Andrew Hollander, '05 MPA

Deputy Executive Director for Operations and Implementation
Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners
New York City Department of Education

 Andy Hollander

Andrew Hollander is the Deputy Executive Director for Operations and Implementation at the Division of Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners at the New York City Department of Education. Andrew earned his MPA at Maxwell in 2005, and has a BA from Binghamton University.

At the NYC Department of Education, Andrew is working on A Shared Path to Success- a reform of special education practices in the city. Andrew's work involves policy review and analysis of how schools are supported for serving students with disabilities.

During his time at Maxwell, Andrew focused on State and Local Government Finance. Originally, he planned to focus on education policy, but, as he puts it: "during the first month of the MPA program a professor pulled me aside and gave me strong advice in that if I focused on one policy area I'd become strong in one policy area, but if I focused on how the money works, I'd be good for every policy area."

He attributes five courses with tremendously impacting his career: "State and Local Government Financial Management with Professor Rubenstein taught me the hard skills needed for budget analysis. Variance analysis and cost-benefit analysis are competencies required on a daily basis in my current position; for example, my office makes recommendations on if it makes sense to develop certain programs in-house, or if it is more efficient and better for students to contract the program out to a vendor."

Though many students dread statistics, Andrew notes, "statistics with Professor Lopoo prepared me for knowing what questions to ask when looking at data, as well as how to look at it objectively and meaningfully. While my skills around regression analysis are certainly rusty right now, I know what to infer from a correlation, as well as understand how to sample a population. As I currently work for an organization that places strong emphasis on data, it is imperative to be able to utilize it meaningfully."

A number of other required courses made his top list, including economics and "PO&M:" "Economics for Public Administrators with Professor Brooks has prepared me for considering unintended consequences when making policy recommendations. This allows me to recommend and evaluate policy carefully, with an understanding that sometimes the best intentions can make for careless decisions. Public Organizations and Management was a course that in the beginning I did not think was necessary, but has come up frequently in my current position. As the current fiscal climate puts tremendous constraints on the resources available to the public sector, it is necessary to understand how organizational structure will respond so it can function efficiently. Also, this class taught me how to give an elevator speech - a skill that proves itself necessary often."

Finally, a favorite elective was Metropolitan Government with Vito Sciscoli and Minch Lewis: "[The class] was very practical, having two accomplished public servants share the wisdom of their careers. The class was like watching an episode of the Odd Couple - having two public administrators who have differing perspectives sharing how they managed public affairs. Also, it is worth taking the class to learn Vito's pride in Syracuse's consistent victory in claiming the Golden Snowball award for best snow removal planning in New York State."

Andrew can be contacted at andyhollander@gmail.com.