Claire Hsiang Marx

Executive Master of Public Administration-Public Service Leaders

Claire Hsiang Marx

Can you tell us a bit about your job responsibilities?

As a strategist, I work closely with UWNYC's executive leaders in conceiving, developing, implementing, and resourcing new programming in response to NYC's needs and also in the wake of the pandemic. The mission and role of United Ways, one of America's most trusted nonprofit brands, has evolved significantly and I also provide strategies for UWNYC to update its brand to reflect the new United Way as a collective impact model.

What public service impact do you hope to make through your organization and/or career?

Long before I had even heard of the term, I have wanted to make America more equitable. At first I was driven to supporting and fighting for Asian Americans and then my focus broadened. For more than 30 years, I've dedicated my career to creating and building equity, be it through civil rights, voter education, financial inclusion and empowerment, tackling food insecurity and today through health equity and workforce development. I've been really lucky to have a hand in so many important issues.

What were you doing before you came to NYU Wagner? What brought you to the EMPA Program, and how did your time at NYU Wagner help you further your career in public service? 

I had taken some time to raise a family and start a consulting business. Looking to increase my networks, broaden my formal training, and gain some new skills brought me to the EMPA program–and NYU Wagner delivered!

The EMPA program’s two leadership courses–Strategic Leadership and Leadership Confronted–provided me with the tools and knowledge to analyze difficult situations and find a theoretical framework to develop solutions. Also huge shout out and thanks to my EMPA cohort; my EMPA colleagues have provided me with invaluable friendship and excellent advice over the years.

What about your work is most fulfilling to you?

I believe so strongly in the nonprofit sector to uplift and tackle societal problems. Knowing that I have been able to contribute to NYC's amazing nonprofit sector is fulfilling. Helping to conceive and launch new programs to tackle NYC's most immediate challenges has also been so rewarding.

What advice would you give to someone considering or about to enter the EMPA Program?

Don't be afraid to go back to school. I was 49 when I started the EMPA program and I was worried about being back in front of the chalkboard. Make the most of your time, make friends, attend everything. Be ready for some personal introspection. You get out of the program what you put into it–it's well worth it!