Micah Lasher
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Urban Planning

Micah Lasher is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Chief of Staff in the Office of the New York State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman. In his role as Chief of Staff, Lasher helps run an agency of more than 1,700 employees, advises the Attorney General on a wide range of matters, and serves as the Attorney General’s representative to other branches of government.

In the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Lasher served as Director of the Office of State Legislative Affairs for the City of New York, responsible for the formulation and advancement of the City's comprehensive legislative agenda.  Prior to his work in City Hall, Lasher was Executive Director of External Affairs for the New York City Department of Education, managing communications, legislation and government relations for the nation's largest school system. He has also worked as an aide to Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and was a founding partner of a political consulting firm, now known as SKDKnickerbocker.

A lifelong New Yorker, Lasher graduated from Stuyvesant High School and received his B.A. in Sociology from NYU.  He serves on the boards of the Community Service Society and the Riverside Park Conservancy.

Semester Course
Fall 2014 URPL-GP.2415.001 Public Policy and Planning in New York

There is no profession more noble than public service, and no arena more exciting than New York. Our objective is to gain insight into how our city and state governments make decisions, informed by a foundational and wide-ranging understanding of the forces at work and issues that face policymakers today. I am teaching this class because of my longstanding—and ever-expanding—interest in the practice of public policy and a deeply held belief that the effectiveness of our government depends on the quality of those who serve in it. In the first half of the semester, we will examine the structures of New York City and State government and the recent historical and political context in which they operate. This background will be used in the second half of the semester to explore a range of public policy debates in areas such as economic development, transportation and infrastructure, public education, public safety and housing and homelessness. Emphasis throughout will be placed on the practicalities of decision-making and the messy, politicized and conflict-rich environment in which public policy is hammered out. We will be joined by a number of guest speakers from the worlds of journalism, government, business and advocacy.

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