Wharton Names U.S. Defense Department Executive to Head Public Policy Initiative
In an effort to further strengthen its connections with Washington policymakers, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has named a high-level U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) executive to lead the Wharton Public Policy Institute (WPPI), the school announced this week. Monica Medina, who is currently Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense at DoD, will become WPPI’s inaugural executive director on April 12th, a position she will hold from Washington, D.C.
While at DoD, Medina was a principal advisor on major defense policies involving personnel, energy and the environment, including veteran’s employment and transition to civilian life, women in the military and the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” She also played a critical role in the response to natural disasters, most recently Hurricane Sandy.
Wharton launched WPPI in September 2012 with hopes of creating stronger links between policymakers and the business community. It was also designed benefit students who want to explore careers in public policy and to engage Wharton alumni who are interested or involved in public policy. As executive director, Medina will be charged with pursuing these goals and developing WPPI’s presence in Washington.
“Besides giving research by our faculty greater visibility among policymakers, Monica’s commitment to the Initiative will yield tremendous benefits for students,” Professor Mark Duggan, WPPI faculty director, said in a statement. “She will be instrumental in bringing government leaders and other public policy professionals to campus for guest lectures, developing new summer internships for undergraduate and graduate students in D.C., and more generally, expanding students’ appreciation of the impact of government policy on key sectors of the economy,” he added.