Furman Center Receives MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

Furman Center Receives MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation named NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy a recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. This distinguished award recognizes the Furman Center's excellence in providing objective, policy-relevant research to address the challenges facing neighborhoods in New York City and across the nation. The award, announced on February 16, comes with a grant of $1 million, which the Furman Center will use to broaden its research and policy analysis to more national issues.

"We are humbled and honored that the Furman Center was selected for such a prestigious award," said Vicki Been, faculty director of the Furman Center. "The demand for our work has grown dramatically with the housing crisis and the increasing need for sustainable and affordable housing across the country. This award presents a remarkable opportunity for us to expand our research beyond New York City to help policymakers in Washington and across the nation make more effective housing and community development investments and policies."

"Because we are based at New York University, and are a joint project of the NYU School of Law and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, we're able to draw on the talents of a diverse team of faculty and students to produce rigorous, interdisciplinary research on urban policy issues," Furman Center Co-Director Ingrid Gould Ellen said. "The MacArthur Award comes at a critical time, allowing us to continue to expand the work we've always done in New York City to cities and neighborhoods across the country, and to address a broader range of national issues and public policy debates."

From analyses of how subsidized housing investments affect neighborhoods, to studies of the impacts the foreclosure crisis has had on local crime, neighboring property values, tenants, and the educational trajectories of children, the Furman Center has been committed to producing objective and empirically rigorous research on pressing policy issues. Its policy breakfasts, roundtable discussions, and conferences bring thought leaders from all sectors and all points of view together to discuss topics ranging from new models for housing extremely low-income households to creative ways of addressing credit needs in a volatile and declining housing market. The Center launched an Institute for Affordable Housing Policy in 2010 to bring research, policy analysis, and debate about promising new ideas and innovative practices to bear on the challenges of creating cost-effective affordable housing programs. Through its annual State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods report, Quarterly Housing Updates, and Subsidized Housing Information Project, the Center provides essential data and analysis for the media, government agencies, non-profit housing providers, and affordable housing developers and financiers.

The award is both a recognition of the excellence of the Furman Center's prior research and policy analysis and an investment in the Furman Center's future. The Furman Center will use the grant to build data and research partnerships that will allow it to broaden the geographic scope of its research, strengthen and expand its policy analysis, and improve its communications and data management infrastructure.

More information, including an overview video about the Furman Center, is available here.

The Furman Center is one of only 15 organizations from six countries to be recognized today with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. "From Chicago to Kampala, these extraordinary organizations demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness," said MacArthur President Robert Gallucci. "They provide new ways to address old problems. They generate provocative ideas and they reframe well-worn debates. And their impact is altogether disproportionate to their size."

The MacArthur Foundation does not seek or accept nominations for its Creative and Effective Institutions awards. To qualify, organizations must demonstrate exceptional creativity and effectiveness; have reached a critical or strategic point in their development; show strong leadership and stable financial management; have previously received MacArthur support; and engage in work central to one of MacArthur's core programs.



Aspen Institute Awards Fellowship on Family Poverty to WOCPN Executive Director

Aspen Institute Awards Fellowship on Family Poverty to WOCPN Executive Director

C. Nicole Mason, executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network, has been named a member of the inaugural class of The Aspen Institute Fellowship - in all, a distinguished group of 20 leaders from across the country who are pioneering two-generation approaches to move families beyond poverty.

The Aspen Institute announced its Ascend Fellows at an event Feb. 15 at its offices in Washington, D.C.

Under Dr. Mason's direction, the Women of Color Policy Network - part of NYU Wagner - has become a leading authority and voice on public policies that affect women of color, low-income families, and communities of color. The Network conducts original research and collects critical data used to inform public policy at every level of government. It also serves as a nexus for women of color scholars, leaders, and practitioners.

Dr. Mason has been a partner on several statewide and national initiatives to identify strategies to move low-income women and families toward economic security, including the Odyssey Project, a multi-year community college collaborative to improve educational outcomes for young women of color. Her commentary and writing have been featured in such outlets as The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Essence magazine, CNN, and NPR.

