Why WorkSmart?

As NYU Abu Dhabi settles into its second decade, it is vital that our administrative services are able to scale up, support our growth, reflect the needs of our community, and empower staff, faculty, and students alike to thrive at work and in the classroom. We are leading this change with the help of incredible colleagues across the institution, and we are excited to welcome you on this journey.

WorkSmart Co-chairs
Jessica Sederquist, Interim Chief Administrative and Business Officer; Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff
Ted Lee, Senior Director, Integrated Solutions Group

What Does WorkSmart Mean for Me?

WorkSmart will:

  • Benefit everyone at NYU Abu Dhabi
  • Improve access to administrative services and reduce response time
  • Give you a space to have your issue resolved in real-time
  • If you’re providing that administrative support, make your day-to-day work more streamlined and automated so that you can focus on strategy and work-life balance

Provost Arlie Petters, CABO Peter Christensen, and I are thrilled to support WorkSmart. We recognize that outdated processes need to be redesigned to better support the needs of our community, and WorkSmart will make that happen.

Mariët Westermann, Vice Chancellor

Latest Update

#74: Work is Underway to Gather Input to Address Culture Survey Results and Further TACT at NYUAD

  • The WorkSmart Culture team met with Exemplars to discuss the findings of the pulse survey, which was presented at the All Staff Meeting and is available on the intranet, and to gather input and suggestions for ways to move forward. 
  • The team is also gathering input from the 40+ members of the Extended Leadership group on ways to further transparency, accountability, collaboration, and trust (TACT) at all levels of the NYUAD community.

Students and WorkSmart

While it is the responsibility of the WorkSmart teams and administrative functions to execute WorkSmart, students are already playing an integral role in the development of WorkSmart in the following ways:

  • Student Feedback: Around 100 students attended a focus group, and a significant portion of anonymous submissions to the feedback form included student-related areas of feedback.
  • Student Representatives: The StudentLink & Employee Service Center and the Student Finance project (under the User Journeys portfolio) both have student representatives advocating for their needs.
  • Student Assistants: We have a dedicated student assistant supporting the program, learning key project management skills as they assist in developing and executing elements of different portfolios.

Progress to Date

WorkSmart Portfolios

  • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” -- Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, Educator, and Author

    Culture informs everything we do, so with the help of experts we’re looking at what key behaviors we need to encourage and incentivize across the University to empower teams and build smarter institutional processes.

    Critical Behaviors

    • Transparency: Make expectations and rationale behind decisions clear.
    • Accountability: Cascade priorities an updates throughout the team.
    • Collaboration: Collaborate seamlessly across organizational boundaries to achieve shared goals.
    • Trust: Trust and empower people to make decisions.


    • Eric Hamilton, Vice Provost for Research Policies and Governance
    • Martin Mbugua, Associate Vice Chancellor, External Relations

    Project Manager

    • Reuben Anandakrishnan, Director, Business Analysis and Service Design

Culture Project Exemplar Feedback

Shreekanth Nair

Integrated Solutions Group (ISG)
Wave 1 Exemplar

“We found several common goals between the departments as team leads work together on the projects.”

Dimitar Dimitrov

Integrated Solutions Group (ISG)
Wave 1 Exemplar

“The ISG huddle meetings… became a chance for the teams to connect and engage. They became an optimal medium to provide news, recognize employees, and highlight recent wins. They also provide a space to share and celebrate both professionally and personally.”

Tithi Tiwari

Wave 1 Exemplar

“A positive workplace culture is a combination of good leadership, appreciation, opportunity, purpose, success, well-being and equity; the mechanisms are an encouraging start to creating the ideal culture.”

Jacob Bikakis

Integrated Solutions Group (ISG)
Wave 1 Exemplar

“During the ‘interdepartmental tour’ between the Wave 1 departments…it was a pleasant surprise to have colleagues not only being curious during the meeting, but also engaging in cross-departmental follow up meetings aimed to explore the intellectual capital, best practices and adoption possibilities."


WorkSmart aims to achieve both quick-to-implement improvements as well as sustained change across the institution.

Change takes time and this is a very ambitious program of work, spanning over three years, but community members will start to feel the difference throughout the program.

Download an accessible PDF of this timeline