The Murphy Institute Welcomes New Staff

As the Murphy Institute prepares for the fall 2018 semester—our first as the CUNY School for Labor an Urban Studies—we are very pleased to announce four new appointments that will add luster to our already exceptional faculty and staff. Basil Smikle and James Steele have been appointed to our full-time faculty as Distinguished Lecturers in Politics and Public Policy. Stephen Greenfeld will assume the post of Academic Program Manager for Urban Studies. Warren Winter will be our new Information Technology Director, helping us advance our technical capacities as we make the transition from Institute to full-fledged CUNY School. Welcome all!


Basil Smikle, Jr.  has been appointed as a Distinguished Lecturer and is the Institute’s first “Practitioner-in-Residence.” This is a one-year, rotating position that is designed to expose our students to high-profile professionals who have significant “real world experience” in labor and/or community advocacy. Basil has served as an adjunct professor at the Murphy Institute since 2007, teaching in the Institute’s Public Administration and Public Policy certificate programs. He brings a unique combination of academic credentials and practical experience. A political analyst and leader for nearly 20 years, he served as Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Party, prior to his full-time appointment at Murphy.  He also served as Deputy State Director to New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Special Assistant for Budget and Policy to former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer. As a commentator, he has written for the The New York Times, The L.A. Times, New York Magazine, and Salon and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Teachers College of Columbia University, where he has taught since 2006.


James Steele, Jr. has been appointed Distinguished Lecturer, a position he previously held at the Institute from 2007 to 2011. James has been associated with the Murphy Institute since 1999, when he started teaching as an adjunct instructor. Over the years, he has been responsible for a number of Murphy Institute initiatives, including our popular Civic Engagement and Leadership Development program, which encourages greater participation in electoral politics. Throughout his professional life, James has been a sought-after political consultant and policy advisor to such organizations as the Council of Black Elected Democrats, the Center for Law and Justice, and the Open Society Institute. For the past 20 years, he has served as Special Assistant to Congress Member Gregory Meeks.


Stephen Greenfeld has been appointed as Program Manager for the Institute’s Urban Studies Program. Stephen has extensive experience as an academic administrator in such key areas as recruitment, advising, and student services. Most recently, he served as Director of the College of New Rochelle District Council 37 campus. Dr. Greenfeld has broad knowledge of the CUNY system. He was the Director of Advising at Bronx Community College from 1998-2002. In 2004, he was appointed an Assistant Dean at LaGuardia Community College. In the private sector, he held a deanship at George Mason University.  He has made numerous presentations and has published articles on such education topics as enrollment management, adult learning, student retention, and the graduation rate.


Warren Winter has been appointed as Murphy’s interim Computer Systems Manager and will be working closely with the University’s Central Office to help the Institute transition to a new School. Warren is a highly skilled Information Technology professional, with experience in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he was IT Manager for CUNY’s Advanced Research Center, where he created an IT department from the ground up.  As IT Manager, he supervised a data center, provided desktop support, developed infrastructure design, and expanded tele-conferencing and audio-visual capacity.  For more than 10 years, he worked with Pfizer, Inc. as a Senior IT Manager. In addition to other IT duties, his work included development of educational resources for both classroom and distance learning environments.