White House Convenes 200 Public Service Leaders, Including NYU Wagner's Dean
The White House brought together 200 thought leaders and influencers in public service, business, and the nonprofit sector, including NYU Wagner’s dean Ellen Schall, to participate in a daylong program Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C., on the role of nonprofits and how they can develop highly effective leaders.
The invitation-only event at the national office of the American Red Cross was hosted jointly by the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
In addition to Dean Schall, who is also the Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Pubic Service, Wagner's participants in the forum included Bethany Godsoe, executive director of the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA), and Vanessa Hutchinson, assistant director of admissions.
Additional attendees included Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama; Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation; Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships; and Kenneth I. Chenault, chief executive of American Express.
The event was co-convened in partnership with American Express, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, Center for Creative Leadership, Commongood Careers, Corporation for National and Community Service, Independent Sector, Public Allies, Rudin Family Foundations, and the American Red Cross -- with support from additional planning committee members including AchieveMission, Atlas Corps, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Network for Good, New Sector Alliance, Points of Light Institute, Presidio Trust, ProInspire, Reimagining Service, Service Nation, and others.
NYU Wagner Student's Essay Selected as a Finalist for GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship
A thought-provoking essay by NYU Wagner student Neil P. Reilly, positing a novel way to strengthen publicly subsidized housing arrangements, has been selected as a finalist for the GovLoop/NASPAA scholarship.
A Master of Public Administration candidate with a specialization in public policy analysis, Neil is potentially eligible for a scholarship award of as much as $2,500. His essay will be among 15 pieces judged in the final round of selection soon. The judges are from GovLoop, the online community for government, and NASPAA (the National Association for Schools of Public Affairs and Administration). Well done, Neil!
Neil's essay, "A Boost to Rentals and Public Housing," argues for creation of a federal rental insurance program. This new type of insurance would protect a tenant, and, indirectly, his or her public or private landlord, against the tenant's unexpected drop in household income due to loss of a job, say, or a marriage breakup. The tenant would pay a modest premium for this insurance, and from then on it would function like unemployment insurance - available to use during a difficult patch.
Although public-housing tenants' rents are adjusted on a sliding scale linked to income levels, Neil notes there can be a lag in the provision of rent adjustments, or a lengthy legal dispute between building owner and tenant. Housing insurance, as envisioned by Neil, would reduce housing dislocations and the dynamic of dependency between landlords and tenants in both public housing developments and other forms of publicly subsidized housing.
"Federal rental insurance," he writes, "would mitigate the unfairness of denying other housing to some households. It would avoid the game of ‘hot potato' played between landlords, which adds significant inefficiencies and costs to the process of finding subsidized housing. These costs, currently borne by the tenant, would be reduced. Important externalities, specifically the health, jobs and education outcomes of tenants, would also receive vital boosts."
As he works toward his MPA at Wagner, Neil is serving as Book Reviewer for the Wagner Review. He has experience working in nonprofit grant writing and outreach, most recently at New York Foundation for the Arts. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he is an avid writer and a musician, resides in Brooklyn, and says his coffee table is stacked with newspapers and magazines.
Prof. Billings Honored for His Work on Improving the Health of Vulnerable Populations
NYU Wagner's John Billings, associate professor of health policy, has been chosen as the 2011 recipient the Lewis and Jack Rudin New York Prize for Medicine and Health. The award was presented to him on Oct. 10, 2011 at New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM).
"Throughout his career, John has always brought into focus the inequalities and disparities in health care," said Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, president of NYAM. "In New York City, he's the ‘go-to' researcher who is able to deal with public policy issues in a practical way. He is a brilliant teacher and is always a challenging and rewarding."
Established in 2003, the prize provides a forum for a distinguished member of the research community to receive recognition from colleagues and the public at large. The award was created to promote the sharing of innovative findings from a variety of research areas with both fellow researchers and clinicians in the metropolitan New York region, with particular focus on the excellence and dedication of the men and women striving to find solutions to pressing health concerns.
Previous recipients include Dr. David Ho of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and The Rockefeller University, Dr. Harold Freeman of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. John H. Laragh of the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Susan Band Horwitz of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dr. Barbara Barlow of Harlem Hospital Center.
