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The PADM 5900 Course, Consulting for Government and Nonprofit Organizations, offers students an introduction to the basics of public policy consulting work. MPA Program faculty members Dan Lamb (Fall semester) and Rebecca Morgenstern Brenner (Spring semester) work closely with clients to manage and build projects for their courses. Students gain experience working in teams to provide their government or nonprofit clients with a project deliverable.


Working with the MPA Program adds great energy, integrity, skill, and excitement to projects which we could not do otherwise. The students are resourceful, self-directed, positive, entrepreneurial, and always exceed my expectation . . . MPA students help us reach greater levels of achievement in our work.

– George Ferrari, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Tompkins County


Consulting Partners

MPA Program Consulting Partners

Lifelong: Ithaca, New York

Community Science Institute (CSI): Ithaca, NY

Environmental Defense Fund: Electrification vs. Natural Gas

CLEAN International: Marketing Campaign

Recent Consulting Projects

Town of Dryden: Dryden, New York

An MPA Program consulting team worked on a wage and compensation study to establish an objective, equitable system for establishing and maintaining a valid, defensible employee compensation plan for 21 job titles. The plan was designed to: 1) establish the value of each position and its relationship to other positions, 2) identify and eliminate possible discriminatory factors that may have depressed the wages of female or minority dominated job titles; 3) evaluate the pay structure in relation to that of the external labor market, 4) recommend a pay structure. Additional partners in this project included the Institute for Compensation Studies within Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations, Engaged Cornell, and Newport Consulting Group, Inc.

Western Shoshone Alumni Association: Alumni Governance

To assist the Western Shoshone Scholarship Foundation Alumni Association (WSSFAA) build a strong organizational foundation, the MPA Program team was tasked with helping develop the organization’s governance structure including initial planning documents including: purpose, policies, by-laws, and logo. The team was also asked to develop an impact evaluation to understand how being an alumnus of this organization impacts alumni and their communities. The MPA Program team conducted research into similar organizations to inform their research and worked closely with the WSSFAA Taskforce. They held focus groups with Western Shoshone stakeholder groups and worked closely with Barrick Native America Affairs team to understand context, desired outcomes, and cultural opportunities and challenges.

Town of New Lebanon: New Lebanon, New York

Cornell MPA students assisted New Lebanon, New York, as it seeks to expand its economy with green technology jobs, and they are drafting a blueprint for similar communities statewide.

Under the direction of Rebecca M. Brenner, lecturer in the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, MPA students scanned the regional economy and pinpointed 11 job classifications that would be a good fit with the workforce in the town of 2,300 residents, located about 30 miles from Albany.

Read the full feature here

Ministry of Environment, Peru: Redd+

To assist the Ministry of Environment for Peru, the MPA Program consulting team was tasked with looking at the feasibility of implementing the UN Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+) program in Peru. Students conducted research on several REDD+ projects in Peru and prepared a draft proposal for a desired governance to administrate and manage REDD+ programs in Peru and catalyze international financing to combat deforestation.