Date: Sep 26, 2018Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

**SOLD OUT** How HBS Alumni Can Help Change the Electoral System to Establish a More Effective Government

Wed, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM UJA-Federation Conference Center
General PublicSocial Enterprise Prog.


Our political system has become more and more polarized over the last few decades, causing gridlock in Washington that has made it more difficult to solve some of the nation’s pressing problems. Come learn about some interesting initiatives that have the potential for changing that.

A 2017 study of HBS alumni by Harvard University Professor Michael Porter and business executive Katherine Gehl highlighted the weak and deteriorating political system as the greatest impediment to the U.S. economy. Congress has a 13% approval rating, yet 94% of all incumbents are re-elected. Election districts are gerrymandered, so there are few competitive elections. Moderates are disappearing, while Independents, the largest voting group, are disenfranchised. Major votes in Congress are along party lines. Dissatisfaction is demonstrated by the fact that the U.S. has among the lowest voter turnout in the developed world.

Government gridlock has contributed to economic and social problems such as stagnating wages, failing schools, inefficient and expensive healthcare, decaying infrastructure, a convoluted tax code, and rising entitlement costs.

A non-partisan group of HBS alumni has been working with Porter/Gehl to identify solutions that could encourage bi-partisanship and reduce gridlock.

This event will focus on modifications to the electoral process. Many seemingly attractive solutions; e.g., campaign finance reform and establishing term limits are difficult to implement because politicians like the perks of their incumbency. However, there are reforms, such as Non-Partisan Primaries, Ranked Choice Voting and Open Primaries, and Reduced Gerrymandering that are being increasingly adopted throughout the country.

Come meet the leaders of a few major election-reform groups that are working to improve our electoral system. Their ideas are non-partisan, designed to bridge our nation’s divisions and lead to constructive solutions to our endemic problems. Our HBS team will also discuss how alumni can use their networks to encourage productive change in our political system.

Please note that no refunds will be issued.



Rob Richie

President and CEO, FairVote

Leader of FairVote since 1992, Rob Richie has helped advance, win and implement ranked choice voting in Maine and 12 cities, cumulative voting in voting rights cases, and the National Popular Vote plan in states. He is a frequent news source, his writings have appeared in journals and ten books, and he is co-author of Every Vote Equal and Whose Votes Count. He is a graduate of Haverford College.


John Opdycke

President, Open Primaries

John Opdycke is the President of Open Primaries. He is an activist and strategist with 25 years of experience working in independent, alternative and reform politics. In 1992 he participated in the founding of the New York State Independence Party. He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and NBC, and his writing has appeared in USA Today, Newsweek, The Hill, and dozens of local publications.

Opdycke is a member of the Castillo Theater, the home for postmodern political theater in NYC. He grew up in Evanston, Illinois and attended the University of Michigan.

Date Time

Date: Sep 26, 2018Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM


UJA-Federation Conference Center130 E. 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
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  • 20 / Member/Member Guest (limit two)
  • 50 / Non-Members
  • Free / Patron Members


Lee Backus, Henry Barkhorn, Ivy Bell, Lauren Bender, Ish Bentacourt, Barry Berman, Gina Carr, Claude Charles, Alexandre Chenesseau, Ryan Clancy, Leo Corbett, Leo Corbett, Oliver Cromwell, Shelia Cromwell, Judith Cronin, Margaret Crotty, Deborah Devedjian, Barbara Doran, John Eaton, Alison Egan, Sol Erdman, Elizabeth Fairfax Brown, Dr. Jessie Fields, Lisa Forgang, Douglas Fried, Irwin Friedman, Anselm Fusco, Christy Gibb, Amiko Glasford, Jean-Rene Gougelet, Leslie Green, Jennifer Gregoriou, Ivan Grosz, Jane Henry, Shih-Yin Ho, Fred Hodder, Monroe Hodder, Amory Houghton, Tibita Kaneene, Herbert Kaplan, Mary Jane Kaplan, Denise Kelly, Lucy Kennedy, Didi Lacher, Linda-Eling Lee, Jonathan Lewis, Gail Lieberman , Roger Lipton, Jesse Liu, Martin Lujan, Alison Lyness, Matthew Mahoney, Aileen McKenna, Katherine Menges, Rebecca Menges, Ryan Meyer, Helen Millson, Barrie Moskowitz, John Opdycke , Evelyne Otten, Michael Otten, Aditya Panda, Paul Payton, Clark Peterson, Ellen Polaner, Leonard Polaner, Margaret Poster, Ronald Randall, Rob Richie, Bill Rosser, Phyllis Rosser, Brooke Russell, Michael Russell, Hank Saltzman, Grace Schalkwyk, Bette Schultz, Arthur Schwarz, Barbara Schwarz, Paul Schwarz, Susan Schwarz, Cecile Seth, Al Sharif, Yiting Shen, James Sherman, Peter Siris, Brandon Sokol, Rich Sokolow, Darren Sumter, Latifa Sumter, Gita Swamy, Earl Templeton, Cheetah Test3, Sharon Tomao, Charlotte Triefus, Cynthia Vance, Jacquie Watkins, Jacquie Watkins, Robin Weaver, Ivan Wolff, Barbara Wyckoff, Liliane Zreik, Barbara Zuckerberg, Lloyd Zuckerberg, barbara wyckoff siris


The HBS Alumni Non-Partisan Initiative to Make Government Work!: Peter Siris '68, Bill Rosser '62, Clark Peterson '13, Mike Otten '67, Lucy Kennedy '77, Herb Kaplan '65, Leslie Green '71, Anselm Fusco '02, Sol Erdman '71

UJA-Federation Conference Center

130 E. 59th Street, New York, NY, 10022