PLEN at Douglass

Leadership in Trenton, Washington, D.C., and Beyond



Douglass’ Public Leadership Education Network chapter (PLEN) provides a wide array of programs to students interested in public policy. Opportunities include a range of seminars, lectures, and workshops in Washington, D.C., Trenton, NJ, and right here on the Douglass campus! In D.C., attend workshops designed to develop our nation's future leaders. At the PLEN Spring Forum, learn from experienced professionals who will share their wisdom and stories about public life. Round out your experience by applying for a paid internship in the state capital, Trenton, NJ.  




Build Your Network

Through your involvement in Douglass PLEN, you will have the chance to network with state and national leaders in law, public policy, and politics. From Governor Christine Todd Whitman to Douglass alumnae serving on high courts, you will encounter an array of professionals eager to help you jump-start your career. These students got the chance to meet NJ Senator Cory Booker! 




The Student Experience

“We were introduced to different women who work in politics through the panels. At our Capitol Hill visit, we were able to meet with women who work in legislator offices… I met women from Arizona and California and got to see the amazing things that they did... We had a number of panels that showed us different ways to have a career in politics.”– Jessica Resnick 


The Public Leadership Education Network – Seminar in Washington, D.C.

For four decades, PLEN Douglass in D.C. has sent hundreds of Douglass students to Washington, D.C. to explore careers in policy and connect with women leaders. PLEN seminars, hosted by PLEN’s national headquarters in the nation’s capital, enhance class work and curriculum by giving students access to leaders making and influencing public policy at the highest levels: in Congress, the courts, federal agencies, the private sector, policy research and advocacy organizations, and the media. Throughout seven seminars over the course of the year, students are introduced to role models, career paths, and skills trainings before they enter the workforce. Applications for DRC students are due to the PLEN Coordinator seven weeks before the start of the seminar (see schedule below). For more information on the seminars themselves, hosted by PLEN HQ in Washington, D.C., please click here.  

2021 -2022 Seminars: 

Law and Legal Advocacy (Virtual Seminar)
Douglass Application Deadline:   September 20, 2021
Seminar Dates:  October 14-16, 2021

Women of Color Influencing Washington (Virtual Seminar)
Douglass Application Deadline:   October 22, 2021
Seminar Dates:  November 12-14, 2021

Public Policy (Virtual Seminar)
Douglass Application Deadline:   December 15, 2021
Seminar Dates:  January 10-14, 2022

Women and Work in America (Virtual Seminar)
Douglass Application Deadline:   January 10, 2022
Seminar Dates:  February 10-11, 2022

STEM Policy (In-Person Seminar)
Douglass Application Deadline:   February 1, 2022
Seminar Dates:  March 15-17, 2022

Global Policy (In-Person Seminar)
Douglass Application Deadline:   April 1, 2022
Seminar Dates:  May 16-20, 2022

To apply, please click here. If you have additional questions, please email Amy Benner at


The PLEN Forum is a spring lecture series that invites women in politics and public leadership to come and talk to students about their experiences. Held at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, and held in conjunction with the political science course “Women and American Politics,” students get a unique opportunity to hear and learn first-hand from three political women about their experiences and paths to politics. A portion of seven class sessions over the course of the semester is devoted to PLEN Forum discussions with political women. This lecture series is a public event also open to DRC students who are not part of the course, however, being in the course offers students the rare opportunity to engage with these leaders and this mentoring often leads to further professional opportunities. 

The Douglass PLEN Trenton Summer Internship is a highly competitive and long-standing Douglass program. For seven weeks during the summer, Douglass students are afforded the opportunity to intern in state departments and agencies in Trenton. The full-time placements are paid and are identified by areas of interest. During their experience, student interns work on substantive projects, attend meetings, engage in research, and participate in site visits under the leadership of their mentor. The mentors have proven to be deeply invested in promoting women’s leadership in government and public policy areas. In addition to the internship, students have the opportunity to complete an independent study in Political Science, through which they may pursue an academic project that builds on their experience in their department.

Please contact:

Amy N. Benner

PLEN Coordinator

Located at Carpender Hall


*The Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN) is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. As a PLEN member institution, Douglass Residential College students are able to attend PLEN programs in Washington, DC.