Ben Max is a veteran journalist covering policy and lawmaking in New York and will build upon the Center’s extraordinary legacy as a premier civic hub
New York, NY (December 5, 2023) – New York Law School (NYLS) Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell and Professor Ross Sandler, Founder and Director of the Center for New York City Law, announced the appointment of Ben Max as the Center for New York City Law’s Executive Editor and Program Director.
Founded in 1995 by Professor Ross Sandler, the Center has made New York City’s policy and lawmaking processes and outcomes more comprehensible and accessible to the public. The Center pursues its mission through scholarly research and writing and by widely disseminating information about New York City through several publications including CityLaw and CityLand and through the widely attended CityLaw Breakfast series for New York’s civic and policymaking community, featuring high profile elected officials and policymakers. The Center is also home to the New York Census and Redistricting Institute, directed by Senior Fellow and Distinguished Adjunct Professor Jeffrey Wice.
“Ben Max will bring his incisive analysis and innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to further build the Center for New York City Law’s role as a preeminent force for substantive civic and community engagement,” said Anthony W. Crowell, NYLS Dean and President. “Ben’s exceptional experience publishing independent, substantive, and nuanced coverage of so many complex issues has given him deep insight and understanding on how a civic institution and academic center can help policymakers and the broader legal and civic communities come together and develop solutions. I look forward to working with him along with Professor Sandler and the Center’s staff to tap the unmatched experience within our law school faculty, staff, and alumni community to further extend our thought leadership and broaden our focus on how the City and State government shape our daily lives.”
“Ben Max’s broad experience with State and City government deepens the capacity of the Center for New York City Law to provide insights and understanding on how government and civic institutions perform,” said Professor Ross Sandler. “Ben Max’s demonstrated leadership in providing timely and comprehensible information on government strongly integrate with the Center for New York City Law’s scholarly, publishing, and policy missions.”
Ben will spearhead new projects, programs, and the design and writing of publications to position New York Law School as the go-to resource and destination for practical dialogue, analysis, and civic and legal education on state and local government. This position will also play a role in strategic communications more broadly given the school’s rich public service mission and history.
Ben will identify ways to broaden the Center’s reach through more coverage on State law issues. He will also develop new programs to engage government officials, staffers, and thought leaders; explore ways to partner with outside organizations; and publish white papers or standalone technical assistance reports, engaging with the Senior Fellows at the Center on this work.
Ben will bring his popular and engaging podcast, Max Politics, to New York Law School, continuing to host in-depth conversations with elected and appointed officials, advocates, academics, and others on New York law, policy, government, and politics. Some episodes will feature live events held by the Center for New York City Law, which will welcome new featured guests and audiences for a wide variety of in-person programming.
“I’m honored to join New York Law School, a truly unique and essential New York institution,” said Ben Max, “and to have the opportunity to build on the legacy of the Center for New York City Law as an important civic hub. I look forward to expanding the Center’s programming, with events, reporting, and commentary on New York policy, government, and law. I’m grateful to Dean Crowell and Professor Sandler for bringing me into the NYLS community and for their enthusiasm and deep commitment to the continuing growth of the Center for New York City Law.”
Ben comes to New York Law School with over a dozen years of journalism experience covering New York politics and government, including more than nine years as Executive Editor of Gotham Gazette. At Gotham Gazette, Ben led a team known for comprehensive coverage of New York City and State policy and politics, including policy explainers, election guides, and reporting on many topics often not covered by other publications. In that work, Ben also formed partnerships with other news outlets and civic organizations.
Ben is a leading analyst of New York politics and expert on city and state government, and a frequent guest on television, radio, and podcast programs. He also regularly moderates candidate debates, policy panels, newsmaker conversations, and other events for various organizations and venues.
He also has a background in education, having spent almost a decade in the field, including six years as a high school history teacher. He will bring his passion for civic affairs and education to NYLS, contributing to the culture of public service at the school.
“I’m especially looking forward to working with the students and other emerging leaders in the community at New York Law School, with its great record of public interest law and remarkable pipeline into careers in city and state government,” Ben said, “and to collaborating with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to grow NYLS’ already substantial role in fostering good government in New York.”
A Queens native, Ben currently lives in Brooklyn with his son, Elijah. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity College in Connecticut and a master’s in teaching from Tufts University.