Alumni Spotlight: Lisa D'Oyen (MPA 2014)

Lisa D'Oyen

In the Spring 2024 Global Public Service Newsletter, the Wagner Office of International Programs connected with Wagner alumna, Lisa D'Oyen (MPA 2014)

Where do you work? Describe your current job.

I am currently the Executive Director of two corporate foundations in Jamaica - Seprod Foundation and Musson Foundation. I manage all aspects of the Foundations’ operations including Project and Program Management; Fundraising; Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting; Compliance; Communication and Administration. The main focus areas of the foundations include STEAM Education, Food Security, Sports Development, supporting the Creative Industry and Community Initiatives.

Why did you choose NYU Wagner?  

I chose NYU Wagner because the MPA program suited my interests. At the time, I was in my first job after returning home from completing my undergraduate degree - managing the Jamaican arm of an international non-profit, supporting the sustainable development of the pediatric cardiac program within the public healthcare system. I was enjoying all aspects of the work, and wanted to build on my experience in non-profit management while exploring health policy and hospital administration. With Wagner’s specialization options in Public and Non-Profit Management and Health Policy and Administration with an International concentration, I knew that this school would provide me with the tools and knowledge I needed to advance my career, whichever path I chose.

In addition to the comprehensive curriculum in areas I was interested in, I was also drawn to Wagner because of the renowned faculty, the diverse student body, the city campus experience in New York City and the Capstone program that would provide me with real world experience in the field.

What was your favorite class?  

Global Health Governance and Management. Generally, I enjoyed classes with an International focus. I liked learning about best practices in various contexts internationally - they would get me thinking more deeply about the particulars of the Jamaican context. There was also a class on International Development that I really enjoyed.

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

Wagner taught very practical skills that would serve me no matter what career path I chose. Some of the skills I developed through the coursework at Wagner were related to monitoring and evaluation, financial management and strategic management. 

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

Wagner provided me with both a strong foundation in Non-Profit Management and administration, as well as opportunities for hands-on experience through internships and the Capstone consulting project. Capstone was a unique learning experience as it provided experience in working with a group on a professional project for a real world client, and provided the opportunity for travel. Navigating a professional research assignment in another country, in another language was also a valuable learning experience.

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

Through my career and my work, I hope to contribute in a meaningful way to creating empowering environments and opportunities that allow Jamaicans to thrive. This hope stems from my love for my country, recognizing the immense potential, while seeing and understanding the deep inequalities that exist, and wanting better for Jamaicans. In my current role, through initiatives like promoting STEAM education at the primary school level, and serving on the Freedom Skatepark Foundation, I aim to create exposure and opportunities for development that may otherwise be inaccessible.