Alumna Jaime Nack Discusses Female Entrepreneurs at the White House The Public Policy graduate met senior White House staff to discuss women’s leadership in business.

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Public Policy alumna Jaime Nack (MPP ’02) was at the White House on September 24 to join fellow National Women’s Business Council Members for briefings with senior White House staff and representatives from Congress to discuss policies that impact women entrepreneurs and business owners.

Nack, who is founder and president of environmental consulting firm Three Squares Inc., participated in the briefings as the youngest member of the Council and represented entrepreneurs under the age of 40. She also contributed her expertise in the arenas of clean technology and environmental consulting.

“It is an honor to serve on the Council and work to build out an ecosystem that encourages economic growth for women entrepreneurs,” Nack said in a press release. “The government has the ability to further spur business growth and it is encouraging to see legislature like Senate Bill 2693 – The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014 – which supports the efforts of the 8.6 million women-owned small businesses across the country by providing women’s small business counseling, small business contracting, and access to capital.”

The National Women’s Business Council is charged with serving as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues important to women business owners. Members of the Council are prominent business owners and leaders of women’s business organizations.

Nack is a two-time UCLA Bruin. She holds a master’s degree in Public Policy, as well as a bachelor’s degree in International Economics with a minor in Urban Planning.

“The network I created at UCLA was instrumental in launching a career that has led me from corporate strategy sessions to White House environmental briefings,” Nack has said. “I’m incredibly thankful.”

UCLA Luskin Welcomes New Diplomat in Residence Michelle G. Los Banos represents the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Foreign Service.

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Foreign Service Officer Michelle G. Los Banos will serve as UCLA’s new Diplomat in Residence for the 2014 – 2016 academic years. She was appointed by the U.S. Department of State to serve as Diplomat in Residence for Southern California and Hawaii and will be housed in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Los Banos will serve as a resource to students and graduates interested in working in the Foreign Service and at the Department of State.  She will be attending career fairs and conferences, as well as holding informational sessions and meetings with students by appointment.

In addition to her duties as Diplomat in Residence, Los Banos will also serve the Luskin School of Public Affairs as a Senior Fellow mentoring students from across all three departments.

“I am extremely excited to support my organization and help strengthen our future diplomatic corps by recruiting talented and diverse individuals to work for the State Department,” Los Banos said. “Being a Senior Fellow and getting to work with students who might share similar interests is also very exciting. It will give me a chance to share the experience and knowledge that I’ve gained in the world of diplomacy with someone who might be passionate about public service.”

Los Banos holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Her 12-year career in the Foreign Service has taken her to Ankara, Turkey; Managua, Nicaragua; Rome, Italy; as well as State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C, where she most recently served as Deputy Division Chief in the Cultural Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Banos is also excited to be back in her home state.

“We are honored to have Ms. Los Banos join us here at Luskin,” said Dean Franklin D. Gilliam. “It has been our privilege to host Diplomats in Residence since 1998. Ms. Los Banos’ unique skills and experiences will be a valuable resource to our students who are dedicated to making an impact both locally and globally.”

For information about all upcoming events Los Banos will hold at UCLA and in the greater Los Angeles area, follow her on Facebook – DOS Diplomat in Residence Southern California. For individual or group appointments, you can email her at DIRSouthernCalifornia@state.gov.

Public Policy’s Aaron Panofsky Awarded Kenneth L. Sokoloff Fellowship The Center for American Politics and Public Policy Faculty Fellowship will support his research.

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Aaron Panofsky, associate professor of Public Policy, has been named the UCLA Center for American Politics and Public Policy’s Kenneth L. Sokoloff Fellow for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The CAPPP Faculty Research Fellows program is meant to help support ladder faculty initiate, conduct or complete research on U.S. political and policy processes and institutions. Each year, one of the faculty researchers receives the Sokoloff named fellowship in honor of UCLA economic history scholar Kenneth Sokoloff. This year that honor went to Professor Panofsky.

Panofsky’s project proposal is for “Value Added Modeling” which is an emerging technique for evaluating the quality of teachers in terms of which ones do better and worse jobs of improving student test scores.

“VAM is controversial in the social scientific community – there is disagreement whether it can effectively distinguish better and worse teachers – yet it is being implemented in many states for personnel decisions,” Panofsky explained. “My project aims to talk to the experts to learn their different understandings of VAM and the controversy surrounding it, and then to look at how the controversy is affecting VAM’s implementation.”

