Spring 2023 Lecturers
k Abram - Liberal Studies (Writing)
k Abram is a writer, editor, and teacher. In addition to teaching at NYU and Kean University, they have served as an editor for various literary and academic journals and published as a poet and critic. Her writing, which engages archive and cross-genre/media forms to approach themes of body, gender, illness, and religion, has been recognized as a finalist for the BOMB Magazine Poetry Contest and Wabash Prize for Poetry and supported by the Blue Mountain Center. They hold an M.F.A. from New York University and B.A. from Carleton College.
Marvin Astrada - Politics / History
Marvin Astrada has completed a Ph.D. in Politics and International Relations at Florida International University, a JD at Rutgers University Law School, and an MA and CAS at Wesleyan University. His teaching and research programs focus on law and society, constitutional law and theory, and international relations.
Presently, he is a Research Associate at the Federal Judicial Center, Washington, DC. He is responsible for the design and conduct of social scientific and legal qualitative/quantitative research projects pertaining to all facets of the administration of justice in the federal judiciary. Samples of recent projects
include social scientific and legal research pertaining to mass incarceration, the efficacy of federal reentry/diversionary programs, habeas corpus in the federal arena, and the role of media in complex criminal litigation.
Dr. Astrada has taught introductory and advanced courses in law, international relations, and political science, has presented his research at professional conferences, and published his research in the fields of law and society and international relations.
Chynere Best - Psychology
Chynere Best holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology from Howard University where she also received her BS and MS degrees in psychology. Her research focuses on family dynamics and parent-adolescent communication about risk behaviors particularly among members of the Caribbean diaspora. She has been teaching undergraduate psychology courses at the NYU, Washington, DC campus since Fall 2020 and also holds an adjunct faculty position at Trinity Washington University.
Seth Borenstein - Journalism / Environmental Studies
Seth Borenstein teaches journalism and society at New York University's Washington DC campus. He also is a national science writer for The Associated Press, the world's largest news organization, covering issues ranging from climate change to astronomy. He is the winner of numerous journalism awards, including the National Journalism Award for environment reporting in 2007 from the Scripps Foundation and the Outstanding Beat Reporting award from the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2008 and 2004. He was part of an AP Gulf of Mexico oil spill reporting team that won the 2010 George Polk Award for Environment Reporting and a special merit award as part of the 2011 Grantham environment reporting prizes. He was part of a team of finalists for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Columbia space shuttle disaster. A science and environmental journalist for more than 25 years, covering everything from hurricanes to space shuttle launches, Borenstein has also worked for Knight Ridder Newspapers' Washington Bureau, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. He is the co-author of three out-of-print books, two on hurricanes and one on popular science. He has flown in zero gravity and once tried out for Florida Marlins (unsuccessfully).
He can be found at @borenbears on Twitter.
Sydney Boyd - Liberal Studies (Writing)
Sydney Boyd is a writer, teacher, and scholar in Washington, D.C. Before joining NYU DC as Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, she worked as an editor and podcast host at the Federation of State Humanities Councils. As a scholar, she studies how music shapes narrative temporalities in twentieth-century literature and has essays published in Arizona Quarterly and Contemporary Literature. She has served on the Executive Committee for the MLA Forum on Opera and Musical Performance since 2019.
As an arts critic, she has published articles on opera, Classical music, dance, visual art, and film for Houstonia Magazine, Houston Chronicle, Bachtrack, ArtsJournal, Arts + Culture Texas Magazine, and the Washington Classical Review. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English from Rice University and degrees in music and English from the University of Idaho.
Ross Brater - Liberal Studies (Economics)
Ross Brater is an economist in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He joined the Division shortly after he earned his Ph.D. in Economics from The Ohio State University, where he specialized in industrial organization and microeconomic theory. He enjoys teaching courses on microeconomic theory, industrial organization, sports economics, and current issues. While at Ohio State, he received the Economics Department's L. Edwin Smart Graduate Associate Teaching Award and its Departmental Citation for Excellence in Teaching.
His current research interests include topics in theoretical industrial organization, with current focus on two-sided markets and consumer rewards programs. He also holds an M.A. in Economics from The Ohio State University and a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Justin Evans - Liberal Studies (Global Works and Society)
Justin Evans holds a PhD from the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought, and an MFA in fiction from Otis College. He has previously taught humanities at Villlanova University and George Mason University. His primary research interest is the relationship between philosophy and literature in the twentieth century. He writes essays about social matters, literary criticism and fiction. He is working on a volume of fictions and essays, 'The Philosophers Bench.' The missing apostrophe in 'philosophers' is, he regrets, not a typo.
