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
First he co-founded Young Government Leaders, a membership organization. He tried launching groups on MySpace and LinkedIn, but didn’t feel he was creating great connections. And then he hit on the idea: “I thought there should be a social network for government.” GovLoop was born.
There are different approaches to philanthropy. One is personal, motivated by emotional, charitable impulses and individual passions. There also is a more strategic approach, relying more heavily on research, analytics and, after the money is given and spent, the measurement of impact. Both philosophies dovetail in many philanthropists, but in none more naturally than Wharton alumna Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) for the past decade.
Featured Student Profiles
“PPRS has been a great complement to my engineering studies. Because of the courses I have taken in both health and technology policy, I have been able to learn how to apply the principles and problem solving skills taught in engineering school more broadly.”
On the policy side, I’ve learned a lot about pensions structure and how decisions made in the short term, even with good intentions, can have complicated long term consequences that impact people’s financial security. I’ve also learned a lot about how the gig economy has upended traditional health insurance and savings programs, and the challenges of protecting workers as those fields expand.