At the award event, Billings delivered a lecture, "Population Health: Improving the Health of Vulnerable Populations."
Professor Billings is the director of NYU Wagner's Health Policy and Management Program. He is principal investigator on numerous projects to assess the performance of the safety net for vulnerable populations and to understand the nature and extent of barriers to optimal health for vulnerable populations. Much of his work has involved analysis of patterns of hospital admission and emergency room visits as a mechanism to evaluate access barriers to outpatient care and to assess the performance of the ambulatory care delivery system. He has also examined the characteristics of high cost Medicaid patients in order to help in designing interventions to improve care and outcomes for these patients.
Parallel work in the United Kingdom has involved creating an algorithm for the National Health Service to identify patients at risk of future hospital admissions and designing interventions to improve care for these high risk patients. As a founding member of the Foundation for Informed Decision Making, Professor Billings is helping to provide patients with a clearer mechanism for understanding and making informed decisions about a variety of available treatments. Professor Billings received his J.D. from the University of California (Berkeley).
Economist's Paper Calls for New Research Agenda on Emigration
An article that Michael A. Clemen researched as a Visiting Scholar at NYU Wagner and the Department of Economics is generating a great deal of discussion. "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?" focuses on the vast economic losses that result from tightly binding limitations on emigration imposed by destination countries such as the United States (where, for example, the 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery attracted 13.6 million applications for 50,000 visas, mainly from people in developing countries). When it comes to the many policies that restrict emigration, the few estimates of the economic losses to the receiving countries "should make economists' jaws hit their desks," writes Clemens, a Senior Fellow with the Center for Global Development, Washington, D.C., adding "there appears to be trillion-dollar bills on the sidewalk." Yet economists and researchers tend not to focus on what is perhaps "the greagest single class of distortions in the global economy," he notes. Clemens explores why that is so, and goes on to propose a new research agenda.
Using Analytics to Improve NYC Government Performance
A number of NYC agencies are using methods of performance improvement developed in the private sector, including Lean Six Sigma, a process through which groups analyze problems with performance and explore opportunities for improvement. The next Leading Large Scale Change briefing for government officials sponsored by Accenture and RCLA will focus on agencies in which managerial teams strategically explore causes of weak performance and develop and test solutions.
Panelists at the September 27 by-invitation-only event will include: Alan Aviles, President, Health and Hospitals Corporation; Richard Barth, Executive Director, Department of City Planning; Mathew Wambua, Commissioner, Department of Housing Preservation and Development; and Elizabeth Weinstein, Director, Mayor’s Office of Operations. Additionally, the panel will include a representative from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office.
» Email us for information
Professor Light selected as 2011 Wurf Fellow at Harvard Law School
Professor Paul Light has been selected as the 2011 Wurf Fellow at the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School.
Light, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, will work on a project dealing with the size and shape of the contract and privatized workforce at the state and local levels. The fellowship represents an opportunity for Light to expand his work on the "true size of government" at a time when states and localities are trying to downsize their government workforces by outsourcing headcount -- an approach some see as "penny wise and pound foolish."
Global Research Institute names Natasha Iskander as Research Fellow
Natasha Iskander, assistant professor of public policy at NYU Wagner, has been named a research fellow at the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina.
Professor Iskander conducts research on labor migration and its relationship to economic development, labor mobilization, and processes of institutional innovation and organizational learning. She recently authored Creative State: Forty Years of Migration and Development in Morocco and Mexico (Cornell University Press: 2010), which examines how nations' governments elaborated policies to build a link between labor emigration and local economic development.
There are six 2011-'12 Global Research Institute fellows, the second cohort to receive research support from the Institute. The focus this year is the theme of immigration. The fellows' work contributes to the development of policy recommendations designed to keep North Carolina competitive on a national and global level.
MORE magazine asks Assistant Dean David Schachter about Nonprofit Careers
MORE, a magazine "for women of style and substance," turns to NYU Wagner Assistant Dean David Schachter for tips on pursuing a public service career in an article in the current issue headlined "Do You Have What It Takes To Work for a Nonprofit?"