There was a highly competitive set of applications for the research fellows program this year. Panofsky’s project stood out for its excellence, CAPPP Director Joel D. Aberbach said. The fellowship award comes with a grant, which will allow Panofsky to hire a graduate research assistant. This assistant, Zachary Griffen (PhD candidate in sociology) will be designated the Marvin Hoffenberg Research Fellow.

“I am honored to have received the CAPPP fellowship and especially to be named the Sokoloff Fellow,” Panofsky said. “I am excited to contribute to the great tradition of research on policy and politics that the Center has long supported.”

 

Mark Kleiman Named One of the Politico 50 The Public Policy professor is recognized by Politico Magazine as an important thinker and doer in American politics.

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Public Policy professor Mark Kleiman has been named one of Politico Magazine’s “Politico 50,” which is the political magazine’s list of the most interesting “thinkers, doers and dreamers who really matter in this age of gridlock and dysfunction.”

Accompanying Kleiman on the list are prominent political, academic and religious figures such as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Pope Francis and presidential advisor John Podesta. Politico calls Kleiman “an academic with real-world punch” for his work as one of the country’s most prominent drug policy experts.

“Kleiman, 63, a longtime legalization advocate and one of the country’s most prominent drug policy experts, has always looked ahead to the post- prohibition landscape even while the drug war was in full swing…If America’s legal experiments with weed survive, it may be because Kleiman had the good sense to minimize its harmful effects.”

Read more about Kleiman’s work and see what his favorite books of the year are here.

You can see the full list of Politico 50 here and follow along on social media with #POLITICO50.

The Politico 50 were also surveyed about American politics, including the future of Obamacare and the Tea Party, the presidential campaign and Washington and the world. Go here to see their responses.

 

Public Policy Alumna Featured in Documentary Series Snejana Daily (MPP '12) describes her experience traveling the globe for "Operation Change" airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Tune in to the Oprah Winfrey Network on Monday nights and you might see Public Policy alumna Snejana Daily (MPP ’12) building a house in post-earthquake Haiti, working on a community center in a war-torn Colombia neighborhood, or digging water wells in a Tanzanian village – all part of a new show called “Operation Change.”

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The 10-part series, which airs on OWN, follows the founders of the Starkey Hearing Foundation – Bill and Tani Austin and their son Steven Sawalich – as they travel to the world’s most impoverished countries to give people hearing aids and partner with local organizations to empower and improve communities around the world. The documentary series tells the stories of people facing challenges across the globe, and highlights the work of agencies hoping to make a difference. Along with the Austins and Sawalich are two volunteers who assist with the projects – Daily is one of them.

For Daily, participating in the show, which took her to 13 countries over the course of a year, meant the possibility of delaying graduation from her policy program. But it also meant fulfilling a life purpose.

“There was an email sent out — I’m assuming to the whole cohort — and the subject line was ‘Amazing opportunity but may delay graduation,’” Daily recalled. “I was probably the only crazy person who opened it, but I knew this was everything I ever wanted to do. I was determined to get this position and to graduate on time.”

In the email were details of an open casting call for a show that would send chosen participants to different countries to help fit hearing aids and partner with local non-profits. The show was hatched by the Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, which challenged Starkey to expand their pledge to give 100,000 hearing aids per year around the world, to something that could have greater visibility and impact.

After several rounds of rigorous auditions and interviews, Daily was picked to be part of the show. Her official title was “Starkey Volunteer,” but her role was to complete projects in each country, interface with the community, research the places, learn what it’s like to live in those places, and then tell that story on camera.

“They were looking for people who were passionate about making a difference in the world, inspired by other cultures, eager to learn about other places and people, and then be able to speak to the issues whether cultural or political,” Daily explained, adding that she was also an attractive candidate because she was a MPP student specializing in non-profit organizations.

Daily said the show was the perfect opportunity to take everything that she was learning in the classroom and see it in action. Professor Robert Jensen’s statistics class that covered studies on health in India came alive as Daily touched down in India and interfaced with displaced children. An interesting talk at the Luskin School of Public Affairs on the dynamics of Haiti after the earthquake became reality as she helped build a home in Jacmel, Haiti. Conversely, her education and work experience gave her the skills to be an effective member of the Starkey team with her ability to do research and understand what elements of a non-profit can work in different settings. More importantly, the year-long commitment gave Daily the opportunity she was looking for – to make an impact on the world.

