January 2016 Faculty Spotlight
January Faculty Spotlight with Adjunct Assistant Professor, Steven Newmark
As Senior Health Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Steven Newmark perfectly illustrates the School of Public Affairs’ cornerstone knowledge delivery: a potent practitioner approach that goes beyond theory. Mr. Newmark discusses what it’s like to work for the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, what he’ll be teaching in the upcoming semester, and more.
What surprises you about working for the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York?
The pace. I suspected it would be a high-paced environment before taking the job, but had no idea how intense it can be. Emails are flying nearly 24 hours a day, and it’s not easy to keep up. It’s particularly challenging working on both long term policy projects while dealing with short term emergencies that arise.
Even with all that, I am surprised at how much I enjoy the job. It’s truly a gift to be able to wake up every day with a mandate to promote public health in New York City.
The people. The dedication of public servants is what drew me to a career in the public sector, and I have not been disappointed. You can feel the excitement from your co-workers about wanting to work for the public good.
What will you be teaching at the School of Public Affairs? What do you hope to accomplish here?
I will be teaching Healthcare Politics and Policy. I hope to be able to teach students that the public’s health is something that should concern us all. 80% of health outcomes are attributable to non-healthcare delivery services and that addressing the social determinants of health – including access to healthy food, safe housing and economic opportunities – will make the greatest difference. Thus, health touches all public policy professionals – not just those who practice “health policy.” I hope that students pursuing public sector careers will keep that in mind no matter where their career leads.
How did you first get into politics and litigation?
I became interested in litigation while in law school; all the great work we were studying in law school – Brown v. Board of Education, etc. – emanated from litigation. And I wanted to be a part of that. I came to politics later in my career. My first major election was 2004, when I felt passionately that a change in course in our country was needed. I signed up to work on John Kerry’s presidential campaign and never looked back.