"At some point," the piece begins, "almost every woman who works in business thinks, Why on earth am I doing this? Fantasies of leaving the rat race soon follow, fueled by a desire to do some good. At these moments," the article goes on, "working for a nonprofit can seem tempting, especially since there's a perception that such jobs involve less political infighting and offer a more balanced life, albeit with a lower salary. Another aspect of nonprofits' appeal: Despite the current downturn, they're still hiring, according to research by the Bridgespan Group, a consulting firm. In fact, leadership openings are expected to double in the coming years as baby boomers retire and many existing organizations expand."
Schachter, assistant dean for student affairs, provides some helpful advice for women who are switching from a business career mode; he suggests rethinking and restating their skills and experience to underscore their particular relevance to prospective nonprofit employers. He also offers information on retooling one's resume, and on how to pursue a board seat at a nonprofit.
Urban Policy Students Explore China's Massive Urbanization in Shanghai Summer Course
Students in Wagner's 2011 summer course utilized Shanghai's bike-share program, the largest in the world.
Within the next 20 years, China will move 300 million people--similar in number to the entire U.S. population--from rural to urban areas. This massive and rapid urbanization poses tremendous challenges to environment and sustainability, but also offers great opportunities for industrial restructuring and economic development.
Zhan Guo, an assistant professor of urban planning and transportation policy at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, has completed the second summer course in Shanghai, exposing 19 students during the summer of 2011 to the unparalleled transition from a centrally controlled economy to a market oriented economy. The urban policy students are from Wagner and several other graduate schools across the United States.
The 12-day course, to be offered each summer, exposes students to diverse issues under this context, such as the household registration system, migrant rural workers, motorization and high speed rail, the land finance and real estate bubble, property rights and forced eviction, economic development zones, and environmental protection. The course is held at NYU Shanghai [http://www.nyu.edu/global/shanghai/campus/campus_photos.htm], and combines classroom lectures, local guest speakers, visits to local organizations, and field trips in Shanghai and nearby towns and villages.
Excursions take students on visits to migrant worker enclaves, suburban ghost "new towns," and the vast Yangshan deep-water port, the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), a large-scale mixed-class residential development, and Bao Steel factory.
Students also met the planning director of Suzhou and chief planner for SIP, discussed the real estate bubble with one of the largest developers in Shanghai, participated in a workshop at an architectural studio, and interacted with domestic students.
NYU Wagner courses abroad provide students and professionals with an opportunity to enhance conceptual knowledge, learn and interact with leading experts in the field, and apply new skills in a practical setting - in Accra, Ghana; in Cape Town, South Africa; and in Geneva, Switzerland, in addition to Shanghai.
For more information about the Shanghai program, please visit here: http://wagner.nyu.edu/shanghai.
Governor Names Prof. Moss to MTA Search Committee
Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed NYU Wagner Professor Mitchell Moss to serve on a new, 20-member advisory committee that will conduct a search for the next chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Moss is NYU Wagner's Henry Hart Professor of Urban Policy & Planning and leads the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management located at the school.
Appointed along with Moss were, among others, the chairman of the Association for a Better New York, Bill Rudin; former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch; Lillian Borrone, board chair of Eno Transportation Foundation; New York State AFL-CIO president Denis Hughes; Continuum Health Partners president and CEO Stanley Brezenoff; former NYS operations director Mary Ann Crotty; and Gene Russianoff, senor attorney, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign.
The panel, formed Aug. 8, "will conduct a national and international search to find and recommend the most talented candidates for the next chairman of the MTA," Gov. Cuomo announced, adding: "I am committed to appointing a new chairman who will put straphangers first and who will continue to reform the MTA by reducing costs and waste, while improving efficiency and service."
Professor Zimmerman Serves on Panel of Global Experts on Cities' Greening Initiatives
NYU Wagner Professor of Planning and Public Administration Rae Zimmerman served on a panel of seven global experts in urban environmental sustainability for the Economist Intelligence Unit, helping the Unit devise the metholodogy for its newly published report, the "US and Canada Green City Index."
The report, sponsored by Siemens, measures and assesses the environmental performance of 27 independently selected cities in the two nations across a range of criteria. It is designed to help stakeholders in the region address the common environmental challenges they face.
