Campus & Community

Scholars, officials welcomed as Mossavar-Rahmani Center fellows

5 min read

A director of international banking for one of the top banks in Vietnam, a seasoned government relations executive, and the former deputy general counsel for National Grid are among the incoming fellows being welcomed this fall at Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government.

“Fellows are a vital resource at the center as they provide both valuable experience and a fresh lens through which to view the business-government relationship,” said Roger Porter, the center’s director and the IBM Professor of Business and Government. “We welcome these scholars and officials and look forward to their interaction with our faculty, continuing fellows, researchers, students, and others.”

Visiting scholars and fellows programs are designed to reach outside the center to better understand how business and government engage in the creation of public value.

The incoming senior fellows follow

Luc Can is director of international banking at the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) — one of that nation’s top government-owned banks. Prior to his senior fellowship at HKS, he was a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow (under a Fulbright exchange program). In 2003, Can was the only Vietnamese national to have received the prestigious Australia-Asia Award for his doctorate program. He was also chairman of the Vietnamese Graduates from Australia Club (VGAC) and vice president of the Melbourne Overseas Vietnamese Student Association (MOVSA). He has written several articles published in the Vietnam Finance and Money Review (2002), Auckland FMA Conference Proceedings (2006), China Economic Review (2008), and Vikalpa (2008). Can holds an M.B.A. in finance and a D.B.A. in banking from Monash University, Australia. Can has received numerous achievement awards for his academic performance in his undergraduate and M.B.A. studies, and for his management role at BIDV. During his senior fellowship at HKS, he will focus on financial regulation in Vietnam.

Baris Dincer is a senior Fulbright Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business & Government at HKS. Before working as a lead consultant to the World Bank Privatization Social Support Project, Dincer worked at the Prime Ministry Privatization Administration in Turkey as an expert dealing with restructuring and privatization projects of formerly state-run Turkish energy and telecommunications sectors. He was a member of the team responsible for the restructuring of the Turkish electricity sector, was a member of the UMTS Auction Commitee, and served as a board member to one of the biggest Turkish mining companies. Dincer’s research focus has been on privatization and regulatory reforms in developing countries and integration of EU energy markets. He holds a bachelor of science degree in management from Galatasaray University, an M.B.A. in international management from Bilkent and Pforzheim universities, and a postgraduate diploma in economic regulation and competition from City University of London. Dincer, a native speaker of Turkish, also speaks French and English fluently and has working knowledge of German.

Deirdre Phillips’ research focuses on financial institutions, the degree to which they engage in civic and community endeavors, and the impact of regulation on their level of interest and involvement in these endeavors. A seasoned government and community relations executive, Phillips was managing director, government relations, at Putnam Investments prior to coming to Harvard. Before that, she served in similar capacities at FleetBoston Financial and BankBoston for nearly 20 years. She is currently chief strategy officer for The Autism Consortium, a Boston-based multi-institutional collaboration that is funding research and innovation within the context of the developing life sciences arena. Phillips has a bachelor of arts in government from Wheaton College.

Joelle Schmitz studies the impact of government regulation on the public and private sectors; she has published and lectured on this subject in Asia, Europe, and across North America. Schmitz serves in an advisory position created by the board of directors at CSX, a Fortune 200 railroad company with 21,000 route miles in the United States and Canada. Schmitz holds a master’s of public policy from Harvard University and was educated, on fellowship, at Johns Hopkins University SAIS, the Harvard Business and Law Schools, and McGill University. Schmitz has served as a Fulbright Scholar, a policy adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister’s office, and a board member of nonprofit organizations.

John Sherman is a senior fellow with the center. Sherman is vice chair of the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the International Bar Association and a member of the U.N. Global Compact Human Rights Working Group. He recently retired after 30 years as deputy general counsel for National Grid, one of the world’s largest utilities. Sherman was the company’s top lawyer for litigation, environmental law, and ethics in the United States, and for corporate responsibility and human rights globally. He has written and spoken extensively on the emerging convergence of corporate law, business ethics, and human rights. Sherman’s research at the Kennedy School will focus on the internalization of hard law and soft law into corporate values that drive a company’s human rights conduct; it will build upon the work he did on corporate human rights accountability as National Grid’s representative to the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights. Sherman is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School; he lives in Brookline, Mass.

These fellows join the returning resident senior fellows, Jane Nelson and Mark Fagan, and nonresident senior fellows Chip Feiss, John Foote, David Grayson, Mark Kramer, Salil Tripathi, Mario Valdivia, Holly Wise, Simon Zadek, and Bryn Zeckhauser.