Pre-Election Hallway Talks with Governance Expert Dr. Paul Light

By Rhea Almeida and Luisa Portugal

With Election Day on Nov 3rd, MPA candidates Rhea Almeida and Luisa Portugal speak with Dr. Paul Light as he shares insight on presidential candidates’ ability, or inability, to deliver on their campaign promises. In light of the recent COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Light also examines the need to rebuild the political infrastructure in America. He covers a variety of topics, including: rebuilding institutions, relying on evidence-based policymaking, and increasing bureaucratic accountability. Tune in as he shares his ideology on the core problem within America, which may be a surprise to many.

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[00:00] Welcome from Rhea Almeida and Luisa Portugal.

[01:43] Professor Wagner begins his discussion on American governance.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Paul C. Light
is NYU Wagner’s Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service, Before joining NYU, Dr. Light served as the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, founding director of its Center for Public Service, and vice president and director of the Governmental Studies Program. He has served previously as director of the Public Policy Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts and associate dean and professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Light is the author of 25 books, including works on social entrepreneurship, the nonprofit sector, federal government reform, public service, and the baby boom. His work earned the American Political Science Association’s John Gauss Award in 2015 for exemplary career service in political science and public administration. 


Rhea Almeida is second-year MPA international student at NYU Wagner hailing from Mumbai, India. In the past, she has worked in the fields of policy, advocacy, and development for a women’s working rights group in India. Prior to that, she worked as a TV news journalist in New Delhi. Her areas of interest include workers’ rights, gender equality, grassroot level advocacy and coronavirus response policy. In addition to being contributing editor for The Wagner Review, she serves as senator for the Wagner Student Association, and events chair for the Wagner Policy Alliance. She is also the co-founder of the ‘What’s up with Coronavirus Policy’ discussion group.

Luisa Portugal is a second-year MPA student at NYU Wagner specializing in International Development Management & Policy. She earned an LLM in Constitutional Law and Theory in Brazil. Her main topics of interest are international development, climate change and the coronavirus crisis. Luisa will serve as Co-Chair of Events for the Alliance for Climate Change and Environment (ACE) in the upcoming year. She is also the co-founder of the ‘What’s up with Coronavirus Policy’ discussion group.

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Lectured Courses at NYU:

Music credit: Deadly Roulette Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0; License: Feature image credit: Photo by C-Span