SPIA Graduate Program Initiatives

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Standing Committee

Established in 2018, the committee periodically assesses the climate for all groups within the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, including underrepresented groups, and makes recommendations to the dean for improvement. Comprised of faculty, students, and staff, the committee also monitors the School’s focus on diversity and inclusion in graduate admissions, curricular offerings, student support services, and public affairs programming.


We are committed to strengthening our curriculum to better reflect the challenges dominating policy today. In June 2020, faculty voted to implement a mandatory DEI half-term course requirement for MPA students. This new requirement is a temporary measure, as the School carries out an extensive review of the MPA core curriculum and the undergraduate concentration. In addressing both the undergraduate and graduate core curricula, the School will engage faculty, administrators, students, and alumni.

Student Life and Diversity Workshops

Workshops are hosted throughout the academic year to equip students with the tools to foster respectful, open, and inclusive environments inside and outside the classroom. Workshops offered throughout the academic year include:

  • Mental Health (Stress Management; Distress Awareness and Response Training; Mindfulness)
  • Inclusion (Equity and Inclusion Training; Impact of Bias, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions)
  • Prejudice (Overcoming Racism; Dismantling Classism)
  • Allyship (How to Be an Ally: Men’s Allied Voices for a Respectful and Inclusive Community; Supporting the LGBTQA, Transgender, and Gender-nonconforming Community)
Diversity Network Dinners

Regular dinners provide a welcoming and supportive space for all students to meet, share a meal, and build community. Dinners are also attended by Princeton faculty with relevant research interests.

Student Organizations

Princeton University Policy Student Government (PUPSG)

The Princeton University Policy Student Government (PUPSG) is the graduate student government body of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. It gives students a voice in the governance of the School and a formal channel of liaison between the student body and the faculty and administration. Members participate in meetings of the Master’s Program Committee and in the curriculum development process. PUPSG also plans social activities and coordinates volunteer and community-service activities. As part of the committee, two students are elected as diversity representatives and one student as the LGBT inclusion representative.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion PUPSG Representatives

It is now as important as ever to stand up for equity and inclusion. The long history of structural oppression in all societies makes it imperative to rethink the institutions and how they affect people with marginalized identities. Diversity and inclusion representatives work with School staff toward building a more inclusive community. They serve as liaisons between students and staff, and are in regular communication with Laura De Olden, associate director of graduate student life and diversity initiatives, to help design relevant programming and raise student concerns. They aim to provide safe spaces for people with marginalized identities, and spaces for students to discuss how to make our school a welcoming environment for all.

Some of the initiatives and events spearheaded by the diversity and inclusion representatives include:

  • Facilitation of class-wide conversations on identity, intersectionality, and allyship.
  • Events on international perspectives on identity and personal history.
  • LGBTQ affinity group meetings.
  • Curriculum audit on diversity of perspectives represented in core classes.
  • Presentation to the Master’s Program Committee on curriculum audit.
  • Participation in postdoctoral researchers hiring committee.


First. empowers, elevates, and amplifies the voices of firsts — low-income and first-generation students and alumni — by providing a forum for first-generation and low-income students to find community and space at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs to discuss issues important to them.

Students for Educational Equity and Inclusion (SEED)

Students for Educational Equity and Inclusion is a student-led initiative whose mission is to strengthen commitment to and action toward equity and justice throughout students’ interpersonal and educational experiences at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

At SPIA, We Rise