• Introducing the White House Fellows Recruiting Campaign

    Sustaining the White House Fellowship is our shared responsibility. Now, more than at any time in the Program’s history, we need your active attention to identify, motivate, and mentor excellent candidates.

    The current polarization in our national politics has caused some talented individuals who might be qualified for the Fellowship to steer clear of Washington. For those who do seek a high-level government experience, new programs with White House linkages have emerged in recent years, including the Presidential Innovation Fellows, and the Presidential Leadership Scholars, to name just a few. While not equivalent to the White House Fellows, these programs have done an effective job of marketing. While some professional sectors, like the Armed Forces, continue to heed the annual call for WHF applications, others have fallen behind.

    Finally, the need for highly qualified applicants from under-represented groups persists – including women, minority communities, certain professional disciplines, and certain geographic regions of the country.

    Working in partnership with the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, we can communicate the benefits of the Program to emerging leaders from all parts of the American story. This will guarantee that each spring the Commission will have a large, vibrant, diverse pool of highly-qualified applicants from which to choose.


    1. We challenge every Fellow to be the inspiration and impetus for at least one qualified individual to apply. Take the initiative to seek out and speak directly with individuals who would be appropriate for the Program. You may already be mentoring someone you think would make an excellent White House Fellow. Go the extra mile to encourage them to toss their hat into the ring! As you reach out, take special care to present the WHF opportunity to those who’ve been underrepresented around the table at 712 Jackson Place.

    2. Tap your networks. In fact, not just your own, but those of your family and friends. Circulate stories, articles, and advertisements for the program on social media. We have several ads on our recruiting page that you can readily download and share. Work with school alumni associations, professional societies, civic groups, faith communities, etc., to introduce the Program, and then connect with promising individuals who emerge.

    3. Participate in recruiting events. In fact, help organize recruiting events. Wondering how to put one together? Check out the handbook we’ve developed. Everything you need to set up a WHF Recruiting event is right here.

    4. Keep at it! To build pipelines of promising applicants, we need your sustained effort. Recruiting is not a tactical one-year problem; it is an ongoing strategic challenge we must address each year.

    “The WHFFA’s ongoing effort to raise awareness about the Fellowship is critical as we work together to continue to spread the word about this non-partisan program.  White House Fellows are the best ambassadors for the program and, with their continued support, the Fellowship continues to reflect the best of American service and leadership.”   – Elizabeth Pinkerton, Director, PCWHF

    Your actions to encourage a broad range of highly qualified applicants to apply each year will help ensure the program remains vibrant and vital going forward. We need your help, on behalf of the WHF program, to ensure the President’s Commission receives a broad cross-section of applicants each year from which to curate the members of each class.

    For those WHF alumni who might disagree with particular policies of the current administration, may we respectfully suggest that the best way to ensure all policy perspectives are considered is to have people with different policy perspectives in the room during the discussion. Your recruiting efforts will be crucial to ensuring those voices are in the room. By dedicating ourselves to this important mission, we will help identify the White House Fellows of 2020 and beyond.  And we’ll be investing in the renewal of our community and its capacity to serve the nation, as John Gardner challenged us to do.

    Finally, it is important to point out that the administration strongly supports the White House Fellows program, and that our working relationship with the President’s Commission has never been stronger. We are all one team, and we all want to see the continued and enduring success of the White House Fellows program.

    We challenge every Fellow to be the inspiration and impetus for at least one qualified individual to apply.

    posted: April 9, 2019
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