Sonia M. Ospina

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Professor of Public Management and Policy

Sonia M. Ospina is a Professor of Public Management and Policy at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. A sociologist by training, her interest in the participatory, inclusive and collaborative dynamics of democratic governance has produced research on social change leadership, social innovation and accountability, both in communities and in public systems.  An expert in qualitative research, she works in the United States and Latin America.  Among her books are Illusions of Opportunity: Employee Expectations and Workplace Inequality (1996), Results-oriented Evaluation for a Modern and Democratic Public Management: Latin American Experiences (2003, in Spanish; co-authored), and Advancing Relational Leadership Research: A Conversation Across Perspectives (2012, co-edited).

With Erica Foldy, Sonia convenes an international network of leadership scholars, Co-Lead Net, and a community of practice of NYU faculty interested in leadership, sponsored by the NYU Leadership Initiative. She founded the Research Center for Leadership in Action with Ellen Schall in 2003, and was its Faculty Co-Director until 2015. She has also participated in Wagner’s leadership as Director of its Doctoral Program and its Management Specialization. She was President of the Inter-American Network of Public Administration Education (INPAE), and a member of the Executive Councils of the Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM) and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).  

Sonia is an elected Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the Scientific Council of CLAD, a UN consulting body on state reform in Latin America.  She is co-editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, and member of several journal editorial boards in Latin America and the US, including Public Administration Review and The American Review of Public Administration.

Born in the U.S. to Colombian parents, Sonia grew up in urban Bogotá, where she got a BA in Education and worked in this field until her return to the US.  She has now lived more than half her life in another great urban space, New York City, where she and her husband raised their son. Sonia’s bi-cultural experience and her strong ties to both countries are embodied in her transnational and multicultural approach to life. 


Sonia M. Ospina

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Sonia M. Ospina

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Sonia M. Ospina

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  • Contact Details


    (212) 998-7478
    295 Lafayette Street, Room 3075
    Office Hours: Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30pm or by appointment


Sonia M. Ospina

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