Meet the Faculty: John Foote

CIPA Visiting Scholar John Foote is a Research Fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School. The co-founder of a transportation engineering company specializing in intelligent transportation systems and services, he has 12 years of experience as a public finance banker both in the U.S. and in Asia. He oversees the CIPA Graduate Certificate program in Infrastructure Project Management and Finance (IPMF).



Meet the Faculty: Dan Lamb

Dan Lamb is a member of CIPA’s teaching faculty. He spent two decades in government, serving as a U.S. congressional aide for 15 of those years. His experience also includes public transit management and public infrastructure consulting, and serving as an aid in the New York State Senate.  He currently serves as the Deputy Supervisor for the Town of Dryden, New York. He draws on his professional and academic experiences for the courses he leads at CIPA including Politics, Policy and Political Management, which examines how contemporary politics impacts public policy; and Consulting for Nonprofit and Government Organizations, which is a part of CIPA’s Public Engagement program.



Meet the Faculty: Tom O’Toole

Thomas O’Toole is CIPA’s Executive Director, responsible for monitoring the strategic direction of CIPA. As part of his responsibilities, O’Toole oversees all student professional development activities related to the graduate field of public affairs at Cornell. He also designed and runs CIPA’s off-campus Washington DC Externship Semester and New York City Externship Semester.  In addition, he teaches CIPA’s core course on “Issues in Public Administration,”  a seminar on “Comparative Public Administration: The Case of Seoul, Korea,” and has collaborated on projects and educational programming with the White House, the United Nations Division of Public Administration and Development Management, the UN World Food Programme, and the International Food Policy Research Institute


Meet the Faculty: John Mathiason

John Mathiason is an adjunct professor at CIPA and the managing director of Associates for International Management Services (AIMS). A career staff member of the United Nations Secretariat for over twenty-five years, he held posts dealing with rural and community development, and program planning and coordination. He spent two years in Pakistan as a development assistance administrator for UNDP and his last nine years in the United Nations were as Deputy Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women.  He teaches the CIPA core foundation course PADM 5450: International Public and NGO Management as well as a companion course PADM 5451: Evaluation of International Programs and Projects.  Prof. Mathiason’s research interests are focused on means of improving the management of the international public sector.

  1.   Why should students attend CIPA -vs- another graduate policy program?

For students wanting to enter, or work with, the international public sector, CIPA’s very flexible program contains considerable content on what is happening at the global and regional level (and in developing countries) and it can give them a good background in both the issues addressed and how international public actors manage them.  Cornell is one of the few graduate programs in the world that deals with international issues this way.  One of these issues, for which Cornell is a leader, is climate change and international responses to it.

  1.  What do you enjoy most about teaching at CIPA?

Most of my personal students are international students and I enjoy exchanging experiences and interpretations of events.  In my career, I have visited most of the countries from which the students come and I can bring myself up to date through the interactions.  Also, the students add an important critical perspective to the classes I teach.

  1.  Briefly describe your research and teaching interests.

My main teaching and research interests are the same.  Improving the performance of the international public sector through implementation of results-based management including evaluation is my main focus, including training, advice and evaluations for international organizations of the UN system as well as for bilateral development assistance organizations like the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).  I specifically have focused on international management of climate change, international governance of the Internet and issues of rural development in my research and work outside of CIPA.

  1.  What specific course(s) do you teach for CIPA students?  What skills do students take away from your course(s)?

I teach two courses: International Public and NGO Management and Evaluation of International Programs and Projects.  From the first course, students have a clear understanding of the role of international organizations in solving global problems, and a skill in undertaking results-based management planning.  From the second course, students can see the function of quality evaluations in assessing effectiveness of international programs and the qualitative differences of international evaluation from national and local perspectives.

  1.  What advice do you have for students who want to make the most of their two years here?

Think where you want to be in 10 years as a career and select carefully courses that will prepare you for them.  Thinking forward is a major skill.

  1.  Where are you originally from?  How long have you lived in Ithaca?

I grew up in Western Minnesota, went to graduate school in Massachusetts, lived in Venezuela, Pakistan and Austria when in the United Nations, lived for a decade and a half in New York City, for five years in the Catskills and 12 years in Syracuse.  Alas, I have not lived in Ithaca and only commute to the campus.

  1.  What’s your favorite Ithaca restaurant and why?

The Heights Restaurant and H Bar.  Good service, good food!

  1.  What one fun activity would you consider a “must-do” for students during their tenure here, in order to  get the full Ithaca experience?  Why?

Since they are all over 21, I recommend a visit to the wineries in the Finger Lakes.  It is an interesting example of how development can occur, even in a developed country, and is one of the great talking points of the area.  They don’t have to try the wine, but if they do, they will be impressed.

Meet the Faculty: Joe Grasso

This week in “Meet the Faculty” we have Joe Grasso, who teaches courses on nonprofit finance, fundraising, and socially responsible business.