The Ascend Fellowship was launched in 2011 with support from national foundations and women philanthropists and is a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents and children - two generations - toward economic security together, with educational success central to its work. In addition to Dr. Mason, the list of Fellows includes leaders in higher education and across the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

Prof. Light to Testify Before Congress on Federal Reform

Prof. Light to Testify Before Congress on Federal Reform

NYU Wagner's Professor Paul Light goes before Congress on Wednesday, February 15, to make the case for top-to-bottom reform of the federal government.

His testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Goverment Reform is entitled "Has the Federal Government Become an 'Awful Spectacle,' " and can be read in full here.

"Evidence is all around us," he says, "of dwindling confidence in government and its ability to respond effectively to evident challenges, national and international, economomic and political....The United States desperately needs more accountable, efficient and productive government at every level."

Dr. Light is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner. He received the 2010 Herbert Simon Award from the American Political Science Association for his book "A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It."

RCLA and Bloomberg Philanthropies Appoint Five Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellows

RCLA and Bloomberg Philanthropies Appoint Five Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellows

NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) and Bloomberg Philanthropies are pleased to announce the selection of five outstanding early career professionals to participate in the new Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellowship. The fellowship is part of a three-year Bloomberg Philanthropies-funded initiative to support Innovation Delivery Teams in five cities - Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans - to help mayors develop and deliver high-impact solutions to major urban challenges.

The Innovation Delivery Team, made up of high-performing staff in each city, will generate innovative solutions, develop implementation plans and manage progress to achieve results on top-priority issues identified by City Hall.

Through a leadership and research program managed by NYU Wagner and RCLA, Fellows will support the development and execution of city-specific strategies, documenting progress in all phases of the innovation and delivery process and implementing data collection systems and analysis that elevate best practices in government innovation, as relates to the Innovation Delivery Team model. Fellows will have a unique opportunity to learn from senior leaders in municipal government and engage in hands-on research supported by first-tier academic expertise.

The teams will address a wide range of complex infrastructure, operational and social problems in the selected cities. They include:

  • Atlanta, GA: improve customer service and significantly reduce street homelessness
  • Chicago, IL: cut waiting and processing times for key city services and dramatically scale energy efficiency efforts
  • Louisville, KY: implement a new regional economic development strategy and improve agency performance
  • Memphis, TN: increase business growth in target neighborhoods and reduce handgun violence
  • New Orleans, LA: cut waiting and processing times for city services and reduce homicides

The application and selection process for the Fellowship was rigorous and competitive. There were 163 applications submitted, which were reviewed by a selection committee that nominated 30 candidates for a first-round interview. Sixteen of those candidates were chosen to advance to the final round of interviews with the cities. The top five candidates were selected as Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellows by the Innovation Delivery Team Directors.

The Bloomberg Innovation Delivery Fellows are:

  • Emily Lieb
    Placement City: Atlanta, GA
  • Daniel Makela
    Placement City: Louisville, KY
  • Abby Miller
    Placement City: Memphis, TN
  • Whitney Soensken
    Placement City: New Orleans, LA
  • Katherine Yager
    Placement City: Chicago, IL

James Anderson, who leads government innovation work at Bloomberg Philanthropies, noted, "These five fellows will play an integral role in documenting and sharing best practices in innovation and delivery across the five cities. They will also help translate these learnings into resources that many more cities can use. This is a chance to bring real change to American cities through a groundbreaking team model that we look forward to sharing across the country, while training the next generation of urban leaders."

Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award Goes to Two NYU Wagner Scholars

Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award Goes to Two NYU Wagner Scholars

A distinguished pair of NYU Wagner professors have been named as recipients of New York University's 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award.

Congratulations to Shankar Prasad, who is adjunct assistant professor of public administration, and Associate Professor Deirdre Royster, who is co-affiliated with the NYU Department of Sociology.

The faculty award recognizes University professors who exemplify the spirit of the late civil rights leader through their scholarship, research, and teaching by making a positive contribution to their students in the classroom and to the greater NYU community.

