Wagner Student Delivers NYU Commencement Speech at Yankee Stadium

Wagner Student Delivers NYU Commencement Speech at Yankee Stadium

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Dean Ellen Schall

Kate Otto, NYU Wagner student and Reynolds scholar, was the NYU Commencement Speaker at the newly opened Yankee Stadium on May 13.  In past years, the University has selected two student commencement speakers, one to represent undergrads and the other for graduates.  There was one student speaker this year, which made Otto the perfect choice: she's graduating from Wagner's dual degree BA/MPA program.

The spirited day under sunny skies was highlighted by a Commencement speech by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was introduced by Wagner Dean Ellen Schall, who described her as "the chief architect of American foreign policy...[and] a luminous star in the crucial constellation of human rights defenders."

Otto, who hails from Rhode Island, worked during high school at a hospice for people with HIV/AIDS. She went on to attend NYU's College of Arts and Science and work on public health education programs in West Africa. She enrolled in Wagner classes during her senior year. This year, she completed the requirements for an MPA in Health Policy and Management from Wagner.

In addition, she has been working for Keep A Child Alive, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based organization where she began as an intern. The group supports the care and treatment of children worldwide afflicted with HIV/AIDS. There, Otto sparked the creation of a network that now includes 315 campus chapters. She is now looking to expand this network into middle and high schools, houses of worship, athletic teams, and more.

Otto has been awarded a Luce Scholarship, and will spend the next academic year in Indonesia working with an HIV/AIDS organization.

"Communities," she says, noting the global economic downturn, "are the most important thing we all can be building right now."

 

NYU Wagner Forum with Leading Public Officials Explores President Obama's First 100 Days

NYU Wagner Forum with Leading Public Officials Explores President Obama's First 100 Days

Ellen Schall, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert M. Shrum, and Rogan Kersh

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, and White House senior economic adviser Jason Furman were among leading public service officials, business leaders, journalists, and professors who took part in an original, lively, and thought-provoking NYU Wagner forum April 24 entitled "President Obama's First 100 Days: Implications for Urban America."

NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall welcomed 100 public service and business leaders and others to the Fifth Avenue Ballroom, where the daylong conference also featured the author/historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wagner Professor Paul C. Light, and Robert M. Shrum, the noted political strategist and a Wagner senior fellow.

Contributing to the event's four panel conversations were New York Times chief national political correspondent Adam Nagourney, NBC News Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker, Politico editor-in-chief John Harris, and New York 1 political reporter Dominic Carter.

The conversations and audience questions focused on the President's unparalleled attempts -- except for, perhaps, the first 100 days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency in the grip of the Great Depression -- to stabilize a reeling national  economy, his evolving leadership, the enormous public support his actions have elicited, and the immediate and long-range challenges facing cash-pressed cities and states.

"The most important thing that he has done," said Governor Corzine, referring to President Obama, "is he has restored repect and confidence in the office of the presidency."

Philadelphia's Mayor Nutter, in response to a question from Mark Whitaker, gave the new commander-in-chief a "B-plus/A-minus" -- ticking off a list of the President's accomplishments and the many initiatives in healthcare and alternative-energy investment that may come -- and he added that the President and his administration have been strikingly accessible and sensitive to the concerns of big-city mayors such as himself.

 "They know where cities are," Nutter said.

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Help for Nonprofits at NYU Wagner Event

Mayor Bloomberg Announces Help for Nonprofits at NYU Wagner Event

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Speaking before about 300 public service leaders at New York University's Kimmel Center, Mayor Michael Bloomberg on April 6, 2009, announced a series of new initiatives to help more than 40,000 nonprofit cultural, health and social service organizations in New York City weather the economic downturn. The event was sponsored by the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, with welcoming words offered by NYU President John Sexton, and with the Mayor introduced and the economic challenges confronting the nonprofit sector framed in opening remarks delivered by NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall.

