Tahesha(Tye) L.Woodson,
Excelsior Service Fellow

Executive Chamber with the NY State Performance Management Program

Tahesha Woodson

After 13 years in procurement, corporate management, consulting and career development, Baruch MPA graduate Tye Woodson says her acceptance into the Excelsior Service Fellowship validated her decision to transition into the public sector.

Announced by Governor Cuomo, the inaugural program affords 80 talented recent graduates from colleges, universities, law and professional schools with a two-year position in one of 41 state agencies or authorities, where they will work on policy and operations.

Having just wrapped up the National Urban Fellows' Academic & Leadership Development Fellowship, a nationally competitive, 14-month accelerated Master's program and a 9 month mentorship assignment with The Nature Conservancy in New York City, the Hamden, CT native says she was excited to secure her post graduate employment in public service.

"I have been preparing for this opportunity subconsciously for the past 12 years," Tye says. "A public servant at heart, I have a passion for training and developing others and have made it my life's mission to ensure that all people have access to quality education, professional development and career advancement. The Excelsior Fellowship provided me with a gateway into the public sector and an opportunity to put thought to action!"

Tye was appointed by the Governor to serve in his Executive Chamber with the New York State Performance Management Program, where she is leading the department's change management efforts under the Continuous Process improvement platform. The Performance Management Program is an initiative that has resulted from the SAGE Commission (Spending and Government Efficiency) to improve on delivering services and accountability to citizens.

She is responsible for researching, gathering data, working on process improvements and policy analysis, coordinating events, developing communication materials, and co-managing the Empire Belt training program, where she develops and trains leaders to engage agencies across the state.

"I believe that the experience will help to establish me as a true public leader, and enable me to feel more confident engaging senior leaders in State Government while I rally to develop programs that increase skills and awareness of career opportunities."

Her passion for this subject has carried her for over a decade, through participation in community service activities aimed at reducing social-economic disparities and by providing educational opportunities, life skills/career coaching and financial resources. Tye first became interested in nonprofit organizations through her involvement as VP of Operations for the Rho delta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, where she helped raise funds for scholarships. As Advisory Board Member for the Daraja Project, a learning community at Chabot College in California, she also provided academic support services and occupational information to minority students.

Tye is grateful for how the MPA program at Baruch prepared her for the fellowship and built her confidence to work closely with government leaders. "Professor Tom Bonnet's public policy course and Professor Floss Frucher's capstone courses helped me to understand how to validate data when conducting research in order to affect policy changes," she explains. "I even find myself drawing back on Professor Deborah Balk and Neil Bennett's statistics courses when I am analyzing data. Professors Eddy Bayardelle and Ed Sermier's candor and real world talks have also provided me with insight into the inner workings of government agencies. I don't know what is next [in my career], but I would love to be a commissioner one day running my own agency and working diligently to provide job opportunities and serve the citizens."

Written by Celene McDermott