertakes reform. Hausmann also secured a World Bank grant so that six of the country’s ministers could attend an executive education program at HKS that month.“The moment they got back they started to implement ideas they got in the course,” Hausmann said.Harvard Kennedy School student He Tian was part of the team that went to Albania and worked on industrial parks in an effort to figure out why existing policy had gone wrong. Photo by Ann WangFaculty members with expertise in key areas were consulted, including Associate Professor of Business Noel Maurer on electricity; Visiting Professor of Public Policy Francisco Monaldi on oil; Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment Robert Lawrence on economic integration; CID senior fellow Eduardo Lora on tax, debt, and social security reform; and research fellow Ljubica Nedelkoska on migration and labor issues.In the summer, Hausmann sent Kennedy School students to Albania for eight- to 10-week internships at ministries. The students examined issues ranging from the value chain of agricultural exports to the stalled implementation of industrial park legislation. Associate Professor of Public Policy Matt Andrews, who guided some of the students, also directed the formation of problem-solving “black belt” teams in agriculture, industrial zones, light manufacturing, and tourism.Boban Paul, a master’s student in public administration, worked in the Ministry of Agriculture with two other students. The trio focused on the value chain of agricultural products, analyzing how a plant or animal gains value before it is offered for sale.The students then developed a series of recommendations for three products (tomatoes, poultry, and sage). Paul, who worked with sage, suggested setting up a quality-control lab as well as measures to bring home some production currently done abroad, such as processing and bottling the leaves.“That to me was a good learning experience,” Paul said. “It’s not easy to make policies.”He Tian, who worked on the Ministry of Economics’ black-belt team on industrial parks, was among those tasked with figuring out why existing policy had gone wrong. Six years ago, the government passed laws to create nine industrial zones in the country, not one of which is operational today.The team dug into the dysfunction, demonstrating in one case the harmful role of illegal development. To make matters worse, the land had been sold by the local government, Tian said, providing a stark illustration of what can happen when the goals of central and local governments are poorly aligned.The lessons have not been restricted to students.“I cannot tell you how much I’m learning, how much I’m thinking about Albania,” Hausmann said. “Things are much clearer to understand when they are in the extreme and Albania is an extreme case in many things.”Albania’s still-lengthy to-do list includes improved rule of law, more effective administration, reforms in the energy and financial sectors, improved education and technical training, and more success in attracting foreign investment.“We’re seeing an interesting increase in economic growth, but it’s a fragile trend and we’re working hard to consolidate it,” Ahmetaj said. He added that as he looks ahead to the project’s conclusion, “We will do our best not to let Ricardo, CID, and Harvard go away from Albania.”
Sherri Charleston, one of the nation’s leading experts in diversity and higher education, became Harvard’s chief diversity and inclusion officer in August. She arrived from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was assistant vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and chief affirmative action officer. The Gazette spoke with Charleston to learn more about her first two months on the job, how her academic background in history and the law informs her work, and where she sees opportunities for rigorous, research-informed progress on campus toward making all community members feel welcome and heard.Q&ASherri CharlestonGAZETTE: Tell us about your experience here at Harvard thus far.CHARLESTON: Early on, I met with one of my new colleagues, who told me that “Harvard is its people, not its buildings.” And I have found that to be absolutely true. I’ve been in Zoom meetings with more than 1,000 people already, and I’ve found that so many have been very warm and welcoming and deeply devoted to diversity and inclusion issues. It has been a wonderful experience for me. It’s been unique starting my time here during a pandemic, but already we’re learning how our new digital environment can actually help us to broaden the reach of the Office for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (ODIB), which I lead. I’m hoping it will enrich the way that we conduct our diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and community building efforts after we return to campus.Harvard of course has a storied history and is already doing a lot to champion diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. I’m excited because we have only scratched the surface of what we will be able to achieve together. Part of my work will be to knit together the great work that is already being done — a lot of which is happening at the School and unit level — into a visible strategy with measurable outcomes.At the outset of their EDI [equity, diversity, and inclusion] journeys, many organizations are able to identify goals, but may struggle to build in systems of measurement and accountability relative