Leadership in a Challenging Century

School of International and Public Affairs

School of International and Public Affairs


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About the course

Columbia’s Global Center Rio in partnership with the Picker Center for Executive Education and Training of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) is offering Leadership in a Challenging Century.

The objective of this program is to offer experienced public sector managers a comprehensive framework that will be useful to them in solving problems and improving results. The framework has various important dimensions. First, it is designed to be global in nature, drawing upon “best practices” in management drawn from Columbia’s experience in different parts of the world. Second, it covers various sectors within government including health, education, and urban planning. Third, the program emphasizes the need for training in interpersonal skills. Fourth, the framework devotes special care and attention to the primacy of ethics in public management.

In order to deliver this comprehensive framework, Columbia University professors, as well as invited practitioners, will address a large variety of subject areas including: Leaders and Public-Private Partnerships, Public Ethics, Communication in Organizations, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and Competitiveness, among others. Each lecture will be carefully coordinated with an appropriate site visit so that the lessons in the classroom can be illustrated by real-world examples.

Curriculum and Methodology

The Leadership in a Challenging Century program consists of a total of nine lectures and eight site visits complementing the face to face lectures on the Columbia University campus in New York City. A combination of multiple learning methodologies – lectures, site visits, case studies, online lectures and workshops – lends itself to the most effective way of imparting knowledge to the busy manager, who is looking for professional development, but does not have the time to invest in a longer term degree.

The students will have access to online readings through CourseWorks – a platform used by regular Columbia students. Moreover, informal gatherings will take place in New York during the two-week course to promote valuable networking among professionals of the Leadership in a Challenging Century program and other SIPA programs, such as the Master’s Program in Economic Policy Management, GEMPA (Global Executive Master’s in Public Administration) and EMPA (Executive Master’s in Public Administration).


Leadership and Public Private Partnerships

Prof. William Eimicke, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Leadership can make the difference between success or failure of organization, whether it is in the public, private or social sector. Leadership is also comprised of skills that can be learned and perfected. Professor Eimicke has led large public sector organizations in the United States, advised leaders from all three sectors in the United States, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, and taught leadership at Columbia University and many other universities around the world for nearly three decades. In this session, Professor Eimicke will discuss effective leadership techniques, how leaders can improve organizational performance, and cutting edge techniques for leaders in an era of global competition, including Public-Private Partnerships and Performance Management.

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Prof. Zach Metz, School of International and Public Affairs - Columbia University In public service, the ability to negotiate and resolve conflict skillfully is fundamental to success. While pursuing substantive goals such as deliverables, timelines, and budgets is critical, strong negotiators also understand the importance of cultivating long-term relationships with counterparts. People often feel pressured to choose between two objectives that seem mutually exclusive: either reach substantive goals or nurture the relationship capital. This presentation will help professionals address this dilemma when negotiating or addressing conflict with key counterparts.

Public Ethics

Prof. Paul Lagunes, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Private wealth seeks to influence public power. Affluent actors often rely on lobbying and policy arguments, but they can also turn to irregular means in order to advance their interests. Bribery is only the most obvious manifestation of corruption; implicit quid pro quo deals are also possible without suitcases filled with cash. These are deals that have the potential of undermining generally valued goals, including efficiency, safety, development, distributive justice, and the rule of law. Public institutions must be willing and able to push back against excessive pressure from wealthy private actors. With this goal in mind, my course will encourage students to reflect on corruption as a harmful practice that merits opposition. I also expect students will learn to treat corruption, mainly, as an institutional problem with no single, easy solution. Solutions, however, do exist. Students will study strategies available for promoting integrity in public administration and will find that there is room for hope: good governance is possible.

Communicating Strategically

Professor Joann Baney, School of International and Public Affairs This full day segment will be broken in two parts: learning the principles of good communication strategy, and practicing to apply these principles. In the morning, we’ll learn the critical elements of good communication strategy: conducting a good audience analysis, identifying specific communication objectives, and considering strategies for making key messages memorable. We’ll talk about some of the challenges speakers face when responding to difficult circumstances and discuss good practices to follow when answering tough questions. In the afternoon, we’ll put you to the test. Participants will each respond to a series of challenging questions on several topics. We’ll give you feedback on your strengths and areas of opportunity so you can focus your attention on your own skill development.

