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#PolicyProfile: Will Feeney MPP '23

Mar 24 2023
By Brittany N. Murray
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

"As a child, I loved trains and found it frustrating that MARTA — the mass transit system in Atlanta — didn't come to my house. As I got older and started commuting, I learned about urban planning, and though the way Atlanta is set up is typical for a lot of American cities, it's not typical for human beings. I went to the University of Virginia to study both government and urban planning, and after graduating, I moved to Washington, D.C. with the eventual goal of working on Capitol Hill. I applied for and received an internship in Congressman John Lewis’s office, and they hired me a few months later. Transportation, education, immigration, and foster care were my big issues, which I really enjoyed because I was helping people and that was meaningful work to do. I decided to come back to school – and specifically to SPIA — trying to get whatever additional knowledge I can to keep doing that kind of work.

I was attracted to Princeton because of its focus on having students learn and think creatively about problems in the world. Every interaction I had in the admissions process was very welcoming, and that sentiment has only been bolstered by being here."
Will Feeney MPP ’23

Because of its relatively small size, it's possible for people to get to know each other — within the cohort and also with other students, faculty, and administrators — on a personal level, not just names on a spreadsheet. After I graduate, I feel it’s time for me to go home to Atlanta. Up to this point, the overwhelming majority of both my education and my professional career has been working to make my city, my region, and my state better, more equitable, more functional, and more get-around-able. I feel confident that's what I'm to be doing — to go home and contribute in whatever way I can. Mr. Lewis used to say, 'We all need to do our part to leave this little patch of real estate we call Earth a little cleaner, a little greener, and a little bit more peaceful.' If we keep trying to make things cleaner, greener, and more peaceful, then we're doing the right thing.”

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