University School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) announced plans
to develop and offer an online Master of Public Administration degree.
The launch took place on June 4th in partnership with GNO
Inc., where GNO, Inc’s president & CEO Michael Hecht serves as an
advisor to the new degree program. The new degree program was announced
during GNO, Inc.’s 2019 EVERLAB conference.
“Tulane SoPA is excited to get this program underway, and for the
opportunity to bring expert knowledge from the New Orleans area to other
areas of the U.S., as well as help strengthen the civic sector in this
region,” says Suri Duitch, dean of the school. Plans are to seek
approval for the program in fall 2019 and launch coursework in August
2020, subject to the approval of the Commission on Colleges of the
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Tulane’s accreditor.
Through the program, Tulane will highlight the vibrancy, resilience and
innovation of New Orleans while helping to strengthen leadership in
government, nonprofits and public/private partnership organizations,
both locally and nationally.
In the MPA program, both established professionals and those new to the
field will learn the foundational concepts of the field of public
administration as well as how to innovate while working in the field.
Leveraging New Orleans as an exemplary model of community resilience and
civic innovation in areas such as environmental management, public
safety, and economic development, the program will focus on new
approaches to public administration for a technology-driven,
GNO, Inc. has taken a vital role in establishing a direct connection
between government, private industry and higher education throughout the
Greater New Orleans region. Through GNO, Inc.’s GNOu program, GNO, Inc.
strives to partner with the region’s colleges and universities to create
demand-driven programs that yield a better trained regional workforce.
“Successful economic development depends on enlightened public
administration,” says Michael Hecht, GNO, Inc. President & CEO. “We are
thrilled that the Tulane School of Professional Advancement is launching
a Masters of Public Admiration; the result will be a stronger public
sector – and more economic development – in the New Orleans region, and
The MPA program taps into a wealth of knowledge from national and local
working experts in public policy, economic development, housing,
education, and environmental management. Dr. Halima Leak Francis,
Program Director, comes to Tulane with a background in the nonprofit
sector, higher education, and strategic philanthropy. An accomplished
educator, practitioner, and scholar, her expertise is primarily in the
areas of organizational capacity building, strategic planning and
sustainability. Throughout her career she has sought to promote equity
and the strengthening of communities through meaningful collaboration,
public service, and philanthropic investment.
Most models for preparing public sector leaders were developed
generations ago; Tulane’s program will help fill a need for updated,
forward-thinking approaches to teaching in this field. The Tulane SoPA
MPA program is designed to address the complex challenges facing the
civic sector. Graduates will be prepared to be public service leaders
who can successfully grapple with the issues facing modern society,
including the challenges and opportunities posed by data and technology;
the need for improved environmental management and leadership in a time
of climate change; and how cities can balance progress and preservation.
About Tulane School of Professional Advancement
Tulane School of Professional Advancement offers working adults the
opportunity to enhance their professional lives by providing flexible
degree and certificate programs. The school currently offers nine
undergraduate degree programs and six master’s programs, as well as a
range of graduate, professional and post-baccalaureate certificates.
Using an applied learning approach, students develop both deep knowledge
and practical tools in courses with professors who are industry leaders.
About Greater New Orleans, Inc.
GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization for
Southeast Louisiana. GNO, Inc.’s mission is to create a Greater New
Orleans with a thriving economy and an excellent quality of life, for