Zoning Manhattan; Land Use Regulation as Negotiation

Prof. Elliott Sclar, Earth Institute, Columbia University Manhattan land use has been regulated for over 100 years through the City's Zoning Resolution. Yet this zoning is done without a formal land use plan. Instead the zoning resolution is continually revised an attempt to balance the equity and environmental interests of the public sector with the supply and demand pressures of the private real estate market. The morning lecture will explore the history and current operation of this century old regulatory institution. Various projects will be used to illustrate the process. In the afternoon we will visit some of the major new developments around Manhattan built in conformance with this zoning and explore the impacts first hand.

Information Technology Trends in Government

Prof. Claudia Gerola, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University We live our daily lives immersed in modern technology. Yet, few of us understand its impact on the profound shifts taking place in our communities, industries, governments, and within the entire human social structure. This set of lectures presents the evolving Digital Workplace via cutting-edge Mobile, Social, Data Analytics, and Cloud technologies. These four "mega-trends" are driving massive shifts in how public sector leaders serve and protect constituents for social programs, defense, intelligence, policing and public safety, tax and revenue, border control, etc. The final lecture covers advanced trends underway now that are quietly driving massive changes in how we will live, work, and relate to each other in the future: artificial intelligence, robotics, bitcoin and blockchain, genomics, machine learning, Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and quantum computing.

Public Health in the Cities

Eduardo Leite, former mayor of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (2013-2016). Was a member of the city council from 2008 until 2012, and was its President in 2011. With focus on public health, this session will discuss the following topics and projects: applying strategic planning to the area of public health, mapping indicators and setting goals; co-financing of public health in Brazil (basic attention, medium and high complexity) and the role of municipalities; basic attention and disease prevention programs; “Rede Bem Cuidar” (an award winning and nationally recognized program for its innovations in health care services); involving communities and workers to co-create innovative solutions in health programs; prison workforce program used to reform health facilities, improving health infrastructure, resocialization and anti-discrimination (award winning project); new technologies applied to basic attention healthcare system, internet programs to bring citizens closer to the health system and telemedicine; mechanisms of incentive to the health area civil servants and program of quality goals and merit bonus. Other implemented experiences to be presented: psychosocial care, oral health care line, urgent care unit, expansion of the family health strategy and residential therapeutic service.

Global Social Policy and Innovation

Prof. Yumi Shimabukuro, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University This session explores some of the recent developments in the areas of social policy across the globe. It pays particular attention to the persistence of poverty amidst affluence, neoliberal reforms, and innovative social welfare solutions.

Competitiveness in Cities

Prof. Thomas Trebat, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Improving competitiveness at the level of large cities is crucial for increasing jobs and incomes all over the world. In this lecture, Professor Trebat will examine the key economic and political components of competitiveness with special reference to cities and regions. After reviewing methodologies featured in reports from the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, students will be able to assess economic development strategies at the city level through careful examination of case studies of fast growing cities. Professor Trebat will call attention to the roles of city leadership and local stakeholders, including the private sector. Students will derive from this session a better idea of how cities can, and often must, grow much faster than national economies.


William Eimicke

Focus areas: Big data, sustainability William B. Eimicke is the founding director of the Picker Center for Executive Education of Columbia University''s School of International and Public Affairs. The Picker Center runs the School''s Executive MPA program (EMPA), university partnerships, and non...

Ester Fuchs

Focus areas: Urban policy, urban politics, governance and management of global cities, urban fiscal policy, urban sustainability, American government and policy, social policy, American parties and elections, New York City politics, sustainable economic development policy, workforce development a...

Paul Lagunes

Paul Lagunes obtained his PhD in Political Science from Yale University, and is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. His research on the political economy of development examines the issue of corruption, especially as it affects subnational g...

Yumiko Shimabukuro

Yumiko Shimabukuro''s core research and teaching interests lie in the areas of political economy, comparative politics, and social welfare policy with a regional expertise in Northeast Asia. She currently teaches graduate-level courses for the MPA in Economic Policy Management (MPA-EPM) program, ...

Joann Baney

Joann Baney teaches in the Executive MPA program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), and has taught courses in the Executive MBA program at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business and in the University’s Speech Department.  She is faculty director of the FDN...

Zachary Metz

Zachary Metz  is a partner and the Director of Peace Building practice at Consensus, a consulting firm specializing in negotiation, conflict resolution and peace building. The firm works with private and public sector clients, NGOs, international organizations and governments. He has worked in t...

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

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