Job Interview

–Thank you for applying to fill our open position as chief of cardiac surgery, Dr. Hahnemann.

–Well, Dr. Carson, I hope I can bring cardiac surgery here to the high level you’ve achieved in neurosurgery.

–So, Dr. Hahnemann, why do you think you’re qualified for this job?

–It’s Mr. Hahnemann, Dr. Carson.  I’m not a surgeon, or even a doctor. I’m probably never going to be professionally correct because I’m not a surgeon.  I don’t want to be a surgeon. Because surgeons do what is medically expedient — I want to do what’s right.

–Mr. Hahnemann, you’re a man after my own heart. I’m going to give you my strongest endorsement to the hiring committee.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

2 thoughts on “Job Interview”

  1. Well, if I were Dr Carson, and I wanted to push the social agenda of the right and to make myself the obvious candidate to be Surgeon General in a Bush, or Rubio, or Walker administration, I can't think of a better strategy than to run and speak vigorously, but not to be mean to the other guys on the stage. It certainly did great things for Herman Cain as a national figure.

    You don't necessarily have to think you are on a path to the Presidency for it to make sense to join the race.

  2. Loved the video, but it gave me a slight frisson of discomfort, as a metaphor for so many other, em, "inadequacies" — whether it being a Latino Hamlet, a black quarterback, a gay married person, or a woman president. The humor, while fresh and funny for its day, has a double-edge to it nowadays that makes it quite nearly unfunny.

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