University at Albany Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy

Competition Dates: Friday, March 6, 2020 and Saturday, March 7, 2020

Competition Location: Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany

Downtown Campus: 135 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203


Technical and Oversight Leader:

Luis Luna-Reyes, Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Public Administration and Policy,, 518-442-5297

Logistical Leader:

Renee Wallingford, Assistant Dean,, 518-442-5246


Michael Ahn is an Associate Professor and MPA Graduate Program Director at the University of Massachusetts Boston. His research focuses on the effects of Information Technology on government performance, accountability and political dynamics. He examined how e- government can be strategically used to enhance the political control over government bureaucracy and provide a leverage for the executive bureaucracy against the legislature; how elected officials who are political outsiders pursue Web 2.0 applications more actively than those who are insiders; and how the changing information environment from texts-based communication to video-based communication affect the communication of public policies. Currently, his research explores topics such as Smart Cities, Artificial Intelligence and Open Data policy and their potentials and implications for public administration. Michael’s articles have appeared on journals such as Public Administration Review, American Review of Public Administration, and Government Information Quarterly and he is a co-editor of the “Routledge Handbook on Information Technology in Government” and an op-ed contributor at Brookings Institution. Michael is serving as a National Council Member of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), a chair of the Section on Science and Technology in Government (SSTIG) and previously he served as the president of Northeaster Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA).

David Andersen is the O’Leary Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Information Science at the Rockefeller College, University at Albany.  His work centers on applying system dynamics, systems thinking, and information technology approaches to problems in the public, not-for-profit, and private sectors. He has served as a technical consultant to public and not-for-profit agencies in the federal, state, and local sectors as well as corporate clients in North America and Europe.  Professor Andersen is co-author of Introduction to Computer Simulation:  The System Dynamics Modeling Approach (winner of the Forrester Award in 1983) and Government Information Management as well as over 80 journal articles, book chapters, monographs, and edited volumes. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from MIT’s Sloan School (1977) with a specialization in System Dynamics as well as an AB in Mathematics and Urban Studies from Dartmouth College (1970).

Robert Manasier is a serial entrepreneur and brand builder, with experience in over 144 international startups, 400 products/services commercialized, 1000s of acceleration/commercialization campaigns, as the CEO of In Focus Brands.  In addition to the In Focus Brands’ portfolio of companies, Robert currently serves as Entrepreneur-in-Residence of the NYS Innovation HotSpot Program (Innovate 518), UAlbany Innovation Center, IgniteU NY and the Sage Colleges; National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Trainer; StartUp Weekend International Facilitator and Organizer; Adjunct Professor at Sage College School of Management and Hudson Valley Community College; Board Member of the Parkhurst Field Foundation, EDA Labs, SparkSaratoga, Rutgers University Big Data Board and Tech Valley Center of Gravity. He also currently serves as Saratoga Springs  Recreation Commission Member. With over $100M raised for startups, an average of 20—25% uptick in revenue for his acceleration clients, over $1B in sales and a 2.6x return on his management of the DPCD Fund and a nearly 100% retention of staff over decades, strong culture creation and fiscal controls are coupled with clear and direct revenue results.

Eliot Rich is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, School of Business, University at Albany, State University of New York.  His research includes applications of modeling and simulation to problems of sustainability, information security, critical infrastructures, organizational change, innovation, knowledge management, and project management. He holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Public Administration and Policy and serves on the doctoral faculty of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity. He has also held appointments as a Visiting Professor at the University of Navarra, Spain (2012-2013) Agder University, Norway (2006-2007), and as a Research Fellow at the School for Applied Management of Cornell University (2005-2006). He was awarded a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College, an M.P.P. from Harvard University, and earned his Ph.D. in Information Science from the University at Albany.


IMPORTANT: please remember to bring your own laptop computers to the competition. You must have GOOGLE CHROME installed. This is the only browser compatible with the simulation. Tablets are NOT compatible with the simulation. Make sure to enable your ‘Cookies.’ 



Join fellow participants for an informal meet & greet on the evening of Friday, March 6 at City Line Bar and Grille (1200 Western Ave, Albany, NY 12203) beginning at 7 pm.  We will have some tables reserved by the bar.



The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy has reserved a discounted room block at the Hilton Garden Inn Albany/SUNY Area. These rooms are available on a first-come-first serve basis. Rockefeller College is not responsible for room reservation or hotel payment. The deadline to make reservations to secure the discounted rate is February 24th.

Hilton Garden Inn Albany/SUNY Area 1389 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12206
Special group rate: $93.00 per night
Group rate code: UAlbany Rockefeller
Deadline: February 24th, 2020

In addition to the Hilton Garden Inn Albany/SUNY Area, the University’s downtown campus is located in close proximately to several other hotels, including:

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Albany – Downtown (25 Chapel St., Albany, NY 12210)
  • Hilton Albany (40 Lodge St., Albany, NY 12207)
  • Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center (62 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12208)

A full list of hotels located near the U Albany Campus is available on the University’s website (



The University at Albany campus is easily accessible. It is located minutes from the New York State Thruway.  In addition, Albany is accessible by  bus, train or airplane. Uber,  Lyft and taxi services are available in Albany.  Participants can also utilize  CDTA once in Albany, and easily get to and from the campus and conference hotel  via the #12 bus. If you drive to campus, free parking is available in the  Thurlow Lot on the day of the competition.

It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure they have made all necessary travel plans.


Participants must be at the University at Albany’s Downtown Campus no later than 8:15 AM on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Conference check-in will begin at 7:45 AM in Husted Hall.  A continental breakfast and coffee will be available then. Welcoming remarks, instructions, and the start of the competition will begin promptly at 8:30 AM. Lunch will be provided during the competition. Please click here for a map of the Downtown Campus.

The post-competition reception will take place on campus. 


The entire Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy community looks forward to you joining us in Albany for the 2020 NASPAAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. If you have any questions, please contact Luis Felipe Luna Reyes or Renee Wallingford.