WWS Blog

WWS Perks: The Leadership and Governance Program

Mar 25, 2013
Published by:
Kidus Asfaw
Robert Zoellick, photo courtesy of The Daily Princetonian.

Launched in 2009, the Woodrow Wilson School’s “Leadership and Governance Program,” brings prominent public policy leaders to the School who are unable to spend a full semester or academic year on campus, but can visit for a shorter period of time. While on campus the “distinguished visitor” delivers a public lecture, meets informally with individuals or small groups of students, and participates in classroom discussions. Kidus reflects on Robert Zoellick’s visit last fall.


I knew that getting into Princeton would give me access to distinguished faculty, an amazing student body, and a well-accomplished alumni network, but having the opportunity to meet with influential leaders to chat about myself never crossed my mind. During the middle of my first semester at WWS, I had the opportunity to sit down one-on-one with the former president of the World Bank Group, Robert Zoellick, to discuss my career aspirations.

Expecting our meeting to be a formal interview, I had the opposite experience. There I was talking with a prominent figure about Ethiopian politics, career path strategies, and how to balance a promising career with a family. After our conversation, I left the room with a clearer direction on how to guide my career in a successful, fulfilling manner. Furthermore, it made me realize what else makes this school so special: not only does it have the resources to bring in world leaders into its buildings, it has the chemistry to make them mentor their students as well.

Throughout the year, leaders from many other backgrounds have come in and out of Woody Woo to give lectures, speak at lunches and dinners, and to have one-on-one time with students of similar interests. From the many many other wonderful things WWS has to offer, this stands out as one of my favorites.


Article written by Kidus Asfaw

Kidus AsfawKidus is an American-born, Ethiopian-raised technologist who has had the privilege to work on many exciting web development projects in Silicon Valley and Washington DC. He has a deep-rooted passion to transform Africa into a technologically driven economy through the establishment of effective science & technology policies and programs. During his time at Woody Woo, he plans to expand his knowledge in policy and engage in research/studies revolving around development studies and science & technology policy. Kidus is a graduate of Duke University with a double major in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering. He most recently lived in the Washington DC area with his wife, Adey. He enjoys watching and playing soccer, and looks forward to many games with his classmates.

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