February 2019 Newsletter

Hello from the Goldfarb Center!

What an amazing start to 2019! It was fabulous to catch up with alumni at the Miami and Boston Dare Northward launches—so inspirational! With the support of the Davis Global Labs, I joined students in Bogotá, Colombia, and Lima, Peru, working on projects involving public-private partnerships and creating shared value. In Bogotá, we were welcomed by former Oak Institute for Human Rights Fellow Nancy Sanchez and were connected to great interviews by Ambassador Robert Gelbard ’64.



In Lima we shared fabulous meals (and career advice) with alumna Mari Zeta ’16—and some of our Goldfarb students worked on creating a funding proposal for Pásala, an NGO promoting literacy through sports founded by Jose and Amand Epstein Devercelli ’99.


Back in DC, 12 Sandy Maisel interns were supported by YAMs (Young Alumni Mentors) Eliza Gesten ’16, Kay DeGraw ’17, Kate McElrath ’15, Josh Handelman ’07, Meredith Keenan ’18, Brett Ewer ’14, Greg Morano ’17, Andrew Rudman ’87, Jackie Rolleri ’07, Sam Parker ’15, Michelle Seares ’13, Meg Hefferon ’15, and Chris Gorud ’11. Alumni intern sponsors created these game-changing opportunities, including Javier Montenegro ’15, Dan Roehl ’99, Jenner Foster ’17, Kristin Saucier ’04, Rachel Hatch ’05, Robyn Boerstling ’98, and Daniel Zawitoski ’09. Thanks to Robert Hoopes ’90 at VOX, they were able to meet with Ambassador Robert Gelbard ’64, Michael Bernstein ’99, and Dan Roehl ’99.


In the break between Jan Plan and the second semester, 17 more students, funded by the Goldfarb Center in collaboration with DavisConnects, joined the intern group for H2H, Colby’s signature Hill to Hill program. On our opening night, we heard from young alumni Lisa Kaplan ’13, Meredith Keenan ’18, Jenner Foster ’17, and Kay DeGraw ’17.


The next morning launched with policy roundtables anchored by Rob Gramlich ’91, Victoria Esser ’94, Andrew Rudman ’87, and Colin McKee ’01 sharing their policy trajectories.



We split the two groups, the first learning about the work of Population Services International hosted by Jen Pope Michie ’96 and the second dropping in an Open Society Foundations hosted by Jonathan Kaplan ’94 and Jacob Marx ’13.



The long shadow of Colby students in DC!


Students were treated to an amazing view and hosted to a fabulous lunch and talk on law and national security by Colby parents Ivan and Martha Schlager P’20 at Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.




The group then headed to Capitol Hill where they were met by Max Kanner ’13 (with Senator Dick Durbin) and Patrick Boland ’09 (working for Rep. Adam Schiff).

Our blitz around town concluded at the Pew Research Center with Kim Parker (spouse ’86) and Margaret Hefferon ’15, where we learned about Pew’s deep dives into statistical portraits of pressing problems, while others were at World Resources Institute being hosted by Corey Park ’12.


That evening, the great big Colby alumni fest continued with more than 120 packing the Churchkey in a buzzy networking reception for our students. Students were treated to amazing contacts full of helpful advice as they begin their public affairs careers—and alumni had a chance to catch up with each other.

Tuesday morning began with a mock interview hosted by Colby parents Jim and Michele Bowe P’11, ’13, ’15, ’19, ’23 at the offices of King & Spaulding. Students practiced interview techniques with three different Colby alums or parents. Many thanks to the nearly 30 interviewers who came out.


After developing stronger résumés and better skills, Jay Heimbach ’91 shared political wisdom at Peck Madigan Jones while other students garnered insights on careers in the State Department with Peter Secor ’78.


We ended the wonderful and busy two-day H2H trek at the Brookings Institution with a session by John Hudak, Liz Sablich, and Robin Lewis.Could my heart be any fuller of Colby gratitude for all the wonderful welcomes and connections for our students? I hope that the warmth and caring that alumni extend to our students come back to you from Mayflower Hill!





Patrice Franko

Director, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs

Grossman Professor of Economics and Global Studies


Spring 2019 Goldfarb Center Events


Ranked Choice Voting: Can it work for the 2020 Presidential Election?

February 7

With little time to catch our breath, we launched into the second semester with a session on ranked-choice voting by Rob Richie, president, and CEO of Fairvote, Inc. He was joined by Colby student Katherine Gillespie ’19 (writing an honors thesis on the subject) and Colby professors Carrie Le Van and L. Sandy Maisel, who are co-authoring a paper on the rank choice voting experience in Maine with Gillespie. In addition to discussing Maine’s first-in-the-nation statewide experience with ranked-choice voting, Richie and the panel also explored the possibility of using RCV in presidential primary elections in 2020, noting that a system allowing voters to state the order of their preference among candidates is perfectly suited for dealing with large fields of candidates-not exaggerating the importance of narrow victories in large fields of contenders.


People, Borders, and Walls: Immigration Policy from Obama to Trump

February 15

Alejandro Mayorkas P’22, an immigration lawyer who rolled out DACA under President Obama, continued this year’s immigration series by giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the policy-making process. At dinner, he shared his incredible story of rallying the diverse members of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to create DACA in just 60 days. In his talk, he emphasized the importance of identity in policymaking and supported an America that strives to be capable of taking in those in need of protection. This series on immigration will continue with a talk by José Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch on regional migration. It will culminate in the launch of the first annual GFES: the Goldfarb Freedom of Expression Symposium, which gives students a chance to win up to $2,000 for their policy proposals on immigration reform. Click here for more information.


Colby’s Mock Trial Team


Supported by the Brody Family Fund that is administered by the Goldfarb Center, the Mock Trial Team competed in a regional tournament at Yale in February. Colby drew top-ranked Yale in the first round and managed to beat them on their home turf. The team went on to play Connecticut College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Clark University. They finished sixth out of 32 with a record of 6-2-0-and secured a bid to the opening round of the National Championship Series for the first time. Congratulations all!