Daily always knew that she wanted to do work that was “people-focused,” but it wasn’t until her husband, UCLA alumnus Lieutenant Mark Daily, passed away while on active duty in Iraq in 2007 that she decided she wanted to do work overseas. Daily was 21 years old at the time.

“While I was working at a Los Angeles-based non-profit my husband was deployed and passed away, and at that particular moment in time, I really got to reevaluate what I wanted to do with my life,” Daily said. “When you’re faced with your own mortality at such an early age, it makes things have a little more gravity. And I felt like I was still alive and he was such an epic human being that I had a responsibility to carry out his legacy as well as live for the both of us.”

It was then that Daily committed to living without any barriers. After spending time recovering from the tragedy, she began looking for organizations that would send her abroad – to live without boundaries and fears and to “make her life count.” She scoured the Internet for opportunities. She considered the Peace Corps. She enrolled in the UCLA public policy program, and then this project presented itself.

The first episode of Operation Change, which aired last month, opened on Haiti and followed the struggle of two Haitian families. Episodes in Israel and Palestine, Tanzania, Colombia and Lebanon have aired since.

Daily’s favorite experience was in Sevisa, Papua New Guinea, where she assisted in rebuilding a village destroyed by tribal warfare, built underground latrines, planted trees that were burnt down by a warring tribe, and helped harvest and sell coffee beans as part of assistance to a small business. She was also able to make a connection with the villagers that Daily said was extremely precious.

“The people were so open and welcoming and they have a tradition of holding hands if they respect you, so everywhere I went someone would walk with me and hold my hand. It was really beautiful,” Daily said.

In addition, the village was made up of mostly women and children, because many of the men had been killed as a result of 15 years of tribal warfare with a neighboring tribe.

“It was incredible to see a group of strong women step up to become community leaders and rebuild their lives in such a powerful way,” Daily said. “And, obviously, the other thing that we connected on was the idea that people all over the world experience the same pain. When you go through the tragedy of losing somebody, there’s just that unspoken understanding and connection and I felt like they just got it.”

Daily said the experience was “life changing,” and since her time on the show ended she has been working as a freelance producer on a genre of projects that she calls “socially conscious media.”

Her vision is to use technology and media to create a better world through educating people on how to support others. Her last project with a Nigerian filmmaker told the story of an activist speaking out against the effects of oil trade policy in Nigeria. In addition to organizing screenings of the film on college campuses and in Washington, Daily worked with lobbyist to firm up support for a resolution to acknowledge the effects of the oil trade in Nigeria to help move cleanup in a better direction.

“My strength is connecting the dots and telling the human story,” Daily said. “You can shift the dynamic of policy by working directly within the structure but you also need the support of people. Media raises awareness, catalyzes action, and works in support of policy change.”

Daily said she’s been enjoying reliving her experiences as the show, which was filmed two years ago, airs each week.

“There are definitely parts that I get to relive and it’s amazing having such an incredible, life-changing experience encapsulated,” she said. “I now have it forever to show my grandkids and prove that I was cool once.

You can catch up on past episodes by going to www.operationchange.com/. Blog posts written by Daily also accompany each online episode. New episodes air on Mondays at 10/9 central. There will be a special two-episode night of Operation Change on August 4. You can also follow along on social media by using #operationchange.

And, for the record, Snejana was able to graduate on schedule while participating in this amazing life journey, thanks to a lot of communication, extra effort and some flexibility from her UCLA Luskin professors.

UCLA Pays Tribute to Andrea Rich Professor Andrea Rich dies at 71.

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The UCLA community is remembering longtime professor and administrator Andrea Rich, who passed away July 28.

Rich played a key role in the university’s 1994 Professional Schools Restructuring Initiative, which led to the creation of the Department of Public Policy and the unit that would become the Luskin School of Public Affairs.

“She was a person of great integrity, strength, leadership and resilience,” founding dean Archie Kleingartner told the UCLA Newsroom. “She provided a very high level of leadership.” Read the UCLA Newsroom post here.

 

Decriminalized Prostitution in Rhode Island Led to Fewer Rape, Gonorrhea Cases

A new working paper from Public Policy associate professor Manisha Shah and her co-author Scott Cunningham of Baylor University has made waves in the media for its groundbreaking research and surprising findings.

“Decriminalizing Indoor Prostitution: Implications for Sexual Violence and Public Health,” explores the results of seven years in Rhode Island’s history during which indoor prostitution was unintentionally decriminalized.