"Almost half a million New Yorkers who make up our nonprofit workforce contribute profoundly to the heartbeat of our city by  helping residents across the five boroughs -- particularly during these trying times," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Whether by training people for jobs, providing access to arts and culture, or building affordable housing, the nonprofit sector is a vital part of the City and our economy. As nonprofits face increasing challenges due to the economic downturn, it's critical that the City take concrete steps to strengthen the sector and help it thrive."

The mayor's initiatives are aimed at helping nonprofit organizations reduce fixed costs through group-purchasing of goods, energy savings, and other strategies, improving the city's contracting procedures, increasing bridge loans, and providing dedicated assistance through nyc.gov - where the initiatives are spelled out in detail -- and the 311 city information hotline.

Dean Schall said, "Mayor Bloomberg has shown unprecedented acknowledgement and support of the vital role that the nonprofit sector plays in New York City. As the dean of the  NYU Graduate School of Public Service, I applaud the Mayor for focusing needed attention on the critical needs of nonprofits, which have been particularly hard hit by current economic conditions. Streamlining the process for nonprofits to contract with the city strengthens the bottom line. Just as important is the Mayor's call for increased collaboration and partnership. NYU Wagner, through its faculty, students , and alumni, is proud to partner with the city in its efforts to maximize the positive impact of the city's nonprofit sector."

Furman Center Receives MacArthur Foundation Support for Three-Year Housing Study

Furman Center Receives MacArthur Foundation Support for Three-Year Housing Study

The MacArthur Foundation has awarded the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy funding for a Preservation Data Project-a new initiative that will track affordable housing in danger of converting to market rate rentals.  The project will have three components: a database of affordable housing throughout New York City, including detailed information on the dates when restrictions on the housing's rents expire; an early warning/opportunity system for subsidized housing at risk of opting out or failing to meet the requirements of subsidy programs; and analytic tools for assessing the potential to preserve a subsidized property as affordable housing.

This three year project, funded under the MacArthur Foundation's Window of Opportunity: Preserving Affordable Rental Housing initiative, is a part of a wider effort by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to preserve affordable housing.  The grant will allow the center -- a joint research center of New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and School of Law -- to create a new interactive database, available online, to allow government agencies, non-profits and community groups to track the tens of thousands of affordable rental units at risk of expiring out of the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), HUD, Mitchell-Lama and HPD-financed programs.

In addition, it will allow us to develop systems and tools the entire affordable housing community can use to target properties that present the greatest risks and the highest potential for preservation.

The Furman Center is led by Ingrid Ellen, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Urban Planning at NYU Wagner, is the Co-Director of the Center.

NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall Interviews Gordon Brown

NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall Interviews Gordon Brown

NYU Wagner Dean Ellen Schall served as moderator as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and former Chair of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker gathered at New York University on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 for a fascinating discussion with students and faculty on "A New Multilateralism in the 21st Century." The event included such pressing and complex issues as global economic structures and policies, the challenges of climate change, and the need for cooperative approaches to security.

Global warming is focus of report by a number of leading experts including NYU Wagner's Rae Zimmerman

Global warming is focus of report by a number of leading experts including NYU Wagner's Rae Zimmerman

A report released Feb. 17, 2009, by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg found that the city's average annual temperatures could increase by 4 to 7.5 degrees, yearly rainfall will increase by 5 to 10 inches, and seas could rise by up to 23 inches, or even 55 inches if the rate of ice melt in Greenland and Antarctica persists in speeding up.

NYU Wagner Professor Rae Zimmerman is a member of the expert panel convened by the city government and financed by a $350,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Professor Zimmerman is Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS), housed at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

The panel also predicted more frequent and intense "extreme events," like heat waves, short periods of intense rain, droughts, and coastal flooding.

The report is entitled "Climate Risk Information" and can be seen by clicking on the link below.

Toward a Whole-of-Government Approach to Countering Extremism

Toward a Whole-of-Government Approach to Countering Extremism

NYU Wagner Visiting Professor Michael Doran testified at a congressional hearing on Feb. 12, 2009 on strategies for countering violent extremist ideologies. The "biggest challenge to crafting a whole-of-government approach," he told the HASC Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities, "is the fact that we have no clear leader for this effort. No office has been established has been given the necessary power to pull together all of the relevant parts of the government."

