Simone N. Sneed

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service

Simone Sneed

Simone N. Sneed-McGurl is a creative problem solver living at the intersection of doing good and doing well. She thrives on helping innovative leaders to fund social impact initiatives, activate critical stakeholders and engage partners for the long term. Ever an optimist, Simone imagines a social change future where impact isn't limited by for profit vs. non-profit.

Over the last decade Simone has been a social enterprise advocate and advisor. She has raised and helped to deploy $25M in philanthropic capital for issues ranging from teen pregnancy prevention to environmentalism. Currently, she is the Director of Board Relations for the Environmental Defense Fund, a global environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the systems upon which all life depends. In her role she ensures EDF’s ability to govern smartly and maintain institutional integrity in the US and abroad. Committed to nurturing the next generation of social impact leaders Simone also teaches social enterprise management s to students as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

As a writer and public speaker her work has appeared in Blavity, The Huffington Post, CNN, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Journal of Governmental Finance and Public PolicyLevo League, Policy Mic and Cosmopolitan Latina. And she has presented at the Princeton University L.E.A.D Summit, American Express, the Center For Non-Profit Management, New York University’s Social Enterprise Bootcamp, SoapBox Feminist Camp, The NYS Society of CPAs and the New Leaders Council. She’s also received numerous awards and fellowships including the University at Albany’s “30 Under 30” award, NYU Wagner’s IGNITE Fellowship, New Leaders Council Fellowship, Center For Women in Government Fellowship and participated in the George Washington Graduate School of Political Management Semester in Washington program.

The goal of this course is to introduce you to management skills for potential service in the public and non-profit 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.

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Management and Leadership is designed to empower you with the skills you will need to make 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 only have an impact by leading and managing organizational processes.  Organizations are the way work gets coordinated and accomplished so knowing how they work -- and how to work within them – are perhaps the most powerful set of tools you can have.

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’ll encounter a variety of practical and essential topics and tools – from goals, structure, strategy and teams to diversity and inclusion, motivation, and negotiation.

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