Kiran Gore - Experiential Learning Seminar
Kiran Nasir Gore is an attorney focusing her practice on international business transactions and related disputes. She's worked at law firms big and small in New York and Washington, DC and her current and past clients include foreign governments, Fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and private individuals. She has advised them on how to manage business deals, mitigate risk, and resolve their inevitable disputes. In addition to her work with NYU students, Kiran is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at the George Washington University Law School, where she teaches substantive law courses and practical skills to both JD students and foreign LLM students. She has degrees from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Brooklyn Law School.
David Gottesman - Global Leadership Program
Dave Gottesman is the Assistant City Manager of Rockville, Maryland (population 70,000), responsible for project and performance management of the entire scope of city departments and services, strategic planning, and oversight of other special projects and city functions. Prior to joining the City of Rockville in 2022, Dave was the CountyStat Manager for Montgomery County, Maryland (pop. 1,062,000), in the Office of the County Executive, leading the County's performance management and data analytics team to drive accountability, transparency, and the strategic use of data to monitor and improve the performance, effectiveness, and efficiency of public services. He also served from 2008 to 2012 as the Director of Budget and Performance Management for the Town of North Hempstead, New York (pop. 230,000).
Dave holds an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park, a Certified Public Manager designation from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Institute for Regional Excellence, and served as a Local Government Fellow with Results for America. He has been an instructor at NYU DC since Fall 2014 and has taught the Internship Seminar and the Meaning of Leadership courses.
Preeth Gowdar - Business
As a veteran of the impact investment space, Preeth offers 15+ years of experience across private equity investing and social enterprise development. Preeth has focused his career on using financial innovation to mobilize capital for social enterprises tackling some of the deepest social and climate challenges facing developing regions of the world.
At Palladium Impact Capital, Preeth led the US team of a one-of-a-kind investment bank dedicated to mobilizing capital for social enterprise. Palladium Impact Capital works almost exclusively at the cutting edge of mobilizing impact private equity and debt by designing investment vehicles that push the boundaries of innovation in impact investing. With this view, he advised entrepreneurs, fund managers, non-profit organizations and corporations, on themes spanning financial services, agribusiness and healthcare in developing countries.
Preeth began his career in social enterprise in 2007, as one of the earliest team members of Lok Capital. As a fund manager that was at the time pioneering impact investing in social enterprise, Lok Capital launched its first strategy by investing in and scaling microfinance institutions in India. Preeth supported on a number of investments in financial institutions, which today are India's leaders in banking the underserved.
In addition to private sector impact investing, Preeth's career has crossed into both government service and academics. He has worked with the US Defense Department to use impact investing to bring greater stability to post-conflict regions within Afghanistan. Preeth has been regularly guest lecturing at Columbia's University's Earth Institute on using blended finance innovation to scale climate impact. He currently is a Lecturer on Social Entrepreneurship at New York University's Washington DC Academic Center.
Preeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Corey Holmes - Politics
Corey Holmes is the USAID Liaison in the Department of State’s Public Affairs bureau under the Global Engagement Center’s Interagency and International Coordination Cell (I2C2). He also currently teaches Private Influence in Public Policy and Politics in Public Policy courses at New York University’s District of Columbia campus. He is a former Senior Professional Staff Member, Acting Staff Director, and Foreign Policy Advisor for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. He holds a Ph.D. in African Studies & Research from Howard University in Washington, DC, where he studied and completed a dissertation entitled “The Effects of Unemployment on Black Youth in Gauteng, South Africa.” He previously worked at the State Department as a South Africa Desk Officer and a Public Affairs/ Public Diplomacy Officer in the Africa Bureau. He has extensive overseas experience working in South Africa and Mozambique on socio-political and health issues. Corey also has a public affairs background and crafting speeches for Members of Congress, State Department officials, has blogged for the London School of Economics, and published papers at the National Association for African American Studies Conference in Durban, South Africa, and other South African magazines, newspapers, and publications. Dr. Holmes is a Board member of the National Security Education Programs Alumni Association and was most recently selected as a member of the Security Fellows of the 2023 Class of the Truman National Security Project.
