After graduating from The George Washington University Law School, Kevin Georges realized that his interests lay in public service. He began thinking about earning a policy degree. At a New School open house, he learned about the Milano School’s Public and Urban Policy master’s program, which emphasizes hands-on work in the field. “They described the Community Development Finance Lab, and that was it for me,” he says. “I wanted real-world experience.”
In the Community Development Finance Lab, students study community capital markets through real client projects and produce working tools for organizations. “It was in line with my career interests,” says Georges. “I took part in a JPMorgan Chase Community Development competition in New Orleans and created a business plan for affordable housing to replace homes lost in Hurricane Katrina. From our New School team, the Milano group worked up the financing and the Parsons group worked up the architecture. We were partners with Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans.”
Georges’ Milano education gave him entree to the Leadership Fellows program at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a public agency that manages the airports, ports, and other transportation infrastructure of the New York–New Jersey metropolitan area and the World Trade Center site. Now, as a senior financial analyst in the Treasury Department of the Port Authority, he works with the debt management group to develop debt instruments (primarily consolidated bonds) to finance the agency’s various capital projects.
Of his professors at Milano, he particularly admired Lisa Servon, who “always underscored the ‘triple bottom line'”—the social, environmental, and financial costs and benefits of any policy decision. He stays in touch with many of his fellow students. “They were a group of very passionate people. There is something about being in a classroom with people who really care about the projects they are working on and about leaving the world better than they found it.”