Mission: The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is the only national organization with the sole focus is preparing women for leadership in the public policy arena. PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process.
Results: Founded in 1978, PLEN has served thousands of women, of which 50% are women of color or from other populations historically under-represented in public policy leadership.
Target demographics: College Women
Direct beneficiaries per year: Each year, PLEN brings about 250 women students from colleges and universities across the country to Washington, D.C. for a weekend or week to experience first-hand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level.
Geographic areas served: National
Programs: Students meet with and learn from women leaders making and influencing public policy at the highest levels in the Congress, courts, federal agencies, corporate sector, policy research and advocacy organizations and the news media.
PLEN’s Program Schedule
PLEN always makes such a difference in the lives of our students! They return to campus filled with excitement about the public policy process and ready to take on the challenges of our world. SO many of our recent graduates have attended PLEN seminars and then moved to Washington to find important jobs where they can make a difference. PLEN is transformative!
I attended my first PLEN seminar during my first year at Douglass College of Rutgers University. After that first foray into Washington, I couldn't get enough! So, I went several more times during my years in college. The view of Washington, D.C. that I received from the many women leaders who spoke to us and shared their own stories was priceless. Those early entries into Washington resulted in a career in politics and now in higher education that has provided a lifetime of love for public policy and for the critical role that women mentors can play in the lives of young women. PLEN opens doors - it is that simple - to young women's careers and life development. In my own life and career, I have discovered that the power of giving to young women is multiplied exponentially over time. I am grateful for that power that PLEN gave to me almost a quarter of a century ago. It is only a pleasure to give back to PLEN and to young women now.