Director of the Capstone Program; Part-Time Lecturer , School of International and Public Affairs
Suzanne Hollmann is the Director of the Capstone Workshop Program at SIPA where she is responsible for the development of Capstone consulting projects designed to solve public policy challenges across the public, private and non-profit sectors. She is also a Capstone faculty advisor focused on youth engagement and experiential teaching methods in international education and humanitarian response settings. Prior to SIPA, she was a lecturer in Ghana, West Africa for teacher training and development and began her career in education as a Teach for America Corps member in Houston, Texas. She has a Master of Arts in International Education Development, with a focus on education in post conflict countries, from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA in Sociology and Comparative Literature from Bard College.
A core requirement for the Master of International Affairs (MIA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Public Affairs in Development Practice (MPA-DP), the Capstone Workshops give students an opportunity to put learning into practice. Serving as a culminating educational experience for the Master of International Affairs and Master of Public Administration degree programs, students in all of the concentrations complete a Capstone Workshop in their final semester (students in the Economic and Political Development Concentration have a separate workshop option). Students are organized into small consulting teams (between 4 to 8 students per team) and assigned a substantive, policy-oriented project with an external client. Clients include public agencies (from the local to national level), international NGOs and multinational organizations, and major firms in the private sector—recent examples include Barclays, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mercy Corps, Morgan Stanley, New York City Mayor’s Office, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, and the World Bank Group. Student teams, working under the supervision of a faculty expert, answer a carefully defined problem posed by the client. Each team produces an actionable report and an oral briefing of their findings at the close of the Capstone that is designed to translate into real change on the ground.