• Maxwell Alumni News

  • Maxwell alums featured in WSYR-TV series Victory Over Violence

    Abdul Saboor '18 BA (PSc)/’19 EMPA/CAS Conflict Resolution, was recently featured in a story by WSYR-TV as part of a series called “Victory Over Violence.” Abdul is Community Navigator at Center for New Americans. The story also includes Olive Sephuma ’12 EMPA, who is the center’s director. This refugee resettlement agency in Syracuse is part of Interfaith Works of CNY.



    Maxwell alum appointed Beverly Hills city clerk

    Huma Ahmed '16 EMPA/CAS (Conflict Resolution) moved to Syracuse in summer 2015 for Maxwell’s Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) and Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Conflict Resolution programs. In May, The Beverly Hills City Council unanimously elected her city clerk, effective July 1, 2019. She expects her Maxwell skills and network once again to guide her in a new role.



    Nazak Nikakhtar nominated to Commerce post

    Nazak Nikakhtar ’02 MA (Econ) has been nominated by President Donald Trump to become Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Security. She currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Commerce (Industry and Analysis), where she is the department’s primary liaison with United States industry and trade associations.



    Dan Gerlach named interim chancellor at East Carolina University

    In April, Dan Gerlach ’90 MPA was named the interim chancellor of East Carolina University; he started those duties on May 6. Since 2008, Gerlach has been president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, which works to increase economic opportunities in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities.



    Jessica Wolfanger made senior research scientist at CNA

    Jessica Scott Wolfanger ’01 BA (PSt/PSc) has been promoted to senior research scientist in the Resources and Force Readiness Division of CNA. CNA, formerly known as the Center for Naval Analyses, is a nonprofit research organization that applies operations research and analysis to a broad range of national security, defense, and public interest issues.



    Kelly Flannery becomes CFO of Charlotte, N.C.

    In May, Kelly Flannery ’00 BA (IR) was named the new chief financial officer of the City of Charlotte, N.C.; she assumed those duties on June 10. As CFO, she oversees the accounting of all funds, totaling $2.6 billion, and directs day-to-day financial operations for the city.



    Book by Serin Houston offers Seattle as case study of urban governance

    A new book by Serin Houston ’11 PhD (Geog) uses Seattle as a case study, delving into some of the most pressing and compelling aspects of contemporary urban governance in the United States. The book, Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance, was published in May by the University of Nebraska Press as part of its “Our Sustainable Future” series.



    Zac Champ is bureau chief of staff at the FCC

    In May, Zac Champ ’10 JD/MPA was named chief of staff for the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau develops and implements the FCC’s consumer policies and serves as the agency’s connection to the American consumer.



    Sean Callahan serves in Pacific Islands and Mongolia for USAID

    Sean Callahan ’98 JD/MPA has been promoted to deputy mission director for the Pacific and Mongolia at USAID, where he had served as regional coordinator since July of last year. This latest appointment builds on an 18-year career at USAID.



    Laurence Mass is made partner at investment practice

    Laurence H. Mass ’87 BA (Econ/PSt) has joined Dye Creek Capital, based in Wilmington, North Carolina, as a partner. Mass is an accredited asset management specialist with 25 years of experience in the financial industry. As partner, he will focus on investments, borrowing and liability management, risk management and trust, estate and fiduciary services.



    Maxwell alum John Mandyck discusses sustainability implications in HBR

    "What Boards Need to Know About Sustainability Ratings," co-authored by John Mandyck ’89 BA (PSt)/’92 MPA, was published in the Harvard Business Review. "Board members’ fiduciary duty, as well as their advisory and oversight responsibilities, require an understanding of sustainability and the impact of ESG ratings on both enterprise and shareholder value," write Mandyck and co-author Silda Wall Spitzer.



    Professorship to focus on environmental sustainability and finance

    A major gift from Kenneth A. Pontarelli ’92 BS (Econ) and his wife, Tracey Pontarelli, will fund a new professorship focused on research and teaching in the area of environmental sustainability and finance, based in the Maxwell School.



    Award honors alumna and former faculty member Rosemary O’Leary

    The International Research Society for Public Management (IRSPM) has created an award honoring alumna and former Maxwell faculty member Rosemary O’Leary ‘88 PhD (PA). The award recognizes the best article published in a public administration journal on the topic of women and public administration.



    Heather Newton heads mental illness organization in Rochester

    Heather Newton ’96 MPA was named executive director of the Rochester Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a grassroots mental health organization. NAMI advocates, educates, and develops policy aimed at improving mental health in the United States



    Robin Lamott Sparks heads End Hunger Connecticut!

    Robin Lamott Sparks ’91 MPA is the new executive director for End Hunger Connecticut! (EHC!), an organization dedicated to eliminating hunger and promoting healthy nutrition in Connecticut through outreach, public education, and legislative and administrative advocacy.


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