Financial Engineering Seminar Series - Paul N. Samuels, Legal Action Center

Thursday, October 25, 2012 ( 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm )

Location: Babbio 122

Social Impact Bonds: An Innovative Way to Do Good and Do Well

Paul N. Samuels, Director / President
Legal Action Center

New York City and Washington, D.C.

ABSTRACT:  In his talk as part of the Financial Engineering Seminar Series, Paul Samuels, Director/President of the Legal Action Center, will discuss the potential benefits of Social Impact Bonds. These bonds, also known as “SIBs,” are a recent innovation that utilizes private financing to accomplish public benefit. The theory behind SIBs, first utilized in England, is that the private sector could invest in beneficial government programs that save taxpayer dollars as well as accomplish other social goods. If the program succeeds in saving money, the private investor will be repaid from the savings; if the program loses money then the private investor will share in the loss. If this approach succeeds, successful government programs that save money in addition to achieving other benefits could expand and replicate with private financing. Mr. Samuels will discuss this new approach, including potential advantages and disadvantages and the first SIB launched in New York State this summer by Goldman Sachs in partnership with New York City and Bloomberg Philanthropies. 


BIO:  Paul N. Samuels is Director/President of the Legal Action Center, a not-for-profit public interest law firm with offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. specializing in legal and policy issues involving criminal justice, substance use problems and AIDS. For more than two decades Mr. Samuels has worked on a wide range of criminal justice and addiction policy issues at the federal, state, and local levels, including developing creative strategies to increase public and private financing for alternatives to incarceration, treatment and reentry and recovery supports, and working with government agencies, service providers, national organizations, and the recovery community to implement those strategies and educate the public and policymakers. He has testified before numerous Congressional and state legislative committees and lectured in more than 30 States on a range of policy issues related to criminal justice and alcohol and drug problems. Mr. Samuels has served on numerous national and state advisory groups, including the Expert Panel of CSAT’s National Treatment Plan, the Advisory Council of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Currently he is the Co-chair of the Coalition for Whole Health, Vice Chair of the New York State Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and Chair of the Finance Committee of the New York Deputy Secretary for Public Safety’s Alternative to Incarceration and Reentry Task Force. Mr. Samuels is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Innovator Combating Substance Abuse in 2002, AMERSA’s Betty Ford Award in 1998, and Awards from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors in 1998 and 1992. Mr. Samuels joined the staff of the Legal Action Center upon graduation from Columbia Law School in 1979. He became Executive Vice President in 1983 and Director/President in 1992.  He is a graduate of Harvard College.


The Financial Engineering Seminar Series is a centerpiece of the graduate Financial Engineering program and the undergraduate Quantitative Finance programs at Stevens Institute of Technology.  Its mandate is to arrange talks on current research and industry trends in financial engineering and quantitative finance that will be of interest to those who work in both industry and academia. This event is co-sponsored by the School of Systems & Enterprises, Financial Engineering Department and the Howe School of Technology, Quantitative Finance Department.