Steven Petric MPP ’17 Named Woodrow Wilson School’s Director of Graduate Admissions

Aug 02 2019
By Sarah M. Binder
Department Graduate Admissions
Source Woodrow Wilson School

Steven Petric has been named director of graduate admissions at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, effective July 15.

A proud Wisconsin native and an alumnus of the School’s mid-career program, Petric’s wide-ranging work in public and international affairs has prepared him to identify graduate students who will excel in public service. He joined the School’s administration in November 2017 and since October 2018 has served as associate director of graduate admissions and director of global partnerships and outreach.

Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, Cecilia Elena Rouse, is excited for Petric to make his mark at the School. “Steven has a strong track record in the policy and topic areas important to our community. We’re lucky to have him back and in this role,” she said.

In his new role, Petric will oversee the operations of the graduate admissions team, leading a strategic process to recruit and enroll a highly qualified, committed, and diverse student body for the Master in Public Affairs (MPA) and Master in Public Policy (MPP) programs, and providing admissions support for the Ph.D. in Public Affairs. He also will guide recruitment for the Junior Summer Institute (JSI), a national program that works to promote the inclusion of historically underrepresented groups in public service.  

“I’m delighted to see Steven step into this position. He brings an unwavering commitment to the mission of the School and a zeal for recruiting exceptional candidates,” said Elizabeth M. Armstrong MPA ’93, faculty chair of admissions for the MPA program and associate professor of sociology and public affairs.

Jacob N. Shapiro, professor of politics and international affairs and faculty chair of the MPP program says, “Steven is a dynamic professional who will do a great job leading our admissions team. He will bring tremendous energy to expanding and diversifying the applicant pool.”

Petric will continue to focus on global partnerships and outreach, where he has expanded the School’s connections with governments, political organizations, think tanks, community-based and multilateral organizations. He will report to Karen McGuinness MPA ’85, associate dean for graduate education. “I am thrilled that Steven has agreed to lead our graduate admissions team,” McGuinness said. “He brings a deep knowledge of our programs and of the public service environments from which we need to recruit. He’s done an amazing job expanding our outreach in important sectors.”

Petric’s professional experience to date encompasses a wide range of regions and issue areas; most recently he worked for the United Nations, responding to the Rohingya refugee crisis from a posting in Bangladesh. Previously his public sector work spanned several U.S. states as well as Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, including nearly four years in Iraq and Afghanistan directing programming across multiple governorates.

“The opportunity to engage communities and build partnerships around the world and in the United States on behalf of the Woodrow Wilson School is exciting,” Petric said. “I’m thrilled to work in this expanded capacity on behalf of a community I value.”

In addition to his graduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School, Petric earned a graduate degree from the University of Essex (United Kingdom) and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.