Your Alumni News for December 2017

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Your Alumni News for December 2017

Dear Alumni,

I hope this finds you well. As the end of the year approaches, I wanted to thank everyone who has given back to our Wagner family in 2017.

It was an exciting finish to the year, both for the school and for our alumni. We stepped up our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion programming in New York and held EDI alumni events in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Jennifer Kitson and Ashley Putnam won the 2017 NYU New Volunteer Award for their leadership of the Recent Alumni Committee. And we held intimate discussions with alumni who are working on the ground in affordable housing and foreign policy.

We ask that you save the date and join us for our annual, celebratory alumni event, ALUMNite 2018 on June 7 in New York City.

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the year and we look forward to seeing you in 2018.

Brian Stern


Brian Stern
Director, Alumni Relations


  • Dave Algoso (MPA 2011) was featured on Oxfam Blogs for his analysis of how some large international NGO’s are doing things differently.
  • Lydia Avila (MPA 2015), Executive Director of the Power Shift Network, was featured by NRDC for mobilizing young people to fight climate change.
  • Ariel Beery (MPA 2008), co-founder and CEO of MobileODT, spoke to IT News Africa about how the use of next-generation smart medical devices can impact healthcare in Africa.
  • Chris Collins (MPA 2009) was highlighted on KQED for his efforts to bridge the political divide and spur dialogue between those on the right and left.
  • Christian Gonzalez-Rivera (MUP 2012), Senior Researcher at the Center for an Urban Future, was quoted in Gotham Gazette for his testimony about the DeBlasio Administration’s Career Pathways program.
  • Cortney Harding (MPA 2007) was featured in Alley Watch, discussing the agency she founded that helps companies understand VR, AI, and other emerging technologies.
  • Sarah Kaufman (MPA 2005), Assistant Director for Technology Programming at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, shared her positive experience in Slate’s story on why a boss’s reaction to a pregnancy announcement matters more than you think.
  • Michael Kodransky (MUP 2008), Director of Global and U.S. Initiatives for ITDP, was quoted on KOB4 regarding Albuquerque’s Rapid Transit’s electric bus fleet.
  • Carmen Perez (MPA 2007), Director of Data Insights at CECP, was quoted in Los Angeles Business Journal about its effort to advance the corporate sector as a force for good around the world.
  • Ashley Putnam (MPA 2015), Economic Development Advisor for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, spoke to City Limits about HireNYC’s success in connecting New Yorkers to good jobs.
  • Rahil Rangwala (MPA 2011), Program Director at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, was quoted in Money Control for its efforts to improve student learning outcomes via pay-for-performance financing in Bangalore, India.
  • Chris Whong (MUP 2013) was mentioned in Atlas Obscura for his data visualization that tracks a random taxi as it moves across the city, NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life.
  • Stacy Woodruff (MPA 2006), Director of Field Building Hub at Workforce Professionals Training Institute, was featured in New York Daily News for coordinating efforts to improve workforce development programs across the city.


  • Pam Campos-Palma (MPA 2016) was recognized as one of HispCoalitionNY’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.
  • Tai Cooper (MUP 2014) was named to Insider NJ’s Insider 100 Power list.
  • Yusef Freeman (MPA 2003) was honored as a “Rising Star” by Affordable Housing Finance.
  • Alvin Irby (MPA 2015) was named as one of the 2017 Arkansans of the Year by Arkansas Life.
  • Becky Rafter (MPA 2011) was named a 2018 Leading from the Inside Out Fellow by the Rockwood Leadership Institute.
  • Varun Sanyal (MUP 2016) was honored as one of City & State’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.


  • Christopher Brown (MPA 2008) joined Genesys Works as Vice President: Strategic Philanthropy & Community Development.
  • Estevan Garcia (MPA 2006) was named Chief Medical Officer of Cooley Dickinson Health Care.
  • Judie Gilmore (MPA 2005) was named the new Director of Opalka Gallery at Sage Albany.
  • Matt Kudish (Exec MPA 2017), was named Executive Director of The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City.
  • George Latimer (MPA 1976) won a hotly contested race for Westchester County Executive.
  • Nancy von Euler (MPA 1988) joined Horizons at New Canaan Country School as the new Executive Director.


  • Professor Thad Calabrese (PhD 2009) was featured in the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs for investigating the positive association between nonprofit charities and government spending. Professor Calabrese has also been appointed to serve on the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC). 
  • Professor Jacob Faber was featured in Futurity for his new research investigating how real estate agents contribute to segregation.
  • Dean Sherry Glied discussed how to implement changes to a public service university curriculum with the Centre for Public Impact.
  • Professor Zhan Guo was quoted in AMNewYork regarding safety gains from Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero initiative.
  • Professor Neil Kleiman co-authored a new book, A New City O/S, cited in Government Technology for its contention that cities adopt a user-centric approach.
  • Professor Paul Light discussed President Trump’s nomination of Mick Mulvaney to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Bloomberg Politics.
  • Professor Mitchell Moss received the Honorary Member of AIA New York State Award in recognition of outstanding and significant accomplishments outside the profession of architecture.
  • Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will join NYU Wagner in 2018 as a Visiting Distinguished Urbanist.
  • Professor Tim Naftali provided historical context on the release of the JFK Files on CNN.
  • NYU Furman Center released a report, featured in CityLab, showing how the Great Recession has reshaped America into a renter nation.
  • NYU Wagner Social Innovation and Investment Initiative’s latest white paper explored implicit bias and the challenges of minority and women entrepreneurs and social finance investors.
  • Professor Martha Stark spoke to Gotham Gazette about the inequities in the NYC property tax system.
  • Professor Leanna Stiefel published a new study in Educational Researcher examining feelings of inclusion among students with disabilities.
  • Professor Cassandra Thiel was featured in Medical Xpress for her research that found a healthcare center in India provides a model for environmental sustainability.
  • Professor Robertson Work published A Compassionate Civilization, focusing on the urgency of sustainable development and mindful activism.


  • Follow or Like our Facebook Page where we will be sharing events, updates, news, and more. It’s a great way to stay in the know about what's happening on campus and around the globe.
  • Join a Regional or Affinity Group to connect with others in your geographic area or field of work. We are currently working to establish and strengthen Regional Groups in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, Beijing, and Shanghai, as well as an Urban Planning Affinity Group in New York City. If you are interested in helping to launch one of these groups, or organizing a group that doesn’t currently exist, please let me know.
  • Sign up to be an Alumni Ambassador! The Alumni Ambassador Program encourages and empowers alumni like you to help shape the future of NYU Wagner by (1) recruiting prospective students to apply and (2) encouraging admitted students to attend. More than 100 alumni throughout the world are already participating—please join us today!
  • Connect with your fellow alumni on our LinkedIn University Page. Due to changes on LinkedIn, this is the best way for you to stay in touch. Be sure to change your “Education” information on your profile to read “NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service” so you and your fellow alumni can find each other.
  • Stay up to date on news, tips, and career-related resources from Wagner's Office of Career Services by following OCS on Twitter.

Past Newsletters

Your Alumni News for April 2017

Your Alumni News for July 2017