Date Title Podcast Doc More
02/28/2011 Opportunism: Transforming the World Economy, One Idea at a Time

Presented by NYU Wagner and Farrar Straus & Giroux

Please join us for a dialogue with Shraga Biran, author of Opportunism: How to Change the World One Idea at a Time and Eduardo Porter, author of The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do.

“In today’s world, opportunity can no longer be viewed as a chance occurrence or as a starting point for competition in society. Rather, it is the raw material for a new era of abundance.”  More than natural resources, an impressive portfolio, or prime real estate, innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity are today’s currency; physical assets are trumped by social and intellectual capital.  In the groundbreaking new book Opportunism: How to Change the World One Idea at a Time, Shraga Biran (founder of one of Israel’s leading law firms and a lifelong champion of civil rights and social justice) makes clear that the challenge now to government and society is to protect the creators of this new kind of wealth and to extend to all individuals the rights and stability necessary to own whatever opportunities they create as their private property.  At this event, Biran and Porter will discuss and explore the ideas in thier books, as well as what leaders in public service can do to extend and protect opportunty for all global citizens.

A continental breakfast will be served.

02/26/2011 The State of Young Black New York: Exploring Multi-dimensions of Black Identity
A conference sponsored by the New York Urban League Young Professionals and NYU Wagner Black Student Alliance.

What does it mean to be of Black/African descent? What is Black? Who is Black? This set of questions is at the center of the conversation on how young Black New Yorkers define ourselves. The State of Young Black New York will facilitate this conversation, considering personal identification while understanding how others choose to identify themselves.

This full day event features a distinguished panel and four interactive break-out sessions designed to create a dialogue focusing on different elements of Black identity.

The panel and sessions will focus on:

Pan-Africanism and Global identity
Post-racial identity
Professional Identity
Gender Identity
The Identity of Young Black New York
Political Identity

This event will be a vital step in understanding and advancing the state of the Black Diaspora, particularly among young, Black New Yorkers. Go to for the conference agenda, panelist bio's and other details.

Also, please Join us at the post-event Mixer at 5PM at Vyne Wine Bar, 82 West 3rd St.

Partners Include: National Alliance of Market Developers, NY Chapter, National Association of Black Accountants, NY Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha, Brooklyn/ Long Island graduate chapter and Avenue Pink LLC

02/24/2011 Advocacy and the Internally Displaced: Lessons from the IDP Network in Kenya

Advocacy and the Internally Displaced: Lessons from the IDP Network in Kenya

Jackie Klopp, Associate Research Scholar, Center for Sustainable Urban Development Earth Institute, Columbia University.

02/23/2011 Swimming Upstream: Race, Place and the Problem of Persistent Poverty in America

Nearly half of all children born into poverty will be persistently poor, meaning they will be poor for at least half of their childhoods. From birth, their socioeconomic status will determine, in part, the neighborhood in which they live, the food they eat, the education they receive and whether or not they will be poor as adults. Studies show that 20 percent of children born into poverty will spend a significant amoung of their early adulthood in poverty as well.

As adults, the persistently poor receive less than 65 percent of their total income as wages, accumulate fewer assets and rely heavily on social safety nets to make end meet. As the economy continues to shift toward high-skilled labor and cuts to social programs increase, there is a greater need to better understand the problems and challenges of overcoming persistent poverty in America.

Join expert panelists from across the country as we discuss current anti-poverty measures and public policies, structural and institutional barriers to economic security and mobility, and the impact of labor segmentation and chronic unemployment on persistent poverty.

Linda Harris, Director of Youth Policy, CLASP
Kate Kahan, Legislative Director, Center for Community Change
Bhash Mazumder, PhD, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Ronald Mincy, PhD, Professor of Social Policy, Columbia University School of Social Work
Kristin Morse, Director of Programs and Evaluation, NYC Center for Economic Opportunity


Darrick Hamilton, PhD, Associate Professor, Milano - The New School for Management and Urban Policy

02/23/2011 College Success and Retention for Low Income Students

WEPSA (Wagner Education Policy Studies Association) and BSA (Black Student Alliance) present an intimate discussion with leaders in the field that will allow attendees to dig deeper into some of the complex issues involved in advancing education levels among low-income individuals. The panelists will include: Jana Chandler, Program Officer for College and Career Pathways at New Visions for Public Schools, Unique Fraser, Director of Curricula at iMentor, Nicholas Tynes, Director of College Quest at The Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), and Sid Ross, Director of Academics at Year Up NYC. 

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided

02/18/2011 Journalism in Africa: Who's Telling Our Story?
The Wagner Student Alliance for Africa (WSAFA) in partnership with Africa House and NYU Journalism Institute presents a panel discussion about journalism in Africa - who is telling Africa's stories and why are they telling them the way they are?

