NYU | Steinhardt

Expand your leadership skills and create new solutions to persistent challenges.

Innovation is driving change across all industries. NYU Steinhardt’s EdD in Leadership and Innovation is designed to meet this change head on.

The program is meant for leaders from every sector who are

  • Focused on education and learning within their organization
  • Interested in applying a scholarly lens to their everyday issues
  • Dedicated to creating meaningful change

Innovation is essential. It is not only a driver of change, but it is the key to learning and breaking down the traditional silos of education. Innovative thinking is needed to create leaders. These are the leaders who solve problems in their organizations at scale.

NYU Steinhardt’s EdD is designed to attract leaders from all areas of education, philanthropy, nonprofit, government, and the private sector. The degree addresses the needs of working professionals by combining a rigorous 24-month online doctoral program with two immersive in-person residencies.

This program offers a rigorous academic curriculum. All courses are grounded in research that is applied to actual issues encountered in a student’s organization.

Our EdD candidates will understand the impact they’re trying to make. They will understand the need to be innovative and not narrowly ideological. They will understand how to construct cases – for example, cases for funding. They'll need to be media savvy. There’s a whole skill set around preparing the next generation of leaders. That demands a new kind of program.
Dominic J. Brewer
Professor of Education, Economics and Policy; Gale and Ira Drukier Dean

Program Experience

Graduates of the NYU Steinhardt EdD will make important contributions to the fields of educational leadership. They will offer new and innovative solutions to problems of practice that are transformative and informed by scholarship and original research.

Actionable Learning with Applicable Research

Students use their own professional experiences to examine persistent problems in their organizations. The cohort model allows students to take a step back, work together to incorporate varying perspectives, and apply a scholarly lens to create innovative and lasting solutions—turning theory into action.

What is the challenge in your organization that you want to address? The goal is to figure out how to frame it and give you an academic lens to look at it.”
Dr. Noel Anderson, Founding Faculty

Immersive Residencies and a Master Speaker Series

Two week-long immersive residencies allow students to meet in person and on campus. These residencies inform the entire EdD degree, taking place at the start and the end of the program. The interactive Master Speaker Series attracts distinguished scholars and leading experts in a variety of fields. Students have access to the Series speakers during the in-person residencies and online throughout their time in the program.

Rigorous Two-Year Program

This challenging online program focuses on real-world issues and runs continuously for 24 months. It is one of only a few two-year Educational Leadership Doctor of Education programs currently offered by a top-tier research university that allows students to continue to work while they study, applying learnings to their day-to-day practice.

Integrative Capstone Replaces a Dissertation

Solving for a real, persistent organizational challenge is at the center of this demanding program. Every student must meet the rigors of this complex culminating project within the framework of five capstone requirements that include:

Founding Faculty

NYU Steinhardt’s EdD program was created and designed by distinguished and acclaimed leaders in education.


Dr. Noel S. Anderson currently holds the positions of Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Chairperson of the Administration, Leadership and Technology Department at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

For over 20 years, Noel has served in a variety of leadership positions. He has worked with large public school districts; charter school networks; private schools; national and international companies leading program and organizational development. Noel was recently National Senior Program Director (Chief Program Officer) for Year Up, Inc, a national workforce and education organization and was responsible for overseeing program development, innovation and quality for a growing network of over 15 cities across the country.

Prior to Year Up, Noel was a tenured associate professor and interim chairperson in the Department of Political Science at Brooklyn College. His academic research focuses on career and post-secondary pathways for low-income youth, cross-sector partnerships in education and race and equity in education.

Noel’s blog on HuffPost “Tri-Sector Athletes in Education” looks at the role of leaders working cross-sector to impact education and communities in the U.S. and abroad.


Dr. Lisette Nieves is currently a clinical professor of educational leadership and policy studies, and Director, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program in the Department of Administration, Leadership & Technology at NYU Steinhardt. Lisette holds a B.A. from Brooklyn College, a B.A./M.A. from the University of Oxford, an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a doctorate with distinction in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Truman Scholar, Rhodes Scholar and an Aspen Pahara Fellow.

For over 25 years, Lisette has served in a variety of cross sector leadership positions. She is an experienced social entrepreneur, public sector leader and scholar. Lisette founded Lingo Ventures which is focused on growth, talent recruitment/retention, and change management. Lisette served as the Belle Zeller Distinguished Visiting Professor in Public Policy at the City University of New York at Brooklyn College. Lisette has also held senior leadership positions in municipal and federal government. She most recently served as an Obama appointee on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where she co-chaired the higher education subcommittee and supported the production of two reports and convenings.

Lisette also served as the founding Executive Director of Year Up NY, an innovative workforce development program, where in the span of five years she grew the organization from a $250,000 seed grant to a $6 million operation with over 20 corporate partnerships. Her interest in workforce and education led to her dissertation on the relationship between student work and school roles, for which she received the 2016 Dissertation of the Year Award by the (NCSD – AACC). Her board affiliations include serving as the Board Chair at Guttman Community College Foundation, Stand for Children, Edwin Gould Foundation, NewSchools Venture Fund, and serving as Vice Chair of Fund for the City of New York. Her areas of interest include community colleges, college pathways, workforce and education partnerships.


In order to be considered for the NYU Steinhardt EdD in Leadership and Innovation, applicants must meet the minimum qualifications:

The program offers classes year-round including the winter intersession and summer terms.


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