Sumaila Palla

Master of Urban Planning


Why did you choose Wagner for graduate school?

NYU Wagner was a way for me to look at community development through the lens of design. It was a way for me to not physically be in a design studio, but apply my expertise and background to everything I was going to learn. New York as a location, and NYU being at the center of everything was also a large factor.

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

I think NYU Wagner introduced me to a diverse range of individuals whom I learned from constantly. The best part of the program were the discussions that took place because of that diversity. Taking on the role of UPSA President, and involvement in fellowships introduced me to multiple leadership roles, which has really helped in executing my role today.

Describe your current job.

As the Head of Department of Architecture, I am responsible for the day to day operations of the program and department, overseeing the curriculum and how it should evolve and improve, laying out short term and long term goals to strengthen the program and department, increasing international exposure and collaboration with programs outside the world, and guiding and motivating program faculty as well as the student body.