"Cities are cultural and intellectual centers," according to the introduction to the five-part report. "They drive economic activity. And they are the main recipients of new ideas from immigrants, the vast majority of whom settle in cities when they arrive. Cities are ideal laboratories to respond innovatively to their countries' challenges, including environmental issues. It is well known that city life can exacerbate problems such as harmful greenhouse gas emissions or urban sprawl, but increasingly cities are also generating unique solutions to these challenges through effective local policies."
Professor Zimmerman is the director of the Institute for Civil and Infrastructure Systems (ICIS).
NYU Wagner's Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service Accepting Applications
The Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is now accepting applications for the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service.
The fellowship offers a chance for recent college graduates working in public service in New York City to:
- Deepen their understanding of the public service landscape through discussions with top leaders in the field;
- Gain a clear assessment of their leadership strengths and style and develop their leadership knowledge and skills;
- Receive mentorship from senior directors in public service organizations;
- Think strategically about and plan for their careers based on personal assessments and their unique goals; and
- Build a support network of other talented, dynamic leaders in public service.
The program runs from November 2011 through May 2012. Fellowship sessions twice each month offer leadership and professional development opportunities to help Fellows define their path in public service.
Program elements include:
Speaker Series. Fellows hear from senior executives across the spectrum of public service organizations. Speakers offer insights into their own career trajectories, guidance on practical strategies for succeeding in public service, and analysis of timely issues and trends.
Personal Exploration. Fellows engage in workshops that help them explore their strengths, interests and goals, and develop a personalized career plan.
Fellows Network. One of the most valuable resources and sources of support for fellows as they move through their public service careers is the other extraordinary fellows. Upon completion of the program, fellows become part of an active professional alumni network.
To be eligible for the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, applicants must be working full-time in public service in New York City. They may not currently be engaged in another significant fellowship program, and they must commit to attending all fellowship sessions, including a day-long Orientation on November 5, 2011. Applicants should be approximately 2-5 years out of college, and most will not have completed graduate school. There is no cost to apply or participate in the program.
The deadline to apply is noon EST on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.
Bloomberg Philanthropies Partners with NYU Wagner in 5-City Initiative
Bloomberg Philanthropies announced July 14 the establishment of a $24 million, three-year initiative to fund "Innovation Delivery Teams" that will help mayors effectively design and implement solutions to pressing city challenges, focusing on five major U.S. cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans.
In an integral part of the initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced a partnership with NYU Wagner to document and share best practices across these cities, and translate those learnings into resources that other cities can use.
"NYU Wagner is proud of its work on innovation and leadership and we are excited to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies in its new effort," said Ellen Schall, dean of Wagner. "We look forward to helping capture and synthesize key lessons across these initiatives in order to both build the knowledge base and support municipal innovation nationwide."
To meet each city's impact goals in priority areas, the new Innovation Delivery Teams, each one composed of high-performing staff, will generate innovative solutions, develop implementation plans, and manage progress towards defined targets. Bloomberg Philanthropies will fund the salaries of these staff members and provide a range of support for the project's duration.
In each city, the team will focus on top-priority issues identified by City Hall, achieving results and producing value. In Atlanta, the team will implement a comprehensive 311 system to improve customer service. In Memphis and Louisville, the teams will implement new job-growth strategies. In Chicago and New Orleans, the teams will cut waiting and processing times for key city services.
The "Innovation Delivery Team" grants are the first made through the Mayors Project, the new government innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The Mayors Project has two goals: increase innovation capacity within municipal government and disseminate effective programs and policies across cities. Additional investments will be made through the Mayors Project over the coming year.
"Mayors are uniquely positioned to tackle some of our most pressing challenges - from growing jobs to fighting climate change to keeping quality of life high," said Michael R. Bloomberg. "The Mayors Project will fuel
these efforts by spreading effective programs and strategies between cities and helping mayors work together in new ways around solutions. We are excited to kick off this new initiative in partnership with these five great American cities."
The "Innovation Delivery Team" model draws from successful approaches that have been utilized worldwide. In New York City, for example, Mayor Bloomberg established teams to develop and implement bold anti-poverty, sustainability, and efficiency agendas. Similarly, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair formed the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit to achieve impact in transportation, education, health, and criminal justice. In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak's Performance Management and Delivery Unit has documented critical gains in advancing that nation's government and economic transformation plans.
