Striving and Stopping and New Beginnings

This panel offers a number of interesting speakers and perspectives to open a discussion of the personal transitions and transformations that parallel and intersect the global policy trends lines discussed in the first session. As concerns with global energy and environmental policies frame our world prospectively, each of us is also undergoing the experience of engaging our own challenges and exploring new beginnings.

Four Classmates bring their diverse career and life experiences to the discussion:


Rabbi Jim Ponet, our classmate, who has been the Jewish chaplain of Yale for the past 25 years, brings some framing thoughts to this panel. Jim was the one who first noted that striving and stopping would be a particularly appropriate topic for consideration at this time. Jim, among his other duties, is a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School where he teaches a course on “Job and Injustice.” Last year he was honored by Yale for his 25 years of service. Former Yale Law School Dean Anthony Kronman, an organizer of the day, said “in Jim we have one of the world’s great talkers and teachers…”

Sam Pease joins the panel bringing a career of experience in the search business first at Russell Reynolds and then as a partner at Heidrick & Struggles. Sam has worked with many senior executives on the topic of striving and stopping and new beginnings. Today Sam is a Vice President in a Boston-based venture, New Directions, where he works with current and former senior executives and professionals helping them to make the transitions that come with career and life changes.

Dr. Dan Begel joins the panel from Santa Monica where he maintains an active psychiatric practice. Dan is the founder of the field of Sport Psychiatry, the author of the seminal book to define this field, Sport Psychiatry: Theory and Practice (W.W. Norton, 2000). Dan was the founder of the International Society of Sport Psychiatry. Today Dan is an inventor and new venture developer exploring new directions of his own.

Andy Morse has spent his career in the field of finance. He heads the Morse Group with UBS Financial Services (since 2001) and was a Senior Vice President at Salmon Smith Barney and its predecessor (1993-2001) among other firms. In addition to his own conversations about new directions with Jim Ponet with whom he serves on a foundation board devoted to the future of science, Andy Morse is on the board of Americans for Generational Equity, a policy think tank.

The panel will be moderated by Bob Reisner from Washington D. C. who was pleased to respond to Bill Baker’s request for help in organizing such a panel. Bob is a management consultant specializing in formulating and implementing transformation strategies for clients in the public and private sector. Since graduating from Harvard Business School his career in Washington has included experience both in government and with private sector management consulting.

In addition to the four panelists, a number of classmates responded to Bill Baker’s request in his first reunion letter for contributions and ideas. Experiences and career changes involving teaching, non-profit based public service, diplomacy, venture capital, government service and writing were all volunteered. Each of these other potential panelists would have also brought valuable contributions to the opening discussion. This session will be interactive and, in addition to questions for the panel, others can share their experiences and insights during the course of the session as the discussion unfolds.

This is not a session that will presume to prescribe answers to the challenge of “Striving and Stopping and New Beginnings.” Each of us comes to this topic from unique perspectives. But the diverse panelists draw upon a rich body of experience and expertise from religion, law, management, medicine, science and finance. Our audience of classmates brings an even richer body of experience for the discussion to draw upon.