Throughout history, people affiliated with Penn have played a leadership role in U.S. public policy. These notable people include historical figures such as President William Henry Harrison, Secretary of Defense, Thomas Gates, Jr., the first Governor of Pennsylvania, Thomas Mifflin, and the current mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter.
Since 1749, when Benjamin Franklin founded the University, Penn has been committed to the education of students interested in advancing the public interest. This commitment is reflected in the accomplishments of Penn alumni who have pursued careers in the public sector. Such careers include the Special U.S. Envoy committed to confronting global AIDS, North Carolina State Treasurer, and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Legacy Securities Public-Private Investment Program. Penn’s commitment to training the next generation of policy makers is mirrored through the academic and career interests of current students.
Featured Alumni Profiles
When Ian Samuels joined the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crisis Response Team, he took a job that was truly uncharted territory: helping to save the hobbled U.S. economy.
As North Carolina’s Treasurer, the Wharton alumna has an enormous portfolio. The post—established in 1715—is one of the most powerful among the states.
Featured Student Profiles
Eric Zhu is currently a sophomore in the college studying Neurobiology, with minors in Health Care Management and Business Economics & Public Policy from the Wharton School. With regards to policy, Eric has a strong passion for the intersection between the private and public sectors, and how both can work congruently to further mutual aims.
“During interviews with potential employers, it quickly became clear that my understanding of certain issues in the real estate finance realm were far deeper and comprehensive than the general understanding that would have been imparted from a lecture or a textbook. Additionally, I think that pursuing research has provided an opportunity to be continually engaged with the newest developments in my field – an incredibly useful advantage in the private sector.”