Global EMPA

"Portfolios of the Poor," co-authored by Prof. Jonathan Morduch, Helped Inspire a New App to Address Income Volatility: NY Times Magazine

"Portfolios of the Poor," co-authored by Prof. Jonathan Morduch, Helped Inspire a New App to Address Income Volatility: NY Times Magazine

“Want A Steady Income? There’s an App for That,” a piece published Sunday, May 3, in The New York Times Magazine, focuses on a Silicon Valley app-in-development partly inspired by Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day, the groundbreaking book (Princeton University Press, 2009) written by NYU Wagner Professor of Public Policy and Economics Jonathan Morduch, NYU Wagner PhD Daryl Collins, and two others. The anticipated app is designed to help households manage what has been called America's “hidden inequality” – the profound stresses and disruptions income volatility can cause.

Professor Morduch’s research centers on microfinance, social investment, and the economics of poverty. He is the Executive Director and Founder of the Financial Access Initiative (FAI). His current “U.S. Financial Diaries” project examines how income volatility affects low- and moderate-income U.S. families.

Advancing Relational Leadership Research and Practice: RCLA Event

Advancing Relational Leadership Research and Practice: RCLA Event

NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action will host a book celebration and discussion on "Advancing Relational Leadership Research and Practice" on Monday, February 25, from 12:00 – 1:30 pm.

The event will be a conversation with Mary Uhl-Bien, PhD, Howard Hawks Chair in Business Ethics and Leadership Management, University of Nebraska, and Sonia M. Ospina, PhD, Faculty Director of the Research Center for Leadership in Action, NYU Wagner.

The complex webs of relationships and interconnectivity in today’s work environment open up new worlds of possibility for organizational performance and leadership. At the same time, making decisions and taking action are more challenging and outcomes are less predictable.

For organizations to capitalize on these relationships and networks to achieve their missions requires challenging outdated leadership models that focus solely on individual leaders and assume top-down, linear causality, often ignoring context. Advancing theories of leadership that are more relevant to practice requires understanding how people connect and the implications of relational dynamics for leadership research and development. This, in turn, requires a dialogue among scholars and practitioners about the very meaning of relational leadership.

The new book, Advancing Relational Leadership Research: A Conversation across Perspectives, edited by Mary Uhl-Bien and Sonia M. Ospina, documents the beginning of such a conversation among renowned leadership scholars. Incorporating a wide range of disciplines and perspectives (e.g., organizational behavior, communications, sociology, public policy, critical theory, feminist theory, relational theory), the authors address the theoretical, research and practical questions of attempting to develop a relational view of leadership.

At the book celebration, the editors will discuss what they have learned from working with the scholars and participants can continue a lively conversation about the questions, obstacles and the key next steps to advance work on relational leadership. The ultimate goal is to integrate multiple perspectives in developing actionable knowledge on relational leadership that can help address the challenges in today’s work environment.

The event will be held in the Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue at NYU Wagner.

RSVPs are required. RSVP now.



Alumnus Jayson Browder Discusses His New Endeavor, Veterans4Diplomacy

Alumnus Jayson Browder Discusses His New Endeavor, Veterans4Diplomacy

NYU Wagner alumnus Jayson Browder (Global Executive MPA, 2015) was a recent guest interviewee at Carnegie New Leaders, a membership program for young professionals from a range of fields who wish to engage in a dialogue on ethics and international affairs.

A Presidential Management Fellow at The White House, Jayson discussed Veterans4Diplomacy (V4D), his new venture to help student veterans to develop into the next generation of American foreign policy leaders. The inaugural V4D class (2015) is made up of seven graduate and seven undergraduate students with an average combined GPA of 3.7. They represent nine universities, come from four branches of service, and have earned a total of 34 commendation medals, including Bronze Stars, Purple Hearts, and Joint Service Medals.

Jayson previously served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Turkey assigned as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador to the province of Bayburt with the goal of promoting cross-cultural awareness. Additionally, he worked as an adjunct academic faculty member, providing research on the Syrian conflict, Turkish and Iranian relations, and U.S. foreign policy at Bayburt University.

Before leaving for the Fulbright, Jayson was a Military Advisor to U.S. Congressman Beto O'Rourke and an Adjunct Junior Fellow at the American Security Project. His analysis on national security and foreign policy issues has been published in numerous media and think tank organizations such as the Carnegie Council, Asia Times, NPR, Foreign Policy Journal, Partnership for a Secure America, and Truman National Security Project. He proudly served in the United States Air Force.

Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion - Jonathan Morduch

Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion - Jonathan Morduch

Jonathan Morduch, professor of public policy and economics at NYU Wagner, has co-edited a new collection about the world’s vast “unbanked” population. The book, Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion, examines how to realize the goal of extending banking and other financial services to the estimated 2.5 billion people, just over half the adult population globally, who lack them. It. is published by The MIT Press and can be ordered here.

