Ellen Schall

Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management

70 Washington Square South, Room 1206 NY NY 10012
By appointment only (contact Emily Gadd at 212.998.7507)
Ellen Schall

Ellen Schall is a Senior Presidential Fellow at NYU and the Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management at NYU Wagner. Her research focuses on leadership and organizational transformation.

Professor Schall served as Dean of NYU Wagner from 2002 to 2013, during which time she led the school from an institution with a strong local and regional reputation to one that is widely recognized nationally and internationally. 

Professor Schall began her career as a Legal Aid Society criminal defense attorney, and served as Commissioner of the NYC Department of Juvenile Justice from 1983 to 1990. She has extensive experience in nonprofit management and governance, including more than 30 years of active membership on the board of University Settlement House. She received a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. (cum laude) from NYU School of Law.

This course is designed to prepare you for a lifetime of learning by providing tools to help you learn from your own experiences as well as from those of others. This process is explored through three lenses: (1) the individual, using assessment tools designed to help you become more aware of yourself and your impact on others; (2) interpersonal dynamics, exploring how person/role issues shape work group dynamics and can either facilitate or interfere with performance; and (3) organizational focus, examining several frames for thinking about organizational change and growth. This course will provide you with the basis to become a disciplined and intentional reflective practitioner, a hallmark of effective leaders.

Students are expected to be working or interning at an organization during the semester they are taking this course, or active in a work group-like setting (e.g., student group leader, member of a volunteer  board, on a team-based Capstone project).

Download Syllabus


Schall, E. & Dicker, S.. A Boundless Enterprise: The Legacy of the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and Judith Kaye. Government, Law and Policy Journal, Winter 2008, vol. 10, no. 2, pp 21-25. NYSBA



Every family has its own unique dynamics and conversations. Philanthropy adds a new dimension to these conversations which are often taking place both within and between generations. This is why 21/64 partnered with New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service to create a case study about multigenerational issues in family foundations. By exploring the issues of a hypothetical family in this case study, and utilizing questions in the accompanying Facilitator's Guide, families and professional advisors can begin to develop a healthy family process and productive philanthropic enterprise.


E. Schall, S. Ospina, B. Godsoe, and J. Dodge. Appreciative narratives as leadership research: Matching method to lens. Advances in Appreciative Inquiry, a new book series edited by David Cooperrider and Michel Avital, Case Western Reserve University.
Ospina, S., Durbin, E. & Schall, E.. Living and Learning: Women and Management in Public Service. Journal of Public Affairs Education. 5:1, Winter.


Schall, E.. Managing the Risk of Innovation: Strategies for Leadership. Corrections Management Quarterly, Fall 1998, Issue 2.4, pp. 46-55.


Schall, E.. Notes From a Reflective Practitioner of Innovation. in Alan A. Altschuler and Robert D. Behn, editors, Innovation in American Government: Challenges, Opportunities, and Dilemmas. The Brookings Institution Press. pp.360-377.


Dicker, S. & Schall, E.. The Court's Role Beyond the Courtroom: A Case Study of New York's Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and Early Intervention. Children's Legal Rights Journal, Fall 1996, Vol. 16, No. 4. pp. 13-22.
Schall, E. & Gilmore, T.. Integrating Enactments with Case Teaching to Develop Leaders. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 15, No. 3, Summer.
Schall, E.. Facing the Bureaucracy: Living and Dying in a Public Agency. by Gerald Garvey, Journal of the Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 15, No. 1, Winter.
Schall, E. & Krantz, J.. A New Vision for Public Service Education. Metropolitan Universities: An International Forum, Vol. 7, No. 3.


Casciani, C. & Schall, E.. Working Inside Out: Personal Development/Public Change. Lessons Learned: Reflections on Leadership from the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Children and Family Fellowship Program, Vol. 1, Issue 1, Summer .
Schall, E. & Krantz, J.. Revitalizing Human Service Organizations: An Action Research Perspective. co-published simultaneously in Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, Vol. 13, No. 1, and in Donna Piazza, editor, When Love Is Not Enough: the Management of Covert Dynamics in Organizations that Treat Children and Adolescents. The Haworth Press, Inc..
Schall, E.. Improving Children and Family Services in Iowa: Entry Points to System Change. Public Service Curriculum Exchange
Schall, E.. A Guide to Using the Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellowship 360E Leadership Feedback Questionnaire. 1995


Schall, E.. School-Based Health Education: What Works?. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 30-32.
Schall, E. & Feely, K.. Guidelines to Grope By: Reflections from the Field. Innovating, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp.3-11.


Lynch, G. & Schall, E., Travis, J.. Rethinking School Safety: The Report of the Chancellor's Advisory Panel on School Safety. March .


Schall, E.. The Case of the Unhealthy Hospital. case comment, Harvard Business Review, September-October 1991, pp.18-20
Schall, E.. Future Challenges: Creativity in the Business of Improving the World for the Children. in Sheahan, Paula M. (ed.)., Health Care of Incarcerated Youth: Report from the 1991 Tri-Regional Workshops, Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, pp. 141-153


Schall, E.. Panel Discussion: Incarcerated Adolescents and AIDS. Journal of Prison and Jail Health, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1989.


Schall, E.. Principles for Juvenile Detention. in Hartman, Francis X. (ed.) From Children to Citizens: The Role of the Juvenile Court. New York: Springer-Verlag. 1987. pp. 349-361.
Schall, E.. "Principles for Juvenile Detention". in Hartman, Francis X. (ed.) From Children to Citizens: The Role of the Juvenile Court. New York: Springer-Verlag. 1987. pp. 349-361.



Many organizations, especially public agencies, are in need of revitalization. Often the arrival of a new leader is an opportune moment to reinvigorate the agency, yet the yield from this opportunity critically depends on the way in which the leader joins with the existing staff. The following article examines some of the dynamics of a new leader's arrival and explores the power of a strategic theme to link the leader and the inherited staff productively. We examine the early phases of the emergence of a strategic theme and look at the critical transition when the theme begins to shape behavior. We conclude with advice on the use of themes as vehicles for revitalization.


Alterman, D., Ferdinand, J. & Schall, E.. Sentencing: Emphasis on Youthful Offenders. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, Vol. 9, No. 1, Spring-Summer, pp. 121-124