Spring 2020 Capstone Workshop Application is now Available!


Deadline to Apply is Thursday, October 31, 2019- 12pm  (noon)

To find out more information about the Capstone projects, you can access the individual project description, link to the client website, and the faculty bio below. Students apply through this online application.

Who should apply? All graduating MIA/MPA/MPA-DP and fall graduates should apply. Graduating MIA/MPA/MPA-DP students who have not satisfied their Capstone Workshop requirement will receive first priority and are guaranteed a space on a workshop. Fall graduates that are required to take a Capstone workshop will be given next priority. (Fall graduates who do not take a workshop in the spring semester will have the opportunity to take one in the fall semester).

For students who are not in these two groups? Once all MIA/MPA/MPA-DP students have been placed on a project, we will have a second application cycle in early November for any projects that have space available. Students who would like to take the project as an elective or who are in their first year are asked to wait for the second application to apply. Teams will be announced in mid-November.

To apply, students must:

(1) Submit a PDF resume saved as one’s UNI (not as your name, please use your UNI)

(2) Complete all of the required fields on the online application, including the release form. On the online application, students must rank order their Capstone preferences from 1 - 5 (1 being the first choice) and submit a 250-word “statement of interest” for each Capstone. In addition, students must list their relevant coursework, writing the full name of the course (rather than writing the SIPA course number or an abbreviation of the course). Relevant coursework may include courses taken outside of Columbia University but please indicate where and when the course was completed.

Information sessions for the Capstone workshops will be held in room 1501 IAB at the following dates:

  • Tuesday, October 22 from 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • Thursday, October 24 from 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • Wednesday, October 30 from 1:00pm-2:00pm

All applicants are strongly advised to attend ONE of these sessions. The information sessions will cover important information about the application, workshop placement, etc. This is also the best opportunity to bring up any questions that you may have.

Please review the timetable for the workshops to make sure that the projects you select are not in conflict with any other core required course you must take next spring. The timetable is available here.

Read the Capstone Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students

* EPD students have a separate application-- Please contact Jenny McGill (em419@columbia.edu) or Ilona Vinklerova (iv2105@columbia.edu) for more information about EPD workshops

Capstone Client Project Title Faculty Advisor
125th Street Business Improvement District West 125th Street: Strategies for a Corridor in Transition Ethel Sheffer
Bank of China Strategic Recommendations for Foreign Banks to Meet US Community Reinvestment Act Requirements Richard Koss
Barclays Public Finance Department and Town+Gown The Road to a Smart City: Life Cycle Cost Benefit Analysis to Support Creation of Smart City Infrastructure Authority/New York City Thomas Quaranta
BCG Platinion Climate Change Driven Political Risk in Soft Commodity Markets Hans-Martin Boehmer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation- Global Media Partnerships Measuring Impact: Journalism and Advocacy Anya Schiffrin
Booz Allen Hamilton Illuminating the Intersection of Institutionalized AI Policies and the Use of AI in Business and Government Applications Tim Meyer and Ulrike Zeilberger
Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Online Hate Speech & Communal Conflict: Identifying New Conflict Prevention Tools Sohini Chatterjee
Citi Community Capital Financing Housing for the Homeless in Downtown Los Angeles Carol O'Cleireacain
Citi Private Bank Investing with Purpose - Adapting to Climate Change: A Look at Real Estate Developers and Municipal Infrastructure David Sherman
Citizens Union Municipal Policies on Youth Civic Education Judith Pincus
Clean Air Task Force Support Development and Deployment of Zero-Carbon Fuels for Marine Shipping  Jason Bordoff
Environmental Defense Fund Policy and Technology Solutions to Reduce Harmful Gas Flaring Jason Bordoff
Equality Myanmar Universal Periodic Review and Advocacy in Myanmar Kristina Eberbach and Benedict Fleming
Eurasia Group Weaponization of Trade Markus Jaeger
Federal Reserve Bank of New York Alternative Approaches to Inflation Targeting in a Low Inflation World Daniel Waldman
FPWA Expand FPWA’s Federal Funds Tracker to Visualize Spending, Poverty, and Wages in New York City as if the Recovery Act was Made Permanent Melanie Petsch
Goldman Sachs Reducing Income Inequality through Impact Investing Alicia Ogawa
Government of Estonia Estonia, the Land of Skype, the Small State Voice in the UN, UN Security Council, and the World: How Can it be Heard? Jenik Radon
Government of Nigeria: Solid Minerals Development Fund Will African Free Trade Boost Nigeria’s Mining Sector Competitiveness? Christine Capilouto
Governments of Colombia and Peru (Ministry of Energy and Mines) Colombia and Peru: Securing Community Acceptance in Natural Resource Rich Areas Jenik Radon
IFC-ILO Better Work Jordan Union Representation of Migrant Workers Within the Current Legal Framework Mashura Akilova
Innovations for Poverty Action Facilitators and Barriers to Implementation of a Menstrual Hygiene Management Program in Zambia Nessa Ryan
Inter-American Development Bank Cross-Border Integration of Capital Markets - Lessons from Northern Europe and Emerging Asia for the LAC Region Fernando Sotelino
International Peace Institute (IPI) Protecting Human Rights After UN Peacekeeping Transitions: Preparing for Darfur Walter Miller
ITS RIO AI-Driven Innovations at the Brazilian Judiciary André Corrêa d'Almeida
JPMorgan Demystifying Sovereign Liabilities Thomas Byrne
Large Social Media Company The 2020 Election Integrity Project Robert McKenzie
Mercy Corps Cash Transfer Programming for Adolescents in Emergencies Suzanne Hollmann
Mexico City Municipality of Benito Juarez Scaling up Rainwater Harvesting to Address Water Shortages in Mexico City Daniel Shemie
Moody's Investors Service Labor Markets in Latin America and their Credit Implications Seamus O'Cleireacain
Morgan Stanley- Global Head of Financial Crimes Keeping Pace with Expanding Risk from Sanctioned Issuer Annemarie McAvoy
New York City Center for Innovation and Data Intelligence (CIDI) NYC Well-Being Index: Neighborhood Case Studies Eva Weissman
New York City Cyber Command (NYC3) Helping Cities Respond When A Cyber-Attack Strikes - How to Leverage Cyber and Technology Professionals as Volunteers During a Response Katheryn Rosen
New York City Mayor's Office of Operations New York City Streets Sanitation Scoreboard Evaluation Jonathan Auerbach
New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs Emergency Response Planning for Major Coastal Storms Daniel Madden
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Financing Energy Efficiency: Mechanisms to Increase Private Capital for High-Performance and Passive House Project Financing in Multifamily Residential Buildings Damian Busch
Nordea Asset Management Responsible Investing: Community Impact Benchmarking in the Extractives Mahima Achuthan
Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York and the District Attorneys’ Offices for Bronx County and Richmond Count Combating the Opioid Epidemic through Effective Messaging and Prevention Strategies Janet Tobias
Pro Mujer Bridging the Gap Between Women-Led SMEs and Impact Investors to Move the Needle in Gender Smart Investing in Latin America Michelle Greene
Renew Power Assess the Potential Evolution of Storage Technologies and Mapping it to the Indian Context A. J. Goulding
Smallholder Farmers Alliance and Timberland Designing an Ag-Tech Data System for Smallholder Farmers in Haiti and Private Sector Buyers Rob Johnson
Standard Chartered Bank Cyber Threat Intelligence- What is the Impact of Information Disclosures on an Adversary’s Operations? Neal Pollard
The New York Women Foundation Examining Impact of Gentrification and Displacement on Low-Income Women and Families in East Brooklyn Stacey Cumberbatch
United Kingdom Stabilisation Unit Measuring Effectiveness in the Prevention and Deterrence of Transnational Organized Crime Annemarie McAvoy
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Two Track for Vulnerable Children: Optimizing Support by Ensuring Nexus Humanitarian and Development Programming in South Asia Joshua Chaffin
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs How Can Development Cooperation Improve Municipal Asset Management in Tanzania, Uganda, Nepal and Bangladesh? Isabelle Delalex
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Addressing Exclusions through Intersectionality within Rule of Law, Peace and Security Shawna Wakefield
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Study on the Impact of Human Rights Education and Training Programmes for Children and Youth in Non-Formal Education

