About Us

Over the years, Penn in Washington has helped thousands of students find internships in Washington, engaged thousands of alumni in mentoring and hiring interns from Penn, and organized hundreds of events both on campus and in Washington. Our events are designed to give Penn students the opportunities to explore many fascinating topics addressed in the public policy arena, and to meet some of the most interesting decision makers in Washington, many of whom are proud Penn alumni.

Through the Penn in Washington Semester Program, students spend either the fall or spring semester taking classes and interning in Washington, D.C. On campus, we host lectures, lunches, internship workshops, and other events for students interested in living and working in Washington. Over the summer, we arrange in-person (in D.C.) networking and online informational interviews with PIW alumni living and working in Washington and around the world. Throughout the year, we offer advice, internship help, alumni networking opportunities, and much more to Penn students.

Meet our executive director!

Deirdre Martinez

Deirdre Martinez

Executive Director and Faculty


Alumni are the centerpiece of our very popular student program. All of our events are designed to prepare students for a future in D.C. and help them forge connections that could help them after graduation. In order to accomplish this, we work to help students find internships in D.C. year-round. We also arrange events and opportunities for students to meet with alumni who are working in fields of interest, both in D.C. and at Penn.                                                                                                                                          


There are many ways that alums help the program thrive below: 

On Campus

We are always happy to have Penn alumni in Washington return to campus and join us for events. Please let us know if your travels bring you back to campus.

In Washington

Approximately 20 students per term participate in the PIW semester program and more than 100 students come to DC for internships every summer. We arrange lunches, dinners, talks, informational interviews, and social events with alumni.


In addition to volunteer support, both our students and the program need financial assistance for scholarships and programming. We provide a stipend to all semester participants to ensure that funding is not an obstacle to participation. Please consider allocating your annual donation to Penn in Washington to ensure its continued success.

Donations can be made online on Penn’s Giving Page.

If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania” and print ‘PIW’ in the note section. Checks can be sent to:

Deirdre Martinez, Phd
College Office, Cohen Hall
249 S. 36th Street
Penn in Washington, Office #161
Philadelphia, PA 19104-66197

On behalf of all the students participating in Penn in Washington, thank you very much for your support.


If you are interested in participating in any of the activities above, please email the program director, Deirdre Martinez, at martined@sas.upenn.edu with the following details and we will be happy to add you to our database:

Preferred Email Address (typically your current work email or the email you check regularly):

Backup Email Address (a permanent email address that we can use to contact you even if you switch employers):


Job Title:

Two-Sentence Bio:

Undergrad Graduation Year, and was this at Penn:

Graduate School: Graduation Year (if applicable), degree, and university:

LinkedIn Profile (if you have one):


Our official club, the PIW Student Organization, is the starting line for students aspiring a career in DC. It is a community of students with shared passions in the diverse fields centered in DC, including politics, law, media, and advocacy. It is also a go-to resource to learn more about opportunities in DC and access advising.