Associate Director CIPA Public Engagement
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

B12 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall



I teach at Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), the MPA program at Cornell University.  I am Associate Director for CIPA Public Engagement and coordinator and instructor of the CIPA Capstone and Consulting for Government and Nonprofit Consulting courses. I hold a BA degree from the University of Massachusetts, and graduate degrees in education and human development from Harvard University and public policy and administration from Columbia University. Prior to joining Cornell, I was Senior Associate at Children's Defense Fund in Washington DC and Child Care Action Campaign in New York City, where my research was funded by Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Mailman Family Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts and others; I conducted research on local implementation and administration of federal programs; communication, awareness, knowledge, and understanding of government programs and services within different communities; the development of public-private partnerships; state-level and community collaborations to improve education, early childhood, health, and social services; and stakeholder engagement in the policy, program development, and legislative processes.  I also worked on funding and policy for federally-funded programs for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development during the Dinkins and Giuliani administrations, and was liaison to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  My research, government and independent consulting experience in the public sphere informs my work with CIPA students as they engage with public agencies, NGOs, and other partners to address public concerns internationally, in the United States, and here in Ithaca and Tompkins County

With several CIPA students and partners from the private and public sectors, I am conducting research on health, education and economic development in the United States, Central America, and sub-Saharan Africa. We use mixed methods and participatory research approaches.
International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Through CIPA's public engagement courses, including the CIPA capstone courses and PADM 5900 Consulting for Government and Nonprofit Organizations, my students and I work with partners to conduct research that is useful, meaningful, and relevant to the communities we work with, and helps to address pressing problems. Our partners include development banks; international NGOs; foundations; nonprofit organizations; federal, state, and local governments; school districts; and private industry working with the public sector.
I work closely with students and alumni through CIPA's Capstone and student public engagement projects in Ithaca, Tompkins County, the United States and around the world. In these courses, students collaborate in teams to work with real-world clients from government, nonprofit, or for-profit sectors to address issues related to policy, programs or development. This hands-on experience helps students hone their skills and professional instincts, and is a valuable resource for our partners beyond Cornell.
PADM 5900 Consulting for Government and Nonprofit Organizations; PADM 5910 CIPA Domestic Capstone; PADM 5950 International Capstone
MPA, Columbia University; EdM, Harvard University; BA, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Associate Director for CIPA Public Engagement
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