Bennett Rathbun

MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy - 2015

Program Officer
Pilot House Philanthropy
Bennett Rathbun

Why did you choose NYU Wagner for graduate school?

I was attracted to Wagner's reputation for providing emerging social entrepreneurs, public servants, and change agents with the training and tools they needed to succeed. As an NYC resident with a full-time social impact job, I was excited to train at a world-class university in my home city while also applying this learning to my work on a day-to-day basis.

Can you tell us a bit about your job responsibilities?

In my role as Program Officer with Pilot House Philanthropy, I lead the organization's international philanthropic initiative. I manage a growing portfolio of visionary social change organizations working to deliver world-class social impact at scale, with a specific focus on rural livelihood development, environmental conservation, and gender equity. I am also responsible for sourcing, due diligence, supporting grant/investment recommendations, and post-award support for organizations funded by PHP.

What were you doing before you came to NYU Wagner?

Shortly before I started at NYU Wagner, I founded and led a nonprofit organization called Hope on a String (HOAS). HOAS works to empower youth and communities in Haiti using music and arts as a catalyst for improved educational outcomes, youth livelihood development, and community transformation. I held this full-time role from 2010-2020, including the years in which I was studying at Wagner. Prior to that, I worked for a management consulting firm servicing major banks on Wall Street.