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Ruth Wagner Appointed Director of the MSOD Program

Ruth Wagner
Dr. Ruth Wagner

The School of Public Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Ruth Wagner as director of AU School of Public Affairs’ Master of Science in Organization Development (MSOD) Program.

Professor Wagner, the sixth director in MSOD history, has taught at AU for the past 10 years. She is a ’98 graduate of the MSOD program and holds a doctorate from the Fielding Graduate University’s School of Human and Organization Development, the field’s leading doctoral program for Organization Development scholar-practitioners.

“I really enjoy doing this,” she said of her work with the MSOD program. “AU has one of the top programs in the country. People come in from the West Coast, the Midwest, Florida and New York. We even have someone who comes in every month from Dubai. It’s an executive-format program that meets one weekend a month for 21 months.”

Wagner spent twenty years as an independent organizational consultant to executives of large firms, providing guidance on strategy development, communication and outreach. In this role, she chaired the Organization Development and Change Management Knowledge Center for four years where she designed and led sessions in conflict management, feedback, and large group interviews.

From 1988 to 2004, she was vice president of American Management Systems, advising the Department of Defense on organizational change and assessment and strategic planning.

The field of organization development is rapidly maturing, and Wagner’s role with MSOD is to ensure the program keeps up with that constant change. She is especially proud that MSOD is so highly regarded.

“We had an external review last summer and we had two highly distinguished and well-regarded academics in the field of OD come in. They talked to almost 70 people in our system – students, alum, faculty, staff, everything. And their finding is that it is a distinctive and elite program among its peers,” she said. “One of the observations they made is that the alumni are so committed to future program graduates. They’re just willing to do whatever they can do to support the program and the current the students.”