Nassirou Diallo, Committee to Protect Journalists
Ebba Kalondo, Media Institute of Southern Africa
Noel King, WYNC’s The Takeaway
Shamira Muhammad, NYU Global Journalism ‘11
Femi Oke, WYNC’s The Takeaway
Brooke Silva, Earthchild Production

02/17/2011 The Changing Shape of Nationalism in Georgia: Conflict, Narrative, and Negligence

The Changing Shape of Nationalism in Georgia: Conflict, Narrative, and Negligence

William Sadd, independent researcher and affiliate of the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus.

02/16/2011 Eye on Sudan: Challenges After Referendum

Presented by NYU Wagner, the Lech Walesa Institute, and the Human Rights Foundation.

Please join speakers Laura Heaton, writer-editor for the Enough Project, Maciej Kuziemski, Lech Walesa Institute electoral observer, and Jimmy Mulla, president of Voices For Sudan, in a discussion on the recent referendum in Sudan and the implications of the results on human rights and development and humanitarian aid, as well as the major challenges that the country will face in the next six months in a region where protests in Egypt and Tunisia have changed the political atmosphere.

The event will also feature an exhibition of exclusive photographs and reportage from the Lech Walesa Institute’s electoral observers in southern Sudan.

02/15/2011 David Yassky, Commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission

TLC Commissioner David Yassky will sit down with Mitchell Moss to discuss the future of taxis in New York City.

Prior to his appointment to TLC in March, 2010, Yassky completed eight years of service in the New York City Council, representing the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Greenpoint and Williamsburg.  On the Council, Yassky sponsored legislation to promote the use of fuel-efficient hybrid cars as taxicabs.  He also authored innovative laws in the areas of affordable housing and economic development, including the City’s Film and TV Production Tax Credit.

02/10/2011 NYU MLK Week Faculty Lecture with Prof. Rogan Kersh
02/10/2011 The Youth-Economic Engagement-Conflict Conundrum: Understanding when Economic Interventions May Prevent Youth Violence

The Youth-Economic Engagement-Conflict Conundrum: Understanding when Economic Interventions May Prevent Youth Violence

Rebecca Wolfe, senior youth and peacebuilding advisor, Mercy Corps.

02/08/2011 State of the City: Homeless Policy & Programs in NYC

Please join the Wagner Policy Alliance for its annual State of the City event. The 2011 program features a panel discussion on homelessness in New York City. The panel, moderated by Professor Ingrid Ellen, brings together national and local experts for a conversation on homelessness and housing assistance. In 2004, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made national news by announcing that his administration would work towards reducing homelessness in New York City by two-thirds during his tenure as mayor. However, homelessness has not been reduced and the Administration faces a difficult task in achieving its goal. The panel will examine the objectives of the City’s homeless policies, existing homeless programs, and discuss important themes to improve the understanding of what can be done to address the issue of homelessness in New York City.

Ingrid Ellen (moderator), Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy
Ingrid Gould Ellen is the Director of the Urban Planning program at New York University’s Wagner School and Co-Director of the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. Her research centers on neighborhoods, housing, and residential segregation. Professor Ellen recently published How to House the Homeless, a book she co-edited with Brendan O'Flaherty of Columbia University.

Dennis Culhane, Professor of Social Welfare Policy at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work
Professor Culhane’s primary areas of research are homelessness, assisted housing policy, and policy analysis research methods. He is the Director of Research for the U.S. Veteran’s Administration’s National Center for Homelessness among Veterans. He is also working with several states and cities to develop preventative approaches to homelessness, including “rapid exit” and community-based housing stabilization programs.

Seth Diamond, Commissioner of New York City Department of Homeless Services
Commissioner Diamond has served in his role at DHS since April 2010. Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Diamond served as Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Family Independence Administration at the City's Human Resources Administration. He oversaw the administration of the City's Cash Assistance and Food Stamps programs, which serve nearly two million New Yorkers.

Rosanne Haggerty, President and Founder of Common Ground
Ms. Haggerty founded Common Ground in 1991. Common Ground is a New York City-based non-profit organization dedicated to finding innovative solutions to homelessness and has developed and operates a range of housing facilities serving formerly homeless and low-income households located in New York City.

02/08/2011 The Egyptian Revolution: Collective Leadership or Leadership Void?

The Egyptian Revolution: Collective Leadership or Leadership Void?


