Who attends the School of Public Service?
The School of Public Service (SPS) is a coeducational program for rising high school seniors with strong academic backgrounds; a demonstrated interest in government, public policy, and public service; and a desire to share their interests and learn from and with peers from around the country and the world.

We strive for an atmosphere that embodies and respects many points of view, so we look for students with diverse backgrounds and talents with the enthusiasm and commitment to spend four weeks intensively immersed in government, public policy, and public service. We seek students who will not only perform at a high level in the classroom but who will also contribute positively to the life of SPS.

Who are the speakers that students hear from at SPS?

One goal of SPS is to introduce its students to a wide range of speakers who have made a career in public service, as very broadly defined. Students hear from elected representatives in the U.S. Congress and federal judges, but they also hear from people who have served in a wide array of other government jobs, including people who have served in the military, the foreign service, and the public health corps, as well as those serving as advisers on economic issues. In addition, the students hear from people who have pursued public service outside of government, whether in the media, in the political arena, or at an innovative non-profit. SPS students have also had the opportunity to hear from public servants from other countries, including ambassadors posted to Washington on behalf of their countries.

As you might imagine, each year features a different combination of speakers, but here are some of the speakers and guests who have spoken to our students in the past:

List of 29 items.

  • Madeleine Albright

    The Hon. Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State
  • Ben Bernanke

    The Hon. Ben Bernanke, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • Joshua Bolten

    Mr. Joshua Bolten, Former Chief of Staff to President George H.W. Bush
  • Pete Buttigieg

    The Hon. Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, Former Presidential Candidate and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
  • Christopher Cooper

    The Hon. Christopher Cooper, United States District Court Judge
  • Chris Dodd

    Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, Conn.
  • Anthony Fauci

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner, National Institutes of Health
  • Roger Ferguson

    Roger Ferguson, Former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • Bill Frist

    Senator Bill Frist, M.D., Former Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate
  • David Frum

    Mr. David Frum, Senior Editor at The Atlantic
  • Danielle Gray

    Danielle Gray, Former Assistant to the President, Cabinet Secretary, and a Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama.
  • Fiona Hill

    Dr. Fiona Hill, Former Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on the National Security Council
  • David Hogg

    David Hogg, Parkland Shooting Survivor and Co-Founder of March for Our Lives and Leaders We Deserve
  • Valerie Jarrett

    Ms. Valerie Jarrett, Former senior advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama
  • Mary Louise Kelly

    Mary Louise Kelly, Co-host of NPR's All Things Considered
  • Jessie Liu

    Jessie Liu, Former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia
  • Jane Mayer

    Ms. Jane Mayer, Staff Writer for The New Yorker
  • William McRaven

    Admiral William McRaven, retired United States Navy four-star admiral
  • Aruna Miller

    Aruna Miller, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland
  • Samantha Power

    The Hon. Samantha Power, Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Dana Priest

    Ms. Dana Priest, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
  • Christina Romer

    The Hon. Christina Romer, Former Chair, Council of Economic Advisers
  • Raul Ruiz

    Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D., U.S. House of Representatives
  • Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

    Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Former Deputy Secretary of Energy
  • Michael Steele

    Michael Steele, former Lt. Governor of Maryland and former Chair of the Republican National Committee
  • Neera Tanden

    Ms. Neera Tanden, Senior Advisor to the President and White House Staff Secretary
  • JeffreyWall

    Mr. Jeffrey Wall, Acting Solicitor General of the United States
  • Sheldon Whitehouse

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, R.I., U.S. Senate
  • Jeff Zients

    Jeffrey Zients,  Chief of Staff to President Joe Biden
“The most memorable part of SPS was connecting and learning with students who are passionate about public service and policy.”

Who are the faculty who work with the students in the classroom and in the dorm?

The teachers leading the case studies, simulations, and seminars at the School of Public Service are current and former teachers at St. Albans School, and they hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from institutions such as Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Georgetown, Amherst, and Oxford, including advanced degrees in law, history, American studies, psychology and education.

In addition, the SPS faculty bring a wealth of experience in law, government, and public policy to the program. Prior to their time at SPS, members of the faculty have served as litigators, federal judicial clerks, and staff members for legislators at the federal and state level, and they have worked for political action groups, lobbying groups, presidential campaigns, and the Library of Congress. Their demonstrated passion for public service, coupled with extensive collective experience as classroom teachers and dorm faculty, makes for a winning combination for our students.

Our residential faculty consists of members of the SPS teaching faculty, members of the year-round dorm faculty at St. Albans, and college students and recent college graduates who are alums of the program. They attend field trips, provide for the well-being of our students after hours, and serve as mentors both academically and socially. Many alums have noted that SPS provided a great preview of life in a college dorm.
“I love being part of a group of people who are as interested in politics as I am.”

Who do the SPS graduates become?

Our alumni have gone on to study political science, policy, economics, and international relations at top universities and colleges in the country and the world. Those who go into public service work in diverse fields as congressional aides, candidates for political office, journalists, military officers, foreign service officers, law clerks at the Supreme Court, public school teachers, political campaign staff, and much more. You will be connected to a wonderful network of SPS alumni who are sharing their talents in every facet of public service. Below is a snapshot of what our alums are doing professionally.

Federal Government and Campaigns

  • House and Senate staff
  • Executive branch positions, including press and policy staff at the Small Business Administration; the Departments of Treasury, State, and Justice; the Office of the US Trade Representative; and the White House
  • Press staff at the Small Business Administration
  • Law clerks for federal and Supreme Court judges
  • Peace Corps volunteers
  • Presidential Management Fellow
  • Military service, Judge Advocate General
  • Positions on presidential and congressional campaigns

State and Local Government and Campaigns

  • Assistant State Attorney General
  • Deputy District Attorney
  • Public Defender
  • High School educator
  • Urban planner
  • Finance director for a state legislative campaign
  • Volunteer ambulance EMT
  • Mayoral Fellowship

Nonprofit Sector

  • International development at an NGO in Bangalore
  • Working at the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 national Latino led advocacy organizations
  • Think tank positions (Federalist Society, Cato, Brookings)
  • Working at a nonprofit residential facility for women leaving sex work and sex trafficking
  • Grant-making for the aging population (this person holds a MSW, which she attributes SPS for pursuing)
  • Mental health advocacy
  • Working on criminal justice system reform issues at city, county, and  state level
  • Tracking state-level policy and working with clients to communicate with their elected officials at all levels of government.
  • Policy Fellowship at Greenpeace


  • Pulitzer-Prize-winning Writer for The New Yorker
  • Reporter at Market Watch