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About The Public Leadership Education Network

PLEN is the only national organization whose sole mission is preparing women for public leadership. PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process.  Each year, PLEN brings hundreds of women students from colleges and universities across the country to Washington, D.C. They experience first-hand how public policy is shaped and implemented at the national level. They are better prepared to become the next generation of public policy decision makers.

Learn more about PLEN


Mount Saint Mary’s University has been a member of the PLEN consortium for over 20 years. Each year, Women’s Leadership and Student Engagement awards scholarships for students to attend PLEN seminars in Washington, D.C. Students leave Washington with increased knowledge of the way that policy is made and increased confidence in their ability to start careers in public policy.

PLEN seminars are open to MSMU Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a strong interest in public policy. All majors are encouraged to apply. Students are selected through an application and interview process conducted by Women’s Leadership and Student Engagement staff.

Women’s Leadership currently sends students to the following seminars offered through PLEN:

  • Women, Law & Legal Advocacy (October)
  • Women in Health Policy (November)
  • Women in STEM Policy (January)
  • Women in Health Policy (January)
  • Women Influencing Washington (March)
  • Women in Global Policy (May)

Applications will open in August and be available on Engage MSMU.

Engage MSMU