Martha Stark

Clinical Professor

Martha Stark

Martha Stark is a Clinical Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service who will be joining this Fall 2017.

Ms. Stark most recently served as a Distinguished Lecturer at Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. In addition to teaching, Stark has served as a strategist, coach, facilitator, and management and leadership consultant for several nonprofit organizations including the Park Avenue Synagogue, Asphalt Green, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders, the Ali Forney Center, and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.  She also served as one of the first Portfolio Managers at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation when it changed its strategy to focus on helping organizations serving young people to grow through innovative and long-term funding, business plan development, and performance management systems. 

Previously Stark served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance, the 2,400-person tax agency responsible for collecting more than $22 billion in revenue to fund and support local services including education, police, fire, sanitation and libraries. Her many accomplishments include: administering a tax amnesty program responsible for collecting $80 million in additional revenue and removing bad debt from the city’s books and records; implementing an innovative parking program for companies making deliveries in New York City that saved the companies and the city money and reduced the need for expensive parking hearings; improving transparency by providing more access to Finance records about properties; and overseeing the management of the City’s cash flow without the need to borrow money against tax receipts.  In her role as Commissioner, Stark served as a trustee on the boards of the New York City pension funds with assets of more than $100 billion, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the organization responsible for rebuilding the World Trade Center site, the Twin Towers Fund, and the Prospect Park Alliance.

Ms. Stark, a lawyer, served as a White House Fellow at the United States Department of State during President Bill Clinton’s Administration.  She worked for both the Under Secretary for Global Affairs and the Under Secretary for Management. 

Stark has served on several boards including Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, GMHC, the North Fork Women for Women Fund, and Tarragon Corporation.  She currently serves on the board of The Black Institute and as a life trustee on the board of the New York University Law School Foundation. 

Ms. Stark returns home to NYU where she earned her Juris Doctor and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. 

In this core course in financial management, students will learn the fundamentals of budgeting and accounting for public, health, and not-for-profit organizations. Through readings, lectures, real-world case studies, and assignments, students will gain an understanding of how to use financial information in organizational planning, implementation, control, reporting, and analysis. In addition, students will have the chance to develop their spreadsheet skills by using Excel to perform financial calculations and create financial documents.

The first half of the course focuses on managerial accounting, a set of tools used by managers for planning, implementation, and control. Topics in this portion of the course include operating budgets, cash budgets, break-even analysis, indirect cost allocation, variance analysis, the time value of money, capital budgeting, and long-term financing.

The second half of the course focuses on financial accounting, a set of tools used by managers and outside observers for reporting on and analyzing an organization’s financial health. Topics in this portion of the course include the preparation and analysis of financial statements (balance sheet, activity statement, and cash flow statement), ethics in financial management, and government accounting and financial condition analysis.

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In this core course in financial management, students will learn the fundamentals of budgeting and accounting for public, health, and not-for-profit organizations. Through readings, lectures, real-world case studies, and assignments, students will gain an understanding of how to use financial information in organizational planning, implementation, control, reporting, and analysis. In addition, students will have the chance to develop their spreadsheet skills by using Excel to perform financial calculations and create financial documents.

The first half of the course focuses on managerial accounting, a set of tools used by managers for planning, implementation, and control. Topics in this portion of the course include operating budgets, cash budgets, break-even analysis, indirect cost allocation, variance analysis, the time value of money, capital budgeting, and long-term financing.

The second half of the course focuses on financial accounting, a set of tools used by managers and outside observers for reporting on and analyzing an organization’s financial health. Topics in this portion of the course include the preparation and analysis of financial statements (balance sheet, activity statement, and cash flow statement), ethics in financial management, and government accounting and financial condition analysis.

Download Syllabus

The goal of Managing Public Service Organizations (MPSO) is to enhance your management and leadership skills. The course provides you with the tools you need to diagnose and solve organizational problems, to influence the actions of individuals, groups, and organizations, and to lead high-performing, successful public service organizations.

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. One must manage people, information, and processes to accomplish organizational goals. One must make things happen, and often not under ideal conditions or timeframes. The successful execution of these goals requires managers to be able to understand what they bring to and need from their organizations, formulate a mission and strategy, make effective decisions, influence and motivate diverse individuals, apply their own skills and abilities to their teams, optimize the structure and culture of their organization, diagnose problems, and drive organizational change.

MPSO prepares you to achieve these objectives by providing you with fundamental tools developed from the behavioral and social sciences and tested by leaders in organizations representing all sectors.

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All public and not-for-profit organizations must assemble and report information on their performance. The need for performance measures goes beyond legal and regulatory requirements. To provide services effectively and efficiently, managers need information to make decisions. This course focuses on what performance measures are needed, how they should be created and what forms of communication are most effective.

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2018