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Offer: Call for Applications: White House Fellowship (for US Citizens only)

Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows program is one of America's most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. White House Fellowships offer exceptional young men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the federal government.

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Selected individuals typically 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 renowned 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.

Engagement in the work of the federal government lies at the heart of a White House Fellowship. Work assignments can offer unparalleled experience working with senior administration officials on ever changing issues and challenges. This work often requires long hours and, at times, unglamorous duties that require as much perseverance as ability on the Fellows' part.

White House Fellows typically spend a year as full-time, paid assistants to senior White House Staff, the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Their assignments demand a capacity for quick learning and a willingness to work hard, often on issues outside of their area of expertise. Responsibilities range from chairing interagency meetings and designing and implementing federal policies, to drafting speeches for cabinet secretaries to representing their agencies on Capitol Hill and in international treaty negotiations. Job assignments are made by the Director of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships in consultation with agency officials on the basis of interviews conducted during "Placement Week".

Fellows receive a salary and benefits from the agency for which they work. Salary is paid uniformly at the federal pay grade GS-14, step 3. White House Fellows cannot receive compensation from any other source during their year of government service.

In return for the privilege of participating in the Fellowship year, Fellows are expected to apply what they have learned by contributing to the nation as greater leaders in their respective communities, professions, and in public service. Fellows are expected to return to their former or new occupations more experienced in public policy decision-making and better prepared to contribute to national affairs, thereby fulfilling the mission of the program.

Education Program
The Education Program is an important aspect of the Fellowship experience, and increases the Fellows’ exposure to renowned leaders from the private and public sectors. Each class meets with dozens of individuals including Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House officials, Members of Congress, military leaders, journalists, historians, business executives, leaders from non-government organizations, and foreign heads of state. These sessions generally take place during the week, and are off-the-record, lively and frank.

Another component of the Education Program involves the study of U.S. policy in action across the country and abroad, during several policy study trips throughout the year. White House Fellows have traveled throughout the United States, most recently to New York City, Seattle, Chicago and Detroit to study a range of issues such as education, homeland security and transportation, energy, economic development, local governance, and health care.

Fellows have also had the opportunity to travel internationally. Fellows have traveled to Turkey, Poland, and Russia to study emerging democracies and international security. Fellows have also traveled to South Africa and Botswana to learn about the African Growth and Opportunity Act and HIV/AIDS issues. And Fellows have studied human rights issues in China and Vietnam, and have traveled to India and Pakistan to study nuclear policies and the issues surrounding the disputed Kashmir territory.

Throughout the year, Fellows have several opportunities to engage with the U.S. military to broaden their understanding of military service. Fellows have visited the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, where they traveled by helicopter and by Assault Amphibian Vehicles to view a Platoon live fire exercise of Cobra SIMCAS followed by a lunch of Meals-Ready-to-Eat. Fellows have also landed on aircraft carriers at sea and have flown on a KC-135 while observing an aerial refueling of an F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Community Service
Community service is a key component of the White House Fellows program. Fellows have a strong legacy of service to their communities and participate in community service projects throughout their year in Washington, D.C. Fellows have helped build homes with Habitat for Humanity, mentored high school students, assisted WWII veterans at local events, participated in the clean-up of local schools, and tutored young students before school.

Perhaps the most enriching component of the program is class fellowship, which often results in enduring friendships. Alumni convene at yearly meetings in Washington, D.C., and eagerly welcome new Fellows into one of the most prestigious networks of professionals and leaders in the nation.

Selection Process

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.

The selection process is very competitive. There can be as many as 1,000 applicants for the eleven to nineteen fellowships. The White House Fellows Program office processes the applications and former Fellows screen the applications to identify the most promising candidates. Approximately 100 of the most qualified applicants are selected to be interviewed by eight to ten regional panels, which are composed of prominent local citizens. Based on the results of their interviews, the regional panels select approximately thirty candidates to proceed as national finalists.

All national finalists are required to undergo comprehensive background investigations to ensure that they qualify for the security clearance necessary for their fellowship work assignments. Every year, the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, which is composed of approximately thirty outstanding citizens who represent a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and professions, selects a class of White House Fellows. Members of the Commission are appointed by the President; some have served through several administrations and some are former Fellows. During selection weekend, the President's Commission on White House Fellowships interviews finalists at a location near Washington, D.C. After spending selection weekend interviewing, interacting with, and observing the national finalists, the Commission recommends those individuals it finds most qualified for the fellowship to the President for appointment as White House Fellows.


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 and be working in their chosen professions.
There are no formal age restrictions. However, the Fellowship program was created to give selected Americans the experience of government service early in their careers.

The Commission awards Fellowships on a strict non-partisan basis, and encourages balance and diversity in all aspects of the program.

The online application will be available on November 1, 2011 and must be submitted with supporting documents by January 13, 2012 at 5:59 PM (EST).

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