Professors Prasad and Royster and three other honorees were recognized at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award Reception on  February 8 in Pless Hall Lounge. Prasad's research focuses on political learning within immigrant communities across the United States. Royster is the author of "Race and the Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men From Blue-Collar Jobs" (2003).


Mitchell Moss to Join Cornel West at Feb. 9 Martin Luther King Jr. Event

Mitchell Moss to Join Cornel West at Feb. 9 Martin Luther King Jr. Event

Don't miss a highlight of New York University's weeklong commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., when Dr. Cornel West talks about activism at NYU's Kimmel Center on Thursday, Feb. 9, and is joined by Mitchell Moss, the Henry Hart Rice professor of urban policy at NYU Wagner, who will talk about cities.

This University-wide event, which runs from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., showcases "7 Issues, 7 Leaders, 7 Minutes." NYU's Kimmel Center for University Life is located at the corner of Washington Square South and LaGuardia Place, and the event is in its Eisner & Lubin Auditorium. Professors West and Moss are among the seven featured presenters.

The theme of this year's MLK Week at NYU (Feb. 6-11) is: "The Future of Diversity: Here & Now."

To register for the evening event, please go to http://mlkweek2012.eventbrite.com/.


NYU Wagner's Prof. Robertson Work Provides Global Service in 2011 and 2012

NYU Wagner's Prof. Robertson Work Provides Global Service in 2011 and 2012

Robertson Work
In 2011, in addition to teaching at NYU Wagner, Prof. Robertson Work made a keynote presentation at the Building Creative Communities Conference in Colquitt, GA. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist he travelled to Kathmandu, Nepal, to develop a Master's curriculum on training and development with a Nepali university. Prof. Work assisted the UN Global Forum on Transformative Leadership by training forum facilitators in participatory methods, writing a background paper and making a keynote address at the global forum held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Finally, he facilitated four strategic planning workshops for the UN related to public administration country studies.

In 2012 Prof. Work will again teach "innovative leadership for human development" at NYU Wagner. In addition, he will lead an East-West Center regional seminar on democratic local governance held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, with seven Asian nations participating. Prof. Work will assist the UN Global Forum on Local Governance and Citizen Involvement by preparing a background paper, training forum facilitators and making a keynote presentation at the global forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has been invited as a Fulbright Senior Specialist to help strengthen a poverty reduction research institution in Islamabad, Pakistan. And finally, Prof. Work has been invited to give a keynote presentation at the ICAI global conference on human development held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Recent Graduate John White Chosen as Louisiana State Education Superintendent

Recent Graduate John White Chosen as Louisiana State Education Superintendent

John White, a recent graduate of NYU Wagner and the featured speaker at the upcoming Henry Hart Rice Urban Policy Forum in April, has been named to a top leadership position in public education.

Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education this month (January, 2011) selected White as the State Superintendent of Education.

White began his career in public service as a high school English teacher. Honing his skills at Wagner in education finance, management, and policy, he went on to work for the New York City Department of Education's senior leadership team and as a Deputy Chancellor.

Since May, 2011, he has been the Superintendent of the Louisiana Recovery School District, overseeing 79 of the state's most challenged schools.

His most recent promotion has attracted praise from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who said, "John is a visionary leader who has done great things in New York City and New Orleans, and I'm confident he'll do the same for the whole state of Louisiana."

White will be returning to NYU Wagner to discuss his successful career as a leader in public service: He is slated to be the guest speaker at the annual Henry Hart Rice Urban Policy Forum on April 23. Don't miss it!

New White House Chief of Staff Taught at NYU Wagner

New White House Chief of Staff Taught at NYU Wagner

President Barack Obama's new White House chief of staff - Jacob "Jack" Lew - comes to his powerful post by way of NYU Wagner.

After serving as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Clinton administration, Lew left Washington to become, until 2006, executive vice president for operations at New York University and a clinical professor of public administration at NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

He is a New York City native who has worked effectively in and across sectors, as an article posted January 11 on AllGov.com notes.



Does Financial Literacy Alone Lead to Good Financial Decisions?

Does Financial Literacy Alone Lead to Good Financial Decisions?

