Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows program is America's most prestigious program 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. Fellowships are awarded on a strictly non-partisan basis.
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.
- 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.