Making the World a Better Place: The Maxwell School of Citizenship

The Maxwell Complex

During uncertain times and periods of global upheaval, it is good to know there are well-trained minds working on the most serious issues of our times. Special academic institutions like the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, located at Syracuse University, help educate and influence the global leaders of the future.

Founded in 1924 with $500,000 to begin a school which would “cull from every source those principles, facts, and elements which, combined, make up our rights and duties and our value and distinctiveness at US citizens.” The Maxwell School became the first school in the country to offer a program in public administration, and now has the oldest, continuously operating University-based MPA in the US.

Meet some of the outstanding graduates of this graduate program.

  • What greater goal in life is there than bringing peace to the world? Sonya Reines-Djivanides, through her role in Brussels as the executive director of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO), is trying to achieve just that. Reines-Djivanides leads the EPLO in its function as a place where NGOs and think tanks work together to explore how the players on the world stage can prevent violent conflict. Previously she was the chair of the EPLO’s steering committee. She also was the director of the Brussels Headquarters of Search for Common Ground, where she served from 2009 to 2015.
  • Jason Cole earned his Master’s in Public Administration in 1998. After 16 years of experience in government and government relations, Cole was recently named to be associate vice president of university relations at Cornell University. He has extensive experience in organizational leadership, public policy development, advocacy, media relations, brand campaigning and pollical issues.
  • The Maxwell School also contributes leaders to the world of community organizations and grass-roots social improvement.  Kimberlin Butler, a 2003 graduate of the Master’s in Public Administration Program, received recognition for her work as interim director of programs and partnerships at Beyond 12. The Atlanta Business Chronicle listed Butler among its “40 Under 40” award winners for their influential and innovative work in real estate, health care, hospitality, technology, education, and law in the Atlanta area. Butler’s work with Beyond 12 helps to increase the number of first generation, low-income, under-represented students who attend and graduate from colleges and universities.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)