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Vietnamese Officials Meet SPPD Faculty

Vietnamese Officials Meet SPPD Faculty
Elizabeth Graddy, professor and senior associate dean for faculty and academic affairs; Jack Knott, dean of SPPD; and Ngo Doan Vinh, president, Vietnamese Development Strategy Institute

Fifteen senior-ranking officials from Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment met with faculty from the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development in May to discuss prospective collaborations in education and research.

The delegates included members from the ministry’s central offices, as well as representatives from two special agencies within the ministry – the Development Strategy Institute and the Academy of Policy and Development.

“They are seeking partnerships for developing courses and programs in public administration, public finance, project management and other topics related to regional economic development in Vietnam,” said Genevieve Giuliano, professor and senior associate dean for research and technology at SPPD. “They are also encouraging U.S. researchers to conduct research there.”

Giuliano noted that, presently, there is heavy demand “for human capacity building, particularly for local governments, in developing countries.”

“They need a new workforce of professional managers and administrators in order to achieve rapid industrialization and economic development,” she added.

The meeting, which was held at Lewis Hall, provided an opportunity for the delegation to learn about SPPD’s academic programs and areas of research expertise.

“Many of the organizational and policy challenges that Vietnam is grappling with are those in which SPPD faculty have expertise and research experience,” said Joyce Mann, director of international education programs. “In addition, core classes in SPPD address many of the skill sets that the ministry hopes to strengthen in the government workforce through the efforts of the Academy of Policy and Development.”

During the morning’s education session, associate dean for student affairs Carol Rush gave an overview of the school’s graduate degrees and executive education. Elizabeth Graddy, professor and senior associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, discussed distance learning programs.

In the research session, Hilda Blanco, interim director of the USC Center for Sustainable Cities, presented research on climate change; Richard Little, director of the USC Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, discussed infrastructure finance; and Giuliano explained how research is used by the government.

According to Mann, forging institutional ties in Vietnam at this time would be very significant, “given the dynamism of its economy, the challenges it faces with increasing urbanization, its efforts to strengthen the social safety net and the transformations in the public and private sectors that have accompanied the country’s transition from a planned economy toward a more market-based system.”

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