Victoria Kiechel - Environmental Studies / Public Policy / Social and Cultural Analysis
Victoria Kiechel has 20 years of professional experience in architecture, education, and sustainable design. A practicing architect, she works for the Cadmus Group, Inc., an environmental consultancy, and is a faculty member of the Global Environmental Politics Program, the School of International Service, American University (AU), in Washington, DC. In 2010, she was the inaugural recipient of AU’s Most Innovative Green Teacher of the Year award. At Cadmus, Vicky has worked for the US Green Building Council to develop and support the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating Systems; advises the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR commercial and industrial branch; leads consulting and review teams for buildings seeking LEED certification; and manages sustainability initiatives for clients as diverse as the Smithsonian Institution and state and local governments. Her architectural design work focuses on small-to-medium scale residential and institutional projects. For the Washington, DC Capitol Hill School Libraries Project, she designed the library for Maury Elementary School.
Marcia Kupfer - Liberal Studies (Arts and Cultures)
Marcia Kupfer contributes to the study of medieval art as an independent scholar based in Washington DC. Her many publications reflect wide-ranging interests in pictorial narrative, cartographic representation, spatial practices, and visual expressions of Christian-Jewish polemic. She has received fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies. She has also taught at several universities in the United States, held guest appointments at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris, and lectured at the British Library.
Kari Miller - African & African-American History and Literature
Kari Miller is an international educator with a teaching focus on courses that explore African and African-American history through the study of literature and the arts. Currently, as the Program Director of the NYU Academic Center in Washington, DC, her teaching focuses on transgenerational narratives and discourse in African-American literature, with special attention to linkages between the Black Lives Matter movement and prior movements for social justice in the U.S. from the 1600s to the present. Using the city of Washington, DC as a case study and textbook for national conversations on race, place and time, she developed and currently teaches the interdisciplinary NYUDC course, Black Lives Writing Washington, DC. Previously, as the Director of Honors and Scholar Development and an affiliated faculty member of the Department of African Studies at Howard University, she taught an annual Honors Seminar on South African History in Literature and Film, a course that explored similar themes on racial inequality and contemporary issues in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Kari holds a Ph.D. in African Studies from Howard University and a B.A. in English from Spelman College.
Amy Mortimer - Global Leadership Program
Amy Mortimer teaches the Meaning of Leadership for the Global Leadership Program. She currently works at Opportunity@Work, a start-up nonprofit organization that aims to build an inclusive hiring marketplace. Previously, Amy worked for over twenty years as a public policy consultant at ICF. She managed operations for the Housing and Community Development Group and supported projects at Federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Education. Among her proudest moments were support of disaster recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy as well as her contributions to training professionals nationwide to combat childhood lead-poisoning. Amy began her professional journey as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching high school in the Southern African nation of Lesotho. She currently volunteers for Amigos de las Americas, a youth leadership organization. Amy has a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.
Elisabeth Narkin - Liberal Studies (Arts and Cultures)
Elisabeth Narkin is an art historian who specializes in early modern architecture, with a focus on France and digital methodologies. Elisabeth earned her PhD at Duke University and was an Andrew W. Mellon post-doctoral fellow at Rice University, where she taught classes in art history and the spatial humanities. Her research explores the relationship between the social life of the French court and the built environment during the long sixteenth century. Elisabeth's (teaching interests include cross-cultural exchange in the early modern period, urban environments, and social history). She is the architecture specialist in the National Gallery of Art's Department of Image Collections.
Albert Thompson - History
Albert Thompson is a war & culture historian specializing in the history of American conflict and the New Deal State's political development on race issues. He has taught U.S. History, American Studies, Western Civilization, and WWII courses at Howard University, Georgetown University, American University, and Northern Virginia Community College.
John Volpe - Economics
John Volpe received his Ph.D. degree in economics from New York University, where he was a teaching fellow. He has held executive-level positions in the corporate, trade association, foundation, think-tank, consultancy, and academic arenas. Dr. Volpe has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics at New York University, Georgetown University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, and Catholic University, among other institutions. He has published extensively, mainly in the area of public policy, made numerous presentations to academic institutions, businesses, associations, and corporate groups, and consulted for a number of government agencies (including the Departments of State and Labor, and the U.S. Agency for International Development), associations (including the Employment Policies Institute, and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy), think tanks (including Stanford Research Institute, the National Planning Association, the International Trade and Investment Center, and the Center for International Private Enterprise), and domestic and international corporations (including TRW and Diageo).