Faculty Quotes

  • We are seeking to understand how the placement of new information and telecommunication systems affects the form and function of cities and metropolitan regions. Just as the automobile shaped the pattern of metropolitan development in the twentieth century, information will influence the development of the twenty-first century. Communities, cities and nations without an advanced information infrastructure are destined to decline and diminish in importance.

    Mitchell Moss

    Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning

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  • I am now involved in a study of how social change organizations use various identities – racial, ethnic, class, geographic – as a resource in their work. In a related arena, I am also interest in team learning and, in particular, how multi-cultural teams can learn from and across difference. I am just embarking on a project studying teams and what enables team learning in a large state social services agency. I am very interested in the mutual influence between social identities, like race, gender and class, and organizational life. How do social identities affect organizations? And how do organizations affect their members’ experience of their social identities? My last study found that, in fact, work organizations do influence their employees’ racial and gender identities, even though those identities are usually understood as largely stable and immune to organizational effects.

    Erica Foldy

    Associate Professor of Public and Nonprofit Management

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  • Although I am trained as an economist, my interest in neighborhoods started by thinking about the social networks one develops when raised or living in a poor neighborhood. Such networks can be very important for a variety of reasons, including creating expectations about work and even finding a specific job. In fact, it turns out that more than half of jobs are found through some you know, and people ion low-income neighborhoods, where employment levels are low, may well face a big disadvantage. The importance of neighborhoods in shaping people’s life chances has sparked my interest in several aspects of community development efforts, such as the provision of affordable housing, and the performance – particularly the governance – of nonprofit and community based organizations.

    Katherine O’Regan

    Associate Professor of Public Policy

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  • The challenge is to make the connection between medical care and health and to understand how factors other than medical care can influence health among older people. In doing research that will benefit older people, it is vital to have an appreciation of the importance of housing, maintaining social connections and maintaining functional abilities, in addition to the benefits of high-technology medicine.

    Jan Blustein

    Professor of Health Policy and Associate Professor of Medicine

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  • Leadership in public sector and healthcare organizations happens through leaders with the ability to communicate and achieve a clear and transformative organizational vision, create a sustainable financial structure, align the organizational structure to achieve the vision, and adapt continuously. Leaders of today’s and tomorrow’s public organizations must understand how to gather and use evidence to make more effective organizational systems and strategic decisions. They must create accountable organizations and be personally accountable. They must be persons of courage and integrity.

    John Donnellan

    Robert Derzon Professor of Health & Public Service

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  • We're trying to understand why it is that there are huge disparities in health outcomes – between low-income populations, say – so that policymakers can find solutions. For example, we looked closely at Medicaid claims date to track how well primary care providers managed their patients. Did one provider have more emergency room visits that another? More primary care visits? What we found was that hospital clinics were much worse at managing patients than private doctors and free-standing, community clinics were. We're trying to sort out why this is. Wagner's Center for Health and Public Service Research (CHPSR) serves as a vehicle for connecting academic research with policymaking and program development in order to address key issues concerning the delivery of health care and social services.

    John Billings

    Associate Professor of Health Policy and Public Service

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  • My book explores the stability of racial integration in neighborhoods. The conventional view, to borrow Saul Alinsky’s famous line, is that racial integration is merely the time between when the first black moves in and the last white moves out. Counter to this view, I found that many neighborhoods in the United States are racially integrated and stay that way for years. Integration has become both more prevalent and more stable over the last several decades. Still, metropolitan areas in the United States remain highly segregated and many integrated neighborhoods do “tip” top become majority black. Thus, in the second half of the book, I explore why this happens and why certain neighborhoods can remain successfully integrated over time.

    Ingrid Ellen

    Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning

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  • I’m currently finishing a book on what the RAND Corporation knows about managing high-performing organizations. It’s a three-year study looking at RAND research on everything from army logistics to the quality of health care, and draws a number of conclusions about the characteristics of high-performing organizations and how, through careful and appropriate change, they can improve. I’m also conducting a study for the Carnegie Corporation about the value of the national infrastructure on associations, schools, college, universities, publications and networks that help individual nonprofits improve their performance. The basic question is – What works, what doesn’t, and what is the value of having a nonprofit infrastructure in the first place?

    Paul Light

    Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service

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  • My research is focused primarily on the well-being of individuals and how this is shaped by the interaction of individual decision-making, market institutions and government policies. I’m particularly interested in the economics of aging and retirement, especially the risks facing older households. Recently, I’ve collaborated with Professor Jan Blustein to examine health outcomes and the labor market behavior of grandparents raising their grandchildren. This work will help in developing better policies and programs to support this growing yet vulnerable group that is performing an important social role.

    Sewin Chan

    Associate Professor of Public Policy

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  • Leadership training is extremely important for non-profit boards. The key distinctive characteristic of nonprofits is their mission. The boards of for-profit organizations are accountable to the shareholders, and those of public organizations are accountable to the voters. Part of the problem of accountability of nonprofit boards of trustees is that they often don’t get the information they need to carry out the function they’re supposed to perform.

    Anthony Kovner

    Professor of Public and Health Management

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  • By 2030, when Baby Boomers will be between 66 and 84 years old, they will still represent more than 20% of the U.S. population. They are healthier, wealthier, more mobile, and more highly educated than any preceding generation, and the presumption is that they will remain active and stay involved in society for many decades. This has led to a shift in some of the research about the elderly, from traditional geriatric concerns (health, housing, psychological services) to such issues as full-time “encore” or bridge careers and volunteerism, job flexibility and life meaning, time management and mobility. This cohort could offer 30 or more years of active and creative involvement, revitalizing, in the particular focus of my work, the culture, civic engagement, social services, political activism, intellectual life and artistic creativity and communal institutions of minority and faith-based communities.

    David Elcott

    The Henry and Marilyn Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service and Leadership

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Alumni in Action

  • Peter Grace
  • Sharad Aggarwal, Ellen O’Connell
  • Malini Patel
  • Sean Maloney
  • Doug White
  • Satish Chandra
  • Ariana Proehl
  • Laurie Price
  • Andrew Regenstreich
  • Christian DiPalermo
  • Nupur Chaudhury
  • Erin Longbothum
  • Muende Mueke
  • Sandra Goldstein
  • Char Woods
  • Thalia Washington
  • Samuel Schaffzin
  • Marlon Williams
  • Margaret diZerega
  • Cuong Nguyen
  • Tracey Gardner
  • Jacob Victory
  • Scott Clarke
  • Nick Molinari
  • David Bergman
  • Marc Minor
  • Cynthia Sparer
  • Paul Tainsh
  • Julian Metcalf
  • Robert Greenan
  • Luciana Mermet
  • Jennifer Maulsby
  • Elwood Hill
  • Daniel Manitsky
  • Erik Korolev
  • Susan Lacerte