SPAA Advisory Board
The SPAA Advisory Board is composed of distinguished leaders from government, the nonprofit sector, the business world, and the greater Newark community who provide advice and support to the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark. Board members assist the dean, faculty, and staff in monitoring and understanding emerging issues and opportunities in the Newark community, the state of New Jersey, the nation, and beyond. They also serve as a resource for assisting SPAA in its efforts to establish partnerships, raise funds, attract students, and enhance its reputation.
SPAA Advisory Board Members
James Blaney Jr. (MPA'10) is Chief of Staff for the City Of Newark, NJ.
Amina Bey (MPA’13) has served as the executive director of Newark Emergency Services for Families since 2019. A Newark native, she lives and works in the city and volunteers her time with various community service projects. She was inducted into the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance (RAAA) Hall of Fame in 2022.
Natalynn Dunson-Harrison (EMPA'16) is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP) and serves as the general manager of EEO Compliance in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. She is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (undergraduate) and the Fordham University School of Law (JD).
Norman Eckstein (MPA'08) is the chief financial officer and tax collector for the Township of Boonton, NJ. He also serves as a part-time lecturer for Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.
De Lacy D. Davis, Ed.D. (MPA’12) is a consultant and the executive director of The Family Support Organization of Union County. He also serves as a part-time lecturer for Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Danny Gonzalez-Bosques (MPA'13) is the director of community planning and initiatives for the Newark Housing Authority and has raised over $25M of grant funding. She has taught grant writing and management as a part-time lecturer at Rutgers and serves as secretary on the Workforce Development Board and the Branch Brook Board of Trustees.
Natasha Hemmings (MPA'16) is the CEO for the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey and is the first African-American woman in the council’s history to lead the organization. She was inducted into the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance (RAAA) Hall of Fame in 2021. She also serves as a part-time lecturer for Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Brenda Hopper is a retired administrator who worked for 29 years as CEO and state director of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization at Rutgers Business School where she managed a state-wide network of 12 regional centers and 20 affiliate offices that provided management and technical assistance to New Jersey small business owners.
TaQuisha Knight (MPA'13) earned her Master of Public Administration from the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark and was inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society in 2013.
Spencer Leeco (MPA'12) is founder and president of Zion Foundation International. He previously served as policy analyst to Liberia’s Minister of National Defense and was a member of the executive committee of the Liberian Government National AIDS Commission.
Hawwa Muhammad (MPA'12), founder and CEO of Pink Trumpet, is a Newark-based social entrepreneur with a passion for helping others bridge creative ideas with sustainable strategies to achieve positive social impact. Her interest in philanthropy is grounded in her 10 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector.
Anibal Ramos Jr. (CPM'21), born and raised in Newark, NJ, serves on the Newark City Council representing the North Ward. He has been director of the Essex County Department of Citizen Services since 2004. He founded the Anibal Ramos Jr. Civic Association, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to Newark students to pay for high school and college.
Jeff Shulman (MPA'17) supports the office of the Assistant Commissioner of Research and Information at the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development with labor related research and special projects.
Michael Vorgetts (MPA'08) is an expert in policy and administration of state-run social insurance programs (paid family leave and unemployment insurance) and public finance. He held senior management positions with state labor departments in Maryland and Rhode Island. He is the president of WildFig Partners, a public sector consulting company.