Timothy Rudd is a Research Associate at MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization. He earned his MPA from Maxwell in 2007, and also holds a BA from Syracuse University. Originally from Syracuse, NY, Timothy now lives in New York City.
MDRC is dedicated to learning what works to improve programs and policies that affect the poor, and is best known for mounting large-scale demonstrations and evaluations of real-world policies and programs targeted to low-income people. In his work, Timothy analyzes the cost and effectiveness of programs across MDRC’s policy areas (higher education, criminal justice, employment, K-12, and pre-K) using a variety of frames, including benefit-cost analysis. Additionally, he has played a role in the negotiations of the financing for the first Social Impact Bond in the United States.
Prior to his position at MDRC, Timothy worked at the NYC Office of Management & Budget. In the budget office, he found it fascinating to work at the intersection of public finance and public policy. As he explains, “You really learn a lot about how government works and what it takes to advance different initiatives. The budget office had been particularly interesting due to the economic downturn, which required a variety of cuts to maintain the City’s fiscal condition. My favorite project was to plan to build a cogeneration plant on Rikers Island to reduce the Department of Correction’s energy use. If all goes according to plan, the project will be good for the environment and will save the City money in the process.”
For Timothy, coming to Maxwell was truly a catalyst to launch his career: “I honestly cannot imagine my professional life without Maxwell. Maxwell has given me access to an outstanding professional network, and I was able to get my position at the NYC OMB largely due to the Maxwell alumni network. I will likely get my next job through another Maxwell alum!”
When asked about favorite classes, Managerial Economics with Professor Wilcoxen, Public Budgeting, and Conflict Resolution with Neil Katz were standouts for Timothy. “I thought Professor Wilcoxen did an excellent job using real world examples to teach economic concepts. He was a teacher who wanted learning to be fun and was always willing to take the time to make sure everyone was learning. He is the only professor who will cut up a $20 bill to demonstrate dead weight loss.”
Timothy can also outline the most critical skills for his career he learned in these classes: “Public Budgeting was important because it forced me to develop a relationship with Excel beyond auto sum functions. I use Excel every day and I continue to learn new features that make processing information quicker and easier; it was Public Budgeting that made me familiar enough to explore its capabilities on my own. The Conflict Resolution series provided a number of strategies that help me communicate more effectively in both conflict and non-conflict situations. I think the biggest take away was that effective communication starts with listening. Neil Katz really tries to teach you how to listen and how to communicate that you are a good listener.”
His advice for those considering Maxwell? “If you want to be around smart motivated people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world then Maxwell is for you. It doesn’t matter what your personal passion is, Maxwell will welcome you. Also, don’t worry about the snow; go sledding.”