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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Wednesday, October 01, 2014
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Forums and Events

Upcoming Events


Balancing Educational Excellence with Tax Relief


The Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Co-Sponsored by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO).

Public policy events at Rockefeller College and the University at Albany

Recent Forums and Events

Tom Gais

Christopher Plein

Jocelyn Johnston

Stuart Butler

Sarah Kliff

Richard Nathan

Michael Morrisey

Affordable Care Act: Southern States Overview


Co-Sponsored by the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the Brookings Institution and the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania
Monday, August 25, 2014
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

This event included the presentation of new reports on the implementation of, and responses to, the Affordable Care Act among states in the southern region. In addition to an overview report, state reports were presented for Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.

The reports are part of a 35-state ACA implementation project of the Rockefeller Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of Government. This event was also sponsored by West Virginia University and the GOVERNING Institute, a new initiative focused on state and local government performance, innovation, leadership, and citizen engagement.

Attendees heard about the 35-state ACA implementation project and listened to an overview of the southern states implementation efforts by Christopher Plein, Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service at West Virginia University.

The overview presentation was followed by a discussion of individual state reports featuring field researchers from each of the participating states. A subsequent panel considered the issues raised by the reports and discussed how reactions to the ACA in the southern states affect overall progress in implementing national health care reform. The second panel featured:

  • Richard P. Nathan from the Rockefeller Institute;
  • Alice Rivlin of the Brookings Institution;
  • Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation; and
  • Sarah Kliff from Vox.
Agenda

Panelists Biographies

Project Description

Overview Report

Alabama Report

Florida Report

Kentucky Report

Maryland Report

South Carolina Report

Texas Report

West Virginia Report

Kentucky's Uninsured Before and After ACA Maps

C-SPAN Video









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Panel

MOOCs in the Developing World: Democratization of Knowledge or Academic Hype?


Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government of SUNY and the United Nations Academic Impact, in cooperation with the Institute for International Education (IIE), the NYS Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Will massive open online courses (MOOCs) provide worldwide access to quality higher education, as advocates maintain? Or will MOOCs, as critics fear, foster Western academic dominance, fail to serve those most in need, and undermine local institutions? These questions and more were considered in a probing conversation featuring prominent global thought leaders offering a range of views on the pros and cons of MOOCs.

Moderating the conversation was Ben Wildavsky, director of higher education studies at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, policy professor at the University at Albany (State University of New York), and author of the award-winning book The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World.

Panelists included:

  • Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, the high-profile MOOCs founded by Harvard and MIT.
  • Philip G. Altbach, research professor and director of the Center for International Higher Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.
  • Barbara E. Kahn, Patty and Jay H. Baker Professor of Marketing and the director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, and an instructor for Coursera.
  • S. Sitaraman, senior vice president of the Ritnand Balved Education Foundation, secretary general of the Amity Synergy Forums, and senior vice president of Amity University.
Video









Nearing

Gordon

Panel

Panel
Panel

Challenges Facing Our Water Facilities Infrastructure


Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

For government, particularly local governments, maintaining our aging water systems is one of the most complex and daunting environmental challenges facing New York State's municipalities, as we try to meet the environmental and health needs of our population. It is also a great financial challenge.

A cross-section of public and private interests discussed our water infrastructure issues and how we can address them, including new sources of funding for municipalities and emerging approaches such as green infrastructure.

Keynote address:

  • Stephen Gordon, former deputy commissioner at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, talked about Governor Nelson Rockefeller's far-reaching initiatives for "pure" water in the 1960s and 1970s.
Panels and Presenters:

Condition of Programs and Facilities:

  • Sandra Allen, director of policy and planning, NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation
  • Peter Baynes, executive director, NYS Conference of Mayors
  • Nancy Heinzen, coordinator, Stormwater Coalition of Albany County
  • Martin Daley, planner, Capital District Regional Planning Commission
  • James Tierney, assistant commissioner for water and watershed, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

How to Meet Current and Future Needs for Waste Water Management and Clean Drinking Water:

  • Eric Goldstein, senior attorney and NYC environment director, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Richard Lyons, executive director, Albany County Sewer District
  • Robert Weibolt, lobbyist, Malkin & Rose
Times Union environmental reporter Brian Nearing served as moderator of the day's events.

Audio

PowerPoints
Sandra Allen’s PowerPoint Presentation
Nancy Heinzen’s PowerPoint Presentation
Martin Daley’s PowerPoint Presentation









Gerstman

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Panel

New York: Where Wilderness Preservation Began – Motivating New Leadership A Celebration of the Wilderness Act’s 50th Anniversary


Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve in Cooperation With the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Rockefeller Institute, Albany NY

In 2014, New Yorkers and the nation celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964. This anniversary has special meaning for New Yorkers. The Act’s chief lobbyist and author, Howard Zahniser, gained his inspiration from New York State’s “forever wild” article in the NYS Constitution protecting the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve. Citizens adopted Article XIV of our NYS Constitution 120 years ago. We are “where wilderness preservation began” in America.

