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About

The NYU Leadership Initiative defines leadership as the process of working with others to envision a better future, build commitment and align people’s actions toward shared goals, and ultimately, to produce results that make the envisioned future a reality.

By integrating scholarly research, undergraduate and graduate level courses, and co-curricular activities across the University and multiple disciplines we offer a world-class, comprehensive leadership hub for the NYU community. Our mission is to inspire and develop a lifelong practice of ethical and inclusive leadership by engaging students in exploring the diversity of ways people are leading today.

The transformation of communities across the globe – due to the spread of technology and information, the interdependence of economies, the transnational nature of major human challenges, and an increasing embrace of diversity – demands new approaches to leadership that reflect our global interconnectedness and enable breakthrough thinking and action across fields. Today’s world requires leadership that is inclusive, distributed, and ethical.

Get Involved

The Leadership Initiative aims to create a space for conversation across the Global Network University about how best to equip students to meaningfully contribute to global public discourse, apply ethical leadership principles and practices to complex problem solving, bridge divides, and set a course of continual discovery and innovation.

We hope you will join the conversation »


Meet Our Team


Melody C. Barnes

Melody C. Barnes

She is responsible for developing a wide-ranging set of initiatives across our campuses to prepare our students more fully for leadership roles – to arrange opportunities to interact with world leaders who visit us, to ensure that our most outstanding students are successfully availing themselves of opportunities for major scholarships and fellowships, and to look for areas of collaboration among our existing programs to recognize and cultivate student merit and leadership. As a Senior Fellow at NYU Wagner, Melody's deep experience and expertise in policy innovation will add immensely to the breadth of research and practice for which NYU Wagner is well known.

A former Assistant to President Barack Obama and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Melody has most recently been working as a private consultant and as chair of a new initiative at the Aspen Institute. From January 2009 to January 2012, she provided policy and strategic advice to President Obama and worked closely with members of the Cabinet coordinating the domestic policy agenda across the Administration. Prior to her work in the White House, she served on the leadership team for the Obama-Biden Transition Project and as Senior Domestic Policy Advisor to the Obama for America campaign. From 2003 to July 2008, she worked at the Center for American Progress, a progressive research institute and think tank, where she was named Executive Vice President for Policy in 2005. From 1995 to 2003, she worked for Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee, serving as his chief counsel from 1998 onwards. Barnes began her career as an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York City.

Melody received her bachelor's degree in 1986 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she graduated with honors. She received her law degree in 1989 from the University of Michigan Law School.


This is an image of Corey Blay

Corey Blay

He is passionate about ensuring that all students, regardless of their demographic background or discipline of study, have access to meaningful leadership programs and experiences.

During his graduate studies at NYU, Corey served as President of the Government and Business Association, Vice President of Stern’s Student Government, Senator At-Large and Chief of Staff of the Student Senators Council, and graduate student representative on the University Space Priorities Working Group. He received the Stern Service Award and President’s Service Award. Corey was named the 2014 All-University Commencement student speaker.
Corey began his career at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, an K-12 independent school in New York City, where he taught 7th grade history on the founding team for its new middle school and designed diversity and inclusion programming for students, faculty, and staff. Outside of the classroom, he managed political campaigns, served on the board of a national leadership development organization, and co-founded a youth advocacy organization in Harlem that partnered with Columbia University and the White House to develop leadership programs for low-income youth.

During his studies at NYU, Corey served as President of the Government and Business Association, Vice President of Stern’s Student Government, Senator At-Large and Chief of Staff of the Student Senators Council, and graduate student representative on the University Space Priorities Working Group. He received the Stern Service Award and President’s Service Award. Corey was named the 2014 All-University Commencement student speaker.

Corey began his career at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, an K-12 independent school in New York City, where he taught 7th grade history on the founding team for its new middle school and designed diversity and inclusion programming for students, faculty, and staff. Outside of the classroom, he managed political campaigns, served on the board of a national leadership development organization, and co-founded a youth advocacy organization in Harlem that partnered with Columbia University and the White House to develop leadership programs for low-income youth.

Corey was a 2011 Management Leadership for Tomorrow MBA Prep fellow. As a 2012 Education Pioneer fellow, he created a mentorship program for staff of color and of low-income backgrounds at Teach For America.

Corey received his BA in African-American Studies and Public Policy from the University of Chicago, an MBA from the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and MPA from the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.


Grisel Caicedo

Grisel Caicedo

She brings nearly a decade of experience in the design and management of professional and leadership development programs for diverse audiences including undergraduate and graduate students, nonprofit professionals and senior executives in the US and abroad.

She currently directs the NYU Leadership Fellows Program, a yearlong initiative that helps sophomores and juniors develop key leadership skills including self-awareness, creating shared vision and taking action with others to achieve results. Grisel is part of the team leading the design of the Global Leadership Summit 2016: Taking Action on the European Refugee Crisis.

As Program Administrator at the NYU Wagner Research Center for Leadership in Action, she managed customized leadership development and capacity-building programs for diverse clients including the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Communities In Schools and Bloomberg Philanthropies. In this role, she also orchestrated the successful launch of new initiatives including the Global Social Change Leadership Institute and the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program. From 2007-2010, Grisel worked at the NYU Stern Office of Career Development, where she coordinated the MBA on-campus recruitment process.

Prior to NYU, Grisel was a Program Advisor for the Organization of American States Scholarship program administered by LASPAU, an affiliate of Harvard University. In this role, she managed study grants in Latin America and Canada, advised grantees and developed relationships with key academic institutions to support OAS scholars.

