Marianne Vernetson is the associate director for the Bob Graham Center for Public Service. She helps oversee the day-to-day management of the Center, develops and manages the Center’s public programs, and organizes residency programs for visiting scholars. Additionally, she oversees the selection process for the Bob Graham Citizen of the Year Award and the Brian Dassler Young Floridian of the Year Award, and develops partnerships and shared programming among those interested in public leadership, public service and effective citizenry. This fall she is teaching an online course called Democratic Engagement and Public Leadership.
Vernetson has more than 17 years of leadership, strategic planning, and economic development experience in government and the public sector. She most recently served as senior director of strategic projects for New York City's Times Square Alliance, an economic development nonprofit that promotes local businesses in Times Square and improves the area's cultural life. While there, she was responsible for creating the first-ever NYC Ideas Forum with the International Downtown Association, bringing together downtown business and government leaders from across North America, Europe and South Africa for a two-day forum on collective learning and advocacy.
Prior to that role, she served as director of economic development and community relations for the Alliance, managing outreach and relationships with more than 500 storefronts and 1,200 commercial tenants.
Vernetson also served four years as event manager for the City of New York Mayor's office, coordinating all aspects of public events across multiple city agencies. She coordinated with key leaders for events such as the Mayor’s Awards for Arts & Culture, the Public Design Commission’s annual Design Awards, the September 11 commemoration ceremony and the 2010 inaugural ceremonies for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
Vernetson directed special events, raised funds and coordinated programs over four years for the Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York City, an organization that supports the seven-acre urban park and public art space in Manhattan's Flatiron district. As a founding staff member, she ran more than 30 public programs annually and served as the point person between the park's various stakeholders and its board of directors.
Vernetson holds a master's in public administration from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and a bachelor's in communications from Florida State University. For the past seven years, she has served as an adjunct faculty member at NYU's Wagner School, teaching Introduction to Managing Public Service Organizations to graduate and undergraduate students.