Morduch, a contributor to the volume, is the executive director and co-founder of the Financial Access Initiative, an inter-university research center housed at the Wagner school. The full gamut of essays explore such topics as the complexity of surveying people about their use of financial services; evidence of the impact of financial services on income; and the occasional negative effects of financial services on poor households, including disincentives to work and over-indebtedness. Along with Murdoch, the book's co-editors include Robert Cull and Asli Demirglic-Kunt.

About the Editors:

Robert Cull is a Lead Economist in the Finance and Delivery Private Sector Development Team of the World Bank’s Development Research Group. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is Director of Development Policy in the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency and Chief Economist of the Financial and Private Sector Development Network (FPD).

Asli Demirguc-Kunt is Senior Research Manager, Finance and Private Sector, in the World Bank's Development Economics Research Group. She is the coeditor of Financial Structures and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Comparison of Banks, Markets, and Development (MIT Press, 2001).

Jonathan J. Morduch is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is the coauthor of The Economics of Microfinance (MIT Press) and Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day.

Blue-Ribbon Panel Chaired by NYU Wagner Prof. Gordon Campbell to Look into Closures of Several Nonprofit Organizations

Blue-Ribbon Panel Chaired by NYU Wagner Prof. Gordon Campbell to Look into Closures of Several Nonprofit Organizations

Gordon J. Campbell, Professor of Practice at NYU Wagner and Director of the school’s Executive MPA Program, is among two dozen seasoned nonprofit human services executives who have been named to a blue-ribbon Commission of the Human Services Council (HSC) to look into the closures of several large nonprofit human services organizations in New York City. Campbell, with more than three decades of experience as a government official and nonprofit leader, will chair the new Commission.

The role of the Commission is to seek to “understand the contributing factors from management and oversight to challenging fiscal environments” in connection with the demise  of organizations such as FEGS; the $250 million health and human services nonprofit shut its doors after announcing it had lost $19.4 million last year.

HSC works closely with city and state government.

 “Over the course of several months, the group will evaluate the financial details, management decisions, government contract terms, and accountability systems of these organizations to gain a full picture and understanding of what caused them to close. They will also examine existing oversight approaches, including those required and those considered best practices, investigate the financial and other management decisions made, and identify funding and other systemic issues contributing to financial problems,” according to an HSC statement.

Professor Campbell most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of New York City, which creates, leads, and supports strategic initiatives that have a measurable and lasting impact in improving education, income stability, and health.

He was Chief Executive Officer of Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading and largest victim assistance organization, from 1998 to 2007.  During his tenure, Safe Horizon was widely recognized for its compassionate and effective emergency response to the 9 /11 attacks. Prior to leading Safe Horizon, he served in senior positions in the Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani Administrations. He was the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services and Chief of Staff to the First Deputy Mayor. In addition, he was Deputy Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations and a mayoral appointee to the City’s Procurement Policy Board. While at the city’s Human Resources Administration, he headed the Office of Medicaid Transportation and created and organized the Division of AIDS Services.

Before arriving in New York City, Mr. Campbell served as a prosecutor, a labor attorney, as well as the Chief Administrator for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.

Capstone Projects Exhibited at Lively NYU Wagner Expo

Capstone Projects Exhibited at Lively NYU Wagner Expo

NYU Wagner graduate students exhibited the findings of their 2015 Capstone team consultancy and research projects at a highly enthusiastic, dynamic expo that brought together hundreds of alumni, faculty, public service managers, and policymakers at the Kimmel Center for University Life on May 12.

Eighty-nine Capstone efforts, each tackling a critical challenge faced by a nonprofit, public, or private sector organization, were unveiled, their authors using laptops, full-color poster boards, and carefully sifted data to explain the impact of their projects for their client agency and the public at large.

The year’s work of the MPA and MUP students delved into complex questions of management, finance, policy, health care, urban planning, and applied research in local, domestic, and international realms.

Among the organizational clients served by the Capstone teams were: God’s Love We Deliver, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the China Center for Urban DSC_0148.JPGDevelopment, Impact Hub Mexico City, Chevron Liberia, the World Bank South Asia Urban Sector, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the City of Long Beach, N.Y., and numerous others.

For the nonprofit God’s Love We Deliver, the Capstone team identified growth potential and service gaps for New York City area food and nutrition service. For the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a team explored ways to improve internal workflow process and response rates. In Long Beach, a community hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, a team worked on developing an integrated transportation plan. The impact of Chevron Liberia’s social investment program was still another team’s focus.

Capstone, a requirement of the Master of Public Administration and Master of Urban Planning programs at NYU Wagner, provides students with both a critical learning experience and an opportunity to perform a public service. Over the course of an academic year, students in Capstone work in teams with faculty oversight to address challenges and identify opportunities for a client organization or to conduct research on a pressing social question. 

Capstone projects require students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific content or issue area; enhance key process skills such as project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. For students, it's an opportunity to apply their classroom learning in real time to unpredictable, complex, real-world situations.

The Capstone Program was originally funded with a generous grant from the Ford Foundation in 1995. Since then, more than 5,200 students have completed nearly 1,200 projects for more than 800 organizations. FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds provided generous financial support for this year's Capstone Program.


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