After nearly two decades working in New York City and State government, in 1998 Diana Fortuna ’82 became president of the Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), a nonprofit think tank, oversight agency and watchdog of these governments.
“My experience at Columbia had a huge effect on my career,” she says. “A lot of that was thanks to Professor Ray Horton, who taught my favorite class at business school but more importantly helped me find the work that I loved.”
Through Horton, Fortuna found an internship in the mayor’s budget office, where she stayed for nine years. She then work in the state’s federal affairs office, the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Domestic Policy Council staff in Washington, D.C., before returning to New York as president of the CBC—a job she took over from Horton.
“When I was in city government and he was at the CBC, I remember very well what it was like to be on the other side of that relationship,” she says. “It’s fascinating to be on the outside exhorting government to do better.”