The intensive work experience is the Fellowship's core. White House Fellows spend a year as full-time paid assistants to senior White House staff, the Vice President, Cabinet officers and other top-ranking government officials. Their assignments demand a capacity for learning quic kly and a willingness to work hard. Typically, Fellows write speeches, help draft and review proposed legislation, answer Congressional inquiries, chair meetings, and conduct briefings.
In addition to their work assignments, the Fellows take part in an educational program that supplements their work and gives them the opportunity to study and travel as a group. Through a series of off-the-record meetings with senior government officials, journalists, community and military leaders, business executives, artists and scholars, the program exposes Fellows to a wide range of national and international issues and opinions.
Established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, the White House Fellowship was created as a truly bipartisan program. It has strictly maintained this tradition during both Republican and Democratic administrations and, through the cross-fertilization of ideas and experience, has enriched the practice of public policy for over three decades.
Since its founding, some 31 classes and over 400 women have served as White House Fellows. They hail from all walks of life and professional pursuits -- attorneys, physicians, engineers, scientists, academicians, businessmen and -- women, farmers, authors and journalists, artists and musicians, and military and police officers. The program is fulfilling its charter promise: to give superbly qualified Americans "a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of the society, a vision of greatness for the society, and a sense of responsibility for bringing that greatness to reality."
(Photo: White House Fellow Reginald Robinson)
"The White House Fellowship has given me an unmatched opportunity to acquire insights about the complex working of government at the highest levels. I will always feel a special pride in having served in the office of the first female Attorney General of the United States, and I am grateful to the program for providing me with that experience."
-- Reginald Robinson, 1993-94
(Photo: Former Fellow Bobbie Kilberg)
"The opportunity to observe the decision-making process and to participate in the development of administration policies was the determining factor for me in following a career path that has focused on public service."
-- Bobbie Kilberg, 1969-70