Baker News December 7, 2018

Baker Roundup – November 2018

by Baker Center

Meeting with White House Officials and a Journalist over Dinner, Negotiation Basics, and Resolving Conflict with Harvard expert

The Baker Center continued its programming during the month of November with four different events oriented towards our mission to develop students’ leadership capacities and ability to hold different perspectives on critical issues.

Discussing the nuances of access to information

On November 7th, we hosted a GBNN dinner featuring Karoun Demerjian, Congressional Reporter at the Washington Post.  At the dinner, Karoun spoke about the nuances of negotiating to gain access to information on controversial issues.

Karoun also touched on her own personal and professional journey from graduate school to working at The Washington Post.  One student appreciated “the candid and open nature of the discussion,” adding that “it’s rare to get a glimpse behind the scenes and learn about the inner workings of certain professions and organizations.” 

A dinner discussion of how to get things done

On November 15th, we hosted a Kitchen Table dinner with two former White House officials, Tara McGuinness and Natalie Quillian. They both spoke about working at the White House, and then later working in the private sector, while still striving to implement positive policy changes.

At the dinner, they spoke about policy implementation and what it takes to enact change in both the public and the private sectors.

In her reflection, MBA student Courtney Powers said of the event that “[it] helped renew my excitement in policy as a force for good”.

Negotiation strategies for undergraduates

On November 28th, we hosted a Georgetown Baker Negotiation Network (GBNN) clinic led by GBNN Director Rachel Milner Gillers. At the 3 hour clinic, Rachel taught Georgetown undergraduates from all years and backgrounds the fundamentals of negotiation strategies.

Rachel used this workshop to provide an opportunity for students to learn a basic framework for negotiation analysis and the opportunity to participate in a live simulation. One student appreciated that the workshop “laid out common errors as well as the most crucial aspects of a negotiation.”

How to negotiate the non-negotiable

We were delighted to welcome Dan Shapiro, founder of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, to Georgetown on November 30th. Dan led a group of graduate students through a clinic on how to negotiate life’s toughest conflicts.

He used the morning to establish a framework for how emotions work in negotiation. With this framework, he showed us how we can practically engage with these emotions during negotiations in government, business, international relations, and everyday life.

In the afternoon, Dan led the group through a hypothetical multistakeholder negotiation, which included a simulation of tribal identity formation and its role in fueling conflict.

Students emerged from this workshop with an appreciation for the role of emotion in negotiation, as well as the difficulty of navigating tribalism in a polarized world.

Conflict Resolution Master’s student Jude Massaad, in her reflection, said that the clinic “renewed my motivation to bridge the divide between people of different backgrounds, especially after recognizing how hard it is to do so while being tested myself by this experience.”

Thank you to all of our student participants, guests, and event facilitators! We look forward to welcoming new and returning students for future programming.