Sonia M. Ospina, MS, Ph.D., is Professor of Public Management and Policy at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology, an MS in Public Policy and Management and a BA in Education Sciences.
A sociologist by training, her interest in the participatory, inclusive and collaborative dynamics of democratic governance has produced research on social change leadership, social innovation and public sector reform. Over the past decade her scholarly agenda has focused on developing practice-grounded theory about collective leadership and exploring the practical implications of a shift toward this form of engagement, given the collaborative demands of transformative work at organizational and societal levels of action. The role of social identities in the work of leadership and the promise of collaboration across identities represents an important dimension of Professor Ospina’s present inquiry.
Sonia is an elected Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the Scientific Council of CLAD, a UN consulting body on public management reform in Latin America. She has authored numerous books and referred journal articles both in English and Spanish. Born in the U.S. to Colombian parents, Sonia grew up in urban Bogotá, where she got her BA and worked in education until her return to the US. She has now lived more than half her life in another great urban space, New York City, where she and her husband raised their son. Sonia’s bi-cultural experience and her strong ties to both countries are embodied in her transnational and multicultural approach to life.