Surabhi Lal

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service

Surabhi Lal photo

Surabhi Lal is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.  She is currently the Head of Program Development and Learning at Luminary where she designs, curates, and facilitates experiences that encourage learning, growth, and community. She was previously the Director of Career Services at NYU Wagner where she coached hundreds of students and alumni on their careers in public service.

She is passionate about developing talent, cultivating good management, and creating cultures where individuals and teams thrive. As a skilled career coach and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach she has a natural ability to see someone's unique talents and motivations in people and knows that a career impacts many facets of one's life. She gets great joy from making the unwritten rules of a job search and work more explicit to create equity and guiding others on their journey to career success. Surabhi is committed to the belief that workplaces have an extraordinary opportunity to increase interaction among people of different backgrounds and create inclusive communities.

She has worked in various areas of public service, including higher education, international education, and grants management. She has presented at national conferences, such as NetImpact, ACPA, and the NASPAA Career Conference. Surabhi holds a Master of Education from The University of Vermont and a bachelor degree from Virginia Tech in Agricultural Economics and Liberal Studies. She is on the board of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work.

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.

Download Syllabus

Open only to students in the MSPP program. The title of this course is meant to evoke a double meaning. First, the “practice” of work refers to the idea that it is important to practice something, to rehearse, to try things out. Being an intern* in an organization is a required element of this course. And while interns can accomplish a great deal and deliver a lot of value to their organization, they are also understood to be learning, to be practicing. But a “practice” can also mean a craft or a skill, something one works hard at in order to become expert and polished. We are using the word practice in that way as well, in becoming skillful at individual, interpersonal and organizational effectiveness. 

In this course, you will be doing a lot of practicing or experimenting. You will be conducting a “personal experiment” that allows you to explore and sharpen your skills interacting with others. You will also be gaining experience with managing a project appropriate for your current level of work experience. And you will conduct an analysis of the organization in which you are interning. So you will be practicing at three different levels. The class will also ask you to think about how those levels interact and influence each other.

*Minimum of 15 hours per week

Download Syllabus

Open only to students in the MSPP program. The title of this course is meant to evoke a double meaning. First, the “practice” of work refers to the idea that it is important to practice something, to rehearse, to try things out. Being an intern* in an organization is a required element of this course. And while interns can accomplish a great deal and deliver a lot of value to their organization, they are also understood to be learning, to be practicing. But a “practice” can also mean a craft or a skill, something one works hard at in order to become expert and polished. We are using the word practice in that way as well, in becoming skillful at individual, interpersonal and organizational effectiveness. 

In this course, you will be doing a lot of practicing or experimenting. You will be conducting a “personal experiment” that allows you to explore and sharpen your skills interacting with others. You will also be gaining experience with managing a project appropriate for your current level of work experience. And you will conduct an analysis of the organization in which you are interning. So you will be practicing at three different levels. The class will also ask you to think about how those levels interact and influence each other.

*Minimum of 15 hours per week

Download Syllabus