NYU Wagner Professor Jonathan Morduch and Public Service Fellow Barbara Kiviat have written a fascinating paper on financial literacy for the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation, entitled "From Financial Literacy to Financial Action."

The paper examines how financial know-how, seen as a tool important to the success of micro-lending strategies in developing countries, can be utilized to help people "turn financial aspirations into meaningful actions" and "develop and stick to concrete financial plans."

Morduch is a professor of public policy and economics at NYU Wagner and the managing director of the Financial Access Initiative (FAI), where Kiviat offers a blog post about  the full white paper. She is a David Bohnett Public Service Fellow at Wagner and a research associate at the Financial Access Initiative.

Rudin Center 's Holiday Advisory: Avoid These Roads!

Rudin Center 's Holiday Advisory: Avoid These Roads!

Planning to drive in the New York City area this holiday season? The Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, in a new report, has identified the 10 worst bottlenecks to steer clear of when you get behind the wheel during peak travel hours.

"The holiday season is one of the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year, and the weekend before Christmas is the busiest of the holiday season, bar none," said Professor Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center, housed at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

"Travelers should consider alternative routes-or better yet, use alternative routes if possible," he said. "Our list indicates the 10 roads in the New York City area definitely to avoid so that your trip doesn't end up taking two or even three times longer than expected."

Moss and his colleague Carson Qing at the Rudin Center compiled the 10 worst bottlenecks using data developed by the Texas Transportation Institute. The data identify the most congestion-prone corridors in the country and measure how much additional time should be allocated to travel along these corridors when they are congested.

Among the 10 worst New York City-area traffic "hot spots" during the holiday season, for example, are the evening rush hour (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) on the Whitestone Expressway northbound in Queens, and the morning rush hour (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) on the Hutchinson Parkway northbound in Westchester County.

"The two-lane northbound Hutchinson Parkway requires motorists to plan on a trip three times longer than normal to guarantee on-time arrival at the end of the route," Moss, an urban policy professor at NYU Wagner, said. "While the Whitestone from Flushing to the Bronx is twice as wide as the ‘Hutch,' it is just as prone to intense congestion during peak traffic hours, and motorists should plan for a trip that is three times as long as normal."

For the report, the Rudin Center estimated how much time should be allocated for travel along each of these 10 arteries in order to guarantee on-time arrival in expectation of holiday traffic congestion. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, nine of 10 Americans who travel during the holiday season do so by car, while long-distance travel over this period increases by 23%. During the weekend before Christmas, there are 93% more long-distance trips than the daily average. AAA Travel Services has projected that the coming 11-day holiday period will bring the highest traffic volume the country has seen in 10 years.

Among the routes the Rudin Center finds to be especially prone to traffic jams are three leading northbound out of New York City between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. These are the Henry Hudson Parkway, FDR Drive, and the Major Deegan Expressway.

The New York City-area traffic bottleneck where you can expect be stuck for the longest duration during the evening peak traffic hours (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) is southbound I-95, which includes the notoriously slow Cross-Bronx Expressway and leads into the New Jersey-bound lanes of the George Washington Bridge. Evening commutes along I-95 can be expected to increase from 15 minutes (best-case scenario) to a patience-taxing 40 minutes during the holiday period.

Heading into Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel will be no treat, either. The Pulaski Skyway northbound, which feeds into the tunnel, is one of the least reliable stretches of highway in New Jersey, slowing a five-minute morning commute to at least 15 minutes, according to the report.

Roundtable With Public Advocate's Office Examines NYC's Long-Term Liabilities

Roundtable With Public Advocate's Office Examines NYC's Long-Term Liabilities

Rising costs and budget reductions are forcing New York City leaders to grapple with the long-term financial impact of City retirees' pension and health care benefits. At present, about 20 percent, or $13 billion, of the City's annual budget pays those expenses. This portion arises from collective bargaining agreements, the ups and downs of the stock market, the dynamics and costs of health care, demographics, and other factors.

