A Letter from our Dean

Dean Maria Cancian, Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy, smiles.

Welcome to the McCourt School of Public Policy.

How do we promote shared economic growth — across communities and nations? 

How do we increase access to high-quality healthcare and education?

How can we limit the effects of a changing climate?

How can we make society more just and equitable — for all, not just for some?

These are just some of the questions our faculty address through their research, and some of the policy areas and professional interests of our students, who come to the McCourt School to develop the skills to build a better world.

Complex challenges like these cannot be resolved by the private or public sector alone, in ivory towers or by individual minds. Solutions come through collaborative response — exchanging ideas and developing evidence to support the collective actions of many across our global community, working in concert toward the common good.

Our mission at McCourt is ambitious: to deepen our capacity for transformational impact. We focus on solving problems like these with evidence-based, ethical and inclusive approaches. Our curriculum gives students a grounding in the quantitative and analytical tools needed to design and measure the effectiveness of policy solutions. This rigorous training allows McCourt graduates to have an impact on day one of their careers. This is the McCourt difference; it’s what sets us apart from our peers.

As a part of the foremost university in the nation’s capital, our educational mission is rooted in Georgetown’s Jesuit identity, which challenges everyone in our community, no matter their faith or background, to engage in the world and be people for others — especially the most vulnerable among us. Our culture embraces the changing times while staying true to Georgetown’s core values — engaging student’s intellect, helping you grow ethically, exchanging ideas freely, and building a more just world.

Policy cannot work for all unless it is by all. That is why we take a thoughtful and intentional approach to inclusivity. From day one , our students are given a strong foundation not only in analytic skills but also in leadership, communications and other skills needed to cultivate community and design policy solutions with an equity-centered lens. Put simply, we aspire to be the most inclusive top public policy school in the world

It is with these ingredients — evidence, ethics, and inclusivity — that we are working to build a global community of “impatient changemakers” who know how to work across difference, and who remain deeply committed to moving bold ideas off the page and into practice. 

As our country and our world grapple with intersecting health, economic and social crises, strengthening the pipeline of future problem solvers and advancing solutions to meet unprecedented needs has never been more important. But these challenges also present an opportunity — a chance for us to reimagine the role of government in our society, to remake our commitments to one another as Americans and as global citizens, and to reaffirm the promise of policymaking as a means to improve people’s lives. How we respond to these challenges will set the course for generations to come. 

I invite you to join us in this work, and to become an impatient changemaker, too.

Maria Cancian

Dean, McCourt School of Public Policy