2019 Alumni Network Engagement Award
“ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES is keeping the momentum going,” says Natalie Fabe Ubias MPP 2012. She’s talking about the HKS New York Alumni Network (NYAN), where she has been president since January 2018. This network, following a burst of new activity over the past several years, received the 2019 Alumni Network Engagement Award from the HKS Alumni Board. The award recognizes networks that have significantly strengthened the region’s alumni community and advanced ties with the School.
“We are very much a working board,” says Fabe Ubias of NYAN’s leadership team. “We started to hold monthly board meetings, alternating between in-person and on the phone.” The board has enhanced its communications with alumni and increased NYAN’s social media presence significantly, now boasting a LinkedIn group with more than 1,000 members and an email list with more than 2,000 names.
Fabe Ubias notes, “We have thousands of incredibly talented alumni in New York City and the tristate area working in a huge range of careers, from the United Nations and city government to sustainability and policy-focused tech start-ups, so we have a very deep bench of talent to pull from for events and networking opportunities.”
Numerous gatherings across the city offer alumni many opportunities to connect with one another. “It’s not just happy hours but substantive events,” says Fabe Ubias. “We are trying to re-create the feeling of the Kennedy School and the Forum, and give alumni an opportunity to ask questions of public leaders.” Events this past year have included a salon series on topics such as peacekeeping operations, running for office, and impact investing, and gatherings for current and potential HKS students as they explore careers and the doors that the HKS alumni network can open for them. Says Fabe Ubias, “These events could not happen without the dedication of many volunteers in the region, especially alumni who have hosted gatherings in their homes.”
Fabe Ubias is grateful to her fellow board members for their dedication, and hopes that additional alumni will get involved. “We have a great team, and we’d love for more people to step up to the plate and make the network even better.” She asks alumni in the tristate area to email the network at firstname.lastname@example.org to share ideas for events they might like to lead, suggest spaces they could offer for events, or discuss other ways they would like to become active members of the network. To receive emails from NYAN, sign up at nyc-alum-hks.squarespace.com/contact.
Banner image: HKS Alumni Board member Luma Al Saleh MC/MPA 2017 (left) presents the Alumni Network Engagement Award to the New York Alumni Network’s (from second left to right) Fatema Waheb Wassie MC/MPA 2017, Natalie Fabe Ubias MPP 2012, Vanessa Tantillo Aronson MPP 2009, Ken Joseph HKSEE 2015, and Lucinda Glover MC/MPA 2012.
Photos by Martha Stewart