Paula Gavin
Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Service

In a career that spans years of leadership and executive management, Paula L. Gavin possesses a unique combination of business, education and non-profit experience, focused on youth, community, and leadership development. 

On July 1, 2012, Paula L. Gavin was appointed Executive Director of New York City’s Fund for Public Advocacy.  The mission of the Fund for Public Advocacy is to serve and promote the public good by engaging New York City residents in policy making and programs that make government more responsive, accountable, innovative and transparent. The Fund for Public Advocacy, affiliated with the Office of the New York City Public Advocate is an independent nonprofit organization created to aid and advance critical New York City civic issues.

Paula Gavin served as President of National Urban Fellows from 2007-2012, responsible for the overall vision, leadership and management of the organization.  National Urban Fellows, founded in 1969, is a premier leadership development and diversity organization in America.

National Urban Fellows offers a selective and rigorous 14 month Fellowship program and sponsors America’s Leaders of Change, a continuing leadership development program.  Since 1969, National Urban Fellows has supported over 1200 Fellows, who are now leaders and change agents throughout the country. In 2010 National Urban Fellows launched a Public Service Leadership Diversity Initiative, a collaborative network of 125 National and regional organizations working to inspire excellence and diversity in public service leadership.

From 2004-2007, Paula served as the founding Executive Director of the New York City Center for Charter School Excellence, a nonprofit organization that promotes the development of charter schools.  The center was responsible for increasing the number of new charter schools while supporting existing schools. Paula was also responsible for the management of academic and operational excellence initiatives; the development of good governance practices, and effective advocacy and positive positioning for NYC Charter Schools.

As President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York from 1990-2004, Paula directed the city’s largest youth-serving non-profit agency, and the nation’s largest YMCA.  Paula doubled revenues to $100 million.  During her tenure annual fundraising grew five-fold from 1990-2004, raising over $150 million in private and public grants.  In her capacity, she focused the YMCA mission on education, recreation and health programs with an emphasis on youth. 

Prior to her position with the YMCA, Paula held multiple executive positions with AT&T before being named Vice President of Network Operations in 1986 where she supervised business planning, finance, and personnel and training for AT&T’s operational unit of 60,000.

A graduate of the University of Delaware, Paula is a Board Member of the YMCA of Haiti and the Association for a Better New York.  

Paula Gavin is of Venezuelan descent and is married to John Gavin.  They reside in New York City.

Semester Course
Spring 2014 PADM-GP.2110.002 Strategic Management

This is a required course for the management specialization.

This course examines management theory and practice through a framework involving strategic thinking and strategic planning. It covers a number of important management topics, including the context of strategy, leadership, managerial uses of structure and design, and performance. Case studies of managerial practice in the public and nonprofit sectors are used throughout the course.


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