Emergent Institute and Univ. of Southern California, Price School establish new exchange program

Emergent Institute and The USC Price School of Public Policy’s Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise today created a new partnership to launch an exchange program between government leaders in California and the Indian state of Karnataka.

The first exchange program is planned for August, with mayors from Karnataka visiting California for a weeklong program based in Los Angeles. California mayors will make a return visit to Bangalore in Karnataka in the fall. Other programs are being designed for state legislators and government officials.

The new initiative will build the working capacity of state and local government officials, promote best practices of good governance, and highlight innovative solutions and effective structural approaches to public policy challenges at the state and local level.

“India and the United States have a long history of partnership and collaboration, and this new program represents an important next step in strengthening our relationship,” said Shekar Narasimhan, co-founder of the Emergent Institute. The newly constituted State Government of Karnataka will be engaged to endorse the programs which have been put together following high-level interaction in December in Bangalore and site visits to Mysore and Chikkaballapur districts.”

The exchange will help participants hone and strengthen their leadership and team-building skills and provide insights on how to solve persistent urban challenges, including economic development, transportation and waste management. It will also help to facilitate stronger relationships that advance mutual interests.

“This program will capitalize on the strengths of both institutions. The USC Price School has a long history of cutting-edge leadership and policy training, and Emergent has fast become an important player in promoting sustainable innovations that provide answers for needs and problems,” said Jack H. Knott, dean of USC Price.

The program has generated significant enthusiasm from key U.S. leaders.

“Programs that advance the strength of our state-level leadership are an innovative approach to building U.S.-India people-to-people ties,” said Robert Blake Jr., assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

“The U.S. and India are important economic and strategic partners. These kinds of collaborations between the two countries should be developed and nurtured,” said Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.), the lone Indian-American representative in the Congress. “I’m excited about this partnership, and my office will work to help ensure its success.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, expressed his support as well.

“I am pleased that USC and Emergent have come together to establish this partnership for state-to-state exchanges,” Warner said. “This effort will help deepen the mutual ties between the U.S. and India at the state level, which will advance the relationship and identify new areas for cooperation.”

Joint outreach by USC and Emergent has garnered support from other national and state-level leaders in the United States.

“America shares with India something much deeper than just mutual economic empowerment. We share a strong exchange of entrepreneurs, executives, students, professors and scientists that is a model to the rest of the world,” said Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.). “This effort by the USC Price School of Public Policy, the Bedrosian Center on Governance and India’s Emergent Institute is a continuation of this critical exchange and an important part of strengthening the United States-India relationship.”

State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) have also expressed support for the initiative.

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