White House Fellows

White House Fellows building at 712 Jackson Place in Washington, D.C.

The White House Fellows program is a non-partisan federal fellowship established via executive order by President Lyndon B. Johnson in October 1964. The fellowship is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service, offering exceptional Americans first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. The fellowship was founded based upon a suggestion from John W. Gardner, then the president of Carnegie Corporation and later the sixth secretary of health, education, and welfare.

White House fellows spend a year working as a full-time, paid fellow 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. In some years, Fellows may also have the opportunity to study U.S. policy in action domestically, and potentially internationally. The selection process is very competitive and fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis. Each year after the application period closes, the staff of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships (PCWHF) processes the applications and former fellows screen the applications to identify approximately one hundred of the most promising candidates. These selected individuals are then interviewed by several regional panels, which are composed of prominent local citizens. Based on the results of these interviews, the regional panelists and the director of the PCWHF select approximately thirty candidates to proceed as national finalists. Of the approximately 1,000 applications received,[1] the President's Commission on White House Fellowships will interview those finalists and recommend between eleven and nineteen individuals to the president for a one-year appointment as fellows. Selected civilians serve as Schedule A presidential appointees,[2] while military members will be assigned to duty at the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, 712 Jackson Place, Washington, D.C.[3]

Once fellows complete their year of service, they join hundreds of other fellows as alumni of the program. The White House Fellows Foundation and Association is the organization that represents the White House Fellows alumni efforts, leadership events and fundraising activities.

  1. ^ "Federal Register Vol. 60, No. 163" (PDF). govinfo.gov. August 23, 1995.
  2. ^ "Which types of political appointments are subject to OPM's pre-hiring approval? - OPM.gov". U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2023-02-06.

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