Doran has studied the question as an academic; a Middle East expert who has published extensively on al-Qaeda's ideology; Senior Director for the Near East and North Africa in the White House; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Support to Public Diplomacy at the Pentagon; and Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department.

To read his full testimony, click below.

In Review: 'Jonas & Kovner's Health Delivery in the United States'

In Review: 'Jonas & Kovner's Health Delivery in the United States'

" 'Jonas & Kovner's Health Care Delivery in the United States' is one of the best-known and longest-standing (first edition, 1977) compendiums on the unique problems of US health care policy. And with good reason -- like other grand textbooks such as Harrison's for internal medicine, Guyton's for psychology, or Robbins' for pathology, this text authoritatively demonstrates the breadth and depth of current foundational knowledge of its field."

So begins a complimentary Journal of the American Medical Association online review of the now classic textbook (New York: Springer, 2008, 9th ed.) edited by NYU Wagner Professor Anthony Kovner and Wagner alumnus James R. Knickman. The book has sold has sold more than 300,000 copies since its publication in 1977.

"[D]espite the considerable expertise presented," according to the review written by S. Ryan Greysen, MD, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University, "the text remains approachable for professionals in health care delivery or policy, whether novices or masters in the field."

To read the review, click below.

Professor Dall Forsythe of NYU Wagner named to state arbitration panel in NYC Transit impasse

Professor Dall Forsythe of NYU Wagner named to state arbitration panel in NYC Transit impasse

      The New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has designated a three-person public arbitration panel -- including Professor Dall W. Forsythe of NYU Wagner -- with power to determine terms and conditions of employment for New York City's 36,000 NYC Transit employees. 

      PERB designated John E. Zuccotti as the public member of the panel after the New York City Transit Authority (TA) and Transport Workers Union Local 100 (TWU Local 100) jointly appointed him to serve as the panel chairman, in accordance with provisions of the State's Taylor Law. 

     The panel that Zuccotti will chair is tripartite in nature, and includes, along with the chair, one member selected directly by the TA, and one directly by Local 100.  PERB designated Professor orsythe as the public employer panel member and Roger Toussaint as the employee organization's panel member.  Forsythe is a former Director of the Budget for New York State. Toussaint is the president of TWU Local 100.

Zuccoti, a New York City resident, served for nearly a decade beginning in 1981 as the Impartial Arbitrator under agreements between the TA and both TWU and the Amalgamated Transit Union.  As Deputy Mayor of the City of New York from 1975-77, he was heavily involved with all aspects of the financial bailout of the city, including negotiations on a variety of wage, pension and operational issues, and in 1978 he helped facilitate settlement of the MTA/TWU collective agreement.

     The TA and Local 100 are parties to a contract that expired on January 15, 2009.  The negotiations for that contract involved a three day strike by Local 100 against the TA, which ended through an agreement secured with the assistance of a three person PERB mediation team that brought the transit workers back to work.  Later, an arbitration panel ultimately established the terms of the agreement that is now expired.

      The arbitration panel is empowered to hold hearings on all matters related to the dispute, and is charged with making a "just and reasonable" determination in accordance with criteria set forth in the Taylor Law.  The panel's determination is final and binding upon the parties, except for any provision which requires an enactment of law for it to be implemented.

Professor Jonathan Morduch Helps Select Winner of New Global Award for Contributions to International Development

Professor Jonathan Morduch Helps Select Winner of New Global Award for Contributions to International Development

Jonathan Morduch, Professor of Public Policy and Economics at NYU Wagner, participated in January, 2009, on the jury that awarded a new global prize for contributions to international development. The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award, worth 400,000 euros ($526,000), was given to the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The 2009 award from the foundation arm of the major global bank recognizes efforts to promote randomized evaluations of health, education, and finance interventions.

