04/02/2014 02:22 pm ET Updated Jun 02, 2014

The next generation of government problem solvers

Henry Brady is the dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a keen observer of government and politics. He spoke about the role of the younger generation in government with Tom Fox, a guest writer for On Leadership and vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Fox also heads up their Center for Government Leadership.

Q. What do you see as the defining characteristics of the next generation of public policy leaders?

A. Our students in the public policy school have a good sense of the big problems facing the world. Their generation wants to work together to solve these problems. For instance in the energy field, our Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students have formed an organization which has been pushing for us to find ways to work across departments to help address problems like energy independence and climate change. This includes everyone from engineers and scientists to people in the arts and humanities.

They say, "Let's look more broadly; let's make sure that we're doing things that can help solve the big problems." They've also pushed us to create a Berkeley Food Institute that is concerned with the problems of sustainable and equitable provision of food.