Leadership in Government Fellowship

Leadership in Government Fellowship

The Open Society Foundations’ Leadership in Government Fellowship Program was founded in 2016 to support former senior-level government staff in the United States and its territories who have recently left public service and have played a significant role in advancing social change from within government in the United States and its territories at the local, state, or federal levels. In 2017, the Open Society's U.S. Programs will recruit for our second class of fellows.

We are interested in public sector leaders that have a deep interest in using this fellowship opportunity to reflect on their time in government and to undertake a project that advances policy ideas and inserts their unique perspectives about making change from within government into the public dialogue. The fellowship is part of a larger effort within the U.S. Programs and the Open Society Foundations to invest in new voices that inform and challenge our collective thinking about advancing open society in the United States and its territories. Please see the fellowship guidelines for more information on the grant making program and how to apply.

Fellows will receive a stipend (in a general range of $90,000 to $130,000) depending on work experience, seniority, and percentage of time committed to the project, which will range from 12 to 18 months in duration. 

Information on the inaugural class of Leadership in Government Fellows can be found here.

Eligibility Criteria

All projects must relate to one or more of U.S. Programs' four central goals: justice system reform (including drug policy), strengthening democratic practice, equality for racial minorities and immigrants, and economic advancement. Projects can focus on a particular issue or cut across these broad areas of interest. Please carefully review the complete guidelines for more details on the fellowship requirements. 

Purpose and Priorities

A project might identify a problem in the implementation of policy that has yet to be fully recognized or discussed, offer new strategies on how to work with government and advocate for policy change, or highlight a different approach for legislative or executive action. We strongly encourage applications for projects that offer unique insights and perspective into how government implements programs and policies with an eye towards their effect on low-income communities, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, LGBTQ, women, and those otherwise historically marginalized communities in the United States and its territories.   

We strongly encourage applications from people who see themselves serving as change agents within government again in the future or are looking to apply their public service knowledge and experience to an advocacy career. People of all political parties, ideologies and levels of government (i.e., city, county, tribal, state, federal) are encouraged to apply.

Applicants who are uncertain whether some aspect of their proposed project fits within the parameters of the Leadership in Government Fellowship guidelines may submit a brief email inquiry before proceeding with the full application to [email protected].

Please note that grants to fellows are considered public information and the fellow’s name and project description will be included in the Open Society Foundations' tax returns, as per IRS regulations.