The five cities selected are all large American cities with strong executive forms of municipal government. Most of the mayors are in the first 18 months of their first terms in office, giving the "Innovation Delivery Teams" sufficient time to achieve impact under the current administration. Team leaders shall report directly to the mayor and oversee a team of five to ten members, depending on city size and scope. Given this variation, the size of the grants awarded to each city will vary from $1.4 million to $2 million per year.
Selected Cities, Mayors and Priority Areas :
Atlanta - Mayor Kasim Reed
Introduce 311 and other initiatives to improve customer service. Dramatically reduce street homelessness
Chicago - Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Reduce waiting and processing times for key city services.
Dramatically scale energy efficiency efforts.
Louisville - Mayor Greg Fischer
Partner with Lexington to implement a new regional export strategy. Improve agency performance and public accountability.
Memphis - Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.
Increase small business growth in target neighborhoods.
Reduce handgun violence.
New Orleans - Mayor Mitch Landrieu
Reduce waiting and processing times for key city services.
Over the past nine months, Bloomberg Philanthropies surveyed government officials and a range of philanthropic, academic, and private and nonprofit organizations, to inform its approach to government innovation. This included convening 14 mayors of major American cities for a day of strategizing and idea generation in March.
Throughout these conversations, mayors and other stakeholders have identified both a heightened need for municipal innovation - demand for services is up and pressure on municipal budgets is severe - and a set of common barriers local leaders consistently face.
These barriers include siloed bureaucracies, a lack of risk capital, inflexible regulations, and challenges associated with successfully implementing programs that have been proven elsewhere. The Mayors Project's dual focus on increasing innovation capacity within municipal government and disseminating effective programs and policies across cities aims to address these challenges.
Throughout these efforts, Bloomberg Philanthropies will identify groups of cities interested in working on particular issues. Peer-to-peer learning networks that accelerate progress and elevate best practices will be established, and lessons learned will be shared broadly with other cities, academics, and grant makers.
Report Shows Ways to Create a 'High-Performance' Government
Confidence in the federal government's ability to respond effectively to national and international economic and political problems continues to dwindle. Some of these complaints are a clear reaction to political ideology, deepening polarization, and the recent budget battles, but they all reflect a core of reality.
On Tuesday, June 21, a new national blueprint for reform by Professor Paul Light and Fellows from NYU Wagner -- "Creating High Performance Government: A Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity" -- was released in Washington, D.C. With its specific recommendations, the report is based on the simple premise that the time for small-scale reform has passed, and Congress and the president have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve government for the long-term.
In attendance was U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, William Robertson of The Robertson Foundation for Government, and Professor Paul Light of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. The report was written by Professor Light, the founding director of the Global Center on Public Service at the Wagner school.
The study, representing a year's work by Prof. Light and the Wagner Fellows, was underwritten by Volcker and the Robertson Foundation. Among the press coverage was a detailed piece in Government Executive.com.
The full report is available at http://wagner.nyu.edu/governmentreform/index.pdf.
C. Nicole Mason Joins Essence Magazine Music Festival 'Empowerment Series'
On Saturday, July 2, C. Nicole Mason, executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network (WOCPN) at NYU Wagner, will travel to New Orleans to join Dr. Cornel West, Reverend Al Sharpton, Soledad O'Brien, and other thought leaders, scholars and civil rights trail blazers at Essence magazine's 2011 music festival. The "empowerment series" at this premier cultural event for African Americans attracts more than 10,000 people each day, bringing together dozens of expert speakers to discuss pressing policy issues affecting women of color, their families, and communities.
As part of a panel on the "State of Black Women," Mason will be sharing some of the challenges that Black women face, as well as opportunities that exist to build the economic security of communities of color. Consider the following:
• Black women hold the highest poverty rates of any group. Black women have a poverty rate of 26.5 percent - a rate more than double that of white women and nearly triple that of white men.
• For every dollar earned by white men, Black women earn just 61 cents.
• Nearly half of all Black women have zero or negative wealth.
• Black women have the highest mortality rate of any racial or ethnic group, are 3 to 4 times likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, 15 times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS, and face greater health disparities and access to care across the board.
