At the center of the cutting-edge initiatives is the new Social Innovation & Investment Initiative (SIII) academic specialization, situated at the intersection of impact investing and public service.

Scott Taitel
Scott Taitel

NYU Wagner has received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support the graduate school’s burgeoning initiatives to strengthen the field of social finance.

The $60,000 grant “to strengthen the field of social finance and its adoption through research, convening, and training activities” follows the introduction, at the start of the current academic year, of the Social Innovation & Investment Initiative specialization offered at NYU Wagner. The courses in this area of concentration blend financial management, impact investment, operations, and policy to prepare students to develop entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Furthermore, planned activities in social finance will include a full-day symposium this spring, a case analysis, and the establishment of a research and training center. Additional efforts are aimed at creating a student-designed and -operated social impact investment fund.

“Impact investing, at the intersection of market and policy, represents a pioneering space for a Master of Public Administration program. As we develop opportunities for students to study, explore, and ultimately enter this huge and evolving field, we are extremely grateful for the critical support the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is providing,” said Scott Taitel, Clinical Professor of Public Service and Director of Social Finance at NYU Wagner.

“Our unique specialization, coupled with a series of closely aligned opportunities and initiatives, trains our students to be agents of social change. By speaking both the business and the policy language, students will be able to create policy, products, services, delivery systems, enterprises, and investment approaches necessary to improve lives and solve major domestic and global challenges,” he said.

To interview Professor Taitel about the SIII specialization supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant, please contact the New York University public affairs office listed with this release.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation:

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit .

About NYU Wagner:

NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service prepares public service leaders to translate ideas into actions that have an effective and lasting impact on the public good. Our faculty’s research changes the way people frame, understand, and act on important public issues. We provide our students with critical skills, access to all that New York City has to offer, and a deep understanding of context surrounding public service challenges—which they use to improve cities and communities across the globe.

Since 1938, NYU Wagner has been educating the world’s future public service leaders. We offer a Master of Public Administration in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy, Master of Public Administration in Health Policy & Management, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Science in Public Policy, Executive Master of Public Administration, and PhD in Public Administration. Visit us at

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Robert Polner
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