Public Affairs/Public Service Fellowships

The following list includes a sample of post-graduate fellowships in Public Affairs/ Public Service. This is not intended to be a complete list but instead should help one get started in their research of gap year opportunities.

American Jewish Committee – The Helen and Martin Kimmel Internship Program
College and graduate students are encouraged to apply for volunteer internships year-round at The American Jewish Committee. Interns have the unique opportunity to get an insider’s look at the work of AJC in areas such as diplomatic outreach, Israel advocacy, intergroup and interethnic relations, and public relations.

Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Fellowship
The APAICS Fellowship provides exceptional graduates and young professionals with an opportunity to work on policy issues as full-time staff members (9-month position) of a Congressional office, Federal agency, or non-profit community organization.

California Capital Fellows Program
The Center administers four fellowship programs: Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship, Executive Fellowship, Judicial Administration Fellowship, and California Senate Fellows. These programs, known collectively as the Capital Fellows Programs, are nationally recognized. The 18 Assembly Fellows, 18 Senate Fellows, 18 Executive Fellows and 10 Judicial Administration Fellows receive an outstanding opportunity to engage in public service and prepare for future careers, while actively contributing to the development and implementation of public policy in California.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Each year the Endowment offers 8-10 one-year fellowships to uniquely qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past academic year. Carnegie Junior Fellows work as research assistants to the Endowment’s senior associates. Those who have begun graduate studies are not eligible for consideration.

Charles G. Koch Associates Program
The Koch Associate Program is a challenging job opportunity for professionals who are passionate about free-market ideas, and want to become more effective at advancing liberty throughout their careers. The aim is to develop the capabilities of the Associates through the program by providing management training, professional development, and the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their career potential. While in the program, each Associate works four days a week in a full-time position at a reputable non-profit organization. Job opportunities are as diverse as Associates and range from policy research to communication and public relations.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellowship
This Fellowship Program offers talented Latinos, who have earned a bachelor’s degree within two years of the program start date, the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at the national level in the public policy area of their choice. Fellows have the opportunity to work in areas such as international affairs, economic development, health and education policy, housing, or local government. Application Deadline: mid-January

Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs
The Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs is a full-time, nine-month, graduate-level experiential leadership training program that prepares diverse, intelligent, and committed individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena. Unconventional by traditional academic standards, the Fellows Program is rigorous and demanding, an unparalleled opportunity for personal and professional growth. The Fellows Program is offered in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and St. Louis.

Echoing Green Foundation Public Service Fellowships
Echoing Green is a private foundation that applies a venture capital approach to philanthropy. Through its Public Service Fellowship, the Foundation finds, attracts, and invests in a diverse group of emerging social entrepreneurs who plan to start up and lead innovative, replicable, and sustainable public service projects and organizations. The Fellowship provides a two-year award of $60,000, health benefits, and an online connectivity stipend. Because Echoing Green supports new non-profit organizations, the Foundation expects its Fellows to raise additional funds to support their work. In addition to the monetary award, Echoing Green adds value to the programs and people it funds by providing and making available technical assistance and support and by building a network of public service leaders who are committed to sharing their experience and knowledge with each other. Echoing Green accepts applications from individuals who are 18 years or older; have an innovative, original idea; are committed to working full time on their project for at least two years; and are in the start-up phase of their project. Interested candidates should contact Echoing Green for more information.

Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Young Fellows Program
FCNL Young Fellows spend 11 months working in Washington, DC, with key staff members to build expertise in advocacy from a public interest perspective. The program is full-time and paid a subsistence-level salary with benefits. Fellows work under the title “program assistant” and work directly with FCNL lobbyists and other senior staff, gaining first-hand knowledge of the legislative process and the organizing and communications work that is necessary for policy change.
Application deadline typically early February

Institute for Women’s Policy Research – Marian K. Chamberlain Fellowship
The Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow works as a general research assistant on a variety of research projects and reports. Research tasks may include reviewing literature; collecting, checking, and analyzing data; gathering information; and preparing reports and report graphics. Attending relevant Congressional briefings, policy seminars and meetings is also an integral part of the fellowship program.

MENAR Fellowship Program
The MENAR Fellowship Program is working to achieve this objective by offering one-year post-graduation fellowships for top graduates of American colleges at leading organizations in the Middle East and North Africa. The program offers these graduates an opportunity to engage with the people and institutions of the Middle East through high-impact, professional fellowships; provides service organizations with passionate young professionals who can forge a bridge between the U.S. and the region and aid in the region’s development; and fosters a new generation of U.S. leaders in service, politics, and policy who have experience with the challenges the region faces and the potential it holds.

NYC Urban Fellow 
The Urban Fellows Program is a highly selective, nine-month fellowship which combines work in Mayoral offices and City agencies with an intensive seminar series that explores current urban issues impacting public policy. Program participants are diverse and come from all over the country to work in New York City.

Scoville Peace Fellowship
The Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, established in 1987, is a highly-competitive national fellowship program that provides college graduates with the opportunity to gain a Washington perspective on key issues of peace and security. Twice yearly, the Fellowship’s Board of Directors selects a group of outstanding individuals to spend six to nine months in Washington. Supported by a stipend, the Fellows serve as full-time junior staff members at the participating organization of their choice. The program also arranges meetings for the Fellows with policy experts. Many former Scoville Fellows have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in international relations and related fields and taken prominent positions in the field of peace and security with public-interest organizations, the Federal Government, and in academia. Application deadline: early October

The J.W. Saxe Memorial Fund
Annually awards a small grant, based on need, to one or more college or university students in the United States involved in public service. The award enables students to gain practical experience in public service by taking a no-pay or low-pay job or internship during a summer or other term.

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program
The Rangel Program is a U.S. State Department program administered by Howard University that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. The program seeks individuals interested in helping to shape a freer, more secure, and prosperous world through formulating, representing, and implementing U.S. foreign policy. The Program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need. 

San Francisco Fellows Program
The mission of the San Francisco Fellows program is to foster community stewardship by preparing recent college graduates and young professionals for roles in public service and administration.

US PIRG Fellowship
As a U.S. PIRG fellow, you’ll gain the hands-on experience it takes to organize public support. You’ll build expertise on an important issue, such as transportation solutions, health care reform, or toxic pollution cleanup. You’ll conduct research, craft policy solutions, act as a spokesperson to the media, build coalitions, write grants, and recruit activists and members. So, when the health care lobbyists and Wall Street banks try to stand in the way of reform, you’ll have the skills and resources to meet them head-on. You’ll work alongside a senior mentor, and upon successful completion of the two-year program, you’ll be eligible for a leadership role within the organization.

White House Fellows Program
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. White House Fellows typically spend a year working as full-time, paid special assistants to senior White House Staff, the Vice President, 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. In return for the privilege of participating in the Fellowship year, Fellows are expected to repay the privilege by contributing to the Nation as future leaders. Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of remarkable professional achievement early in one’s career, evidence of leadership potential, a proven commitment to public service, and the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute successfully at the highest levels of the Federal government. Fellowships are awarded strictly on a non-partisan basis. The program has fostered a legacy of leadership, with nearly 600 alumni who are respected leaders. Alumni include Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, former CNN President Tom Johnson, and American Red Cross President Marsha Evans.