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Baruch College and the New York Community Trust Launch Leadership Fellows Program



NEW YORK, NY-December 10, 2014 - Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs and The New York Community Trust announced today the start of an innovative professional development certificate program aimed at training leaders for non-profit groups in New York and the suburbs.

The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program will provide training and mentoring for midcareer professionals to fill a leadership void left by the increasing number of nonprofit executives who are reaching retirement age. That gap is especially severe in the New York metropolitan area, which has more than 40,000 nonprofit groups that are vital to the economy.

David Birdsell, Ph.D., Dean of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs says:

This critical moment for the nonprofit sector presents an exciting opportunity to partner with The New York Community Trust to create a first-class, innovative, and practice-based executive certificate program at Baruch College's School of Public Affairs.


“The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program incorporates a professional learning community that stretches across nonprofit sub-sectors and provides a superior leadership development education to promising future leaders,” Birdsell said.

The leadership program was made possible by a $450,000 grant from The New York Community Trust, one of the area’s leading funders of nonprofits. “We want to ensure New York’s nonprofit organizations have the human capital to flourish as they do everything from job training to protecting our water supplies,” said Patricia Swann, Senior Program Officer of The New York Community Trust.


The 18-week certificate program features:

  • A seminar-style learning community with distinguished faculty comprised of Baruch College professors and seasoned practitioners
  • A curriculum taught through the lens of current issues and trends in the external environment
  • Real-time projects related to each Fellow’s organization that address a particular challenge or opportunity
  • Dean’s Dinners hosted by Dean David Birdsell of the School of Public Affairs, where Fellows will connect with leaders of the nonprofit sector and government
  • Prominent seasoned mentors for participants


Michael Seltzer, Distinguished Lecturer with Baruch College's School of Public Affairs and Director of The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows said:

Today’s nonprofits leaders must act now to make sure that their successors have the necessary knowledge to ensure the long-term sustainability of their organizations for the future benefit of all the residents of our metropolitan region. Our Fellows will be able help to build stronger relationships with government and business and reinvent their organizations to be more innovative and bold.


Seltzer added that the scale of issues such as growing economic inequality, an inadequate supply of affordable housing, severe gaps in educational achievement, and insufficient living wage jobs require bold multi-sector collaboration on a great scale. He noted that the Bridgespan Group reported that by 2016, nonprofit organizations across the country will need tens of thousands of new senior managers per year.

Upon successful completion of the program, Fellows will receive a certificate from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College. The program is affiliated with Baruch’s Office of Executive Programs and Center for Nonprofit Management and Strategy.


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Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the home of charitable New Yorkers who share a passion for the City and the suburbs, and who are committed to improving them. With its donors, The Trust supports an array of effective nonprofits that help make the City and suburbs vital and secure places to live and work, while building permanent resources for the future. The New York Community Trust has assets of more than $2.5 billion in more than 2,000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $141 million.

Baruch’s School of Public Affairs is New York City's only public graduate school dedicated to public affairs. Since 1994, we have offered undergraduate and graduate-level degrees in public policy and administration, and Master of Science in Education (MSEd) programs in Higher Education Administration (MSEd-HEA) and Educational Leadership. We draw upon the largest public affairs faculty in the nation, and apply an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, research, and professional development.

The Office of Executive Programs (OEP) in the School of Public Affairs, designs and delivers tailored certification programs for individual administrators and organizations in the government, nonprofit, and health care sectors. Since 2001, OEP has provided instruction on various areas of expertise for over 2,000 emerging, mid-level, and senior government, and nonprofit professionals. OEP uses comprehensive expertise from more than 50 faculty members and practitioners who have terminal degrees, senior electives, or appointive experience in specialties such as urban policy, public finance, and fundraising, among others. Tailored programs have been developed for United Way of NYC, New York City Housing Authority, and Partnership for After School Education, among others. 

The Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management (CNSM) is a globally-recognized leader in analyzing the evolving role of nonprofit organizations in our society. Through community engagement, teaching, and research, it examines how nonprofit organizations work with government, business, philanthropy, and communities to help solve today's most pressing policy issues. CNSM’s New York City location promotes active engagement with the nation's most complex nonprofit sector, and secures internship and placement opportunities with many nonprofit organizations.


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About Baruch College:

Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to



David L. Marcus, New York Community Trust, (212) 889-3963,

Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141,

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