Public Policy and Leadership Conference

The Public Policy and Leadership Conference (PPLC) is held at Harvard Kennedy School each February to inspire talented, driven, and diverse first- and second-year undergraduate students to pursue careers in public service. Among these careers include positions in federal, state, or local government, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, intergovernmental organizations, international institutions, and social enterprises.

The conference introduces students to a graduate school environment focusing on public policy and international affairs, and provides them with fellowship opportunities that may help fund their graduate studies.  

PPLC serves as a pipeline for first- and second-year undergraduate students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities. The PPLC is designed to embolden students to pursue professional degrees to prepare themselves to become future leaders in public policy.

All participants’ travel costs, accommodations, and meals are paid for by the Office for Student Diversity and Inclusion at Harvard Kennedy School.  

PPLC Application and Eligibility 

The online application for the 2018 PPLC will be available in September 2017. A complete application to the PPLC entails submitting a(n):

  • Online application
  • Résumé
  • Personal statement essay
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Undergraduate academic transcript

Only first- or second-year undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) recipients who are attending a U.S. institution are eligible to apply.

The PPLC application process is competitive. Selected participants have strong academic records and demonstrate a commitment to public service through activism, student leadership positions, civic participation at school or in their communities, or through volunteerism. This information must be included/referenced in applicants’ résumés and personal statements.

Past participants have written about their PPLC experiences. Read their stories.


Read what PPLC alumni have to say about their experiences attending the Public Policy and Leadership Conference. 

John F. Kennedy School of Government 79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-495-1100 Get Directions Visit Contact Page