Public Policy Roundtable

Jan 10 2024
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Formulating U.S. Public Policy: How to Bridge the Partisan Divide?

This public policy roundtable series moderated by Roger Leeds will address a select number of high priority policy challenges at the forefront of the U.S. government’s agenda. The purpose of each session will be to foster an informed discussion and debate among participants about some of the most contentious and complex domestic and foreign issues confronting policy makers at a time when our country is gripped by divisive polarization and government dysfunction. Each selected discussion topic is mind-numbingly complicated; all involve tradeoffs and difficult compromises; none is likely to result in a perfect policy outcome. In other words, the challenge for policy makers (and roundtable participants) is to consider alternative policy responses that are likely to bridge the partisan divide and have a reasonable chance of being implemented.

A few days prior to each session the moderator will email participants the upcoming topic along with a few suggested background readings to frame the discussion. Examples of discussion topics include:

  • What criteria should policy makers use to overcome the decades-long stalemate regarding a sensible, humane immigration policy?
  • Is it realistic and desirable for government to formulate policies designed to oversee and regulate the pervasive rise of artificial intelligence (AI)? What should be the most important elements of such a policy framework?
  • What are the arguments for and against the proposition that defense of Ukraine is a vital U.S. national interest?
  • As the U.S. attempts to implement policies designed to combat global climate change, how can it overcome developing country resistance, and incentivize them to comply with whatever is proposed?
  • Do you support, or not, the lawsuit filed by the Justice Department (and more than 30 state Attorney Generals) claiming that Google is a monopoly that controls multiple digital advertising products in violation of the Sherman (antitrust) Act?

*This group will meet eight consecutive Wednesdays beginning January 10 and ending on February 28.

Roger LeedsRoger Leeds recently retired as a Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He has also taught at Wharton Business School and the Columbia Business School. In addition he is the co-founder along with Francis Fukuyama of the Leadership Academy for Development (, an NGO that conducts intensive training programs in developing countries for local government officials and business leaders focusing on the intersect between public policy and private sector performance. Prior to joining the SAIS faculty, Leeds worked as an international finance practitioner for 25 years, including positions as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, a senior staff member of the International Finance Corporation (World Bank), and as co-head of the emerging markets practice at a New York-based private equity firm. He has a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, has written two books and more than 30 articles on issues pertaining to developing countries, and has been a guest commentator on various radio and television programs, including CNN, Bloomberg News, CBS News, CNBC, and National Public Radio. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations in New York and has served on various boards.

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