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Preparing public service leaders to shift power and transform society

79% of MPA graduates accepted a new job offer or promotion within 6 months of graduation

Professional development program provides leadership workshops and career-building exercises

Work experience requirement ensures job-based learning and professional growth parallel to coursework

Capstone engages students in a semester-long, team-based project management experience in service to a community partner

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MPA Capstone Report


MPA Capstone Report

A New Vision of Public Safety

Congratulations to our MPA Class of 2024 for a fantastic capstone project!

In collaboration with the Movement for Black Lives, the students developed a guide to facilitate discussions on the invest-divest approach to public safety. This guide is designed to engage with individuals uncertain about divesting from policing and investing in an approach to public safety that serves everyone.

The students analyzed three key data sets: perceptions of public safety within Black communities, voting behaviors, and crime perceptions. The guide's objective is to provide advocates, nonprofit organizations, faith leaders, and others with the necessary language and research-backed evidence to advocate for a new vision of public safety.

Read the guide | Watch the presentation

A Social Justice MPA Program

The MPA Program at CCNY exposes students to alternative models of public service leadership and management, critical perspectives on public policy, and emergent forms of economic design and organization that aim to better serve the needs of a diverse public. In service to our mission to uplift leaders to transform society, the MPA Program invites faculty, students, and community partners to co-create a social justice leadership practice that is values-driven and inclusive of the multitude of perspectives and diverse experiences reflected in our communities. Now more than ever, we need public service professionals committed to shifting power in ways that deepen our commitment to democratic principles, and that can catalyze society’s transformation toward a more equitable world.

Guiding Principles

Our guiding principles align with the core mission of the Colin Powell School to transform the world’s most diverse student body into the next generation of leaders.

  • Lifting Leaders: We grow the leadership capacity of MPA degree candidates to position them for meaningful careers with social impact. 
  • Shifting Power: We empower students from marginalized communities to disrupt social, political, and economic inequity.
  • Transforming Society: We strive for systemic change to achieve an equitable and sustainable future for our communities.
Our Students
MPA Orientation Alumni Panel

Our students bring core convictions and lived experiences that uniquely position them to transform the future of public service leadership and management. MPA graduates build meaningful careers spanning the public and social sectors - with 47% working in nonprofit organizations, 30% working in government institutions, and 23% working in business and social enterprise. Collectively, our students embody our mission to shift power toward those historically marginalized from it. The majority of our students are women, people of color, and the first in their families to earn a graduate degree. We bring together immigrant New Yorkers and US-born New Yorkers. We welcome people early in their careers, mid-career professionals, and people returning to school after accumulating rich life experiences in service to others. 


Our Faculty
MPA Orientation Workshop with PFLAG

Our program harnesses the experiences of practitioners - professional faculty who are deeply immersed in the field of public service and social change - and connects that experiential knowledge and social issue expertise with the interests of a diverse student body of rising professionals. MPA faculty work in leading think tanks, social impact finance companies, philanthropic foundations, federal and local government agencies, and national nonprofit organizations. Our faculty have also founded their own social impact consulting firms, led successful national campaigns on prescient issues, done pioneering work in local nonprofits in NYC, and have received honors and awards including the prestigious Echoing Green fellowship, MacArther Genius Award, and Fulbright ETA Award. Please see our faculty bios.

Volunteering with the Lower East Side Ecology Center

Our Curriculum

The MPA curriculum centers real-world practice through professional experiences working in closest proximity to communities marginalized from power. MPA courses are designed to prepare students with in-demand professional skills and results-driven approaches to public service management that are relevant to real world settings. The MPA curriculum is anchored by five core competencies: effective communication, strategic management, data-driven decision making, stakeholder engagement, and leadership. Please see our core course descriptions.

The MPA Team

Bobby Derival

Bobby Derival

Executive Director
Shepard Hall Room 1
Linkedin | Staff Profile

James Suggett

James Suggett

Program Coordinator
Shepard Hall Room 1
Linkedin | Staff Profile


Shepard Hall
Rm. 1
259 Convent Ave.
New York, NY 10031