Alumni Spotlight: Lilian Liu (MPA 2015)

Lilian Liu

In the Spring 2024 Global Public Service Newsletter, the Wagner Office of International Programs connected with Wagner alumna, Lilian Liu (MPA 2015)

Where do you work? Describe your current job.

I have been working in corporate sustainability for over a decade and have had the opportunity to tackle this area from many angles – from leading sustainability programs at a company, to serving as a sustainability strategist, to working as a Manager of Partnerships at the United Nations. Currently, I am the Associate Director of Sustainability at Braze, a leading customer engagement company, where I was hired to build out sustainability and ESG reporting from the ground up. I work on everything from strategy and target-setting, to climate and emissions reductions plans, to reporting and stakeholder engagement. 

Why did you choose NYU Wagner? 

I was drawn to the international student population and NYU Wagner’s rich roster of professors with real world field experience in public service. 

What was your favorite class? 

Some of my favorites were the foundational course on Microeconomics (I am fascinated by the psychology of markets) and a summer class focused on Design Thinking. 

What skills did you develop at Wagner that were most helpful? 

I loved that Wagner is both about theory and practice. In addition to the academic foundation, it was valuable to get help with career development, from resume writing and interviewing to networking!

How did your experiences at NYU Wagner prepare you for your career? 

I took advantage of getting to know my professors. I attended office hours and asked for advice that helped me identify my career path. Some of my professors are still trusted mentors to this day. I was also on the board of one of the student groups. Organizing as well as participating in the rich programming that NYU offers was a great opportunity to learn about the potential jobs that I was interested in. 

What impact do you hope to make through your career and/or organization? 

Companies have a role to play in ensuring that we address our environmental and social crises. I have been focused on driving positive change within the fashion, technology and consumer goods industries across the world. I help equip companies large and small in taking action towards becoming a more responsible and sustainable company. I am excited about how fast companies are able to innovate and contribute to systemic change once they put their minds to it.