Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment

Public and Urban Policy

Mission Statement

The New School’s Master of Science program in Public and Urban Policy attracts and trains change makers who apply the tools and concepts of policy analysis to improve our communities, our cities, and our global future. They challenge the status quo and prioritize social inclusion, and equity in the design and implementation of public and urban policy. The program achieves these goals by offering a diverse group of learners a laboratory for putting theory into practice, in which students and faculty examine today’s critical public policy issues through an urban lens and design creative solutions, while working closely with leaders in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

Visit the Master of Science in Public and Urban Policy page at to learn about degree requirements, application information, program faculty, and more.

Fact Sheet 2022-23

Fact Sheet 2021-22

Fact Sheet 2020-21

Fact Sheet 2019-20

Fact Sheet


Alex Schwartz, Chair of the MS Public and Urban Policy Program & Professor of Urban Policy


Urban Policy Lab

The Urban Policy Lab is Milano’s oldest and largest client-centered course. Students in the lab work in teams to advise clients in government and the nonprofit sector on pressing policy and management issues. Working under the supervision of a faculty supervisor, students research the issue, identify possible solutions, and analyze them. The students present their recommendations to the client in a formal briefing and then submit a written report incorporating client feedback. Learn more.


Public & Urban Policy Alumni Panel Discussions on Careers in Government, Housing, and Advocacy

In February 2022, the PUP program held three panel discussions in which alumni discussed their careers in New York City government, housing and community development, and advocacy. The government and housing discussion was moderated by program chair Alex Schwartz, and the advocacy discussion by Professor Bryna Sanger.

The panelists for the Feb. 4 discussion on careers in New York City Government were:

Erin M. Drinkwater (2007),  Deputy Commissioner of Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs, NYC Department of Social Services

Alix Scherer (2019) Senior Analyst,  NYC Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget

Wendy Garcia (2006), Chief Diversity Officer, NYC Office of the Comptroller

Amy Shebar (2009) Deputy Director of Elementary Programs, NYC Department of Youth and Community Development


The panelists for the Feb. 25 discussion on careers in housing and community development were:

Margy Brown (2012), Associate Commissioner, Housing Opportunity and Program Services, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Tania Garrido (1998), Senior Director, NYC​ Asset Management​, Enterprise Housing Credit Investments

Christine (Retzlaff) O’Connell (2011), Director of Community Development Investments, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, previously at HPD and NYCHA.

Bonnie Nesbitt (2012), Senior Multifamily Mortgage Underwriter, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Josh Weisstuch (2009), Senior Project Manager, Camber Property Group. Previously at Gilbane Development and L&M Development Partners


The panelists for the Feb. 25 discussion on careers in advocacy were:

Allison Auldridge (2010),  Director of Community Engagement, Children’s Therapy Center

Meg Davidson (2016), Director of Policy and Advocacy, San Francisco-Marin County Food Bank

Sarah Fajardo (2013), Policy Director, ACLU of New Jersey

Alexis Renee Posey (2014), Chief Program Officer, National Institute for Reproductive Health/NIRH Action Fund

Michelle Silver (2011), Senior Associate, Policy Link


In the September 28th 2023 panel, Deconstructing Gentrification: A conversation with Todd Swanstrom and Barika Williams, Todd Swanstrom discusses ideas from his book: The Changing American Neighborhood: The Meaning of Place in the Twenty-First Century (Cornell) which argues that gentrification is a complex and variegated phenomenon that has become a stand-in for unequal power relations and the history of racial exclusion – detached from specific processes of neighborhood change.

Barika Williams, Executive Director of one of NYC’s leading community development groups, the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, will discuss Todd’s argument in light of the New York City experience.

Video Transcript


(This video is currently being captioned for accessibility and will be available in that format shortly.)



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