Politics Aside 2008

Leaders from Government, Business, and Philanthropy Gathered at RAND to Discuss Key World Issues

Panel moderator and RAND Europe trustee Michael Portillo and panelists Carl Bildt and Shaukat Aziz

Panel moderator and RAND Europe trustee Michael Portillo and
panelists Carl Bildt and Shaukat Aziz

Current and former government officials, business leaders, and philanthropists gathered at the RAND Corporation on November 14–16 to take part in a private weekend of seminars and discussions about some of the world's most pressing challenges.

Titled "Politics Aside," the subscription-sponsored event featured intimate panel discussions on topics such as alternative energy, U.S. immigration policy, health care reform, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. More than 175 people attended the event; in addition, more than 50 panelists participated in the presentations.

Among the presenters were Vicente Fox, former president of Mexico; Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; John Bryson, former president and chief executive officer of Edison International; Kakha Bendukidze, head of the state chancellery of Georgia; and Leonard Schaeffer, former administrator of the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration.

The event opened on Friday evening at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles with a discussion of domestic policy challenges featuring Andrew Card, former chief of staff to President George W. Bush, and Thomas "Mack" McLarty, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

The event closed on Sunday morning at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City with a roundtable discussion on the global economic outlook. The panelists were Paul H. O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary; Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist at the PNC Financial Services Group; Robert D. Hormats, managing director of Goldman, Sachs & Co.; and Carlos Slim Helú, honorary life chairman of Grupo CARSO.

At RAND's headquarters campus in Santa Monica, Saturday's all-day program featured intimate group policy discussions and a plenary dialogue titled "The New Global Agenda." The panel featured Fox as well as three former prime ministers: Shaukat Aziz of Pakistan; José María Aznar of Spain; and Carl Bildt of Sweden. Michael Portillo, former U.K. secretary of state for defence, moderated.