Sean Andrew Chen '14 MPA '18 of Martinsville, N.J., an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar, began his Princeton University career at the School of Architecture. After a leave of absence to attend the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, he returned to Princeton as a Woodrow Wilson School concentrator, graduating with an AB in Public and International Affairs and certificates in Environmental and Urban Studies.
Chen studied music at The Juilliard School before attending Princeton. As an undergraduate he was a member of the Princeton University Orchestra and wrote for the national urban affairs magazine Next City. His undergraduate research work focused on urban economic development, infrastructure finance, and telecom infrastructure.
For the summer of 2011, Chen received a Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award with which he pursued a photojournalism project centered on contemporary American identity. Chen’s summer internship, as the 2014 Frederick P. Hitz ’61 Scholar, was at the White House Council on Strong Cities; Strong Communities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Chen spent his SINSI fellowship at the Institute for Water Resources at the United States Army Corps of Engineers, dealing with urban resilience, GIS, and economic analysis of infrastructure both domestically and internationally. During his time at the Corps, he worked on economic and hydrological modeling for shared vision planning in northern Thailand, urban flood risk management in Denver, conflict resolution with Tribal governments along the Missouri River Basin and strategic planning in Washington D.C. He returned to WWS in the fall of 2017, after an intensive summer course in Mandarin in Taiwan, to complete his MPA, focusing on economic development, urban planning and policy