Weaving questions of public finance and public policy, a December 12 roundtable discussion at NYU Wagner on the City's long-term liabilities drew more than 100 guests, as leading experts explained the hard numbers and difficult choices associated with the public cost of health care for city and state employees, both active and retired, in the years ahead.

The discussion was the second of three roundtables on long-term liabilities cosponsored by The Fund for Public Advocacy; the Office of Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate for the City of New York; as well as by NYU Wagner and the Wagner Economics and Finance Association.

"It's the 20 percent of the budget that we tend to talk about the least," noted De Blasio, who explained that the question of how long-term liabilities are handled is critical to sustaining the City's strengths as a major local employer and an indispensable provider of public services.

The event included a keynote address on Federal health care liabilities by Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, and a panel discussion with Carol Kellermann, president of the Citizens Budget Commission; Bruce McIver, president, the Voluntary League of Hospitals and Homes New York; Carol O'Cleireacain, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and New York Times columnist Michael Powell (moderator).

Reshma Saujani, executive director, Fund for Public Advocacy, and deputy advocate for special initiatives at the Office of the Public Advocate, delivered opening remarks, as did Neil Kleiman, special advisor to the NYU Wagner dean.

The series is being presented with the help of generous support from The New York Community Trust and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.


Wagner-cosponsored Symposium Explores Innovations in Healthcare Management

Wagner-cosponsored Symposium Explores Innovations in Healthcare Management

Ellen Schall, Dean and Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management at NYU Wagner, moderated a comprehensive, in-depth panel discussion on healthcare policy and management on December 12 at the second annual "Innovations in Healthcare Symposium" at New York University.

Attended by 150 guests, the symposium was co-sponsored by NYU Wagner, the College of Nursing, and NYU Langone, and was held at the NYU Langone Medical Center's Alexandria Center, located along the East River. The gathering brought together leading minds from inside and outside the healthcare industry to offer solutions for healthcare reform and innovation.

Dean Schall's panel, "Innovation in Health Care Delivery: Making Patient-Centeredness Real," included these leading healthcare experts: Annette Diefenthaler, PhD, Design Researcher and Project Lead, IDEO; Kimberly S. Glassman, PhD, RN, Sr. Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, NYU Langone Medical Center; Albert G. Mulley, Jr., MD, MPP, Director, Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science Professor of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School; and Michael Meltsner, JD, Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law.

Commented Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean & CEO at NYU Langone Medical Center, "Discovering innovative ways to deliver health care cannot be accomplished if we work only in silos, and succeeding in this challenge never been more important than it is today. Providers, payers, academia and industry must collaborate to create novel methods to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of care at a reasonable cost. This symposium was created to facilitate dialogue and drive action towards improving the healthcare delivery system."

The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy at NYU offers a Health Policy and Management Program that has been recognized as one of the best in the country, crossing traditional boundaries, linking management, finance and policy and providing students with the cutting-edge concepts and skills needed to shape the future of health policy and management. Students in the Wagner program receive a set of tools and experiences that allow them to understand both the delivery of health care services and the broader social, cultural and economic factors that influence health outcomes. Wagner's students experience firsthand the importance of health care delivery and health promotion in one of the most interesting, diverse, and complex cities in the world, and its graduates work in every sector of the health care system.


WOCPN Poll: Jobs, Education No. 1 Issues for Minorities in 2012 Swing States

WOCPN Poll: Jobs, Education No. 1 Issues for Minorities in 2012 Swing States

A new poll from the Women of Color Policy Network (WOCPN) at NYU Wagner finds that Latino and African-American voters in 11 battleground states key to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election support President Barack Obama's re-election overwhelmingly -- and are motivated strongly to turn out.

The WOCPN's telephone survey of 800 registered minority voters in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Missouri shows that getting the economy back on track and education are the top issues of the campaign for a large majority of these voters, putting them on a course to turn out at the polls in the presidential race. Those surveyed (the poll was conducted during the first two weeks of November) expressed some disillusionment with progress on a number of major public fronts, but principally blame Republicans in Congress.

The Women of Color Policy Network is a nationally known research center at New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate Center of Public Service. The executive director is C. Nicole Mason.

