Baker News April 1, 2019

Baker Roundup – March 2019

by Baker Center


In March, the Baker Center organized programming for diverse student audiences, including intimate dinner discussions and workshops with challenging simulations. We also co-hosted the finale of a multidisciplinary policy competition designed around local policy issues.

Peace-building through collective impact

The Georgetown Baker Negotiation Network (GBNN) held a private dinner and conversation with Director of the Washington D.C. Regional Office at the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), Merrick Hoben, on March 11. Merrick reflected on his recent experience with corporate-community engagement strategies. Specifically, he spoke about his current work in Colombia with three co-located coal companies on shared impact issues and operational risks such as security, human rights, regional water management, and climate change.  Merrick also hosted a short screening of a documentary film that highlights his work in Colombia. One student in attendance expressed how she “enjoyed the thoughtful dialogue provided by other event participants. I also appreciated some unexpected aspects of the event: while I thought Merrick would be discussing his work in Colombia generally, I was surprised to learn of his film work and excited that we were able to see the premiere of one section of his film.

Fast paced crisis leadership clinic

On March 22, we hosted a clinic on Crisis Leadership, featuring Candace Bertotti. Candace is the founder of Candid Communications and a specialist in negotiation, interpersonal communication, influence, crisis communication, and conflict resolution. Candace has taught at Georgetown University Law Center and at the University of Maryland Center for International Development and Conflict Management. Many of her clients include Google, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lockheed Martin, and federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Interior, and Department of Veterans Affairs.

During the clinic, students explored best practices for when to define & declare a crisis, communicate it internally & externally, develop strategies for decision-making, and handle the media throughout the process. Students were able to apply these skills during a multi-party simulated negotiation centered on North Korea. After the intense 6-hour clinic students reflected on their experiences. One student shared that “the instructor was really dynamic, and the activities were both unique and engaging. I felt like I was able to view my own preconceived notions about crisis in a different way and identify triggers for myself.

5ht annual Georgetown Public Policy Challenge announces winners

After a weeks-long competition, the Georgetown Public Policy Challenge Final round was held on Friday, March 22. Five finalist teams presented their local policy solutions to a panel of judges composed of Georgetown faculty and staff and D.C. based policy leaders. After the judges held deliberations, the group Breathe Easy was announced as the 2019 winner. Emilia Calma and Lina Stolyar, both McCourt students, created Breathe Easy as a way to address D.C.’s high and disparate rates of asthma. They won a total prize of $3,000 in scholarship. The four other 2019 finalists included R2DC, FHAIR, RAT0, and Banana Snap. To learn more about Breathe Easy and the other finalists of the 2019 pitch competition click here.