• Less than 19 percent of Black women have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Though Black women and girls rank low or last on nearly every social indicator of well-being, we have also made tremendous strides that cannot go unrecognized. Over the last several decades, much has changed about the Black woman's experience in the home, on the job, and in society. From Oprah Winfrey to Ruth Simmons to the presence of Michelle Obama as the first Black First Lady of the United States, Black women, now more than ever, are blazing paths only imagined by their grandmothers or their mothers.
Mason will also be interviewed by CNN on Friday, July 1, at 12:30 pm EST; viewers can visit CNN.com shortly thereafter to join the conversation on how best to advance the social and economic well-being of all women of color and their families.
Gara LaMarche of The Atlantic Philanthropies To Become NYU Wagner Senior Fellow
Gara LaMarche, President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, will take up the position of Senior Fellow at NYU Wagner upon leaving the Atlantic helm in September, 2011.
LaMarche, an adjunct professor of public administration at Wagner, recently announced he will not seek a second five-year term at the helm of The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the most effective and admired organizations in philanthropy.
Before joining The Atlantic Philanthropies in 2007, LaMarche was Vice President and Director of U.S. Programs for the Open Society Institute (OSI) from 1996 to 2007 and Associate Director of Human Rights Watch and Director of its Free Expression Project from 1990 to 1996.
The Great Recession's Impact on New York City's Budget
Daniel L. Smith, assistant professor of public budgeting and financial management at NYU Wagner, has co-authored a new paper for the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) Working Paper Series. According to the paper entitled "The Great Recession's Impact on New York City's Budget," New York City has effectively handled the effects of the recession on its budget, but asked lower income residents to "bear a substantial portion of the burden...."
According to the abstract, "Strong property tax growth and proactive policies - including beginning the recession with a substantial surplus of $5.3 billion (9 percent of revenues) - offset a severe contraction in income tax receipts, protecting the City's budget such that it never contracted in absolute terms during or immediately following the Great Recession. Policymakers increased property and sales tax rates, utilized fund balances, cut agency budgets repeatedly, and re-appropriated retiree health benefits in response to the fiscal challenges brought about by the Great Recession.
"Whether one attributes it to compliance with a strong, state-mandated, balanced budget rule or adept leadership, New York City certainly appears to be dealing effectively with the Great Recession's impact on its budget. However, City leaders have asked lower income residents to bear a substantial portion of the burden by favoring more regressive tax policies and by cutting the social service agency's budget substantially. With forecast budget gaps of $3 billion and $4 billion in FY 2012 and FY 2013, the long-term impact of the Great Recession on New York City's budget remains an open question."
The paper was co-authored by Lawrence J. Miller of the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Twelve NYU Wagner Students Awarded Education Pioneers Scholarship
This year, 25 students from NYU Wagner applied for an Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellowship. Of this group, an overwhelming 48 percent, or 12 in all, received offers to participate in the highly selective summer fellowship. Eleven of them have accepted the opportunity.
Education Pioneers, a national nonprofit, drew more than 2,000 applicants from across the country who competed for 330 fellowship opportunities. In addition to the NYU fellows chosen from Wagner, additional offers were extended to students from Stern, Steinhardt, and Gallatin.
A network devoted to school reform, Education Pioneers places talented men and women in positions outside of the classroom, partnering with more than 130 key organizations across the country. Partner organizations include school districts, government agencies, charter schools, and leading education groups in Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Chicago, Houston, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles.
The Fellows, who this year all have at least two years of work experience, will engage in a 10-week summer program. This offers high-impact work experience as a project consultant, a set of professional development workshops, and access to a robust constellation of industry experts and alumni. Almost 70 percent of alumni have gone on to work full-time as leaders and managers in the field of education, according to the network.
Examples of previous Fellowship projects include integrating teacher effectiveness research, the development of a student achievement data system for a school district, management of a facilities-renovation project, and preparation of growth and quality expansion plans for charter schools.
The Wagner students who will be participating in the Fellowship opportunity are: Ana Farinha; Jennifer Sallman; Elizabeth Olsson; Cinthia Ruiz; Antionette Koram; Maelle Fonteneau; Brittany Ebendorf; Meekaelle Joseph; Calvin Hadley; Megan Kinninger, and Elizabeth Walczak.
