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Biden Institute Spring '18 Course Offerings

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Biden Institute Managing Director, Advisers to Instruct Courses on Policy, Politics

This semester, the University of Delaware's School of Public Policy and Administration is offering three courses designed and led by Biden Institute leadership and advisers. The courses give interested students the opportunity to engage with and learn from prominent Washington, D.C. professionals, experts in various policy fields, as well as Biden Institute leadership.

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Biden Institute course leadership and advisors

(L to R: Mike Donilon, Don Graves, Sarah Bianchi, Bruce Reed)

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"These new courses will allow students the opportunity to engage directly with policy professionals and practitioners who have worked with former Vice President Joe Biden, which gives them unique perspectives and experiences to share in the classroom," said SPPA director, Maria Aristigueta. "We're thrilled to have the Biden staff working with our students."

Consistent with SPPA's  "Delaware Model," the Biden Institute's inaugural course offerings incorporate both the theoretical and practical elements of public policymaking, giving students the opportunity to learn how theory informs practice from experienced professionals.

Biden Institute courses and instructors include:

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Washington, D.C. Leadership Practicum

 

Led by the Biden Institute's Managing Director and counselor to former Vice President Biden, Mike Donilon, this Washington D.C.-based 3-credit course examines primary governmental, political, and press entities and their relationships relative to public policymaking through lectures, work experience, field trips, and seminars with Washington D.C. practitioners. Students maintain internships for the duration of the semester and are expected to incorporate their experiences into their course work. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of how practitioners exert leadership in their respective organizations and how their work impacts the development of policy in the nation's capital.

Mike Donilon, Managing Director, Biden Institute and Counselor to former Vice President Joe Biden

Mike Donilon has been involved at the highest levels of national politics for over 30 years. Nearly unique among those involved in political campaigns, Mike has experience in both polling and research and the creation of media advertising. He served as Counselor and Senior Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, whom he has closely worked with since 1981.

Mike has played key roles in the presidential campaigns of every Democratic nominee since President Bill Clinton, and has helped elect more than 25 Democratic Senators and Governors. He has both a B.A. and a J.D. from Georgetown University.

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Intro to Domestic Policymaking, Health Policy

 

Led by two White House domestic policy veterans, this one-credit class is will serve as an introduction to domestic policymaking, using health care policy as an example. It will examine the various stakeholders who are important in making health care policythe executive branch, legislative branch, state and local government, business, and advocacy organizations. It will look at different case studies of successes and failures in legislating health care, from the Affordable Care Act to the Health Security Act to the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. It will also look at how the Executive Branch uses its authority both to implement various and to try and advance its agenda when it can not advance it through the legislative process.  It will also examine how health care policy is used as messaging looking both at the Presidential State of the Union process as well as campaigns. Finally, we will look ahead to the future and issues coming down the pike.

Sarah Bianchi, Senior Adviser, Biden Institute; former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy for former Vice President Joe Biden

Sarah served as Deputy Assistant to President Obama for Economic Policy and as Director of Policy for Vice President Biden at the White House for three years starting in 2011. Prior to her government service, Sarah was Managing Director at BlackRock. In addition to her work at the Biden Institute, Sarah is Head of Global Policy Development and Federal Affairs at Airbnb.

Sarah graduated with her B.A. in Government from Harvard University.

Bruce Reed, CEO and Co-Founder, Civic; former Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to former Vice President Joe Biden

Bruce Reed served for more than a decade as a top White House policy adviser in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. In the Obama White House, he served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden, working on economic, fiscal, and tax policy, education, and gun violence.

Reed is now CEO and Co-Founder of Civic, a bipartisan policy ideas company. At the Aspen Institute, he is also a member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group and Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative..

He graduated from Princeton and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

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Jobs, Economy, and the Impact on the Middle Class

 
Don Graves, Senior Adviser to the Biden Institute, pictured with Vice President, Joe Biden in his West Wing Office

Don Graves and former Vice President Biden

Photo: David Lienemann, The White House

While the US has continued to make significant economic progress since the Great Recession of 2008, it has become clear that significant parts of the country and groups within it are facing increasing levels of economic dislocation. This economic inequality, is not new, but appears to be growing at an alarming rate. Large numbers of Americans no longer believe the American Dream is an option for themselves or for their children or that the possibility of living a stable, middle class life is within reach. This course will explore the questions of whether long-term economic inequality is a real problem for the US and what policies at the local/regional, state and federal levels could provide solutions to affected communities. Students will also research and discuss the impact that politics has on policy decision making. 

Don Graves, Senior Vice President and Senior Director, Corporate Community Initiative and Relations for Key Bank, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to former Vice President Joe Biden

Don Graves is Senior Vice President and Senior Director, Corporate Community Initiative and Relations for Key Bank. Previously, he was Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Counselor to Vice President Biden, serving as his Domestic and Economic Policy Director and providing advice on a range of policy issues including ways to create jobs, opportunity, and widening the path to the middle class. He was previously appointed by the President as Executive Director of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at the White House and was also appointed by the President to lead the Administration's efforts in the city of Detroit, coordinating and facilitating the federal government's investment in Detroit and working with city, state, business, non-profit and community stakeholders as the city worked through its bankruptcy and began its recovery.  

Graves holds degrees of B.A. in Political Science and History from Williams College and J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center where he received the Dean's Award. 

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