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The Ten G-MPA Courses

Global Master of Public Administration student

Fall 2021

Prof. J. DiIulio, Jr.

Over the last 200 years, human beings in virtually every corner of the globe have become ever more likely to live longer, healthier, wealthier, and more personally satisfying lives. But global progress in improving human well-being has been neither linear nor universal. What are the most important indices of human well-being and how, if at all, can they be well-measured?  What accounts for the extraordinary if unfinished and unequal gains in human well-being that have occurred over the last two hundred years? Under what, if any, conditions can diverse institutions—families and social networks; neighborhood and community groups; nonprofit or social sector organizations; for-profit firms; and local, national, and transnational government institutions—act, either independently or in tandem with each other, to maintain or improve human well-being? Through carefully guided but quasi-independent research, students are encouraged to spotlight a diverse array of global human well-being challenges and to search for potentially promising programmatic approaches to each.

Prof. P. Rajagopalan

This course introduces students to key economic concepts such as scarcity, efficiency, monopolies, and other markets to investigate the notions of economic efficiency in a competitive marketplace. In addition, we discover how such efficiency is affected by distortions relevant to public policy, especially regulations, externalities, and incomplete information. From the macroeconomics side, we cover both short-run topics, long-run topics and the effects of government debt. Students practice applying these principles to the range of decisions that public sector executives have to make in order to understand the trade-offs inherent in any public policy or program.

Prof. D. Treglia

Many governments, businesses, and NPO/NGO leaders around the globe are drowning in numerical and statistical data. The challenge they face is not only how to organize, parse, and analyze the data, but also how to utilize it effectively and in real time. This course is uniquely designed to enhance your ability to use data effectively for real-time problem-identification, definition, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Prof. C. Ren

Business leaders are concerned with the problems of and responsible for the overall and long-term well-being of their organizations. The most important role for business leaders is to formulate successful strategies. The course is designed to teach you the critical elements of strategy formulation, namely competition and innovation. How do firms compete to gain a competitive advantage? How do firms innovate to sustain the competitive advantage? Business leaders grapple with these questions every day as they try to make their own firms as successful as possible. In this course, we take the perspective of a general manager, draw on discussions of real-world situations that describe situations faced by firms that either fail or succeed, and tackle the complexity and ambiguity of strategy formulation. Specific topics covered in the course include performance measures, industry analysis, resources and capability analysis, business-level strategy, corporate-level strategy, and innovation management.

Prof. C. Guo

Global leaders must work across three different types of boundaries: interpersonal boundaries, which involve relations with persons who differ from oneself demographically and in other ways; institutional boundaries, which involves working across government, nonprofit, and business organizations; and international boundaries, which involves both individual and institutional engagements that are carried on across national borders. This course focuses mainly on the latest and best empirical research pertaining to the second stratum of boundary-spanning leadership: the theory, policy, and practice of cross-sector collaboration, what purposes collaboration may serve, and the steps involved in initiating, sustaining, and evolving collaborative enterprises and governance.  

Spring 2021

Dr. J. P. DiIulio

In a world filled with multiple and competing human well-being needs, not all of which can be addressed or acted upon fully or at once, which human well-being goals or purposes ought to matter most, which problems ought to be considered most deserving of attention and action, and which goals, purposes, or problems should be treated as top priorities with respect to their claims on attention, resources, and action? In this course, students explore how, whether, and to what extent “effective leadership” is, ought to be, or can be made synonymous with “moral” or “ethical leadership,” and by which understanding(s) of “morality” and “ethics.” Through classic and contemporary readings and case studies, students explore several different philosophical and religious writings and traditions that might usefully inform the moral reasoning of present or future leaders who seek to promote human well-being by solving local, regional, national, or global problems.

Prof. F. Handy

This course explores diverse empirical perspectives on the subject, contrasting what is happening in India vis-à-vis other nations all across the globe. Students explore different modes of giving—secular, religious, charitable trusts, foundations, NGOs, corporate, social media platforms, and others—that shape the practice and promise of philanthropy today. Students are also guided in identifying and quasi-independently researching government policies that have influenced philanthropic practices and figured in strategies that have measurably improved human well-being.

Prof. D. Treglia

In this course, students are introduced to key concepts, principles, protocols, and analytical tools and techniques relevant to the theory and practice of three separate but related problem-solving leadership skills: (1) forecasting general social, economic, and civic trends; (2) measuring government performance and results; and (3) evaluating particular social, economic, and civic programs. Students attempt to advance and apply these skills in relation to several cases.  

Prof. J. DiIulio, Prof. C. Bradway, and Prof. C. Ren

According to World Bank and World Health Organization estimates, by 2050, China’s population of persons age 60 and older will rise to 510 million, or about 37.2% of the nation’s total population, and about 6% of the world’s total population. As has been documented by numerous studies, and as the PRC’s top government ministries have declared, there are myriad public health, economic, social, and other challenges to human well-being associated with China’s burgeoning elderly population. Based on research conducted between Penn and Tsinghua University via the Joint Project on Elder Care in China, this course guides students in describing, analyzing, and evaluating competing approaches to meeting these challenges, with a special focus on the promise of public-private partnerships and the potential of programs to enhance the nation’s geriatric care capacities.

Prof. P. Rajagopalan

Within the next few decades, India, which today has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita per year of only about $2,000, will be not only the most populous nation in the world, but also potentially one of the most perilously energy-deficient nations in the world. While India’s roughly 1.4 billion people now use more than 800 million tons of oil each year, its government has articulated several far-reaching plans to shift more into such renewable energy sources as hydro, wind, solar, and bio-power. There are enormous obstacles to India’s various plans for achieving energy security, and each energy security plan will affect economic conditions and environmental protection in ways that are far from entirely easy to predict. This course equips students to describe, analyze, and assess multiple perspectives and competing plans related to energy in India. Through carefully guided but quasi-independent research, students are encouraged to spotlight a diverse array of environmental challenges and to search for potentially promising programmatic approaches to each. This program will have feature speakers looking at climate problems.