More information about Education Pioneers can be found at www.educationpeioneers.org .
FAI Researching How Low-Income Americans Use Financial Products [Video]
The Financial Access Initiative (FAI) at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service has launched an important new study to better understand the financial lives of low-income Americans.
FAI, in partnership with Bankable Frontier Associates and The Center for Financial Services Innovation, will track families in four geographic regions in the U.S. over 16 months and collect highly detailed data on household financial activity. The study promises a timely and independent look at how low-income Americans are managing their financial lives. The $3 million project is supported by a grant from the Citi Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
FAI's managing director discusses the launch of the U.S.-centered financial diaries project in this video. The managing director is Jonathan Morduch, professor of public policy and economics at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU.
The "Financial Diaries" methodology employed to conduct this research has been successfully applied in Bangladesh, India and South Africa. The results of that FAI research were detailed in a groundbreaking book Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day (Princeton University Press, 2009). Instrumental in broadening conceptions of global poverty, the book revealed that poor households lead surprisingly active and sophisticated financial lives, driven by the need to cope with irregular and unpredictable incomes but few reliable tools to absorb economic shocks.
"Improving access to reliable, flexible financial products and services is an important step to help poor and low-income households better manage their economic lives," says Professor Morduch. "The Financial Diaries research has proven to be an effective means of gathering important information to inform the design of these kinds of financial tools."
"The findings in Portfolios of the Poor provided an eye-opening look at the financial lives of the poor in other countries, and we're excited to use this lens in the U.S. context," says Brandee McHale, Chief Operating Officer at the Citi Foundation. "This research can fill an important gap in the current data on how low-income families in our own backyards are making ends meet and help reduce the barriers to financial well-being that these families currently face."
In the U.S., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) found that some 17 million adults live in households without any bank accounts. Another 43 million have accounts but are "underbanked," relying on non-bank services such as pay-day lenders and pawn shops. Yet, there is little concrete data about the needs, preferences and use of financial services by low-income families.
"Remarkably, more than 30 million low-income families across the U.S. lack access to traditional banking and financial systems," says Frank DeGiovanni, director of financial assets at the Ford Foundation. "This landmark study will help us to better understand their financial lives, greatly improving the ability the financial industry of nonprofits, and policymakers to meet their needs and increase the quality, affordability, and accessibility of financial services."
To conduct this groundbreaking research, the U.S. Financial Diaries team will spend one-and-a-half years with 300 families, distributed across 4 research sites-in the South, the Northeast, the Midwest and the West. Researchers will meet with families every two weeks to collect highly detailed data on household cash flows.
This methodology of regularly observing household finances over long periods of time allows researchers to identify often-overlooked strategies of financial management, such as the use of informal borrowing and lending with neighbors and family members. The study is designed to capture spending and savings habits that often remain hidden in large surveys. The findings will be published in a series of reports beginning in mid-2012.
Congratulations, NYU Wagner Class of '11! [Slide Show]
A highly spirited, good-humored and at times poignant NYU Wagner convocation ceremony filled the beautiful Brooklyn Academy of Music on May 17, including a keynote address delivered by visiting scholar, best-selling author, and astute social critic Irshad Manji.
Her subject was "moral courage," a matter she teaches at Wagner with great passion and insight. As part of her presentation, several students stood in the auditorium; their faces were beamed onto a jumbo screen and their voices were amplified as they explained to hundreds of asssembled classmates, friends and family members what the phrase "moral courage" means to each of them.
It was just one of many emotional and powerful moments as the more than 350 graduates cheered -- all of them poised to embark on the next step of their amazing careers in public service within and across sectors and disciplines.
In another twist on the standard graduation ceremony, three MPA graduates -- Nilbia Y. Coyote, Chesray L. Dolpha, and Kuo Jeng Yang -- greeted the audience with "Welcome" in dozens of languages that reflect the United Nations-like variety of native tongues embodied by Wagner's student body and its diverse global ties.
Ellen Schall, Wagner's dean, led the ceremonies, while New York University Provost David W. McClauglin offered words of welcome and praise, and Associate Dean and Professor Rogan Kersh recited the Athenian Oath. Faculty and student awards aplenty were yet another highlight of the day.
Congratulations to the Class of '11. Forward!