Apply to be a White House Fellow

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White House Fellows gain first-hand experience in the process of governing the Nation and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society.

Founded in 1964 by Lyndon B. Johnson, the White House Fellows program is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. White House Fellowships offer exceptional emerging leaders first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal government.

Selected individuals typically spend a year working as full-time, paid fellows to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with leaders from the private and public sectors and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally. Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis.

Purpose

The mission statement adopted in 1964 by the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships:

“The purpose of the White House Fellows program is to provide gifted and highly motivated emerging leaders with some first-hand experience in the process of governing the Nation and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society.”

It is essential to the healthy functioning of our system that we have in the non-governmental sector a generous supply of leaders who have an understanding— gained first hand— of the challenges that our national government faces. At a time when people feel increasingly removed and isolated from the centers of power and decision-making, such leaders can help their fellow citizens comprehend the process by which the Nation is governed. The White House Fellows Program is designed to give superbly qualified young Americans precisely those experiences.

The White House Fellowship has been and continues to be a non-partisan program. This tradition has been strictly maintained during both Republican and Democratic administrations and, through the cross-fertilization of ideas and experience, has resulted in an enriched practice of public policy for more than five decades.

History

Declaring that “a genuinely free society cannot be a spectator society,” President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the establishment of the White House Fellows Program in the East Room of the White House in October 1964. Prompted by the suggestion of John W. Gardner, then President of the Carnegie Corporation, President Johnson’s intent was to draw individuals of exceptionally high promise to Washington for one year of personal involvement in the process of government.

The mission of the non-partisan White House Fellows Program, as envisioned by President Johnson, was, in his words, “to give the Fellows first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” In return for the Fellowship year, President Johnson expected the Fellows to “repay that privilege” when they left by “continuing to work as private citizens on their public agendas.” He hoped that the Fellows would contribute to the nation as future leaders.

Notable Alumni

Notable alumni include award-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Former Secretary of State and General Colin Powell, and more.

Within the Biden Administration, notable White House Fellow alumni include Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security John Tien, Principal Deputy National Security Adviser Jon Finer, Deputy Assistant to the President and NSC Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs Dr. Kurt Campbell, and Senior Advisor for Equity to the White House COVID-19 Response Team Dr. Cameron Webb.

Candidates with a record of remarkable professional achievement, evidence of leadership skills, a demonstrated commitment to public service, and the necessary team-oriented mindset are strongly encouraged to http://apply. The program staff is available to provide assistance and answer questions about the White House Fellowship at whitehousefellows@who.eop.gov

To learn more about the alumni of the White House Fellowship program, please visit the White House Fellows Foundation and Association website.

The program staff is available to provide assistance and answer questions about the White House Fellowship. The staff can be reached by email at whitehousefellows@who.eop.gov

To learn more about the alumni of the White House Fellowship program, please visit the White House Fellows Foundation and Association http://website

https://www.whitehouse.gov/get-involved/fellows/apply/

The selection process is very competitive. The White House Fellows Program office processes the applications, and former Fellows screen the applications, to identify the most promising candidates. Approximately one hundred of the most qualified applicants are selected to be Regional Finalists and are interviewed by eight to ten regional panels, which are composed of prominent local citizens. Chosen candidates then proceed to Selection Weekend for the final round of interviews.

The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships awards Fellowships on a strictly non-partisan basis and encourages balance and diversity in all aspects of the program.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Employees of the Federal government are not eligible unless they are career military personnel.
  • Applicants must have completed their undergraduate education by the time they begin the application process.
  • If you have additional questions about the program, please contact our program office at whitehousefellows@who.eop.gov  If you encounter technical difficulties with your application, please contact WHFApplication@opm.gov

SELECTION CRITERIA

Selection as a White House Fellow is based on a combination of the following criteria:

  • A record of remarkable professional achievement early in one’s career.
  • Evidence of leadership skills and the potential for further growth.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public service.
  • The skills to succeed at the highest levels of the Federal government, and the ability to work effectively as part of a team.

All these qualities combined with the strength of one’s character, a positive attitude, and the ability to work well with others are taken into consideration when selecting a class of White House Fellows.

RECOMMENDATION LETTERS

Applicants will be asked to submit the names and email addresses of three recommenders (and one alternate recommender) within the application portal. We encourage you to complete this section of the application as early as possible to ensure that recommenders have ample time to submit letters of recommendation.

We also strongly encourage you to provide diverse letters of recommendation (i.e. academia, professional, community service). It is best to have recommendations from individuals who know you well and can fully answer the questions that are asked in the application. For example, a recommendation letter from a prominent person is not helpful if that individual cannot speak about your background and character.

At least one recommendation should be from an individual that can speak to your professional competence and accomplishments in your field. At least one recommendation should come from someone with knowledge of your community and civic activities. In addition, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor, if applicable. A recommendation from a prior supervisor is acceptable, but a current supervisor is preferred.

Please take caution when submitting your recommenders’ information to avoid mistakes, as this section of the application will be locked once you submit the information and the only way to make changes is through Technical Services at WHFApplication@opm.gov.

Your recommender will receive automated instructions on how to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf within 24 hours. If they do not receive this email, please contact Technical Services at WHFApplication@opm.gov; please be sure to provide the name and email of the recommender who did not receive the instructions.

Please contact the program office at whitehousefellows@who.eop.gov

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