David Bohnett Public Service Fellowship

OVERVIEW

The Bohnett Fellowship, sponsored by the David Bohnett Foundation, allows outstanding masters students the opportunity to engage in the challenges of governing at the city level.

The Bohnett Fellowship Program provides a full tuition scholarship, as well as a $7,500 summer stipend and internship opportunity for two incoming MPA or MUP students each academic year.

Bohnett Fellows network with mayors from across the country and Bohnett Fellows from other schools when they attend the annual winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington DC accompanied by a faculty. Fellows also participate in a summer internship at the highest levels of NYC government or in the Mayor's office of another US city through the US Conference of Mayors, which has an ongoing partnership with NYU Wagner. 

See current and past Bohnett Fellows.

Fellowship criteria

  • An explicit interest in working for municipal governments to solve our most urgent social issues.
  • Highly articulate in both speaking and writing

Students enrolled in dual master's degree programs with other NYU schools are not eligible for NYU Wagner Named Fellowship programs or merit scholarships.

HOW TO APPLY

  • Submit your Fellowship Application Essay along with your online application to NYU Wagner. Fellowship applicants must also submit the one-minute video essay in order to be considered for fellowship. 
  • Those selected as fellowship semi-finalists will be invited to participate in a virtual interview. 
  • Those selected as fellowship finalists will be invited for a virtual interview with the Selection Committee. This panel of judges will be comprised of representatives from sponsoring organizations, faculty and NYU Wagner alumni.

The David Bohnett Foundation

The mission of the David Bohnett Foundation is to improve society through social activism. David Bohnett is a philanthropist and technology entrepreneur.

Links

CURRENT FELLOWS

Kartika Fuentes

Kartika Fuentes (MPA 2023) - 2021 Bohnett Fellow

Kartika is a Bronx Native and first generation American. She is very proud of her Ecuadorian heritage and the immigrant community that makes New York City so unique and diverse. She went to college in Ecuador and acquired an international perspective on social issues relating to community empowerment, activism, inequality, and grassroots organizing. Kartika is passionate about working across municipal government systems and the nonprofit sector to create more inclusive government responses.

Prior to NYU Wagner, Kartika worked in the AmeriCorps program at South Bronx United and as an intern for the office of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, furthering Kartika’s commitment and dedication to social justice and community organizing. She aims to work with municipal and community leaders to create a lasting social and economic impact though community empowerment, multilingual outreach, and important political acknowledgment of historically marginalized and underserved communities in the city of New York.

Saunders Ruffin

Saunders Ruffin (MPA 2023) - 2021 Bohnett Fellow

Galvanized by the climate crisis and local political campaigning, Ruffin drafted, lobbied for, testified on behalf of, and mobilized communities around a resolution in Virginia’s legislature that would have made the state the first in the nation to declare global warming a climate and ecological emergency. Although the bill failed to pass in early 2020, its introduction kick-started an enduring grassroots movement in Virginia that led to the bill’s reintroduction in 2021 and ignited a passion in Saunders for climate advocacy.

Saunders carried his motivation for service to Pittsburgh, where he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA supporting the city’s civil rights agency to engage more deliberately with the region’s robust immigrant, refugee, and asylee populations on fair housing issues and combat unjust evictions during the coronavirus pandemic. His work continued to illuminate the inseparable connection between housing and community inclusion, economic mobility, and sustainability, while underscoring the importance of public trust in government. Saunders intends to forge a career in local governance tackling the biggest challenges a rapidly changing climate poses to urban centers in America. Saunders holds a B.A. in international politics from Penn State.

Rochelle Brahalla

Rochelle Brahalla (MPA 2022) - 2020 Bohnett Fellow

Rochelle is a Master of Public Administration student and assistant director at New York City Department of Transportation. She is passionate about understanding the role of transportation in facilitating equitable and thriving cities, and moved to NYC to continue creating meaningful infrastructural change. Within City government, Rochelle collaborates with DOT colleagues and other City agencies to develop innovative strategies to calm traffic near schools.

After graduating with a B.S. in landscape architecture from Cornell University, she moved south to Memphis, TN to create productive landscapes through urban agriculture. While collaborating with local communities to build 100+ public school gardens in Memphis, Rochelle observed how structural inequalities in the built environment perpetuated the disenfranchisement of Black and Latinx communities. As a biracial Mauritanian-American, she is interested in local and global identity politics, and finds joy in riding trains and buses alongside fellow New Yorkers.

Parker MacLure

Parker MacLure (MUP 2022) - 2020 Bohnett Fellow

Parker is a Master of Urban Planning student who is committed to becoming an urban planner that focuses on intersectional solutions that benefit disadvantaged communities. They feels strongly that municipal government is uniquely positioned to have the greatest impact on people’s day-to-day lives.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, Parker always yearned to live in a dense walkable neighborhood with better transit access. Studying at Tufts University, they earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in urban studies.

After graduating, Parker moved to New York City to work for the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), a city agency that investigates complaints made against the New York City Police Department. While working at the CCRB, they interviewed hundreds of New Yorkers from all five boroughs, learning about more problems than just policing: housing, health care, and the archipelago of social programs intended to help people.

ALUMNI FELLOWS

Kevin Hansen

Kevin Hansen (MPA 2013) - 2012 Bohnett Fellow

"NYU Wagner helped me develop professional skills in areas like project management, negotiation, data analysis, as well as program and impact evaluation. The program introduced me to a vast network of researchers and public servants; and taught me how to leverage peer-reviewed research to advance evidence-based policymaking." 

Kevin Hansen is the Senior Vice President and Head of Public Policy at Empire State Development, New York State's chief economic development agency. He leads teams that are responsible for public policy, legislative affairs, economic analysis and research, and climate and environmental programs. Over the course of his career, Kevin has held public and private sector roles focused on strategy, operations, public policy, real estate and finance for the City of Chicago, the District of Columbia Mayor's Office, and Bain & Company.

Kevin Hansen is the Senior Vice President and Head of Public Policy at Empire State Development, New York State's chief economic development agency. He leads teams that are responsible for public policy, legislative affairs, economic analysis and research, and climate and environmental programs. Over the course of his career, Kevin has held public and private sector roles focused on strategy, operations, public policy, real estate and finance for the City of Chicago, the District of Columbia Mayor's Office, and Bain & Company.

Zara Nasir

Zara Nasir (MPA 2016) - 2014 Bohnett Fellow

"[Wagner] helped me develop the relationships and inroads in the field that I wanted to be in."

Zara Nasir (MPA 2016) is a New York City-based muslimah community worker who serves as coordinator of The People’s Plan NYC, a collective of organizations working to create a multi-issue social justice agenda for the new 2022 session for New York City. Zara is also the deputy director at New York City Anti-Violence Project which serves LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected survivors of violence through organizing, counseling, and legal support.

Previously, Zara was a lead organizer of the Association of Legislative Employees, the union representing nearly 400 New York City Council staffers that made headlines in 2020.

While pursuing her graduate degree at Wagner, Zara took classes focused on housing policy, and furthered her interest in affordable housing through an internship at the Office of Research, Strategy, and Communications at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the lead agency carrying out the Mayor’s ambitious Housing New York plan.

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