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.
Call for Nominations: Leadership for a Changing World Award
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 Development, 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.