Agenda

Introductions
  • Matt Ryan, Managing Editor, New York NOW
  • Peter Frank, Bureau Chief, Division of Forest Preserve Management, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Chad Dawson, Professor Emeritus, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry
  • David Gibson, Partner, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
  • Jack McEneny, former NYS Assemblyman
Keynote Speaker
  • Mark Gerstman, Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Awards presented by David Gibson, Peter Frank, and Chad Dawson to:
  • Evelyn Schaefer Greene, Board Member, Protect the Adirondacks
  • Ed Zahniser, Advisory Council, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
  • Brother Yusef Burgess
Panel Discussion
  • Moderator: David Gibson, Partner, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
  • Kathy Regan, Senior Natural Resource Planner, NYS Adirondack Park Agency
  • Dan Plumley, Partner, Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
  • Robert Davies, Director, Division of Lands & Forests, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Chad Dawson, Professor Emeritus, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Video

PowerPoint
Mark Gerstman’s Presentation

Handouts
Adirondack Forest Preserve Map and Guide
Catskill Park Map and Guide
Adirondack Wild 2011 Annual Report
Adirondack Wild 2012 Annual Report
Article XIV: New York State Constitution
International Journal of Wilderness Subscription Form
Official 50th Anniversary Map (front) and (back)
50th Anniversary National Wilderness Conference brochure

Lt. Gov. Ravitch

Former Lt. Gov. Ravitch: My Life in Government


Wednesday, April 23, 2014
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Former New York State Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch discussed his efforts to advance New York State government through some of its most troubled times in a candid discussion with WCNY News & Public Affairs Director Susan Arbetter. The event was held to draw attention to Ravitch's new memoir, So Much To Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics, and Confronting Fiscal Crises (Public Affairs Press).

According to the book's publisher, "In six decades of public and private life, Richard Ravitch has earned a reputation for political savvy and business skill with a commitment to social responsibility. His boundless energy and pragmatism made him especially valuable in dealing with the fiscal crises of the mid 1970s in New York City, and later as head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Along the way, he developed a national reputation among his peers as a masterful problem solver with the capacity to unravel nearly any financial or political tangle."

During the course of the hour-and-a-half program, Ravitch discussed his dealings with the MTA and NYC fiscal crises and his selection as the number two man in New York State government, under former Governor David Paterson. In addition, as an incomparable student of government at the state and federal level, he laid out his philosophy for how New York and the nation should deal with its challenges going forward.

Video

Congressman Tonko

Panel 1

Panel 2

Closing Plenary

Facing the Storm: Preparing for Increased Extreme Weather in Upstate New York


Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and the New York State Emergency Management Association (NYSEMA)
Monday, April 14, 2014
1:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This program was designed to showcase the University at Albany’s research on upstate severe weather and provided a forum for the emergency response community to discuss what they need to do to prepare for anticipated and historic meteorological events.

  • Keynote by Congressman Paul Tonko
Presenters

  • Christopher Thorncroft, University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
  • Thomas Blanchard, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • David Vallee, Northeast River Forecast Center (NOAA)
  • Kevin Niedermaier, Livingston County Emergency Management Office & NYS Emergency Management Association
  • Chris Baker, Cattaraugus County Emergency Management Office
  • Colleen Fullford, Schoharie County Emergency Management Office
  • Acting Mayor A. Max Smith, City of Oneida
  • James Fossett, Rockefeller College of Public Administration and Policy, University at Albany, and Rockefeller Institute of Government
Video

Opening Remarks and Keynote Address from Congressman Paul Tonko
Panel 1 – Severe Weather Forecasts for Upstate New York
Panel 2 – Severe Weather Perspectives from the Emergency Management Community
Closing Plenary

Presentations

Panel 1 – Severe Weather Forecasts for Upstate New York
Christopher Thorncroft’s Presentation
Thomas Blanchard’s Presentation
David Vallee’s Presentation

Panel 2 – Severe Weather Perspectives from the Emergency Management Community
Chris Baker’s Presentation
Colleen Fullford’s Presentation

Posters Provided by the U.S. Geological Survey — New York Water Science Center

StreamStats Application (Source: http://water.usgs.gov/osw/streamstats/new_york.html)
Flood Inundation Mapping (Source: http://water.usgs.gov/osw/flood_inundation/)
Streamflow Estimation Tool (NYSET) (Source: http://ny.cf.er.usgs.gov/nyprojectsearch/projects/LK00-A42.html)
Water Alert (Source: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/ohd/hdsc/Technical_memoranda/TM10.pdf)
100-Year Flood (Source: http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/106/)

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Combating Slavery in the 21st Century


Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, and United Nations Academic Impact.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

The forum, simulcast to high schools and colleges throughout the world through the auspices of United Nations Academic Impact, addressed not only the lasting vestiges of traditional forms of slavery and indentured servitude, but also contemporary issues of child, labor and sex trafficking. Panel topics included “Slavery in the 21st Century: Continuing Impact, Lasting Vestiges and Modern Forms,” and “Tactics of the Modern Abolitionists.”

