Tech x Public Service Courses

Solving Problems of Public Importance

NYU Wagner values the power of technology to solve problems of public importance in creative ways.  From urban planning to healthcare, the following courses prepare students to consider real-world problems through the lens of technological innovation:

EMPA for Public Service Leaders Electives

EMPA for Public Service Leaders

Tailor the degree with electives from courses below, or from the school-wide elective topic areas.

Elective courses for fall on Saturdays:

MPA-PNP Electives


In addition to the areas of specialization, students may wish to organize their remaining electives around important themes. Clustering elective courses around an issue area enables students to develop a course of study that most closely meets their needs and interests, and provides specialized training and an area of expertise, such as:

Changes at Research Center for Leadership in Action

Changes at Research Center for Leadership in Action


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We write to share some bittersweet news. After 11 successful years of building knowledge and capacity for diverse leadership across all sectors, RCLA will cease to operate in its current form as of August, 2014. We will engage in a yearlong process to consolidate the Center’s legacy and identify alternative platforms by which our important work can continue in new outlets and varied forms.

We take joy in our accomplishments and are thankful that the circumstances have aligned for completing RCLA’s present life cycle in a positive and responsible manner. We also celebrate the depth of the knowledge and capacity generated over the past decade to support leadership through collaboration and coproduction with our partners. At the heart of our work is the notion of leadership as a collective achievement rather than an individual characteristic. While that idea was still nascent when we began our work, it is now widely championed.

We take pride in these achievements: helping to change the conversation about leadership through articles, book chapters and practitioner documents based on our research; working with leaders of color and members of other marginalized communities to draw from their leadership experience and elevate their contributions to theory building and effective practice; convening hundreds of diverse leaders and scholars in programs where they learned from each other, built strong networks, and developed strategies to accelerate social change; and developing novel research designs and pedagogical tools that highlight the power of practice-based knowledge and collaboration. All these contributed to building leadership that makes democracy work.

We are in the process of transferring RCLA administrative functions to the Wagner School and relocating current programs and their funding to Wagner or NYU’s Leadership Initiative. We will take the next year to codify our learning, identify effective dissemination strategies, and explore alternative ways to realize RCLA’s vision.

In the coming months, we hope to engage you in helping us ensure that RCLA’s legacy continues to have impact. We will be sending out additional information as the process unfolds. Thank you for your continued support over the years -- our success would not have been possible without it.

With warm appreciation,

The RCLA Leadership Team,

Sonia M. Ospina and Erica Gabrielle Foldy, Faculty Co-Directors
Rachel Pfeffer, Interim Executive Director
Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla, Deputy Director

Social and Public Policy Minor

Public Policy & Management Minor

Social Entrepreneurship Minor

The Color Bind: Talking (and not Talking) about Race at Work

The Color Bind: Talking (and not Talking) about Race at Work
Russell Sage Press

Foldy, Erica Gabrielle and Buckley, Tamara R.

Since the 1960s, the dominant model for fostering diversity and inclusion in the United States has been the “color blind” approach, which emphasizes similarity and assimilation and insists that people should be understood as individuals, not as members of racial or cultural groups. This approach is especially prevalent in the workplace, where discussions about race and ethnicity are considered taboo. Yet, as widespread as “color blindness” has become, many studies show that the practice has damaging repercussions, including reinforcing the existing racial hierarchy by ignoring the significance of racism and discrimination. In The Color Bind, workplace experts Erica Foldy and Tamara Buckley investigate race relations in office settings, looking at how both color blindness and what they call “color cognizance” have profound effects on the ways coworkers think and interact with each other.

Based on an intensive two-and-a-half-year study of employees at a child welfare agency, The Color Bind shows how color cognizance—the practice of recognizing the profound impact of race and ethnicity on life experiences while affirming the importance of racial diversity—can help workers move beyond silence on the issue of race toward more inclusive workplace practices. Drawing from existing psychological and sociological research that demonstrates the success of color-cognizant approaches in dyads, workgroups and organizations, Foldy and Buckley analyzed the behavior of work teams within a child protection agency. The behaviors of three teams in particular reveal the factors that enable color cognizance to flourish. While two of the teams largely avoided explicitly discussing race, one group, “Team North,” openly talked about race and ethnicity in team meetings. By acknowledging these differences when discussing how to work with their clients and with each other, the members of Team North were able to dig into challenges related to race and culture instead of avoiding them. The key to achieving color cognizance within the group was twofold: It required both the presence of at least a few members who were already color cognizant, as well as an environment in which all team members felt relatively safe and behaved in ways that strengthened learning, including productively resolving conflict and reflecting on their practice.

The Color Bind provides a useful lens for policy makers, researchers and practitioners pursuing in a wide variety of goals, from addressing racial disparities in health and education to creating diverse and inclusive organizations to providing culturally competent services to clients and customers By foregrounding open conversations about race and ethnicity, Foldy and Buckley show that institutions can transcend the color bind in order to better acknowledge and reflect the diverse populations they serve.

Economics, First Edition.

Economics, First Edition.

Karlan, Dean and Jonathan Morduch

Built from the ground up to focus on what matters to students in today’s high-tech, globalized world, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Morduch’s Economics represents a new generation of products, optimized for digital delivery and available with the best-in-class adaptive study resources in McGraw-Hill’s LearnSmart Advantage Suite. Engagement with real-world problems is built into the very fabric of the learning materials as students are encouraged to think about economics in efficient, innovative, and meaningful ways.

Drawing on the authors’ experiences as academic economists, teachers, and policy advisors, a familiar curriculum is combined with material from new research and applied areas such as finance, behavioral economics, and the political economy, to share with students how what they’re learning really matters. This modern approach is organized around learning objectives and matched with sound assessment tools aimed at enhancing students’ analytical and critical thinking competencies. Students and faculty will find content that breaks down barriers between what goes on in the classroom and what is going on in our nation and broader world.

By teaching the right questions to ask, Karlan and Morduch provide readers with a method for working through decisions they’ll face in life and ultimately show that economics is the common thread that enables us to understand, analyze, and solve problems in our local communities and around the world.

NYU Wagner Alumna Jennifer Jones Austin Speaks at 'March on Washington' Event

NYU Wagner Alumna Jennifer Jones Austin Speaks at 'March on Washington' Event

NYU Wagner alumna Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, gave a spirited speech at the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, addressing economic inequity, upward mobility, and the work that remains to advance the causes of the most vulnerable in America.


ANHD/Morgan Stanley Fellowships Awarded to Five at NYU Wagner

ANHD/Morgan Stanley Fellowships Awarded to Five at NYU Wagner

Five NYU Wagner students have been awarded a generous fellowship from ANHD/Morgan Stanley to work with a community development corporation. The fellows receive $18,000 to work on a specific project with their organization. This year's placements are:

Brandie Moreno (with Los Sures)

Stephanie Sosa (with Fordham-Bedford)

Vrunda Vaghela (with Fifth Avenue Committee)

Joshua Sellers (with Cooper Square)

Raquel Vasquez (with WSFSSH).


Congratulations to all the recipients!

For more information about the fellowship, visit


Subscribe to NYU Wagner RSS