WWS Blog

2 Minutes with Dean Rouse

Mar 26, 2013
Published by:
WWS Admissions
Dean Rouse

Members of the Wilson School Graduate Admissions Office social media team sat down with Dean Cecilia Rouse to hear her vision for the school and what she thinks distinguishes the school’s policy programs from its peer institutions. Find out what she has to say!


2 Minutes with Dean Rouse from WWS Admissions on Vimeo.


I’ve been on the faculty of Princeton for many years so I’m really an academic, but I’m drawn to academics, I’m drawn to economics for its tools and its analytical perspective on public policy. And I wanted to put that into practice so I also have spent some time in Washington, D.C. I spent a year as a special assistant to President Clinton at the National Economic Council in the late 1990s and more recently I spent two years as a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors.

Many of our students come with such a passion for public service, and it’s that passion which will guide them and sustain them through their careers. And what we hope to do is help them to develop the skills to sharpen their decision-making abilities so that they really become the leaders in their field.

One of the most unique aspects of coming to the Woodrow Wilson School is that students participate in something called a policy workshop. And in that policy workshop they take a real world policy problem, often they have a client who has a real problem that they would like solved. They bring together the many different skills they learn in their courses to address the problem. What’s very exciting is that the school has resources and so it uses those resources to help the students travel all over the world so they can meet with leaders in different countries, or the stakeholders in different countries, to understand the problem not just from the perspective of Princeton, New Jersey, but to understand the problem from the perspective of those they’re actually trying to help.

One of the most best kept secrets about our program is that students do not have to take out loans, that we pay the tuition and a stipend for all students to come. And this means that we can admit students need-blind. We take that very seriously, it means we can admit students who otherwise couldn’t afford to devote two years of their lives to studying the tools that underly leadership in public service.

My goal for the school is for everybody to understand just what a gem it really is, that it’s an exciting place to be a student, that the education is world-class, that we have the best researchers who are working on today’s most pressing problems, we’re a real player in the policy world, that we train the leaders of tomorrow with the very best teachers and faculty that we have.