On counting calories: new research explores NYC menu labeling initiative

On counting calories: new research explores NYC menu labeling initiative

Do patrons alter their food choices when they see how many calories their selections contain? A study published October 6, 2009, in the journal Health Affairs by Brian Elbel, Rogan Kersh, Victoria L. Brescoll, and L. Beth Dixon examines how likely customers of restaurant chains in low-income New York City neighborhoods are to make healthier choices when the menus include prominent, now-mandatory calorie postings. The researchers collected about 1,100 cashier receipts two weeks before the city's calorie labeling law took effect and four weeks after. They found that eating habits did not change significantly in the wake of the initiative.

The researchers concluded, "In an ideal world, calorie labeling on menus and menu boards would have an immediate and direct impact on everyone's food choices. However, as has been seen in previous attempts to change the behavior of vulnerable populations (for example, [in relation to] cigarette smoking), greater attention to the root causes of behavior, or multifaceted interventions, or both, will be necessary if obesity is to be greatly reduced in the overall U.S. population."

Brian Elbel is an assistant professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. Rogan Kersh is an associate professor and associate dean of NYU Wagner. Victoria Brescoll is an assistant professor in the Yale School of Management. Beth Dixon is an associate professor in the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The research for the study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Eating Initiative, the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and the New York University Wagner Dean's Fund.

 

Professor Rae Zimmerman and NYU Collaborators Receive NSF Grant

Professor Rae Zimmerman and NYU Collaborators Receive NSF Grant

Rae Zimmerman, NYU Wagner Professor of Planning and Public Administration, was awarded along with her fellow researchers at New York University a more-than $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) based on the Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship For Service (SFS) program for research and teaching of security and privacy issues on the Internet and other critical information infrastructure. Zimmerman is the Director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems based at Wagner.

The three-year grant was given to Nasir Menon and Ramesh Karri of NYU-Poly, who lead the effort, and several professors from New York University - Anindya Ghose, NYU Stern Assistant Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences, Helen Nissenbaum of NYU Steinhardt, and Rae Zimmerman of NYU Wagner - to provide funding for their interdisciplinary program, "ASPIRE: An SFS Program for Interdisciplinary Research and Education." The grant will support faculty research and curriculum innovation. It will also provide scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students participating in the program in order to stimulate the growth of a cadre of scholars with expertise in security and privacy issues.

This NYU-wide collaboration will focus on identifying and providing practical, cost effective solutions to information security and privacy problems from technical, ethical, policy and business perspectives. Zimmerman's focus is on the connection between cyber threats and the public services that infrastructure provides.

 

 

Six Wagner grads publish case studies in Prof. Kovner's 'Health Services Management'

Six Wagner grads publish case studies in Prof. Kovner's 'Health Services Management'

The critically praised new edition of the casebook Health Services Management: Cases, Readings, and Commentary (9th ed., Health Administration Press: 2009), includes essays by six graduates of NYU Wagner and Anthony R. Kovner, professor of public health and management at Wagner and co-editor of the volume. The revised volume provides a distinctive overview of management and organizational behavior theory. The book's essays are organized into six parts: The Role of the Manager; Control; Organizational Design; and Professional Integration; Adaptation; and Accountability. The Wagner contributors are former students of public administration and health management who have gone on to work as leaders in the healthcare field. For example, Claudia Caine (MPA '84), in an essay co-written with Professor Kovner, drew on her experiences as Chief Operating Officer at Lutheran Medical Center of Brooklyn, N.Y. Their case study reveals how quality control moves significantly reduced patients' average wait time at an inner-city hospital's emergency room, from 90 minutes to between 30 and 35 minutes, door to doctor. And Jacob Victory (MPA '98), director of operational performance management for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, wrote two essays, entitled "Mid-Career Change" and "Integrating Rehabilitation Services into the Visiting Nurse Service of America." Overall, the book's cases take place in a variety of organizations, such as a faculty practice, a neighborhood health center, a small rural hospital, and an HMO. Kovner's co-editors include Duncan Neuhauser, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University, and Ann Scheck McAlearney, associate professor of health services management and policy at The Ohio State University's College of Public Health. Professor Kovner is also co-author of a newly published textbook, Evidence-Based Management in Health Care, the result of work by he and other distinguished management experts to foster more reliable, evidence-based decision making education and practice widely in the healthcare industry.

 

 

U.S. Health and Human Services Taps Former Wagner Adjunct for Senior Post

U.S. Health and Human Services Taps Former Wagner Adjunct for Senior Post

NYU Wagner has a high-caliber group of adjunct professors, including many seasoned practitioners who work on critical public problems in and across a variety of fields and sectors.

Now, David A. Hansell, who was a Wagner adjunct assistant professor from 2000 to 2006, has been named to a senior post at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

His new title, which was effective on June 29, 2009, is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, according to an announcement by New York State.

In his most recent role, Hansell is the Commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, and has a breadth of knowledge in the development and delivery of social service policy and programs, including TANF, child support, LIHEAP, food stamps, and services for victims of domestic violence, persons with HIV/AIDS, home care clients, and adults in need of protection.

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of the NYS OTDA, Hansell was Chief of Staff of the New York City Human Resources Administration, where he assisted in the management of all of the city's public assistance programs. Before joining HRA, Hansell served in a number of positions at Gay Men's Health Crisis, including Director of Legal Services and Deputy Director for Government and Public Affairs. From 1997-2001, he was the Associate Commissioner for HIV Services at the New York City Department of Health, and subsequently served as Associate Commissioner for Planning and Program Implementation.

NYU Wagner Adjunct Professor Writes Handbook on 'Leading Change'

NYU Wagner Adjunct Professor Writes Handbook on 'Leading Change'

Leading change is a topic of paramount importance. But a missing ingredient for many leaders has been how to translate concepts into actions, continuous improvements and sustainable results.

