When Nelson Mandela Gave NYU Wagner a Helping Hand
It is only a footnote in the life of a great historical figure, but the gesture of support that Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) made for NYU Wagner more than a decade ago marks a spectacular moment in the life of the public service graduate school.
Initially postponed by the September 11, 2001, attacks, the campus visit the following May by the Nobel Peace Prize recipient and leader of the emancipation of South Africa helped to catalyze an innovative Fellowship designed to bring students from Africa to Wagner to study public policy and management. The new Fellowship launched that day attracted generous financial backing from Oprah Winfrey, and today is known as the African Women's Public Service Fellowship.
Many dignitaries attended the event, punctuated by thunderous applause for Mandela. But Mandela, with quietly overpowering dignity, delivered a simple message. The Wagner school's commitment to Africa represented an opportunity for mutual learning in the important work of nation and community building, and Mandela exhorted the next generation of public service leaders to take up the struggle for equality, justice, and liberty for all.
"The struggle for true and universal human emancipation still lies ahead of the children, youth and future generations," he said, in words that continue to resonate with urgency and truth.
The Wagner community joins the world over in mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela.
Hope Tumukunde, a former African Public Service Fellow at NYU Wagner, Describes Global Program to End Violence Against Women and Girls
Hope Tumukunde, a recent African Public Service Fellow at NYU Wagner, is working on an initiative in Kigali City, Rwanda to end violence against women and girls.
A city of nearly 1 million people and the capital of Rwanda, Kingali was one of five pilot cities included in the “Safe Cities Free of Violence Against Women and Girls Global Programme" sponsored by UN Women and other partners and launched in 2010. Ms. Tumukunde is Deputy Mayor of Kingali.
In a recent interview, she shared some of her experiences from the Kigali City Initiative.
Ms. Tumukunde graduated in 2008 from Wagner (MPA, International Policy and Management). Based in good measure on her oustanding academic standing and professional stature, she was selected to be the guest speaker at the school's Convocation ceremonies that May.
Before attending Wagner as a Fellow, Ms. Tumukunde served as the Governor of Butare province in southern Rwanda, and as Governor of the Kigali Ngali province. She also worked as an employee of the government of Rwanda.
Immediately after completing her Wagner degree, she returned to her native Rwanda and served there as Commissioner at the Rwanda National Human Rights Commission.
Prof. Natasha Iskander Exploring the Role of Migrants in Qatar's Construction Industry
Natasha Iskander, Associate Professor of Public Policy at NYU Wagner, is the recipient of a $550,000 grant from the Qatar National Research Foundation to support her research endeavor, “Skill-Building and Industry Development through Migration: The Role of Migrants in Qatar’s Construction Industry.”
The study will examine how migrants acquire, translate, and develop skills while working on construction sites in Doha, and will explore the skills that they may take back with them to their countries of origin or third countries. It will involve field research in Qatar and migration source countries, including India and Nepal.
Professor Iskander is an expert on labor migration and economic development, on labor mobilization and its relationship to workforce development, and on processes of institutional innovation and organizational learning. Her award-wining book, Creative State: Forty Years of Migration and Development Policy in Morocco and Mexico (Cornell University Press: 2010), examines how the governments of Mexico and Morocco elaborated policies to build a link between labor emigration and local economic development.
NYU Wagner Student Marks UN Children's Day With Talk on Global Water Scarcity
First-year NYU Wagner student Wemimo Abbey participated in a youth leadership forum entitled “Youth Leadership Perspectives on Challenges of the World’s Children” on the occasion of the United Nations' Children Day on November 20.
The event was held by the Peace Island Institute (PII) in New York.
Abbey, founder of Clean Water for Everyone, mentioned a huge problem -- the limited access to clean water by an estimated 2 billion people around the world. His organization works to address the shortage at hundreds of schools in Nigeria.
Ambassador Carlos Gonzalez, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations, delivered the day’s main address. Concerning his own participation, Abbey commented later, "It was humbling."
Global Policy and Management on a Complex International Stage
NYU Wagner and University College London's School of Public Policy (UCL) have created a unique partnership to offer an innovative one-year joint Master of Public Administration, Executive program in Global Public Policy and Management (Global EMPA). The program will start in September 2014.
Clinton Global Initiative University Features Students' "UPleaft" Project
NYU Wagner’s Maria Claudia Sarta Herrera, Jessica Troiano and Elizabeth Kelly made a commitment under the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) to create an all-natural beverage company. Their project - UPleaft - will generate income for farmers in Colombia and give consumers a healthier alternative to traditional high-sugar soft drinks. The project will establish partnerships with urban and rural small-holder farmers to create a sustainable income source. The students also hope to mobilize members of the community to train farmers in eco-friendly farming, harvesting and processing techniques, as well as provide them with access to financial services.
Upleaft was one of 16 commitments featured at the Clinton Global Initiative University held at Washington University in St. Louis on April 6. Upwards of 1,000 students representing more than 300 universities and 75 countries were in attendance.
The meeting examined critical topics, such as combating prescription drug abuse among young people, what it takes to launch a business as a young entrepreneur, and how to empower the next generation of girls and women around the world. Students gained further insight into today's pressing global challenges and acquired the skills needed to make progress on their own Commitments to Action.
Before the event was concluded, TV comedian Stephen Colbert “interviewed” former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and some of the student presenters, including Wagner's own UPleaft creators.
Conference Explores Philanthropy's Potential Impact on Public Policy
Gara LaMarche, a senior fellow at NYU Wagner, was the recent co-sponsor of a highly successful conference at New York University on philanthropy and the new, post-2012 election landscape of policymaking and politics.
Foundation executives, individual donors, and civic leaders came together to examine what philanthropy’s evolving relationship with public policy and government means in the context of the rapidly changing political scene. Participants engaged on such issues as K-12 education, health care reform, and poverty. Among the questions examined were:
- How is America’s polarized political culture changing philanthropy?
- How has the political culture shaped the types of projects we fund, demands on grantees and partnerships with government?
- How successful or challenging have philanthropy’s investments been in the realm of policy change and with government? At the start of this new political cycle, what should we do now (or not do) given the ongoing polarization?
The Feb. 12 event was titled “Money and Power in Post-Election America: Where is Philanthropy?” It was co-hosted by NYU, Duke, and Philanthropy New York.
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.
Banking The World
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.
Global Social Change Leadership Institute Early Admissions Deadline Feb 15
RCLA’s Global Social Change Leadership Institute offers college and graduate students and young professionals from across the United States and around the world a chance to develop practical knowledge and skills to advance social justice in their communities.
Program participants learn from experts at the forefront of policy reform and advocacy, coalition building and direct service, and the curriculum draws on a decade of rigorous research RCLA has conducted with award-winning social change organizations about the essential role these nonprofits play in an informed and engaged civil society. Interactive workshops are paired with site visits throughout New York City, offering participants a robust understanding of both the theory and practice of leadership and social change.
Participants emerge with an understanding of social change leadership, a plan for taking action in their school or community, and a network of other advocates committed to social justice.
The Early Admissions deadline is noon EST on February 15, 2013.
Learn more about eligibility requirements, the curriculum, tuition, partial needs-based scholarships, and application instructions.