Robertson Work
Adjunct Professor of Public Administration

Robertson Work, adjunct professor of public administration, is founder/director of Innovative Leadership Services and facilitator/trainer for UNDESA, UN Habitat and the East-West Center, among others. Mr. Work is also a Fulbright Senior Specialist assisting universities overseas and a Fellow of the NYU Wagner Research Center for Leadership in Action.

Previously he was UNDP's Principal Policy Advisor of Decentralized Governance for 16 years at UN headquarters in New York. While with UNDP he designed and coordinated the Local Initiative Facility for Urban Environment (LIFE) operating in 20 countries and another global program, Decentralizing the MDGs through Innovative Leadership. He also coordinated a global community of practice on decentralized governance, provided policy advice to countries worldwide, conducted research and prepared global policy papers.

Prior to UNDP, Mr. Work served in Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Jamaica, USA and Venezuela for 21 years as country and regional director with the Institute of Cultural Affairs, an international NGO with UN Eco Soc Consultative status. His work of human development in 55 countries has consisted of the design and implementation of research, training and demonstration projects in leadership, organizational and community development, rural and urban development, NGO and project management, policy formulation and advice and group facilitation.

Mr. Work has written widely on decentralization and local governance, urban and rural development, poverty eradication and environmental improvement, the role of civil society in governance and development, capacity development and participatory methods. He has previously taught at the University of the West Indies, University of Aruba, Antioch University Graduate School of Whole System Design, the ICA Global Academy and the Social Artistry School.  He conducted his graduate studies at Indiana University and Chicago Theological Seminary and undergraduate studies at Oklahoma State University, which honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2003. He and his wife Bonnie Myotai Treace live on the Hudson River north of New York City.

Semester Course
Spring 2015 CAP-GP.3227.002 Capstone: Advanced Projects in International Policy and Management II

Continuation of CAP-GP.3226.

As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for a client organization or conducting research on a pressing social question. Wagner's Capstone program provides students with a centerpiece of their graduate experience whereby they are able to experience first-hand turning the theory of their studies into practice under the guidance of an experienced faculty member. Projects require students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific content or issue area; enhance key process skills including project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. Capstone requires students to interweave their learning in all these areas, and to do so in real time, in an unpredictable, complex, real-world environment.


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Spring 2015 PADM-GP.2131.001 Organizational and Managerial Development

Organizations in the public, private and non-profit sector are being challenged to meet 21st century standards of performance and to meet challenges that cross sector and organizational boundaries. This course presents the practice of OD and HRD in the context of a changing environment organized around the customer, client and citizen. Today customers, donors, employees and regulators demand more transparent and participatory process. This requires that accountability be designed in, performance standards set, strategy implemented, stakeholders satisfied and sustainability built in. OD/HRD methods aim to enable organizations to learn how to deal with a changing world.


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Fall 2014 CAP-GP.3226.002 Capstone: Advanced Projects in International Policy and Management I

Couples with CAP-GP.3227.

As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for a client organization or conducting research on a pressing social question. Wagner's Capstone program provides students with a centerpiece of their graduate experience whereby they are able to experience first-hand turning the theory of their studies into practice under the guidance of an experienced faculty member. Projects require students to get up-to-speed quickly on a specific content or issue area; enhance key process skills including project management and teamwork; and develop competency in gathering, analyzing, and reporting out on data. Capstone requires students to interweave their learning in all these areas, and to do so in real time, in an unpredictable, complex, real-world environment.


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Fall 2013 PADM-GP.2226.001 Innovative Leadership for Human Development: The UN and the MDGs

The course will explore an integral framework for international development that compliments the current hyper-rational, statistical, technocratic, bureaucratic approach. Integral development includes systems/institutions/policies, cultural development, individual behavior and individual consciousness and values. The course will then enable students to experience and practice innovative leadership methods that can make a dramatic difference in their life and work. As an alternative to a "command and control" leadership style, innovative leadership is facilitative, participatory, collaborative, creative and profound. Four levels of innovative leadership will be experienced, enhanced and practiced:
physical/sensory capacities, psychological/historical capacities, mythic/symbolic capacities and unitive/intuitive capacities. UN program experience will be shared related to the role of innovative leadership in achieving the MDGs in Nepal, Albania, the Eastern Caribbean, Kenya and the Philippines.


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Fall 2012 PADM-GP.2226.001 Innovative Leadership for Human Development: The UN and the MDGs

The course will explore an integral framework for international development that compliments the current hyper-rational, statistical, technocratic, bureaucratic approach. Integral development includes systems/institutions/policies, cultural development, individual behavior and individual consciousness and values. The course will then enable students to experience and practice innovative leadership methods that can make a dramatic difference in their life and work. As an alternative to a "command and control" leadership style, innovative leadership is facilitative, participatory, collaborative, creative and profound. Four levels of innovative leadership will be experienced, enhanced and practiced:
physical/sensory capacities, psychological/historical capacities, mythic/symbolic capacities and unitive/intuitive capacities. UN program experience will be shared related to the role of innovative leadership in achieving the MDGs in Nepal, Albania, the Eastern Caribbean, Kenya and the Philippines.


Download Syllabus