Carolyn Gorman

Master of Science in Public Policy
- 2021

Research Associate
JPMorgan Chase Institute
Carolyn Gorman

Why did you choose NYU Wagner for graduate school?

I’ve always been interested in public policy, particularly related to health and labor. For a long time, though, I didn't know how I wanted to work on those issues-- meaning, in what capacity or role. It wasn't until I made myself take a break from a topic I'm quite passionate about (mental illness policy), and step back to work at a new organization on new issues that it became very clear: I was energized by data and research. I came to NYU Wagner because I felt the coursework and faculty valued applied research–grounded in current, important questions relevant to policymakers and program administrators on the ground. Dean Sherry Glied, to me, is the exemplar: a scholar-practitioner whose work reflects a need to understand what policies are effective and practical to implement, and how we can serve as well-measured, effective public leaders. Wagner seemed the best place for me to gain skills and knowledge toward those goals. And I did.

What were you doing before you came to NYU Wagner?

I spent a short time working as staff on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and then for a non-profit think tank in New York, the Manhattan Institute, where I built up a portfolio on mental illness policy. I still work on the issue there now, as an adjunct fellow. Right before I came to Wagner, I was working for the JPMorgan Chase Institute, a think tank separate from the firm's lines of business that has a public-good mandate to use its proprietary data for economic- and policy-oriented research. I wasn't on the research team, but being around such engaging people and unique data made me want to be! At that point, I knew I needed to skill-up and learn how to work with data and do more quantitative research. So I came to Wagner, and I am excited to be heading back to the JPMorgan Chase Institute as a research associate in July.

How would you describe your experience as an NYU Wagner student?

I really enjoyed having a close-knit cohort as part of the MSPP program--especially because we started and graduated during the pandemic. The MSPP program is set up so that the cohort takes almost all of the same courses over an intensive one-year period. Going through the program together, I think we felt like a team. We had each other for support, to study for the same classes, to share experiences, to have inside jokes, and to build friendship, really. I learned something from every single individual in my cohort--and still do! They are a real highlight of my Wagner experience.