HHHP 2018 Professional and Cultural Trip to NYC!
From March 25h – March 27th, the BU Humphrey Fellows and coordinators travelled to New York City for our annual Professional and Cultural Trip as part of the program’s field seminars and professional site visits. Our agenda was packed with meetings at influential financial, educational and global policy institutions. Each day of the trip was full of insightful and mutually beneficial conversations with our incredible host organizations.
Download our 2018 NYC Brochure with full agenda here!
To kick off the week, we began with a tour of the New York Historical Society and Museum on our way into the city. We watched two short films – “New York Story” about the fascinating history of New York, and “We Rise” about female political thought leaders throughout the 20th century. We then had a guided tour of their “Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.” exhibition, which documented the parallel paths of the two civil rights leaders, as well as “Hotbed”, an exhibition on the political and cultural movements of Greenwich Village in the early 20th century.
On Sunday evening, we checked into the New Yorker Hotel, a historic art-deco landmark which has hosted previous guests such as John F. Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Nikola Tesla and Fidel Castro. After a bit of down time, we walked to Times Square for dinner and live music at Havana Central, a 1950’s style Cuban restaurant.
We were up bright and early for a packed schedule on Monday. We began the morning with a fantastic meeting at S&P Global, an American financial information and analytics corporation which provides independent ratings, benchmarks and data to the capital and commodity markets worldwide. At S&P we met with many of their executives for a wide-reaching and engaging discussion. We heard from Satyam Panday, Senior Executive at S&P who spoke about macro outlooks and importance of women in finance. David Tesher, Managing Director of S&P Global Ratings then spoke about credit conditions. To conclude, Josh Green, founder of Panjiva, spoke to emergence of AI and Machine Learning. Special thanks to Jackson Griffith, CEO for Public Affairs, S&P Global (London) and our dear friend and colleague Professor Mark Williams for helping coordinate this wonderful experience.
Our next stop was the Federal Bank of New York, the largest and most influential of all twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in the U.S. Heather Daly, Director of Operations for Education & Outreach, took us on an extended tour of the facilities and the NY Fed’s gold vault, the largest depository of gold reserve in the world (7,000 tons), located five stories below street level. We then had a chance to meet with Elizabeth Mahoney, Head of International Training for the Fed, who further discussed the role of the Fed and central banking in the United States.
We then stopped by the UN Financing for Development Office, where Senior Economic Affairs Officer Oliver Schwank spoke to us about their global policy work. The Office works in close collaboration with the secretariats of the major institutional stakeholders of the Financing for Development process and actively engages with other stakeholders, including civil society and the business sector. The Fellows shared their personal experience and projects regarding global policy, and we discussed potential for collaboration in the future.
That evening, Vicki Brooks, an executive coach for senior leaders, a former banker, trader, and senior executive at JP Morgan—and longtime colleague of HHHP Director Jack McCarthy—hosted us for dinner at the University Club of New York. Vicki was among the first women on Wall Street, and she was instrumental in developing and leading leadership development at JP Morgan, one of the world’s largest and most prominent investment banks. She and her husband, David Lawrence, gave us a tour of the beautiful University Club building, and afterwards we enjoyed a delicious dinner and lively discussion. Thank you to our wonderful hosts.
We began our third day in New York at the Young Women’s Leadership Network of Astoria, which belongs to a network of public schools for girls in NYC with affiliates in six states. Its concept is to provide economically disadvantaged girls with a high-quality college preparatory education. We heard from their students and staff about their incredible outcome based curriculum, CollegeBound Initiative, and the girls’ experiences with empowerment. We then enjoyed a tour where the Fellows and coordinators marvelled about the independence and confidence of these young women. The girls shared a beautiful self-produced video with us about about self-confidence, which can be viewed here.
We then travelled back into the city from Astoria to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, the RFK Center has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We spoke to many of their team members about the human rights advocacy work they do around the globe. One of these initiatives include the RFKennedy Compass program, which works with institutional investors to discuss new approaches to investing that consider human rights, the environment, and good governance.
We concluded the day with a visit to UN Women – which was created in 2010 to become the global champion for gender equality. UN Women has a special tie to this year’s cohort as one of our fellows, Thabsile Princess Ntshalintshali, is currently completing her professional affiliation at the organization. We met with multiple members of their Policy and Programme divisions for an engaging conversation covered many topics spanning from economic development to violence against women.
We boarded the bus and headed back to Boston, arriving just after midnight. Overall, it was a wonderful trip filled with stimulating discussions and meaningful connections. We look forward to continuing to build our relationships with our host organizations and would like to thank all of them for making our trip so successful.