Initiatives & Special Projects

NYU Wagner's roster of initiatives and special projects take on pressing issues and address them innovation and creativity.


Innovation Labs

What we do: Promote informed, evidence-based policymaking for a complex world through a series of experimental labs.

Our scope: National

Who we are: Scholars, thinkers, and practitioners.

Lead: Neil Kleiman

Leadership in Action at Wagner

What we do: Advance leadership theory, support effective new practices, and serve as a resource for leaders in all sectors.

Our scope: International

Who we are: NYU Wagner scholars and researchers.

Faculty leads: Sonia M. Ospina and Erica Gabrielle Foldy

Social Innovation & Investment Initiative

What we do: Find innovative entrepreneurial and financial solutions to address pressing social issues.

Our scope: International

Who we are: A consortium of policymakers, philanthropists, finance professionals, researchers, nonprofits, and foundations led by a team of NYU Wagner faculty and graduate students.

Faculty leadScott Taitel

The NYU Democracy Project

What we do: Offers two funded fellowships: LEAD Fellowships and Parke Fellowships to connect NYU students with non-partisan organizations working to strengthen our democracy. 

Our scope: National

Who we are: Activists promoting democracy, voter engagement, and civil discourse

Leads: Erica Foldy and John Gershman

Special Projects

Impact of the Built Environment on Child Body Mass Index

Faculty Lead: Brian Elbel

NBER Project on the Economics of Food Security, Nutrition, and Health

Faculty Lead: Tatiana Homonoff

NYU University Challenge Research Fund

Faculty Lead: Erica Foldy

The IRB Initiative

Faculty Lead: Jan Blustein

The Organizational Performance Initiative

Faculty Lead: Paul Light

The Walter Stafford Project: Inequality in New York City

Advice, Money, Results: Rethinking International Support for Managing Public Finance

Faculty Lead: Paul Smoke

NYC 2025

Faculty Leads: Thad Calabrese and Martha Stark