Joe Shipley

#PolicyProfile: Joe Shipley MPA ’26

Dec 10 2022
By Brittany N. Murray
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

“Both of my parents are journalists, and I learned a lot from the way that they tried to put truth and objectivity ahead of their own personal preferences. I also saw them spend a lot of time working on behalf of others. I also grew up in Brooklyn with an hour and a half — each way — between my home and my school, so I got really interested in public transit and walkability. In high school, I interned at the New York City Transit Museum, and in college, I got to live out my dream of working for the MTA. They let me ride the train simulator that they train the drivers on. I was really inspired by my bosses at the MTA.

[The MPA does] their jobs really well, and they care about what they do. They're not going to be on the front page of the New York Times, but what they do is really important."
Joe Shipley

"As a Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative (SINSI) graduate fellow, I’ll spend two years of the master’s program in rotations in the federal government. One of which I plan to do with the Department of Transportation. I'm hoping to keep moving my childhood passions up further and further. I first came to Princeton as an undergrad, majoring in history with a minor in Russian. I've always been really interested in history, but not as an end in itself. It’s easy to think of policy as something that exists only in the present and not something dependent on overcoming history and learning lessons from history. As an undergrad, I took a fantastic class on reconstruction after the Civil War. I found it amazing that it's an often-overlooked period in history. There were a lot of remarkable successes at overcoming racism in the immediate aftermath of the Confederacy and slavery. Successes that are overlooked because it is, in part, overshadowed by this horrible period in the country's history. People, especially in the policy sphere, tend to view history — and the dark parts of history, especially — as something that we're battling against or that we have to overcome. But it's worth noting that if the problems are in history, maybe the solutions are too.”

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