Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Service; Director of Executive Master of Public Administration Program
Judy Pryor-Ramirez is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Service and the Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration Program. Her teaching and research examine the leadership of nonprofit, social justice movement building, and public leaders using race, gender, and class analyses. Judy engages in qualitative methodologies and specializes in community-based participatory action research. Dedicated to enabling transformative possibilities, Judy centers justice and equity in her teaching, practice, and research. In 2022, she was selected to serve on the Research Advisory Council of the Partnership for Public Service.
Prior to Wagner, Judy served as the assistant dean and faculty member in leadership at the Bard College MBA program in New York City where she taught courses on antiracist leadership and personal leadership development. Before that, she was a research and organizational development consultant for New York City nonprofits and institutions like The Laundromat Project, The Worker Institute, Bronx Children’s Museum, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation among others.
Before consulting, Judy spent fifteen years leading strategic civic engagement and social justice initiatives at The New School, Emerson College, and the University of Richmond. As a result of her leadership, she was selected to serve on the national advisory board member of Imagining America where she led the nominations process resulting in increased racial/ethnic diversity on the board. Her career began in local and state government as a policy analyst for New York City Council and the New York State Education Department during the Bloomberg and Pataki administrations.
Judy has contributed essays to Public Seminar, a journal of ideas, politics, and culture, and has co-authored digital curriculum projects for Brooklyn Historical Society, Emerson College, and Drew University on topics related to race/ethnicity, Black women's contributions in the arts and media, and community-based participatory action research respectively. In addition to writing, Judy is a master process facilitator and pedagogy trainer where she draws upon her training by Rockwood Leadership Institute, Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, and Liberating Structures as well as her scholarly research in women of color feminist scholarship, critical race theory, and transformative learning theory. Since 2012, she has taught, advised, and mentored undergraduate and graduate students at The New School, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, Drew University, and Bard College. Judy holds an MA in Sociology and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a BA in Communication from George Mason University.
This course addresses the macro and micro effects of gender in the workplace, from the complicated reasons for the lack of representation of women in senior leadership across sectors to the interpersonal dynamics of women and men working together. The landscape for business has changed dramatically over the last few decades, and with a shift towards a more global workforce, understanding the intersection of work dynamics and gender is critical.
In addition, this course will explore the important intersections between gender and other demographic characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and age. Finally, the course will examine the relationship between organizational culture and employee experiences in order to uncover strategies and examples of how to create more diverse and inclusive work environments.
The goal of this course is to introduce you to management skills for potential service in the public and nonprofit sectors. The course provides you with tools to diagnose and solve organizational problems, to influence the actions of individuals, groups, and organizations, and to lead impactful public service organizations.
You presumably choose this course because you want to have a positive impact in the world. Your interest could be affordable housing, more bicycle lanes, arts programs for disadvantaged kids or access to quality pre-natal care. It could be making sure public policies are based on the best possible evidence, or that nonprofits are financially solvent, or that staff are treated fairly and respectfully. Whatever your passion, you can only realize that impact by mastering organizational processes. Organizations are the way work gets organized, coordinated, and accomplished. Knowing how organizations work – how to work within them – are perhaps the most powerful tools you can have.
A key management task is to assemble the skills, talents, and resources of individuals and groups into those combinations that best solve the organizational problems at hand. You must manage people, information, and processes to accomplish organizational goals; you must make things happen, and often not under conditions or timeframes of your own choosing; and you must learn from the challenges you experience. The successful execution of these tasks requires leaders to understand what skills and abilities they bring to and need from their teams and organizations, to formulate a mission and strategy, to make effective and ethical decisions, to recruit, influence and motivate diverse individuals, to optimize the structure of their organization, to measure and improve performance, and to drive organizational change.
The course prepares you to achieve these objectives by providing you with fundamental frameworks and tools developed from the behavioral and social sciences and tested by leaders in organizations representing all sectors of the economy. In addition to lectures, the course includes readings and analyzing case studies, engaging in role-playing exercises and a semester long team project to design and create the components of a virtual nonprofit organization. Student teams will be 3-5 students, and will require team time in addition to scheduled course hours.
Management and Leadership is designed to empower you with the skills you will need to make meaningful change in the world—whether you care about bike lanes, criminal justice, prenatal care, community development, urban planning, social investment, or something else. Whatever your passion, you can have an impact by leading and managing. In this course, you will enhance the technical, interpersonal, conceptual, and political skills needed to run effective and efficient organizations embedded in diverse communities, policy arenas, sectors, and industries. In class, we will engage in a collective analysis of specific problems that leaders and managers face—first, diagnosing them and then, identifying solutions—to explore how organizations can meet and exceed their performance objectives. As part of that process, you will encounter a variety of practical and essential topics and tools, including mission, strategy, goals, structure, teams, diversity and inclusion, motivation, and negotiation.
This course is appropriate for students interested in the role that leadership plays in advancing social innovation and social change in the context of democratic governance.
The course explores the role of leadership in organizational efforts to change thinking, systems, and policies—taking into consideration the contested process by which the responsibility of addressing intractable problems is distributed among key diverse actors in a shared-power world. Traditional approaches to leadership defined by single heroic individuals who influence followers are contrasted with new perspectives—consistent with the demands of today’s complex problems—particularly when we aspire to inclusive, transparent and democratic solutions. Emergent perspectives reveal leadership as the collective achievement of members of a group who share a vision, and who must navigate the constellation of relationships, structures, processes and institutional dynamics within the larger system in which they are embedded.
The course will focus primarily on the organizational level of action, but connections to the individual and policy levels will also be explored. An opportunity to apply course concepts in the context of a particular organization of the student’s choice (with instructor approval) will deepen and personalize the student’s understanding of the interconnections between the three levels of action, and challenge assumptions about leadership and social change and their implications for practice.