Alumni in Action

Public Service Spotlight

Satish Chandra

EMPA/ MS - 2001

Business Process Reengineering AdvisorMinistry of Mines, Government of Afghanistan

What do you do in your current role?

I work for Ministry of Mines, Government of Afghanistan as the Business Process Reengineering Advisor. I advise the Ministry on the process simplification and restructuring of performance based key business processes, especially for the State Owned Enterprises operational under the control of Ministry of Mines. Additionally, I help the different departments of the Ministry of Mines on Progrmame Budget Formulation by observing the outcome based principles of Budget Execution.

What is your professional history / career path? How did you end up where you are?

I have the proven track record of public administration and financial management practitioner in the Middle to Senior Management Public Service Organizations. I have worked in different departments of public organizations in India, Afghanistan and USA, which provide a good fit for any Public Organizational Development responsibility, especially by forging alliances and collaboration. I have demonstrated implementation of programmes that are in line with the national policies and priorities. I have been actively pursuing the agenda for change and ability to manage complexities in Public Service Organizations in the area of Governance, Institutional Development, and PFM & Support Services including my ability to build capacity of internal & external stakeholders for last two decades in different public management settings. I have steered at senior level medium to large business units and demonstrated significant accomplishments. All these attributes led to my continued engagement in public service.

In your current role, what are some of the challenges you face and how do you overcome them?

I started the inception exercise since June 2011, consequent to joining the MoM as the International Advisor under the Civilian Technical Assistance Programme of Government of Afghanistan. The aim to develop the base line study format and to understand the context for the analysis of organization in order to commence the structured result based programme management. The output and outcome may indicators for improvement in this difficult conflict-ridden situation, against stated targets are challenging. The simplification and restructuring of work processes and aligning them with different key business processes against the defined performance indicators within the Ministry of Mines, Government of Afghanistan is a big challenge. I am enjoying this challenge at the same time trying to evolve strategies and methodologies that may allow me to contribute in a significant way for this Ministry and the Government of Afghanistan. It also poses an opportunity for a great practical case study on difficulties of Public Management.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I have kept pace and ever enjoyed my job keeping pace with the pattern of social and structured economic transformations (i.e. development), required to optimize the economic and societal benefits available in the present. My exposure to many possible functions of public administration, provide me competence to perform with confidence, without jeopardizing the threat of planned activities structured particularly in the area of optimizing use of scarce resources available in any developing or conflict-ridden country. I fully appreciate and connect to the issues of public administration countrywide due to my deep involvement in reform initiative in the public sector. I have attended senior level managerial effectiveness training, leadership facilitation programmes and several management development workshops during last two decades of my public experience.

How did you decide to attend Wagner?

A mid-career urge to undertake a formal training, encouraged me to join MS in PNP during 2001-2002. It was precisely the academic excellence and career enhancing potential offered by NYU, a highly reputable institution, which inspired me to further my public administration experience linkage with education and enrich my diverse career experiences in public service and management of Public and Non Profit Organizations. Indeed, it was a great experience to be at NYU Wagner.

Were there any skills you gained at Wagner that have been particularly useful and relevant?

The educational enrichment and diversification of experiences that this prestigious school afforded enabled me to realize my ultimate goal of significantly contributing to the non-profit sector of public service, allowing me to attain deep personal fulfillment. I am convinced that my wealth of career experience in conjunction with the educational growth has been immensely benefitted from my exposure at Wagner. This education enabled me to extend the availability of adequate insight for contributing in the area of public administration.

What are the connections between your Wagner education / experience and your current work?

I possess over two decades of top managerial advisory engagement at the Provincial, Local and National level in formulating micro, medium and large welfare schemes and their implementation mechanism; for the absolute development of country's economic and substantial growth. I have credible exposure in development of policies, programs and institutional systems for the technological development of the developing countries.

I have proven track record on the account my scholastics acquisitions, which have enhanced my ability to address International Development issues: Ph.D. (Management), M.Phil (Public Administration), MBA (Finance & HRD Management), MS (Public and Non-Profit Management), Diploma in Rural Management and Welfare Administration and B.Sc. (Agriculture and AH) including several certification in the area of finance, personnel, public communication and ICT.

The actual trigger and credit to accomplish all these work and academic exposure has been chiefly due to my experience at NYU.

What are your future goals for your career?

My chief aspirations as public service management professional are:

•To become an accomplished Development Sector strategic professional, aiding in transforming economies through the effective use of development financing and policy advice to promote sustainable economic growth and regional integration in developing countries.

•To become a result-driven top management leader offering two decades of comprehensive achievements and experience in progressively accountable positions and leadership roles with various Public Service Organizations in the Global Arena; offering leadership at Local, Provincial and National levels in formulating micro, medium and large socioeconomic policies/programmes and their implementation mechanisms.

Any thoughts and advice for Wagner students/alumni interested in your field?

As you may observe from my listed credentials, most importantly, I am capable of serving as a senior level PFM & PAR Consultant to any International Development Organization; for achieving budget related reform objectives and organic growth under different development programmes through effective contributions in overall strategic development and plan implementation process. For this work, Wagner Students must try to establish linkage between the Public Administrative Reform and Public Finance Management.

One most important learning required for public managers are to focus on the fiscal decentralization and issues of sub national Governance. Also, one must keep adding knowledge and skills in Public Management.