Public Policy Challenge

The Public Policy Challenge is an interdisciplinary competition that is open to policy-minded Penn students who have an interest in any issue area.

The Challenge is an unparalleled opportunity for students to experience, connect, and serve.

Experience the policy process within a real world context.

The Challenge builds on an emerging area of concentration at Fels – the civic campaign – which describes the process of turning policy ideas into action. Students will begin to think of themselves as policy advocates and entrepreneurs. Guided by workshops and mentors, each team will choose a research-based policy proposal and will package it with an integrated campaign plan. 

Connect with colleagues across schools and disciplines.

University students and faculty from almost every field are able to affect public policy, but too few opportunities exist for policy work across disciplines. Genuine solutions to public challenges require leaders to draw upon a network of individuals and organizations with various types of specialized knowledge. The Challenge creates a forum for fostering interdisciplinary collaboration around common interests, broadening student networks, and strengthening ties across Penn.

Serve the community in which you live, focusing on significant regional issues.

To an increasing degree, metropolitan regions around the United States are finding it necessary to move beyond purely local interests. But traditional politics can create barriers to these efforts, as the scope of most decision-making bodies remains either too broad or too narrow for effective regional action. The Challenge requires student teams to identify ways in which local leaders can work together toward mutual benefit. Teams will tailor their plans to the specific needs of regional stakeholders, some of whom will serve as final judges. 

Questions? Email

The Public Policy Challenge - Watch the Video! 

The Public Policy Challenge News

In early November, 42 current and executive Fels students descended upon Washington, D.C. for a dizzying day of networking with top policy hands from “Think Tank Row” to the White House. 

Splitting into groups along lines of interest...

Fels alumnus Dylan Hayden has joined the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a Program Analyst in the Baltimore Office of Public & Indian Housing. Hayden will monitor performance and conduct risk assessment for public housing authorities throughout the Mid-Atlantic...

Describe your work now for Reed Smith.

I’m a second-year Associate in the Commercial Litigation Group.  The core of my practice is litigating on behalf of individuals and businesses in disputes over contracts, warranties,...

Peter Jeffrey (Fels ’16) is not the typical college student. A Wharton undergrad, he will complete his MPA at Fels this spring. But for his summer internship, Jeffrey decided to depart from public finance and management theory to gain national security experience at the International Cooperation...