Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
MPA
William Wang

Student Spotlight: William Wang MPA ’19

William Wang MPA '19 reflects on his MPA Policy-In-Action Consultancy, and how it contributed to his success in his public service career.


Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

What made you want to join the MPA program at Brown? 

I was drawn to the Brown MPA program due to its streamlined and concise curriculum, real-world applicable Policy-In-Action Consultancy, and strong foundational courses.

What was the most valuable skill you learned or experience you had at Brown?

The Brown MPA program's Policy-In-Action Consultancy was an incredible experience that enabled me to jumpstart my public service career with a focus on urban and transportation infrastructure. The opportunity to work on a project for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) contributed to my successful selection and position afterward in the PANYNJ's highly selective Leadership Fellows Program. 

How did the MPA program influence your career path after Brown? Please elaborate on the work you have done since graduating. 

The MPA program enabled me to receive career opportunities to start in both the public service and the private sector. After my consultancy at PANYNJ, I believed this is where I would be able to make a meaningful impact and at the same time grow my career significantly faster. This organization has transformed New York City and the surrounding region to become a leading socio-economic region since its creation. 

Since my time in the consultancy, I have gone from Management Intern to Leadership Fellow to Manager within about two and a half years. I am currently leading two teams of graduate students in researching and identifying sustainability and policy solutions, and innovative technology to incorporate into airport business operations. I also lead other process improvement efforts and strategic projects. 

Additionally, I have been able to serve as the Chair and CEO of the Young Professionals in Transportation International organization which has over twenty local chapters across two continents, and is still growing.

Finally, I have been able to strengthen my commitment to the New York and New Jersey region as an Innovation Co-Chair and 2021 Fellow of the New Leaders Council in New Jersey, and a Shaper in the World Economic Forum Global Shaper New York Hub. 

Can you describe briefly the Schwarzman Scholar program, what you hope to gain from it, and how it ties in with your future goals?

Schwarzman Scholars is one of the world’s most prestigious graduate fellowships located at Schwarzman College on the campus of Tsinghua University in Beijing. In 2021, from an initial pool of nearly 3,000 applicants, the admissions team selected a class of 151 Schwarzman Scholars. The program allows Schwarzman Scholars to immerse themselves into specific topics and practices while honing their skills as future global leaders. 

In the 21st century, the most successful future leaders in any field, industry, or nation must understand China, its culture, people, and history. Thus, through the program, I aim to focus on understanding China's regional urban development policies and strategies, and how the country's long-term strategic plans have boosted its economic and technological capabilities over the past few decades. The program will enable me to play a role in empowering the United States and its metropolitan regions through innovative policies, strategies, and technologies, with a focus on housing, transportation, energy, food, and supply chain infrastructure. I hope to contribute to improving America's economic competitiveness and the wellbeing of its people in the 21st century while addressing structural issues related to economic inequality, political polarization, and resource crises in the coming decades. 

 --Aalia Jagwani ’24