Mark Bodden

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service

Mark L. Bodden is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service of NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is also an adjunct instructor at Baruch College as well as Vice President/Program Director at the Rudin Foundations, where he directs the philanthropic activities of the three family foundations based and operating primarily in New York City.

Prior to his current position, Bodden was the Managing Director of Binder and Binder, a national law firm handling Social Security Disability.  He led the corporate giving program at Philip Morris Companies (now Altria) and has over twenty years of public policy experience, having worked in Washington, D.C. and in Albany, New York.  An informal consultant to numerous nonprofit organizations, Bodden has been a presenter at national and regional grant-making conferences, including the Council on Foundations. He was a past Chair of the Board of Philanthropy New York and member on the Board of the Edwin Gould Academy. Bodden currently serves on the Dean’s Council at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at NYU, on the Board of Overseers at the Rockefeller Institute, and the Board of Visitors of the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership.  

Bodden is a graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and attended the National Law Center at George Washington University.  He is a Fellow at the Public Affairs Institute in Washington. 

The Wagner School prepares students for the real – sometimes messy, always complex – world of public service. To achieve this mission, we are dedicated to creating opportunities for students to discover the interrelationships of conceptual theory, practical realities, and individual career goals. This course encourages students to develop career planning skills through concentrated research, written assignments, and large group discussions, map an intended career field and develop a broad understanding of the various roles and organizations that influence that field, and understand the interconnections among diverse public service issues and between Wagner’s various programs.

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This course examines the nature and major trends of the nonprofit sector, understood within the context of a broad shift in governance, both in the US and internationally. The course aims to deepen student understanding of the nature of the nonprofit world and its organizations, using both theoretical and practical lenses to do so. Understanding the legitimacy and authority of the nonprofit sector to address collective problems requires inviting both management and policy practitioners to see the intersection between managerial practices and policy decisions and to connect the macro and micro dynamics of governance.

The course focuses heavily on the broad trends shaping the sector, predominantly in the United States, but making connections to international trends. The goal is for students – whether they are interested in policy, finance or management – to develop their own “cognitive map” of the sector, so that they can identify and interpret key issues and challenges of sustainability experienced by stakeholders of the nonprofit world, and consider their implications for practice. Classes will involve a mix of brief lectures; discussion based on readings and written assignments; and guest speakers.

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