2006-2007 Fellows meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator R. David Paulison at FEMA headquarters; photo by Bill Koplitz.
The education program is intended to enhance the leadership and other learning experiences in the work assignment. The education program increases the Fellows' exposure to knowledge from renowned leaders from the private and public sectors. Each class meets with dozens of individuals including Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Secretaries, senior White House officials, Members of Congress, military leaders, journalists, historians, business executives, and foreign heads of state. These sessions generally take place over breakfast or lunch during the work week, and are off-the-record, lively and frank.
Another component of the education program involves the study of U.S. policy in action across the country and abroad, during several policy study trips throughout the year. Fellows visit military bases to broaden civilian understanding of military service. White House Fellows have visited many countries over the years.
Recently, Fellows traveled to Turkey, Poland, and Russia to study emerging democracies and international security. Also, Fellows traveled to South Africa and Botswana to learn about the African Growth and Opportunity Act and HIV/AIDS issues. Fellows also traveled to China and Vietnam to study a market economy in communist countries and human rights issues. Fellows also have toured India and Pakistan to study nuclear policies and the disputed Kashmir territory. Fellows have flown over the Panama Canal in helicopters and witnessed the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. In the Colonias of Texas and in maquiladores in Mexico, Fellows have examined flood issues. Fellows also have met with the U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs Officials for a demonstration of the latest technologies used to prevent illegal contraband from crossing into the U.S. In Miami, Fellows have studied drug interdiction and anti-terrorism issues.
Fellows have landed on an aircraft carrier at sea and have been briefed on issues of military preparedness. Fellows have visited the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, where they traveled by helicopter with Cobra escort and by Assault Amphibian Vehicles to view a Platoon live fire exercise of Cobra SIMCAS followed by a lunch of Meals-Ready-to-Eat. At Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, Fellows have flown on a KC-135 to observe an aerial refueling of an F-16 Fighting Falcon on their way to a Capstone demonstration of the Air Force's Firepower.