Mona Eltahawy, Award-winning columnist and regular CNN commentator on Arab issues

Omar Cheta, History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU

Karim Tartousseih, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU

Rania Salem, Sociology, Princeton University

Moderator: Waad El Hadidy, Research Center for Leadership in Action, NYU Wagner

02/07/2011 Revolution: Informal Conversation about the Events in Egypt and the Region

Revolution: Informal Conversation about the Events in Egypt and the Region

Session Facilitators:

Natasha Iskander, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, NYU Wagner

Waad El Hadidy, Senior Associate, Research Center for Leadership in Action, NYU Wagner

02/03/2011 The U.S. and Gender, National Security, and Counter-terrorism: The Gender Dimensions of Development Securitization

The U.S. and Gender, National Security, and Counter-terrorism: The Gender Dimensions of Development Securitization

Lama Fakih, gender, human rights, and counterterrorism fellow, NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

02/03/2011 Livability Summit

The Livability Summit, presented by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management will explore two important issues related to efforts to support livability: climate change and how to measure just what is livable.

Keynote speaker Matthew E. Kahn, Professor at UCLA and author of "Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future" will discuss his vision of how cities and their residents will adapt to a hotter world, both in the U.S. and internationally, and how this is relevant to efforts to promote more livable communities.

A panel discussion will follow featuring David Bragdon, New York City's Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.

A second panel will address tools and approaches for measuring livability and how to evaluate and manage trade-offs between the six different livability goals outlined at the federal level.

02/01/2011 Acting on Faith: A Conversation with Faith-Based Development Leaders

IPSA and JeWPA are hosting a fishbowl discussion with leaders in the field of faith-based international development to discuss successes, challenges, and future visions for the sector.

We will be joined by:
- Aaron Dorfman, Vice President for Programs at American Jewish World Service
- Sakina Rizvi, Program Coordinator in Haiti for Imamia Medics International, Associate Representative to the UN
- Dennis Frado, Director of Lutheran Office for World Community, Main Representative at UN Headquarters
- Moderator: David Elcott, Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service and Leadership at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service

01/25/2011 Greening Gotham: The Rise of Energy-Efficient Buildings and the Road Ahead

With Robert D. LiMandri, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Buildings

**PLEASE NOTE THE NEW LOCATION: Rosenthal Pavilion, NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, 10th Floor**

Join us for a lecture and lively discussion on greening New York City.  Commissioner LiMandri will speak about City initiatives and why buildings need to be a major focus within New York City’s efforts to "go green."  As New York City's buildings are responsible for approximately 80% of the City's carbon emissions, energy efficiency in buildings is key to moving the City forward.   LiMandri will also discuss what other municipalities around the world are doing in regards to energy-efficient buildings and explore ways to move a green agenda forward amidst competing interests.  

The Commissioner will take questions after his lecture and a light reception will follow.

12/10/2010 Setting the Agenda: The Impact of Women in Public Service

Presented by the Wagner Women's Caucus Student Organization and co-sponsored by the Women of Color Policy Network.

This year’s signature fall event will facilitate a conversation about the importance of recognizing gender differences in the field of public service and the unique perspectives and experiences women leaders bring to the field of non-profit and government work. The event will take place at NYU Wagner’s Puck Building on Friday, December 10th, 2010, and will begin with a keynote address from Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Women's Issues Committee.

There will then be a panel discussion moderated by Nicole Mason, Executive Director of NYU Wagner’s Women of Color Policy Network. The panel will feature: Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez, Vice President of Seedco, Beatrice Frey, Communications Officer for Production, Branding and Social Media, UNIFEM and Margaret DiZerega, Director of the Family Justice Program at the Vera Institute of Justice.

Each panelist will address the importance of focusing on women when discussing issues relevant to each of the speaker's field, as well as the unique perspective women bring to that field. After the panel, the WWC will host a small reception.

Event Schedule:
4:00-4:30 Keynote Address
4:30-5:45 Panel
5:45-6:30 Networking Wine and Cheese Reception

12/10/2010 Access and Outcomes: Transportation, the Urban Environment, and Subjective Well-Being.

Access and Outcomes: Transportation, the Urban Environment, and Subjective Well-Being.

UCLA doctoral student Eric Morris will present  Access and Outcomes: Transportation, the Urban Environment, and Subjective Well-Being. His research employs data from Gallup and the American Community Survey to assess the links between transportation access and reports of happiness.

12/08/2010 The White House Fellows Program Information Session

The White House Fellows Program is America's most prestigious program for leadership and public service, offering exceptional men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government.

White House Fellows typically spend a year working as full-time, paid special assistants to senior White House Staff, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in a once-in-a-lifetime education program consisting of off-the-record, roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and take trips to study leaders and policy in action both domestically and internationally. Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis.

Learn more about the White House Fellows program at an event featuring former White House Fellows, including Diane C. Yu, Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President of NYU and Past President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association. Applications for the program are due by January 15, 2011.

The event is sponsored by the Office of Career Services and the Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the Office of the President of New York University.

