All about: The Women in Public Policy Initiative (WPPI)

The following is a Q&A with Priscilla Pelli, Shruti Patel, and Danielle Held, co-presidents of the Georgetown University Women in Public Policy Initiative (WPPI). WPPI will be taking applications for board members until Friday, September 11th at 5 p.m.

WPPI members at the Department of Labor's Equal Pay Day.
WPPI members at the Department of Labor’s Equal Pay Day.

Tell us about your student group.

The Georgetown University Women in Public Policy Initiative (WPPI) is dedicated to developing exceptional female leaders in public policy and increasing awareness of issues that disproportionately affect women and girls through strategic partnerships, service, and advocacy.

What are some things your group is planning for this year?

  • Policywonks Happy Hour #feministfriday
  • Women in Government Relations Career Panel & Networking Event
  • Professors and Their Passions luncheon with Professor Shirley Sagwa
  • A small group on women in politics (details coming soon)
  • A panel hosting legislators discussing their unique experiences on the campaign trail (details coming soon)
Part of WPPI's "Professors and Their Passions" discussion series. Photo courtesy of WPPI.
Dr. Lynn Ross speaking as part of WPPI’s “Professors and Their Passions” discussion series.


Students should join if they want to…

  • Plan events exploring issues that affect women in political and professional settings;
  • Meet policymakers, legislators, and business leaders working in women and female empowerment.

Students should join if they are interested in…

  • Politics at the local, state, or national level;
  • Economics and labor;
  • International development;
  • Career advancement.

We’re looking for students who…

We’re looking for students who are interested in developing partnerships with local organizations to discuss, create, and implement policy solutions on women’s issues, including fair wages, equal representation, and family-friendly policies.

WPPI volunteering at Girls on the Run. Photo courtesy of WPPI.
WPPI volunteering at the Girls on the Run 5k in 2014.

Who can come to your events? Are any of your activities members-only?

All events are open to the entire McCourt community, and select events are accessible to the larger Georgetown graduate school community.

How can students join?

For general membership, there is no formal application process. In addition, interested students should connect with WPPI board members if they have ideas or suggestions for events, actions, or publications.

For students who wish to take a more active role, WPPI is currently accepting applications for board members for the current school year, including a First-Year Officer, Evening Program Officer, Events Officer, and Communications Officer. Applicants be an enrolled student at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy for the 2015-2016 academic year, and must submit a typed one-page resume in addition to the online form. Applications will be accepted until Friday, September 11th at 5 p.m.

Who should students contact if they have any questions?

Students can email

What’s the best way for students to learn about upcoming events?

Sign up for the newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

WPPI members at a UN luncheon in 2015.
WPPI members at a UN luncheon in 2015.