According to news reports, the state’s legislature amended a law in 1980 which created a legal loophole that decriminalized paid consensual sex if it took place privately indoors. This loophole went unnoticed until 2003, when police took a number of prostitutes to court and lost because of this unanticipated interpretation of the law. It wasn’t until 2009 that new legislation was passed to re-criminalize indoor prostitution.

For Shah and Cunningham, the incident served as a “natural experiment,” to explore the effect of decriminalizing indoor prostitution on the sex market, sexually transmitted infection, and the number of forcible female rape offenses.

Key findings from the study – that Rhode Island saw a large decrease in rapes and a large reduction in gonorrhea incidence for men and women post-2003 – have been widely covered by national and regional news media. Some reports note the fears of international organizations if prostitution is legalized.

Shah and Cunningham say more work needs to be done to evaluate the full spectrum of costs and benefits associated with the Rhode Island experiment, and how to better understand the precise mechanisms that link the reduction in enforcement and the announcement of the loophole in 2003 to reductions in reported rape offenses and STI outcomes.

The paper offers a number of reasons for the declines, including the possibility that the decrease in rapes was “due to men substituting away from rape toward prostitution.” Shah and Cunningham acknowledge that these are currently speculations.

“Technically, our study has internal validity but not necessarily external validity,” Shah said. “What this means is that while we can speak to the effect of decriminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island, we cannot take this and speak out of sample to some other policy environment. But, in that sense, our study is no different from nearly all studies that seek to evaluate some kind of intervention/policy change.

Their study also cannot speak to the effect of decriminalization on human trafficking, which is something that has come up in all the recent press, Shah and Cunningham said. Data limitations don’t allow them to perform a meaningful analysis of that topic.

“Our contribution to this literature is twofold,” Shah and Cunningham wrote. “First, as far as we know, we are the first social scientists to evaluate the decriminalization of prostitution using a natural experiment. This allows us to provide the first causal estimates on the impacts of decriminalization…Secondly, police agencies, lawmakers, and prosecutors all over the US have responded to the growth on the indoor sex market by reallocating large amounts of resources toward arresting sex workers. This reallocation has been considerably costly for local police since the indoor market is more diffuse and hidden. This research can influence change in policies related to police effort of enforcement of laws against prostitution, particularly related to indoor sex work.”

Shah and Cunningham hope that their paper will focus research and policy toward a more rigorous evaluation of prostitution law and policy that moves away from anecdotal work. They stress the importance of good quantitative information about the effects of policies to better understand the costs and benefits of various policy alternatives.

As for the study itself, Shah and Cunningham said they were both surprised and unsurprised by the findings.

“Everything about this experiment is unusual, so in a way, we didn’t know what was more surprising — that a state could “accidentally” legalize indoor prostitution, that no one would practically know about it for 23 years, that we would be successful at obtaining so many different sources of data to investigate it, or that we would find reductions in reported rape offenses and gonorrhea rates,” they said.

“When we started this project, we had to admit to ourselves that we really didn’t know what we should expect. Given there hasn’t been much policy experimentation around this phenomena and almost no causal evidence on the topic, policymakers and academics haven’t had quality findings upon which expectations could be based.”

John Villasenor Talks Bitcoin with Patt Morrison

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Public Policy professor John Villasenor was recently interviewed by Patt Morrison for her Los Angeles Times column on the topic of cryptocurrencies. In the Q&A, Villasenor answers questions about the efficiencies of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, how bitcoin works, and possible implications on future regulation.

When asked what may be the most difficult for people to grasp about bitcoin, Villasenor said:

“The hardest thing — not unreasonably — is that bitcoin is completely decentralized currency. There’s nobody in charge, no company, no government, no consortium — collectively everybody acts to run it. Most of us grew up in a world where government has oversight over currency like the dollar.” 

To read more from his Q&A, go here.

 

Luskin Assistant Professors Awarded UCLA Hellman Fellowship

Urban Planning assistant professor Paavo Monkkonen and Public Policy assistant professor Randall Akee have been named 2014-15 Hellman Fellows for demonstrating a capacity for great distinction in their research. There are eleven recipients of the award in total.

The UCLA Hellman Fellows Program established in 2011 was created to help junior faculty pursue their research passions. The grant will act as seed money for assistant professors to fund their research and other creative activities that promote and enhance their career advancement.