to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. A central challenge is often ensuring that we’re applying the same creativity, rigor, resources, and tools for assessment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging strategy as we do to other aspects of our work. We have a real opportunity here at Harvard to pursue organizational excellence in the field with the same level of rigor as we pursue scientific discovery, and then to hold ourselves accountable to ensure that we’re making the visible progress we’ve aspired to, progress that becomes an important part of the very fabric of Harvard. Harvard has the unique ability to make valuable contributions in this area if we can get this right.GAZETTE: You are a historian trained in U.S. history with a focus on race, women, gender, citizenship, and the law, as well as an attorney with a specialization in constitutional and employment law. I imagine this background in higher education informs your quest for the rigorous progress you talked about. Tell us more about how your own academic inquiry informs what you bring to your role as chief diversity and inclusion officer.CHARLESTON: I am a scholar-practitioner, and my emphasis is on research and data-informed decision-making, which is one of the four pillars — in addition to inclusive excellence, organizational excellence, and campus and community engagement — that guide my approach to the work. As I’ve said in other spaces, my training in history and the law informs my commitment — some might say passion — for examining how we’ve evolved, and how we haven’t evolved, particularly surrounding questions of race and gender, and solving our greatest challenges. I remain convinced that many of the challenges that we face in higher education relative to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging have answers rooted in applied research. We just have to work in the field to find them.As a historian, the pursuit of the answers we seek to our current questions often lay in an exploration of the past. I have been thrilled to learn of the groundswell of work already happening here at Harvard. Especially since the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging was launched under President [Drew] Faust, there has been significant reflection across the University on exploring the principles that have informed who we are — vis-à-vis whom we honor in our space, our naming principles, and how we remember our past.Moving forward, an exploration of our past can empower us to shape the Harvard of the future. We see Schools and units across the University moving forward with important initiatives, thinking about the foundational questions raised by the Pursuing Excellence on a Foundation of Inclusion report, compiled by the task force that reflects on Harvard’s history of spaces and places and symbols, and what they mean for us in 2020. “In a place like Harvard, where there’s such brilliance and excellence, it can surely be easy to fall prey to imposter syndrome. … Where one begins does not determine where one ends. If you are here, you belong here.” Over the course of at least the next year, we will see a greater University-wide focus on creating inclusive values, symbols, and spaces. There are important ongoing conversations related to spaces and naming already underway, including exciting initiatives already happening on the local level. To name just a couple of examples at the School level: FAS has launched its task force to examine visual culture and signage; the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study has convened a symposium on the historical links between higher education and slavery, and it continues to host the Initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery; the Business School has decided to rename one of its buildings in honor of Professor James Cash; and the Medical School has renamed the Holmes academic society in honor of physician-scientist William Augustus Hinton. Beyond symbolic action, these decisions are reflective of a broader understanding of how our present reality continues to be shaped by choices of the past.I find these initiatives to be really exciting because I believe that, broadly, institutions in the United States cannot begin to chart our path forward relative to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging without rigorously examining our connections to the past, many of which are still very much shaping our present and will shape our future. We are not relegated to a passive relationship with our histories. Honor them, explore them, and question them when necessary, but we must do so collectively as we search for a fuller understanding of our own histories and that of others. This, to my mind, is foundational to the process of cultivating empathy and creating real cultural change.I’m also an attorney, and I hold dear the idea that vigorous debate and dissent can help us arrive at truth. It’s a principle that has informed my approach to teaching as well. As such, we’re launching a Community Dialogue series, complete with a tool kit for navigating difficult conversations, faculty-led events where our faculty can think about how best to handle difficult conversations in the classroom, and a series of public events that model inclusive dialogue across difference.GAZETTE: This year, to your point, has made clear just how many of the injustices of the past remain. These realities hit home at Harvard. You’ve already