My Top Penn List: Best Professors to Explain Washington

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

I’m a CNN junkie. I watch Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan and Jake Tapper regularly.  If I get out of work at 5, I head to the gym where I can view Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room from the elliptical.  So I’ve been closely watching the government shut down and the nation’s run into the most recent spending limit cap. Last night, I watched the literal 11th hour House vote on the Senate’s bill and listened to the commentary before calling it a night.

There are so many issues in DC: laws, policy, the will of the people, healthcare, jobs, taxes, default and more. Whether or not you agree with the current vote of Congress, this quagmire has been in the news for a solid three weeks and could use a lot of clarification.  Here are my choices for Penn faculty who would do a great job to help explain the forces at work in DC.


10.      J. Sanford Schwartz, M’74, INT’78 – Dr. Schwartz is an health care policy expert, who predicted that the Affordable Healthcare Act would contentiously pass and focuses on cost-quality tradeoffs in health care, health economics, health policy and medical decision making.


9.         Michael X. Delli Carpini, C’75, G’75  – Frequently Dean Delli Carpini explores the realm of politics in this new information environment and in particular, he explores the evolution of media that has occurred over the last twenty-five years – blogs, online fundraising, citizen journalism, social networking sites, viral videos, websites – to drive political campaigns.


8.         David B. Thornburgh
– As the Executive Director, Fels Institute of Government, Mr. Thornburgh teaches Politics and Public Leadership which orients students to the constraints that characterize leadership and management in the public service focusing on the areas of  public service, policy analysis, politics, and political realism.


7.         Jeremy Siegel
– Dr. Siegel is our guru of the stock markets.  Every media event of the Congress and President seem to be orchestrated to send a message to the global markets that the US will not fail them.


6.         Olivia Mitchell
– As a professor of Business Economics and Public Policy  and of Insurance and Risk Management, Dr. Mitchell is the expert on employee benefits and compensation, health/retirement analysis & policy, international private & social insurance, labor economics & public finance and risk & crisis management.


5.         Marjorie Margolies, CW’63, PAR’91, PAR’97
– As a former Member of Congress for the 13th District of Pennsylvania, Ms. Margolies knows a thing or two about the House of Representatives which benefits her students in her class, Dealing with the Media.


4.         Julia Lynch – Dr. Lynch, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, studies the concerns the politics of inequality, social policy, and the economy in comparative perspective, with a focus on the countries of Western Europe and the United States.


3.         Reed Shuldiner, PAR’14 – A Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Tax Law and Policy, Dr. Shuldiner is one of the nation’s top experts on the Federal income tax – best known for his seminal work on the taxation of financial products. Plus he has advised the governments of China, Lithuania, the Philippines, and South Africa on income tax issues on behalf of the International Monetary Fund and the U.S. Treasury.


2.         Joni Finney – As the Director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education, Dr. Finney’s work on higher ed espeically on issues like public finance of higher education, governance, access and accountability might shed some light on how the issues in Washington end up affecting those of us working at Penn.


1.         Mark Duggan – Professor Duggan is the Faculty Director of Wharton Public Policy Initiative. In this role, he is my number one choice to oversee that conversation that we could have with these other nine faculty members to shed some light on the power play and issues in the Beltway.

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Filed under Annenberg, Casey R., Fels Institute, GSE, Notable Alumni, Penn Law, Penn Medicine, Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, Research, Top Ten, Wharton

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