Collaborating with Vietnam for Sustainable Leadership
This year, the Center for Public Service launched a major public leadership reform program, the result of collaboration between the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration (HCMA) in Hanoi and PSU’s Hatfield School of Government. This co-produced initiative provides a living laboratory for pioneering a world class leadership program, with the purpose of enhancing robust growth while reversing widespread social disparity and environmental degradation – in both Vietnam and in the United States. This purpose is being actualized through application of the EMERGE Solutions-Seeking Framework, a first-of-its-kind public leadership curriculum, which is accompanied by an active learning pedagogy. The EMERGE leadership framework and curriculum can be readily adapted for application in different public sector contexts both locally and globally.
This innovative EMERGE curriculum was rolled out in the summer of 2010 to 15 Vietnamese trainers and is currently being integrated into a variety of training and education programs in Vietnam and Oregon. In Vietnam, the Academy has voiced a strong commitment to the program in terms of institutional priorities and resources, with the shared desire that as Vietnam continues its integration into global markets, socially equitable and environmentally sound methods will be crafted for addressing the unprecedented and largely unchecked economic growth that Vietnam is experiencing. In Oregon, the EMERGE curriculum was successfully pilot tested as part of the 2010 Hatfield Summer Institute. It is now being integrated into the Executive Master of Public Administration program.
Staying true to Senator Mark Hatfield’s early observations and personal commitments while visiting in Indochina after World War II, the Hatfield School has come full circle in the pursuit of building resilient and vibrant communities in modern Vietnam. Mark Hatfield was a young lieutenant in the Navy when with great empathy he observed the oppressive plight of the Vietnamese people under the French occupation, and he later wrote, “Vietnam was the issue that called me to the Senate, and Vietnam came to haunt me for a long time to come.”
The Hatfield School’s Center for Public Service and the Executive Leadership Institute are uniquely positioned to lead this effort, given ELI’s shared power leadership principles and practices, and its engaged learning pedagogy with community partners. The far reaching benefits of this program will also provide PSU and our Oregon community partners with a unique learning template and opportunity for the type of public leadership reform which can guide our leadership work in a range of institutional settings, both here and abroad. These are extraordinary times, bringing a critical need for solutions on both sides of the globe, ones which foster just and sustainable communities within strong local economies, and include healthy environments within thriving cultures. The EMERGE framework is designed to have a supportive hand in accomplishing these goals. Our institutional purpose, long ago germinated in the observations of a young naval officer, sets just such a standard.