Rachel Pardoe

MHA Site MPA-Health - 2013

Program Officer
New York Community Trust
Rachel Pardoe

Why did you choose Wagner for graduate school?

Unlike other academic institutions, Wagner feels like a part of New York City. I liked that Wagner professors have jobs outside of teaching and the majority of students work; my classes felt collaborative instead of instructive. And because I myself was working, I was encouraged to apply my classwork to the “real world.” Wagner provided me a comprehensive education rather than just content knowledge.

Describe your current job. 

I work as a Program Officer at The New York Community Trust, a foundation that supports advocacy, direct services, and nonprofit innovation in New York City. I oversee our people with special needs and animal welfare programs, which grant about $2.3 million each year, and advise on evaluations. On a day-to-day basis, I review proposals, work closely with grantees, convene with other funders, and critically analyze our work.

What are the advantages of the Wagner alumni network?

I think Wagner alumni have a shared commitment to “do good” and I found that they are always willing to help fellow alumni. Which is in fact, very helpful, because the network is huge and tremendously successful. I have met Wagner alumni all over the country and no matter their background or profession, there’s a sense that we have a shared understanding of our role in the world.