Khilola & Friends Must Reads

KhilolaPublic policy and management books of interest to recent graduates of MPP and MPA programs

Khilola B Zakhidova speaks six languages and received her MPP from the University of Toronto in 2014. She is now manager of public policy and regulatory affairs at one of Canada’s largest insurance companies. On this page Khilola and some of her MPP and MPA colleagues provide their thoughts on books they have recently read and are likely to be of interest to young policy and management professionals.


Henry Paulson (2015), An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower, Twelve, Hachette Book Group, New York.

Many policy students would have heard or read about Henry M. Paulson as U.S. Treasury Secretary who served under George W. Bush. Paulson was among the key policymakers who orchestrated the rescue of Bear Stearns, and the bailouts of Fannie and Freddie Mac, AIG, Citi and other troubled financial institutions in the US.

Yet, prior to his tenure as U.S. Treasury Secretary, Paulson held multiple senior leadership roles at Goldman Sachs, most recently as Chief Executive Officer. What is interesting about his time at Goldman, among other things, are the business and political connections he developed in China. Paulson’s book, “Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower” is a recollection of his on the ground experiences of doing business in China, particularly the political relationships he has had to cultivate in order for Goldman’s investment banking business to succeed.

… continue reading Khilola’s review

K. Rudd (2015), U.S.-China 21 – The Future of U.S.-China Relations under Xi Jinping – Toward a new framework of constructive realism for a common purpose, Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

China has been a prominent feature in news headlines this year. In January, a radical drop in the Chinese stock market triggered global market volatility. Manufacturing statistics, released shortly thereafter, further gloomed market confidence, as official figures confirmed what analysts had long predicted – after years of double-digit growth, China’s economy was, in fact, slowing down. Officials in China have framed this slowdown as the “New Normal,, a transition from an export-led growth towards a growth driven by domestic consumption, R&D, innovation and a strong services sector. This transition will certainly not happen overnight, but on a larger, long-term scale, it will create new policy challenges for China’s trade partners in Asia, Europe and North America.

And this is what brings me to introduce to you a recent report on the future of U.S.-China relations by the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Kevin Rudd, who is currently a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.

… continue reading Khilola’s review

Summary of report at, accessed 2 March 2016.

F. Fisher, G. Miller and M. Sidney (2007), Handbook of Public Policy Analysis, CRC Press

Published in 2007, this book includes some interesting chapters on public policy in different jurisdictions, and four chapters on decision-techniques. It is very useful when one needs a quick briefing on how public policy works in countries such as India, Korea, etc., and which think tanks one needs to consult for more recent works.

T. Geurts, Public Policy in the Making, Be Informed USA Inc.

This book includes interesting observations about “modernizing” the policymaking system, and has neat graphics which can be used (with citations) in reports to illustrate the policy process. Available in pdf format at:, accessed 23 December 2015.

M. Bazerman and D. Moore (2008), Judgement in Managerial Decision-Making, 7th Edition, Wiley.

Not related to public policy directly, I came across this book while exploring what behavioural economists and other thinkers have to say about insurance sales.

R. Thaler and C. Sunstein (2009), Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness, Penguin.

This book is now one of the must reads of behavioural economics and all areas of policy where we try to “nudge” people to do something they would otherwise not do. I found Chapter 6 “Save for tomorrow” quite informative, as it discusses how to improve retirement savings and fits well into the CPP/ORPP debate we currently have in Canada.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 17 August 2016.

Image: from Khilola’s Linked In profile at, accessed 23 December 2015.