Kevin Ryan, president and CEO of Covenant House International and co-author of Almost Home: Helping Kids Move from Homelessness to Hope, delivered a keynote address on child trafficking.


Other speakers included:

  • Dorchen Leidholdt, Sanctuary for Families
  • Amit Kumar, Minister in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations
  • Professor Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School
  • Warda Henning, United Nations Headquarters, Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Professor Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, University of Southern California
  • Professor Anthony Farley, Albany Law School
  • Andrea Cristina Mercado, National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Professor Melissa Breger, Albany Law School
Funding for the conference was provided by a generous grant from The Ford Foundation.

OMara

Cusick

Election Law Reform: Is Now the Time?


Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the League of Women Voters of New York State.

Monday, March 24, 2014
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Throughout its history, New York State has often been recognized as one of the most progressive states in the country. However, one area in which New York has not been a leader is election reform. While other states have been experimenting for the last three decades with ways to increase opportunities to vote, New York's policies and laws have remained largely unchanged and the state's voter turnout rates have likely suffered as a result. In the last federal elections, New York has had one of the lowest voter participation rates of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Processes such as New York's paper-based voter registration system, early registration deadline and other voter registration policies have been blamed for low voter participation rates in New York State. Ballot design has often been linked to voter confusion and errors at the polls. On the contrary, early in-person voting and no-excuse for absentee ballots have been shown to increase participation in other states. In efforts to increase voter participation rates in New York State, numerous proposals for election administration reforms have been proposed and debated.

Susan Arbetter, director of news and public affairs at WCNY (PBS-Syracuse) and host of the Capitol Pressroom, moderated a discussion on proposed moves to increase New York State's electoral participation and concepts that are being utilized nationally that have gotten results.

Speakers included:

  • Senate Election Committee Chair Senator Thomas F. O'Mara;
  • Assembly Election Committee Chair Assemblyman Michael Cusick;
  • Tom Wilkey, former executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and executive director of the NYS Board of Elections; and
  • Daniel F. Kolb, co-chair, New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Voter Participation

Handouts
Increasing Voter Participation: Opportunities in New York State
2012 Election Survey Report, February 6, 2013
NYSBA Special Committee on Voter Participation Final Report
Election Law Proposals for 2014
Election Commissioner’s Association of New York State 2014 Legislative Agenda

Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lef6Gh55Lac

Strengthening the Secuity of Public Defined Plans Strengthening the Secuity of Public Defined Plans Strengthening the Secuity of Public Defined Plans Strengthening the Secuity of Public Defined Plans Strengthening the Secuity of Public Defined Plans
Open Health Data Workshop Open Health Data Workshop Open Health Data Workshop Open Health Data Workshop

Strengthening the Security of Public Sector Defined Benefit Plans


Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the State Budget Crisis Task Force

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government held a presentation on the crisis of underfunding of public sector defined benefit plans. The program formally unveiled the Rockefeller Institute’s Blinken Report, a study entitled “Strengthening the Security of Public Sector Defined Benefit Plans,” prepared by the Institute in cooperation with the State Budget Crisis Task Force established by former NYS Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch and former Federal Reserve Board Chair Paul Volcker.

During the course of the presentation, panelists considered how structural deficiencies in the way public sector defined benefit plans are funded have contributed to underfunding of plans by as much as $2-3 trillion. In addition to an examination of the problem, presenters also unveiled important new recommendations for these plans which, if implemented, could ensure that benefits are funded more securely.

Participating on the panel were thought leaders from the American Enterprise Institute, Governing Institute, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Urban Institute, as well as the report’s authors, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow Don Boyd and Peter Kiernan, an attorney and senior member of the administrations of former NYS Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.

Report



Open Health Data, Open Opportunities Workshop


Co-Sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the New York State Health Foundation
Friday, November 22, 2013

How can releasing millions of data points improve the health of New Yorkers? This interactive workshop brought together researchers and practitioners to explore how open health data can be a viable new resource for health research and developing innovative health interventions.

The workshop introduced public health researchers from across the state to newly available open health data resources. In addition, participants provided input to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) on what kinds of data for research are in demand.

Specific objectives of the workshop were to:
  • Promote academic research on health issues confronting New York State by providing researchers with information about how to access and navigate the state’s open data portals;
  • Provide the NYSDOH and other policy leaders with feedback on the usability of the state’s open health data for research purposes;
  • Facilitate networking among health researchers and practitioners in New York State; and
  • Further develop a community of health policy scholars among State University of New York campuses.
Workshop Website