mentioned the ongoing dedication of individuals within the Schools and units to rethink historical places and symbols on campus, and as we are in the process of reimagining the role of policing across the country, we are doing the same within our own Harvard community. Broadly, what can be the role of an institution of higher education like Harvard in leading a thoughtful response to the societal issues that continue to plague our nation?CHARLESTON: The core mission of higher education, which colleges and universities across the country share, revolves around principles of academic freedom, intellectual inquiry, and our academic mission of research, teaching, and learning. This has been the case for centuries. What’s changing now is the who. Since the Harvard Charter of 1650, which committed the President and Fellows of Harvard College to “the education of the English and Indian youth of this country,” the institution has evolved in opening its doors to women, Black Americans, people of color, persons with disabilities, and so on. We’re now recognizing the value of celebrating the diversity of humanity in terms of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and are working to make the University a place that is welcoming to all. In 2020, whom we serve and how we serve them is reflective of a much broader citizenry, which includes international students. This level of diversity is good for higher education; it creates a richer learning environment for all students and pushes us in very important ways to remain adaptive and responsive to the needs of an ever-changing community.Harvard, of course, has become a leader in engaging people from all over the world in learning, research, and the process of academic discovery. The University’s stance in the recent admissions case is indicative of our commitment to creating the diverse community essential to fulfilling our mission of educating engaged citizens and leaders. Diverse teams are creative teams. To my mind, our diversity at Harvard is a source of strength that needs to be expanded and cultivated. Given our role in preparing citizen-leaders who will benefit society, it is incumbent on us to equip students to engage in a diverse world with understanding and empathy, not just knowledge and expertise. The scope of our backyard actually spans not only the state, or the city or the state, not even just the country, but the entire world, which means that the role and responsibility we have to help shape these discussions is both far-reaching and impactful.As we find ourselves right in the middle of highly contentious and stressful times, our office is working with partners across campus to create spaces for inclusive dialogue. As I mentioned, we’re launching a Community Dialogues initiative that will explore how to promote inclusive dialogue across difference, and how to model a return to civic engagement in a moment where those norms have completely fallen apart and broken down. We will shortly be launching a Zoom-based series, also around inclusive dialogue, that I hope community members will participate in, where we’ll tackle important topics ranging from political unrest to policing to racial injustice.Harvard, fundamentally, sees itself as an institution that will educate the next generation of leaders in a variety of different fields. We have an opportunity to help ensure that this next generation understands what it means to engage in dialogue across difference, is inclusive in its thinking, is empathetic, learns to listen to the voices of others, and so is better prepared to provide leadership within our communities. “Harvard has the unique ability to make valuable contributions in this area if we can get this right.” Members of Harvard and the higher education community react to the ruling in the admission lawsuit Sherri Ann Charleston named chief diversity and inclusion officer GAZETTE: The nation is facing a series of wrenching challenges, all of which touch on the need for the kinds of changes in diversity, equity, and inclusion the University has set as goals. But the sheer crush of it appears to be taking a personal toll on individuals in the community. What are your thoughts on how we can help?CHARLESTON: These are tough times. We’re in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, have reached a boiling point in the quest for racial equity, and are confronting and examining the role we want policing to play in modern society — all at the same time. As a result, many members of our community are experiencing anxiety, stress, and even terror in this current moment. In response, we’ve launched Community Spaces in partnership with Counseling and Mental Health Services, which are affinity-based gatherings, for students, faculty, staff, and postdocs. There is a need, perhaps now more than ever, to be in community and obtain tools to not only cope but thrive. The spaces will be virtual to start, but we intend to provide physical spaces for community members to meet on these topics as soon as it’s safe to come back to campus. These spaces are geared toward addressing the need to be in community, even while we’re apart, which we’ve heard from many members of our campus community.GAZETTE: You mentioned a new series on inclusive dialogue that your office is launching and that you hope people will participate in. Talk about the importance of community members getting involved in the work on promoting diversity, inclusion, and belonging across