Kristina Eberbach and Sandra Sirota
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mobilizing Private Financing for Low-Income Countries and Low-to-Middle-Income Countries Hans-Martin Boehmer
United States Department of Defense, Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs Supporting the Government of Timor-Leste: Strengthen Disaster Management/Capacity Building in Interagency and Multinational Disaster Response and Civil-Military Coordination Karen L. Levin
United States Department of Defense, National Security Innovation Network Lessons for Defense Innovation from the Financial Cyber Security Sector Elad Yoran
United States Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Countering Transnational Crime and Improving Cooperation in the South China Sea Benjamin Reames
United States Department of State, Global Engagement Center Transnational Networks of Violent Ethno-Nationalist Groups and the Implications for US and its Allies Interests Robert McKenzie
United States Military Academy at West Point Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering Urban Resilience – Understanding the Urban Environment and its Impact on Future Operations Patrick Mahaney
United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency China’s Export of Special Economic Zones (SEZS) Around the World Daniel Rosen and  Matthew Mingey
Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables European Grid Flexibility: The Expanding Role of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) Jeanne Fox
World Bank Group, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Pension System Greening – Measuring and Monitoring Cary Krosinsky and Thomas O. Murtha
World Bank Group, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation The Role of Insurance in Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture Daniel Osgood

Capstone Workshops Overview 

A core requirement for the Master of International Affairs (MIA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Public Affairs in Development Practice (MPA-DP),  the Capstone Workshops give students an opportunity to put learning into practice. Serving as a culminating educational experience for the Master of International Affairs and Master of Public Administration degree programs, students in all of the concentrations, except for the Economic and Political Development (EPD) concentration, complete a Capstone Workshop in their final semester. Students are organized into small consulting teams (between 4 to 8 students per team) and assigned a substantive, policy-oriented project with an external client. Clients include public agencies (from the local to national level), international NGOs and multinational organizations, and major firms in the private sector—recent examples include Barclays, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mercy Corps, Morgan Stanley, New York City Mayor’s Office, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, and the World Bank Group. Student teams, working under the supervision of a faculty expert, answer a carefully defined problem posed by the client. Each team produces an actionable report and an oral briefing of their findings at the close of the Capstone that is designed to translate into real change on the ground.

SIPA Capstone Workshops are available to MIA, MPA and MPA-DP students primarily during the spring semester of their final year. A small number of workshops are offered in the fall semester for students who are graduating at the end of the fall term.

Read the Capstone Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students

Spring 2020 Capstone project descriptions and application materials will be made available in mid-October. To view past Capstone Workshops, please visit Capstone Workshop Directory.