Bill Gates' Letter to the World

Bill Gates' Letter to the World

     In January, 2009, Bill Gates shared his first "Annual Letter" relating his expanded role at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and priorities for the Foundation during the year ahead. In the letter, Gates discusses: why he remains optimistic in the face of the current economic crisis, and the Foundation's work in their focus areas of global development, global health and U.S. programs. Gates specifically details the progress that has been made in the field of global health, and the importance of moving that work forward, with special focus on HIV/AIDS, polio, malaria, and childhood health; the critical need for agricultural improvements in Africa; the state of U.S. education, and the Foundation's new strategic approach; and the role of foundations, and the importance of partnerships between the sectors.

     The Gates Foundation's focus on global development resonates strongly at NYU Wagner, where one-third of students are pursuing an International specialization with their MPA. Wagner is also home to the Financial Access Initiative (FAI), a research consortium launched with support from the Gates Foundation in 2006. FAI is a consortium of leading development economists focused on substantially expanding access to quality financial services for low-income individuals. FAI is led by Managing Director Jonathan Morduch (NYU Wagner), Director Dean Karlan (Yale), and Director Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard).

     To receive Bill Gates' annual letter, please visit the "Annual Letter Sign Up" link below.  

Walter Stafford Honored by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award Committee

Walter Stafford Honored by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award Committee

Walter Stafford, the much-beloved NYU Wagner professor of public policy and planning has been honored posthumously by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award Committee at New  York University. Professor Stafford was one of four members of the NYU faculty who was heralded at the recognition reception on Jan. 21, 2009, for their classroom and community work exemplifying the spirit of the civil rights leader. Chilli Devadutt accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.

The award is sponsored by The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and The Office of the Assistant Vice President of Student Diversity. Its purpose is to recognize faculty members who exemplify the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. through their positive impact within the classroom and the greater NYU community. NYU students nominate faculty members who are considered and then chosen by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award Committee, which is composed of Tamu Al-Islam, Arlene Davila, Bella Mirabella Pedro Noguera, Jeffrey Sammons, Jack Tchen, and Marc Walters.

In addition to Professor Stafford, the founding director of Wagner's Women of Color Policy Network, the award recipients include Christina Marin, assistant professor of education theatre, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; J. Ward Regan, master teacher, Global Liberal Studies, College of Arts and Science; and Ella Turenne, adjunct instructor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study. 

Inauguration Watch Draws 200 at NYU Wagner

Inauguration Watch Draws 200 at NYU Wagner

Wagner community watches inauguration of President Barack Obama

More than 200 NYU Wagner students, faculty, alumni and staff shared in the groundbreaking inauguration of President Barack Obama, collectively taking it in gathered in the school's Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue. Participants enjoyed brunch while sharing their hopes in a "History of the Future" activity. Many offered ideas on what they would like to see accompllished in the President's first 100 days in office.

Professor Jonathan Morduch awarded honorary doctorate from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Professor Jonathan Morduch awarded honorary doctorate from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles

On Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, NYU Wagner Professsor Jonathan Morduch spoke before the Centre for European Research on "The Microfinance Promise: Banking the Next Billion," and was also recognized for his work and awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. 

Dr. Morduch is a Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New  York University, and the Managing Director/Lead Researcher for the Financial Access Initiative, a consortium of leading development economists focused on substantially expanding access to quality financial services for low-income individuals. Launched with a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in late 2006, the Initiative is housed at NYU Wagner.

Professor Morduch is co-author of the 2005 book The Economics of Microfinance (MIT Press), which was described by Thomas Easton of The Economist as "The single best book on the economics of banking and finance, period..."

Dr. Morduch chairs the United Nations Committee on Poverty Statistics, advises Pro Mujer, and is a member of SafeSave in Dhaka. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the World Bank Economic Review and of the UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors.

His views on finance and development have been reported by the New York Times, The New Yorker, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, and other organizations. He holds a BA from Brown and Ph.D. from Harvard, both in Economics.