Harvard?CHARLESTON: As committed as President [Larry] Bacow, the deans, the Academic Council, the Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging Council, and I are to the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, the responsibility does not sit solely with us. Achieving our goals relative to diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging is a communal responsibility. There is much that needs to be done. Achieving inclusion and belonging requires action. There would be no need for us to have any of these conversations otherwise. And I say that as someone who is fully committed every day to working themselves out of a job, as someone who wants equity, inclusion, and belonging to become woven into the very fabric of our culture and community. I am here to help lead our efforts, but in order to be sustainable, the commitment will have to rest with all of us.That said, we know that in order to make progress on any goal it will take an investment in terms of time and resources, and the establishment of goals and metrics to make sure that we are charting our progress so that we know what’s working and what’s not working. Ultimately, our office will help support the development of a framework for improvement. ODIB has four major strategies to operationalize the four pillars I mentioned: We are catalysts; we are conveners; we are community builders; and we are capacity builders. But we will not reach a place where the pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging becomes normal science without the commitment of the community. We need to build a network of people who are devoted to achieving and advancing our goals across this institution. We all must do the work.I want to again encourage people to join the conversation. This month, we’ll begin holding Community Conversations with various stakeholder groups — students, faculty, staff, and postdocs. We’re seeking input as we work to establish the agenda for the office.We will be forming several advisory committees in the weeks and months to come to provide feedback and help us set the agenda for the coming years. I’m holding office hours on Fridays; I’m already booked through December, and I look forward to having conversations with individuals across Harvard and hearing perspectives on what we need to do better.I like to surround myself with individuals who will use their expertise to expand my thinking and push us forward toward innovative, sound, inclusive solutions. Ultimately, I am always striving to find ways to look at old problems from new vantage points. Community engagement is an integral part of my process in that respect.GAZETTE: Speaking of vigorous debate, you told a story at the new student orientation this fall about the first time you were on Harvard’s campus, as a high school debate team member. It’s a story that says a lot about the work of making people from all different backgrounds feel welcome in higher education. Would you mind sharing that with us again?CHARLESTON: Sure. I was a policy debater in high school. I went to Cass Tech, a Detroit public school. I was participating in the Harvard national debate tournament, competing against some of the most prestigious and well-resourced programs in the country. Talk about having imposter syndrome. I remember thinking at the end of the tournament that I had done well, but I didn’t know how good of a tournament I had truly had.My team and I were sitting outside of the auditorium where the awards ceremony was taking place, when people started filing out. As one of the debate coaches from Michigan walked by, he said to me, “Where were you? You won the top speaker award.” Needless to say, I was floored.I walked into the empty auditorium to collect my award, and there, standing at the front, was Dallas Perkins, now debate coach emeritus of the Harvard Debate Council. As I approached him, he said to me as only he could with that distinctive Texas sound, “So you’re the little lady who took the tournament.” It was amazing. Years later, I was in his debate lab at Michigan [the Michigan National Debate Institute] with Sherry Hall, who is now director of tournaments and workshops for the Harvard Debate Council. Relief and vindication Diversity and higher ed expert joins Harvard from UW-Madison Related Kennedy School research initiative looks at why diversity and inclusion efforts succeed or fail How to be an antiracist nonprofit or company In a place like Harvard, where there’s such brilliance and excellence, it can surely be easy to fall prey to imposter syndrome. But my message and that of ODIB to students, faculty, and staff is that you belong here. What I’ve now coined as my first Harvard moment highlights a valuable lesson that I work to impress upon students, which is to trust your preparation. Trust that you do, in fact, belong here.I am a first-generation undergraduate and graduate student. My grandfather had a third-grade education and was one of 18 living children. He took a position as a garbageman and helped bring his parents, siblings, and their children to Detroit from Mississippi. My grandmother’s parents farmed their own land, but my grandfather’s parents were not landowners — they were sharecroppers. My grandparents and my mother gave me a profound understanding of the meaning of hard work and perseverance. The point is, where one begins does not determine where one ends. If you are here, you belong here.Interview was edited for clarity and length.