12/06/2010 Quality Jobs in a New Economy: Paid Sick Leave and Communities of Color

Forty years ago, low-wage workers could depend on unions to help ensure that they received benefits and wages that are essential to a quality job. In the mid-1950s, 35 percent of all employees on private payrolls were union members; today only 7.2 percent of private sector workers belong to a union. The marked decline in union membership over time has meant that many workers are left to negotiate benefits and fair wages on their own.

Today, there are 30 million workers employed in low-wage jobs with minimal benefits, earning less than $9.00 per hour. And only about a third of workers in the lowest wage percentile receive paid sick leave.

Join leading experts from across the country as they discuss the need for paid sick leave for low-income communities and communities of color. The roundtable will also address the impact of work support measures on the economic security of low-wage workers and communities of color and propose policy recommendations and strategies for ensuring access to quality jobs.

Heather Boushey, PhD, Senior Economist, Center for American Progress
Brandy Davis, Policy Coordinator, California Labor Project for Working Families
Kevin Miller, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Nancy Rankin, Senior Fellow, A Better Balance
Portia Wu, Vice President, National Partnership for Women and Families

12/03/2010 Poverty Discussion Group

The newly formed Poverty Discussion Group is excited to announce our third brown bag discussion, which will focus on financial empowerment in low-income communities.

We are pleased to announce that I-Hsing Sun, Director of Programs at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE), will lead us in a discussion about financial access and literacy. Ms. Sun will share findings from the OFE’s Neighborhood Financial Services Study, which analyzes banking dynamics in two low-income neighborhoods in NYC.   You can access the report at the bottom of the following link: We hope you will join us for a lively discussion on this topic!

The Poverty Discussion Group brings together students who are interested in issues related to domestic poverty and low-income families/communities to have informal brown bag discussions the first Friday of every month. We believe Wagner students have a great deal of knowledge and experience through jobs, internships, and volunteering from which our community can learn. Through these conversations, we hope to start lively discussions that will expand our knowledge of the innovative anti-poverty initiatives being implemented by local, state, and federal governments, as well as exciting on-the-ground work being done by CBOs.

12/02/2010 Looking Back, Looking Foward: A Conversation about the Fiscal Health of New York City

Presented by: Wagner Economic and Finance Association (WEFA)

FY2010 was the 30th consecutive year New York City closed out its fiscal year with a General Fund surplus since the near fiscal meltdown of the 1970s.  According to Comptroller Liu, “This past Fiscal Year saw New York City’s economy begin to crawl out of recession.”  Yet, the Mayor's office is proposing unprecedented budget cuts across the board.  This event aims to answer the Whys, Whats, and Hows.

The focus of the conversation will explore three things from the public, private, and watchdog perspectives: 1) how has the City dealt with the economic slowdown, 2) what are the short-term strategies to meet immediate budget gaps, and 3) what other strategies should be considered to maintain/improve financial stability.

The panel will feature many of New York City’s leading budget experts, including Carol Kellermann, President of the Citizens Budget Commission of New York, Ronnie Lowenstein, Director of the New York City Independent Budget Office, and Richard Raphael, Executive Managing Director of the U.S. Public Finance Group at Fitch Ratings.  The discussion will be moderated by Professor Daniel L. Smith, Assistant Professor of Public Budgeting and Financial Management.

12/02/2010 A Brownbag Discussion: Higher Education and the Criminal Justice System

Presented by:

Students for Criminal Justice Reform (SCJR) & Wagner Education Policy Studies Association (WEPSA)

John Molina, Senior Academic Counselor of the College Initiative and a first year Wagner student specializing in health policy and management, will talk about his work with the organization and the intersection of higher education and the criminal justice system.

The mission of the College Initiative is to connect men and women in New York City who have been incarcerated or have had involvement with the criminal justice system with opportunities for higher education; to provide a range of academic and other support services that promote successful enrollment in college and completion of degrees; and to serve as a guiding force for students to realize their full potential as gainfully employed individuals, family members, informed citizens, and community leaders. John has an extensive background in community heath education and harm reduction counseling, working primarily with at-risk youth from
alternative to incarceration programs and other vulnerable populations. Additionally, he volunteers as a counselor at a shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth.

Please join us to discuss questions such as:
• What is the impact of the failed K-12 traditional public school system on the criminal justice system?
• What is the relationship between a post-secondary education and recidivism?
• Do public agencies coordinate/cooperate with non-governmental organizations engaged in reentry assistance?
• What obstacles do students face in higher education if they have been involved in the criminal justice system?
• How do current educational policies provide (or not provide) support to people with involvement in the criminal justice system?
• What are the major challenges and successes for the College Initiative and its students?