April 2024

Nicole Rapfogel PPS'19 - was selected as a Finalist for the prestigeous Presidential Management Fellows Program. The Program is the Federal Government's premier leadership development program for advanced degree holders across all academic disciplines. Since 1977. the PMF Program has matched outstanding graduate students with exciting Federal opportunities.

Rob Lalka MPP'08 - debuted his first book, The Venture Alchemists: How Big Tech Turned Profits Into Power, has received rave reviews as a "masterfully researched book" (Walter Isaacson), "a unique and searing perspective on the growth-at-all-costs mindset that fueled the tech industry" (Jonathan Greenblatt), and "a provocative, deeply researched book that is frankly jaw-dropping in places" (Anne-Marie Slaughter). The publication date is May 14, but the book has already gained significant interest; in recent weeks, it has been both the #1 New Release in Venture Capital and Business Ethics on Amazon. Lalka, a business school professor at Tulane, demystifies how tech entrepreneurs built empires that made trillions. Meta started as a cruel Halloween prank, Alphabet began as a master’s thesis that warned against corporate deception, and Palantir came from a campus controversy over hateful speech. These largely forgotten origin stories show how ordinary fears and youthful ambitions shaped their ventures— making each tech tale relatable, both wonderfully and tragically human. Readers learn about the adversities tech entrepreneurs overcame, the troubling tradeoffs they made, and the tremendous power they now wield. Using leaked documents and previously unpublished archival material, Lalka takes readers inside Big Tech’s worst exploitations and abuses, alongside many good intentions and moral compromises. Ultimately, this book tells the stories we need to know right now: "Lalka traces the ambitions, adversities, and compromises that transformed young innovators into billionaires" (Isaacson), leading to "fuel for debates this country simply has to have" (Slaughter).


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