Transatlantic Perspectives on Energy Efficiency

The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies held two exciting panels this morning about making energy efficiency profitable in the United States and Europe.  The panels brought together experts from government and the private sector to discuss multiple aspects of the role of new technology and government regulations in promoting energy efficiency.  Among the topics discussed were both raising awareness among individual and corporate consumers about their energy use and as well as ways of making alternative energy production profitable.

Panelists argued that many gains remain to be made in increasing energy efficiency, on the level of individuals, corporations and governments.  For example, they introduced several ideas and innovations that make conserving energy a fun task for families to engage in, and energy efficiency a matter of daily habits for children and adults.

Panelists also addressed the more sobering facts about corporate consumption of energy and the complex regulatory environment that makes the promotion of commercial scale alternative energy so challenging.



 List of panelists:

Panel 1: Successful US and EU Energy Efficiency Policy Programs
Bo Dahlbom, University of Gothenburg, Sweden 
Dominique Campana, French Environmental and Energy Management Agency
Martin Pehnt, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Germany 
Thomas Peterson, Johns Hopkins University Center for Advanced Governmental Studies

Panel 2: Policy Outcomes: Business Opportunities and Job Creation
Ross Malme, Demand Response Resource Center of Schneider Electric, US 
Niall Tipping, Grosvenor Estate, UK 
Bob Dixon, Siemens Industry, Inc. 
Dale Medearis, Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Governmental Studies


Ben Wildavsky Speaks at the Center's Inaugural Policy Lunch Forum

Thursday, March 24, The JHU Center for Advanced Governmental Studies hosted its first policy lunch forum.  The featured speaker was Ben Wildavsky, who discussed his new book, The Great Brain Race:  How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World (Princeton University Press).   The lunch was well attended, with faculty, adminstrators, and students from JHU as well as faculty from other universities, including American and George Mason.  Several journalists attended as well, including Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post.

Mr. Wildavsky discussed how higher education, once dominated by the British and American university systems, is being transformed into a global academic marketplace.  He highlighted three areas in particular where these trends are most pronounced:

 1)  Unprecedented academic mobility:   Currently there are three million students who study outside their home countries, which marks a 57 percent increase in just the past decade, and will continue to rise.  International universities are becoming more competitive as well in attracting graduate students and faculty to research and teach abroad.  Universities in the US and Europe are setting up outposts  in other countries and partnering with foreign universities.

 2)  Emergence of global college rankings.  With more students leaving their home countries to attend college, it makes sense that there has emerged a global college ranking system.  Currently, the global ranking system is dominated by American and some British universities, but that will likely change.  While ranking systems are not without their flaws, a global ranking system will only encourage students to seek a more international opportunities for education.

 3)  Race to create world-class institutions.  China and Saudia Arabia are pouring billions of dollars into building institutions of higher education to compete with the US and Great Britain.  Other countries are also looking to emulate and perhaps surpass the US model.  

What does all this mean for the US?  Will this increased competition hurt the American university and ultimately, the United States’ economic and technological standing in the world?   Will this lead to a “brain drain”?  That is, will foreign students who benefit from a high-quality U.S. education return to their home countries, leaving the U.S. with nothing to show for the investment in their education? Or alternatively will the US lure the best students from developing nations, who may then opt to stay here?

 Dr. Dorothea Wolfson, Director of the MA in Government, with Mr.WildavskyMr. Wildavsky is optimistic that the globalization of higher education is a positive development insofar as education is not a zero-sum game.  Rather, more openness and increased competition will give rise to more innovation, spur on talented individuals to excel, and foster economic growth.  In sum, this movement towards international mobility in education will in the long run benefit all countries, including the US.  For example, he asked, does it matter that Skype was invented in Sweden?  The whole world benefits from it. 

His discussion was followed up by a lively Q & A that challenged some of Mr. Wildavsky’s optimism on these developments.  What is the impact of this brain race on the humanities, which often plays second fiddle to the sciences?  Will the US university, with problems of its own, such as the decline of the tenure system, serve as a model for international universities?  Can we be so sure that the scientific discoveries of the future will be shared among nations?  Mr. Wildavsky addressed these concerns in a spirited exchange, and Dr. Ben Ginsberg concluded the lunch with some thoughtful closing remarks.  


Save the Date: Graduation Reception

Summer 2010 to Spring 2011 Graduating MA Students:

Please save the date for the Annual Governmental Studies Graduation Reception!

Sunday May 22
5:30 to 7:30 pm 

1717 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC


GSS faculty member Rameez Abbas on NPR

Rameez Abbas, Coordinator for the MA in Global Security Studies, was interviewed on The Conversation, a daily news program on the Seattle affiliate of NPR.  The program was discussing the hearings held by Representative Peter King (R-NY) about the radicalization of American Muslims.  In the clip, Dr Abbas criticizes the idea that American Muslims are being radicalized as a group and warned that the hearings, which are being perceived as a kind of witch hunt within the American Muslim community, may have the effect of causing the very phenomenon which they are alleged to be investigating.  Click here to listen (Dr Abbas comes on within a minute or so).


Rear Admiral Jeffrey Lemmons delivers symposium lecture

The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies was honored to host Rear Admiral Jeffrey Lemmons, Director of International Engagement for the United States Navy.  After sharing a brief video that highlighted the crucial importance of free navigation on the seas as the backbone of American economic strength, RADM Lemmons took students through the six core capabilities identified in the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower. 

Among the new capabilities he identified are humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.   RADM Lemmons explained ways in which these are being implemented in cooperation with America’s allies and partners. 

In the Q&A that followed, students and faculty engaged RADM Lemmons with questions that ranged from issues of the naval support for theater combat commanders to the ways the Navy might emerge from the budget scuffles raging here in town. 

Dr. Roth presents RADM Lemmons wtih a Global Security Studies coin.

At the end of his remarks, RADM Lemmons made a strong argument that as the United States draws down its currently engaged ground forces, the Navy will become even more prominent.  The reason? The nation counts on the USN's foward presence to deter adversaries and thereby give ground and air forces the downtime to rest and refit.