About Us

Dr. Paul C. Light is NYU Wagner's Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding Director of the NYU Abu Dhabi Center for Global Public Service and Social Impact. Until joining NYU, Dr. Light served as the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, founding director of its Center for Public Service, and vice president and director of the Governmental Studies Program. He has served previously as director of the Public Policy Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts and associate dean and professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota's Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Light has written 20 books, including the award-winning Thickening Government, The Tides of Reform and A Government Ill Executed. He is also a co-author of a best-selling American government textbook, Government by the People. His research interests include: bureaucracy, civil service, Congress, entitlement programs, executive branch, government reform, nonprofit effectiveness, organizational change, and the political appointment process.

Contact: paul.light@nyu.edu


    Clara Janis, the Center’s founding Deputy Director, is a graduate of the Wagner School with a specialization in financial management and public economics. While at Wagner, she worked with Dr. Light on numerous projects including the Presidential Appointments Initiative and the Campaign for High Performance Government, chaired by Paul A. Volcker. She is a Teach For America alumna who taught in the South Bronx and in Brooklyn for four years as a high school History Teacher. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s in History and earned a masters degree in Secondary Teaching from Pace University.

Contact: cjanis@nyu.edu