M.P.A./M.A.I.R. grad’s Excelsior Fellowship leads to career with NYS
Cordero ’17 M.P.A./M.A.I.R. calls working as senior policy adviser for New
York’s Public Safety Office her “dream job.”
native of Brooklyn landed the job in September 2019 after two years as a New
York Excelsior Fellow, working for the state’s Office of Public Safety. “I found
my niche,” Cordero said. “I absolutely adore my job. It is an honor every day
to come into the office and work on the safety of all New Yorkers.”
is among 24 Maxwell alumni named Excelsior Fellows since
2013, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the initiative. The program for recent
law, graduate and professional school graduates invites participants to share
diverse backgrounds and new perspectives to policy design and implementation in
New York state government.
two-year Excelsior Service Fellowship Program begins in early September, when
fellows are assigned to New York’s Executive Chamber, a government agency or
authority. Exceptional fellows are invited to work for state agencies after the
successful fellowship and subsequent Executive Chamber job highlight the
Maxwell School’s role supporting students and alumni
working in state and local government. The school’s longstanding support—sustained
through multiple initiatives at several of our leading institutes and centers—contributes
to domestic and international efforts to enhance public service delivery,
strengthen communities and improve citizens’ lives.
worked on high-profile projects in Washington, D.C., before coming to Maxwell.
She was a legislative correspondent for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Democrat of
New Jersey, and worked for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York. In
the Senate, she worked with the Committee on Foreign Relations and the
Committee on Armed Services.
later worked as a policy assistant at the Human Rights Campaign. There she
assisted the organization’s advocacy in the landmark civil rights case
Obergefell v. Hodges, in which a 2015 Supreme Court ruling established same-sex
marriage throughout the United States and its territories.
“As a fellow in the
Senate, I realized there was a series of skills I did not possess,” Cordero
said, citing budgeting, and data and quantitative analysis. In Maxwell’s M.P.A.
program, “I learned to understand raw data and studied theories to better
explain my ideas through a policy focus.”
Cordero also earned
a master of arts in international relations and a Certificate of Advanced Study
in national security at Maxwell.
New York’s Office
of Public Safety oversees programs including the state police, homeland
security and criminal justice services. “They all have a direct role in ensuring
the safety of New Yorkers,” Cordero said. “These are issues I had always been
interested in but only was exposed to at the federal level.”
enjoys applying policy solutions appropriate to diverse parts of the state.
“The security and safety needs of New York City are different from those in the
North Country and Central New York and even the Capitol District,” she
explained. “Gun violence is in the forefront for all of us, but how you handle
gun violence is different throughout the state.”
proud to work for her home state. “I had never considered state service,” she
said, “It turned out I really like it.”