Monkkonen, who teaches courses at UCLA Luskin in housing markets and policy and global urban segregation, was chosen as a fellow for his project “The Half-life of Childhood: How Economic Development Shapes Young Adults’ Household Position.” The half-life of childhood refers to the age at which half of the population is no longer a child. The goal of his project is to better understand how economic development affects household structure, especially the age at which children leave their parents’ home and form a new household. Monkkonen notes that household formation has a major impact on housing markets, and this information will be important to future projections of the number of households which influences housing policy.

“I am honored to have been selected as a Hellman Scholar,”he said. “The generous research grant will enable me to hire graduate student researchers to assist me with data manipulation and analysis, which for this project is very time-consuming. The study uses individual census records from over 70 countries in multiple time periods, which translates into hundreds of millions of observations! I have been trying to get this project going for a number of years but have not had the resources, so it is very exciting that I can get this research underway.”

Akee was awarded the fellowship for his project “How Do Changes in Unearned Income Affect American Indian Infant and Children? The Case of American Indian Casino Revenue Transfers.” The purpose of his research is to determine how the advent of casino operations and other large changes in household income of American Indians affects American Indian infants and children. According to Akee, preliminary data has shown that increased incomes have led to a reduction in behavioral disorders and substance abuse for American Indian adolescents. However, there has been no determination into what degree revenue changes have affected infants and younger children. Akee’s study will look at the effects of increases in unearned income on AI maternal behavior as well as educational outcomes for infants and children.

“I’m very excited and grateful for the award. It allows me to hire an MPP student over the course of the summer at full-time in order to work on the data,” Akee said. “It allows the research to get completed at a much quicker pace than I would otherwise be able to do it. Also, it trains one of our MPP students in data analysis. I’m very eager to see the research outputs that will come as a result of this fellowship.”

In Memoriam: Public Policy Professor Michael Intriligator

Professor Michael Intriligator, a professor of economics, political science and public policy at UCLA who played an influential role in the establishment of the School of Public Affairs, died on June 23 after a three-year battle with melanoma.

“All of us at UCLA Luskin are saddened by Mike’s passing,” Dean Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., said. “He was the kind of faculty colleague every dean hopes for: thoughtful, courteous, inquisitive, and immensely dedicated to his field of inquiry. My colleagues and I will miss him deeply.”

Intriligator came to UCLA in 1963 as an assistant professor of economics after earning his M.A. from Yale and his Ph.D. at MIT. A tremendous scholar, he left an indelible mark on his colleagues across campus as he later joined the political science and public policy departments, where he taught courses on international relations, econometrics and economic theory.

Ever an active figure, Intriligator also served as director of the UCLA Center for International and Strategic Affairs, the predecessor of the current Burkle Center for International Relations. In addition, he was a Senior Fellow of the Milken Institute and the Gorbachev Foundation of North America; authored more than 300 journal articles and other publications in economics; served as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Russian Academy of Sciences; and was vice chair and board member of Economists for Peace and Security.

Closer to home, Professor Intriligator was central to establishing the UCLA School of Public Affairs, the development of the Public Policy curriculum and initial recruitment of the Public Policy faculty (then Policy Studies). After his retirement in 1994, he continued to be a prominent figure in the lives of many faculty members and students, as the long-time organizer of the Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavior Sciences at UCLA.

“Mike was a valued colleague and a dear friend to the Department of Public Policy,” Public Policy department chair Michael Stoll said. “He played a very influential role in the development of the Department and in recruiting leading scholars from around the country to join the Department as founding members. Even after his formal service as a UCLA faculty member he remained involved in life on campus, and was a key advisor to many.”

Mike is survived by his wife Devrie (a research physicist at Carmel Research Center and a world renowned expert on space plasma physics) and four sons: Kenneth (professor of physics at UC San Diego), William (conductor of the Dubuque, Iowa, and Cheyenne, Montana, symphony orchestras), James (professor of psychology, Bangor University in Wales), and Robert (a Los Angeles-based composer).

The Intriligator family is holding a memorial service on Thursday, July 3, 11 a.m., at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. A reception at the temple will immediately follow the service; RSVP is not necessary, but, if possible, please email Robert Intriligator or call him at 310-922-7765 for a guest count. The family will invite guests at the reception to share their impressions of and anecdotes about Intriligator. Information regarding donations in lieu of flowers will be provided at the memorial service.

UCLA’s Department of Economics has published a memorial written by Distinguished Professor of Economics John Riley. You can read that here.