NYU Wagner alumni selected as Excelsior Service Fellows

Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY.

Two recent graduates of NYU Wagner have been chosen as Excelsior Service Fellows in New York State government.

The Excelsior Service Fellowship Program brings alumni of graduates school of public service and law into state government service. Participants in the two-year fellowship bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to policy and operational positions in the executive chamber or a government agency or public authority.

Congratulations to Alana Dudnath (MPA 2021) and Jordan Koster (MSPP 2021), NYU Wagner alumni extraordinaire, for being named as Wagner's Excelsior Fellows.

Alana Dudnath (MPA 2021) and Jordan Koster (MSPP 2021)

Dudnath works on the Health Portfolio team in the governor's office, her roles including drafting policy briefings, analyzing data, and conducting research on policy challenges. Her fellowship has placed her at the forefront of state policy work to reduce healthcare disparities, “fueling,” she said, “my passion for public service.

“Wagner armed me with both the soft and hard skill sets as well as the practical skills needed to navigate the complex day-today operations within the public sector,” and helped her to “see beyond individual behaviors to systemic process and policies,” she said.

Koster, meanwhile, is with the Department of State within the Office of Planning, Development, and Community Infrastructure in Albany. “Currently, I research, read, write, and create materials, such as briefs, presentations, and other communications, around the topic of Managed Retreat, which is the purposeful movement of people and infrastructure away from risks, especially those caused by climate change,” she explained.

She said she also works on “one of the office’s signature programs, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which invests either one $20M award or two $10M awards into communities in each of the 10 regions across the State for the purpose of revitalizing downtown neighborhoods according to the community’s vision for that area.”

“As an Excelsior Fellow,” Koster added, “I am honored to have the opportunity to sit in on important meetings, including stakeholder feedback sessions and the Climate Action Council virtual meetings, as well. My office implements a wide variety of programs, including the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, the Brownfield Opportunity Area program, the Ocean and Great Lakes program, the Smart Growth program, Coastal Consistency Review, and Climate Change and Resilience. Each day I learn something new, all within my policy areas of interest."