The poll was conducted ahead of the "Engage 2012" conference on minority voting and the 2012 election that was convened by WOCPN on Thursday and Friday, December 8-9 at NYU Kimmel Center. The survey attracted national press coverage, including on MSNBC and Politico.

MPA Student Wins GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship

MPA Student Wins GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship

Congratulations are most definitely in order for Brian Footer, who is pursuing his MPA at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service: The online network GovLoop and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) have awarded him third place for his essay, "Local Government Grant Program, " which suggests a new grant program that would make funds available to help communities that miss out on much-needed assistance in these fiscally pinched times.

"I believe government's inherent social value is establishing services essential to provide basic human needs," wrote Footer, whose essay was among the top three winners chosen after a review, by a panel of judges, of more than 1,700 entries submitted by graduate students around the country.

"This, however," he went on, "is not a mandate for government to deliver services. Rather, government should be a coordinator of parties and resources, and no one understands the unique demands of each geographic community better than local government."

Brian's honor includes a $1,000 scholarship.

The GovLoop/NASPAA announcement is here.


Paul Light Guest-Edits Special Issue of Public Administration Review

Paul Light Guest-Edits Special Issue of Public Administration Review

The highly respected Public Administration Review (PAR) has published a special issue on the Federalist Papers guest-edited by Paul Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner, and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service.

For this extraordinary edition dated December 1, 2011, Professor Light brought together 20 leading public administration scholars and asked them to write boldly about what he called a "perfectly audacious" question: What might Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, who between October 1787 and August 1788 penned the Federalist Papers promoting ratification of the U.S. Constitution, add now to the pamphlets, in view of changes in the administration of our government over the past two and a quarter centuries? Are these foundational essays still relevant? How might key pamphlets be updated to reflect new realities? Each contributor considers a specific Federalist Paper that Light considers to be among those of greatest import to effective governance in our time.

In the role of guest editor, Light assembled some of the most senior scholars in the field, as well as members of the next generation of leading thinkers in public administration. The special issue will stimulate debate on some of the seemingly intractable issues with which Americans are intensely grappling today.

GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship Competition - Part II

GovLoop/NASPAA Scholarship Competition - Part II

Brian Footer

NYU Wagner has not just one, but two finalists in the national Public Service Scholarship essay-writing competition sponsored by the GovLoop social network for government and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. He's Brian Footer, who is working toward an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy with a specialization in Financial Management.

Way to go, Brian!

Brian is one of 15 finalists. His essay was chosen from more than 170 submissions by judges from GovLoop and NASPAA. In the next and last phase of the competition, the three winning pieces on how to prioritize federal sending in fiscally constrained times will be picked by the GovLoop network of more than 50,000 members in an online vote, and will be eligible for a scholarship award of as much as $2,500.

"If the U.S. government had only $100 million left in the budget," Brian's thoughtful and well crafted submission begins, "I would begin devising a grant program to direct money to local governments in the pursuit of assisting the most fragile and disenfranchised populations. I believe government's inherent social value is establishing services essential to provide basic human needs. This, however, is not a mandate for government to deliver services. Rather, government should be a coordinator of parties and resources, and no one understands the unique demands of each geographic community better than local government."

The piece goes on to explain how the locally guided grant process would work.

Brian's own career as a passionate public servant is more than 10 years in the making.

He moved to New York City to work on Christine C. Quinn's successful campaign for re-election as City Council Speaker, and later served as the Speaker's Scheduler. Prior to arriving in the city, he lived in Washington, D.C., and worked on Capitol Hill, for the Democratic Governors Association as a fund raiser, and for the US Tax Court as a Clerk.

He is now a Legislative Policy Analyst to the New York City Council's Committee on Aging and Committee on Veterans Affairs.

Brian volunteers his time at the Abzyme Research Foundation, helping to advocate for development of abzyme technology in hopes of producing the world's first effective HIV vaccine and improved treatments. After two years of effort and dedication toward developing a small-donor program, Brian is a member of the Board of Directors.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Prelaw from Ohio University.


White House Convenes 200 Public Service Leaders, Including NYU Wagner's Dean

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

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

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).


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