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Leadership in Government Fellowship


Open Society-U.S. will award individual grants to former senior-level government officials and staff who have played a significant role in advancing social change.


The Open Society Foundations’ Leadership in Government Fellowships Program was founded in 2016 to support former senior-level government staff in the United States who have recently left public service and have played a significant role in advancing social change from within government in the United States at the city, county, tribal, state, and federal levels. 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.

Fellows will receive a stipend in a general range of $110,000 to $150,000 depending on percentage of time committed to the project. Projects are either 12 or 18 months in duration. 

For information on the previous Leadership in Government Fellow cohorts, please visit the Past Fellows tab on this page.

Eligibility Criteria

The Leadership in Government Fellowships seek fellowship applicants who have served in senior-level, full-time government positions in the United States and its territories. Our ideal candidates are public servants who have recently completed their time in government (or within the last two years) or will have completed their term prior to the beginning of their fellowship and have served in the chief executive role or senior management of their agency or office.

Ideally, applicants see themselves serving as change agents within government in the future or are looking to apply their public service experience to an advocacy career. People of all political parties or ideologies are encouraged to apply, especially those who can challenge our thinking and approach to social change.

Successful applicants will demonstrate the following qualities: a keen interest in reflecting on their government service; a passion for solving problems and implementing policy; a desire to advance ideas beyond their former jurisdictions; and a desire to inject their work into the public dialogue. Applicants should also have an interest in engaging constructively with our grantee network, and in furthering Open Society—U.S.’s strategic goal of building and supporting a multi-racial democracy.

Applicants who are uncertain whether some aspect of their proposed project fits within the parameters of the Leadership in Government Fellowships guidelines may submit a brief email inquiry before proceeding with the full application, no later than January 24, 2023, to:

Please note 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.


Download and review the complete guidelines provided here in the attached PDF. Completed applications must be submitted by January 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. EST through the following. The System will begin accepting materials on November 18, 2022.

Applicants will have to provide basic contact information and answer questions about their government experience. Applicants will also submit a proposal of ten questions along with their resume. Once registered with the system, applicants can save their progress before submitting a final application.

Apply Here

Download Files

Download the complete guidelines.

Download the proposal cover page and narrative.

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