Grisel is interested in international development and migration. While a student at NYU, she co-authored a World Bank commissioned report on labor, migration, and economic development policy as part of a graduate research team. Currently, Grisel volunteers as a mentor and resume development coach with UpwardlyGlobal, an organization helping immigrants rebuild their careers in the U.S. Grisel holds an MPA in International Policy and Management from NYU Wagner and a BA in Economics and International Relations from Boston University.


Maria Dorta Headshot

Maria Dorta

Maria came to this role after serving for nine years as Development Associate at the New York University School of Law and New York University College of Dentistry. Maria worked with alumni communities, hearing their narratives and how their experiences at NYU helped to shape their personal and professional pursuits. These experiences ignited in Maria a desire to be more involved in the student experience, and to contribute to creating a community of support and opportunity for all students. Maria is passionate about matters of diversity, inclusion and equality- especially as it relates to education equity.

With these goals in mind, Maria joined the Leadership Initiative team in 2016 and is thrilled to be part of a vibrant team that is working to galvanize a network of future leaders who reflect the diversity and potential of our interconnected world.

Maria earned her BA in Sociology at NYU School of Professional Studies and is looking forward to pursuing her masters in the Fall of 2017! 


Bethany Godsoe

Bethany Godsoe

She came to this role after serving for six years as the Executive Director at NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action. She specializes in the design and delivery of leadership development programs and is a highly skilled facilitator with deep expertise in action learning and collaborative action research methodologies. She is passionate about helping people develop their capacity for leadership and realize their vision for change in the world.

Previously, Bethany served as NYU Wagner's Assistant Dean for Enrollment and Student Services and Director of Admissions from 2003 to 2007. Prior to joining the NYU Wagner administration, she served as Associate Project Director for the Research and Documentation component of Leadership for a Changing World, a national effort to build knowledge about social change leadership. She began her career in HIV services developing and managing youth programs and serving as a director of development.

Bethany is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at NYU Wagner where she teaches Strategic Leadership to the Executive MPA students and The Meaning of Leadership for undergraduates. She received her BA in Anthropology from Cornell University and her MPA from NYU Wagner.
 


Kris Larsen Headshot

Kris Larsen

An employee of NYU since 2000, Kris Larsen began his career as an administrator for the Department of Psychology. For eight years he oversaw admissions to to the doctoral program in Social Psychology. In 2008, he began working for the Graduate School of Arts and Science in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs. Here he managed global and internal fellowships for GSAS students as well as graduate students from across the University.

Kris holds a BA and MA in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside and Stony Brook University respectively. During his time as a graduate student at Stony Brook University, in association with the International Association for Philosophy and Literature, Kris gave panel presentations on phenomenology and architecture in Helsinki, Freiburg, and Nicosia.

Kris has intellectual and agricultural interests in wine and the wine industry. He has worked as a cellar rat for a prominent Oregon winemaker. Unable to produce, what he would call “good wine” in a Brooklyn apartment, his practice of zymology is currently limited to brewing beer.


Jenni Quilter

Jenni Quilter

She directs the Office of Global Awards, which is renowned for its support of prestigious scholarships like the Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall, and Gates (which generally offer full financial aid to graduate study in universities in the United Kingdom, particularly Oxford and Cambridge), along with Truman (for those ultimately interested in public service in the U.S.) and the Fulbright (which offers a range of international year-long research and teaching grants). The Office is dedicated to strengthening NYU’s record of achievement, but also to widening the scope and understanding of what scholarship implies in general, and in reconsidering the relationship between personal responsibility, agency, community building, and issues of leadership.

For the last seven years, Jenni taught at the Expository Writing Program at NYU, working first with CAS and then Tisch students. She was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2012, and this past year, won a coveted Golden Dozen teaching award for her sustained commitment to teaching and students. She has also taught personal essay writing workshops for scholarship, pre-med and pre-law students, worked as a Critical Thinking & Writing Instructor at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Summer Academy (which is a bridging program for high-achieving Emirati high-school students interested in an international university education), and has developed writing classes and lecture series for a number of study-abroad programs across the Global Network University. All told, she is extremely interested in encouraging students to develop their own writing voice as thinkers rather than as only learners; in constructing for themselves a narrative of their education, an intellectual myth of origins that for the rest of their lives they can subtly embroider and improve upon.

Prior to working at NYU, she taught at Oxford University, where she also obtained her M.Phil and D.Phil in English Literature as a Rhodes Scholar from New Zealand. Her academic research is in contemporary collaborations between artists and writers. She is the author of Neon in Daylight: New York School Painters and Poets (2014). Other publications include Jane Freilicher (2013) and Painters & Poets: The Tibor de Nagy Gallery (2012). Her essays have been published in Poetry, Agni, and The Southwest Review. She is currently working on a collection of essays, which are about (in no real order), Norway, bodybuilding, Zeno’s paradoxes, the NYPD, and the development of ASL and silent cinema.

Leadership
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Leadership is about how we shape futures that we truly desire.

- Peter Senge

 


AFFILIATED FACULTY


Deborah J. Borisoff
Professor of Media, Culture and Communication
NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

Erica Gabrielle Foldy
Faculty Co-Director, Research Center for Leadership in Action, and Associate Professor of Public and Nonprofit Management
NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Elizabeth Wolfe Morrison
Vice Dean of Faculty, ITT Harold Geneen Professor in Creative Management, and Professor of Management and Organizations
NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Sonia M. Ospina
Faculty Co-Director, Research Center for Leadership in Action, and Professor of Public Management and Policy
NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Wendy A. Suzuki
Professor of Neural Science and Psychology and leader of the Suzuki Laboratory
NYU’s Center for Neural Science


A professor and students in discussion in NYU Shanghai
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