Now, the Wallace Foundation has just published NYU Wagner Adjunct Professor Jody Spiro's "Leading Change Handbook: Concepts and Tools."

This toolkit by Dr. Spiro, who is the Wallace Senior Education Program Officer, was developed to help leaders address several key areas of the change process: assessing and improving participants' readiness; engaging stakeholders; planning "early wins"; minimizing resistance; using collaborative planning methods; and developing ways to bring initiatives to scale and sustain them over time.

The handbook is  available for free downloading and posting -- visit the link listed below.

For more than 24 years, Dr. Spiro, Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at Wagner, has served as a senior organizational change agent in a wide variety of public and nonprofit settings, including her current education reform work in countries undergoing dramatic transition. Dr. Spiro holds a master of public administration from NYU Wagner and an Ed.D. from Columbia University.

 

U.S. Labor Department Names Wagner Professor Sewin Chan to Advisory Panel on Pensions

U.S. Labor Department Names Wagner Professor Sewin Chan to Advisory Panel on Pensions

     Sewin Chan, Associate Professor of Public Policy at NYU Wagner, has been sworn in as a member of the U.S. Departmetn of Labor's Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Plans. The panel was established under the ERISA Act, and Professor Chan will be one of 15 members on a three-year term. Her specific role is to represent the general public in advising Secretary Hilda Solis on issues relating to pension and health plans. Others on the council represent various industry groups and unions.

     Professor Chan teaches courses in microeconomics, public finance, and health economics. Her research is concerned with the well-being of individuals and households and how it is shaped by the interaction of economic behavior, market institutions and government policies. Professor Chan's current focus is on the economics of aging and retirement. Her recent projects include the impact of job loss on older workers, individual responsiveness to financial retirement incentives, and the well-being of caregiving grandparents. Professor Chan has also worked on the economics of the residential housing market, examining the inherent risks of homeownership and designing innovative financial instruments for controlling those risks. Professor Chan has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, and the Center for Retirement Research. Her research has been published in leading journals such as the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Urban Economics. She holds an M.A. from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.

 

 

NYU Wagner congratulates the Class of 2009, and celebrates Convocation at BAM

NYU Wagner congratulates the Class of 2009, and celebrates Convocation at BAM

In a Convocation speech to Wagner's Class of 2009, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan said he attended the 1977 World Series game when sports commentator Howard Cosell, observing a column of rising smoke in the vicinity of Yankee Stadium, told a national television audience, "Ladies and gentleman, the Bronx is burning." The wave of arson, crime, and abandonment afflicting much of New York City less than two years after the city government had narrowly avoided municipal bankruptcy captured Donovan's attention even then, as an 11 year old baseball enthusiast. And it's probably no accident that as someone who came of age in the 1970s and '80s in New York, he went on to devote his education and distinguished public career to understanding and innovating policy steps that helped rescue and transform New York and many other American cities in the wake of that "urban catastrophe."

Donovan quoted former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton in addressing the proud and excited graduates and their families gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on May 15: "Public service is not just a way of life, it is a way to live life fully."

According to Donovan, the rise of New York and the restoration of its once-strained civic bonds show that public-sector work - his own path-has enormous potential value, even though the challenges were amply demonstrated by the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. Citing President Obama's call to service, as well as his recently signed national service bill, Donovan said the mission of public employees and others embarked on public service work of all kinds is to give us "a reason to believe in public service again"  in our neighborhoods and across the nation and world.

"Wagner Class of 2009," Donovan said, "we need you to make it possible to believe again!...Together, we can put our shoulder up against the wheel and change the course of history."

Dean Ellen Schall enumerated the impressive accomplishments of the graduating students and faculty members, including Professors of the Year Shanna Rose and Anthony Kovner. She contended that the work of public service requires more than technical and analytical capabilities, as critical as those are, but also "artistry," saying, "Public service is as much about art as about science." Artistry is what is required to find bold new answers to problems that resist technical solutions, whether those are ending poverty, overcoming racism, ensuring equal health outcomes for all, creating public school systems that work, or building cities that are sustainable.

The dean told the graduates that she wrote an essay for the Convocation as if she were applying for admission to the school. She based her thoughts on a photograph she selected from a catalogue of visual images, just as many Wagner applicants are asked to do. The image she selected was that of a person bringing a pot to life on a pottery wheel, as it reminded her of an introduction to pottery class she took last fall.

"I showed up every Monday night from 6-9, much the way you showed up for a class," she told the graduates. "And it was very hard. It was the worst in the class, a fact clear to me and to everyone else. Yet I stayed and kept on trying. I knew there was learning in the trying, in sticking with what didn't come easily. I never actually cracked the code or became a potter. Yet at the end, I have these small little pieces of ‘pottery' in my house and the odd thing is, I display them...and they make me smile when I walk in. They remind me to take myself seriously, but not too seriously, to stretch even in the face of initial resistance, mine or others, to find pleasure in small wins."  

She referred to the image on a large screen on the BAM stage.

"This captures a simple visual image that I wish for each of you as you go forth. That you embrace the boldness of seeing yourself as artists, as creators and change makers, as people who bring passion and the fullness of yourselves to the critically important challenges of public service. And that you have the discipline and energy and commitment to keep on going, even if you don't get it right the first time around, that you learn from what works as well as what doesn't, and that you find joy in small things as well as big moves."

Michael C. Alfano, executive vice president of New York University, offered spirited welcoming remarks, while class speaker Tracey Gardner, who earned an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, introduced Donovan, noting, "He's not beaten down, not jaded, and ever on the lookout for policy changes to improve how things are done and make our lives better."

 

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.

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