Alumni Spotlight: Débora Aponte Martínez (MPA 2016)

MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy - 2016

Débora Aponte Martínez

With experience across the nonprofit and public sectors in Puerto Rico, New York, and Washington DC, Débora's works stems from her passion for public service. Today, she serves in the Office of Management and Budget for the Municipality of San Juan where she oversees funding for various public transportation projects and compliance of federal resoruces across departments. Read how Wagner informed her understand of community organizing and the role of government. 

Why did you choose NYU Wagner for graduate school?

It offered me unparalleled access to experts in both the public and nonprofit sectors. I also chose Wagner because of its location: New York City is phenomenal in terms of culture and professional experiences. I had the opportunity to intern for Hillary Clinton's campaign while being a graduate student at Wagner. Taking advantage of the classes and my professional experience requirement was very enriching and reiterated my interest in both politics and public service.

Can you tell us a bit about your job responsibilities?

My duties include assisting the Mayor of San Juan with different tasks related to the city's budget and other general management activities. My day-to-day work entails handling obligated federal funds for different projects and dealing with the reporting and compliance process for them.

How did your experiences at NYU Wagner prepare you for your career?

My experience as a Wagner student was very diverse. I was involved with Wagner’s Stonewall Policy Alliance as its Vice Chair and I had the chance to organize NYU’s first Graduate LGBTQ+ Student Conference. I also had a chance to impact the greater NYU community as a Senator at-Large representing queer and Latinx students on campus. Studying at Wagner reaffirmed my commitment to public service and gave me the confidence and skills to have an impactful career in the public sector.