Guy Scalzi Publishes Book with Prof. Roger Kropf

Guy Scalzi Publishes Book with Prof. Roger Kropf

NYU Wagner Professor Roger Kropf, who teaches courses on health service organizational management and information services, is the coauthor of a new book, "Making Information Technology Work: Maximizing the Benefits for Health Care Organizations" (Health Forum, AHA Press, 2007). Written with Guy Scalzi, executive vice president of Veloz Global Solutions, the book provides critical information that healthcare executives, managers and clinicians should have before, during and after implementation of information technology designed to improve efficiency and to save money and even lives. "Making Technology Work" arrives as hospitals and other healthcare providers increasingly move to integrate health care information technology into the ways they interact with patients and manage multiple levels of their operations. For further details, click below.

Professor Ospina receives Fulbright Grant

Professor Ospina receives Fulbright Grant

Sonia Ospina, Associate Professor of Public Management and Policy, has received a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Professor Ospina’s project will take place at the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia), where she will spend three weeks working with faculty to help develop and assess the curriculum for their newly-opened School of Government and Public Policy. Additionally, Professor Ospina will offer guidance regarding the curriculum structure and content of the school’s graduate program in Public Management, which aims to begin classes in 2008. Universidad de Los Andes is widely recognized for its leadership in academic excellence in Colombia and across Latin America.

Annual Leadership in Transportation Awards Reception

Annual Leadership in Transportation Awards Reception

On February 15, 2007, the NYU Wagner Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management and The Council on Transportation will be hosting the 2007 Annual Leadership in Transportation Awards Reception. This year's honorees include David Gunn, former Amtrak President & CEO, and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi for their substantial achievements throughout their careers. Other honorees include Larry Filler, President and CEO of TransitCenter, Inc. for the Civic Leadership Award, and New Jersey Transit for the Public Agency Award, which will be accepted by George Warrington. For the first time, during this year's award ceremony, an award for the best transportation paper will be given by the Region 2 University Transportation Research Center of City College. The reception will be from 6:00 to 8:00pm, and will take place at NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South, Rosenthal Pavilion. The reception is by invitation only. For more information, email mnn2@nyu.edu, or call 212-998-7545.

Quality Communities Workshop: “Advancing Transportation – Land Use Connection” (June 13, 2006)

Quality Communities Workshop: “Advancing Transportation – Land Use Connection” (June 13, 2006)

This workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss and influence New York�s approach to integrating transportation investment decisions with community land use planning. Invited participants include: municipal officials, regional leaders, professionals, civic and business groups, and academic experts. Allison L. C. de Cerre�o, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Rudin Center will be moderating a plenary session on current transportation � land use planning landscape in New York State as well as facilitating a panel on how NYSDOT can better support NYS communities in linking their transportation-land use decisions. This workshop will be held in Binghamton, NY. For registration information please visit http://utrc2.org/events/index.php?viewid=133.

Read an article related to the workshop by the Press and Sun Bulletin in Binghamton, NY.

NYU President Emeritus John Brademas Named to American Association of Museums Centennial Honor Roll

NYU President Emeritus John Brademas Named to American Association of Museums Centennial Honor Roll

New York University President Emeritus John Brademas has been selected for induction into the American Association of Museums (AAM) Centennial Honor Roll as �a pioneer in the museum field.� Dr. Brademas said, �My own major project now is the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, in NYU�s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In our separation-of-powers constitutional system, not only the President but Senators and Congressmen also have the critical capacity to initiate public policy. The Museum Services Act, the Library Services and Construction Act and the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act are all examples of national policy initiated not by the White House but by Congress.�

Rudin Center to Host Symposium on Critical Issues Facing Aviation and the New York/New Jersey Region’s Airports

Rudin Center to Host Symposium on Critical Issues Facing Aviation and the New York/New Jersey Region’s Airports

With the region�s airports already operating at or exceeding capacity in some areas, the continued growth in air passenger demand places increasing stress on the system. The resulting �bottlenecks� caused by increased air traffic not only affect airspace and airport operations but have a spillover effect beyond the tarmac. Roadways and transit networks that support the transportation needs of travelers and air cargo businesses also face increased demand and capacity constraints. How will this region address these issues? Can it increase capacity and how? What are the ramifications if such challenges are not resolved?

Registration is required. For further information please see the registration brochure. View the registration brochure.

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