White House Fellows
|SPRING 2002||VOLUME 26|
|Letter From the Director|
|White House Fellows Join Nation In Celebrating the Life of John W. Gardner|
|President Announces New Commissioners|
|Colonias Domestic Study Policy Trip|
|2001-2002 Class Enthusiastically Embraces Community Service|
|WHF Alumni Visit Vietnam|
|Where are They Now?|
Selection Process is a Success
In an unusual year and a challenging set of circumstances, we have selected thirty outstanding National Finalists. As you know, the White House mail service was stopped in September and did not begin again until March because of the Anthrax threat. While we took all possible steps to inform applicants of a new mailing address, many applicants still addressed their application to our White House address. Consequently, we still are receiving applications as I write this article and I expect to be receiving them for several more months. As many applicants realized they had not received a card from us verifying our receipt of their application, they called us and we asked them to fax their application and re-send their references. We had all faxed applications read by alumni up until eight weeks after the deadline. Several applicants were selected as Regional Finalists and one was added to a Regional Panel after we already had begun our Regional Panels and is now a National Finalist. The good news is that in spite of these challenges, applications were read, Regional Panels ran well and we have thirty great National Finalists.
I would like to thank all of the alumni who served in Reading Groups as well as those who came in at the last minute to read the faxed applications: Stuart Lemle ('77-'78), Dennis Murphy ('92-93), John Borling ('74-'75), David Moore ('96-'97), Kathryn Allen ('00-'01), Kathy Ward ('00-01) and Jack LeCuyer ('77-78). I also want to thank all of the alumni who served on our Regional Panels. The commitment shown to the program is greatly appreciated.
Selection Weekend is June 20-23 this year. I am pleased to announce that we have 14 new Commissioners who will be joining us. The full list of Commissioners is printed in this newsletter. We all look forward to our second (and first for some) Selection Weekend where we will choose the 2002-2003 class of White House Fellows.
Program Enhancements Are in Place
As most of you are aware, during my first eight months, I undertook an analysis of the White House Fellows Program, which included challenging every assumption about the Program. My objective was to analyze all of the issues and put in place the best program to meet the mission of the White House Fellows Program. This is a fluid process and will continue over the next several years. I completed the first phase of our work and wanted to provide you with a brief overview.
The analysis of the Program was based on the following:
Not surprisingly, the efforts outlined above highlighted the many divergent alumni opinions of the Program and its mission. The research indicated that most alumni's experiences depended on their Director, their Principal, the President, and the make-up of their class. Therefore, when applicants seek information from former Fellows, they hear varied versions of what the program entails and thus have different expectations of the Program.
The results of my initial analysis indicate the need for clarity about the mission of the program and the roles and responsibilities of the Director, Fellows, Regional Panelists, Commissioners, Principals, and alumni. It was also apparent that there was a strong need for clarity on the actual Program itself and what is entailed for a Fellow from the application process through finding a job after the Fellow leaves. Research also indicated the need for careful selection and Program guidelines to minimize the occurrence of the "errant Fellow" who may inflict damage to the Program through poor performance or unethical behavior.
During the course of the analysis, I implemented a number of enhancements to address the larger issues outlined in the paragraph above. The results of these enhancements implemented to date are:
The specific enhancements that I have made to the program were provided to the WHFF Association Board. I would be happy to provide them to anyone else who is interested. While we still have more work to do, I believe much progress has been made.
Public Relations and Recruiting Plan is Completed
We are ready to begin implementing our Public Relations and Recruiting plan. We are in the process of arranging to have much of our public relations and recruiting work done by an outside agency on a pro bono basis. I will provide more detail on our specific plans in the next newsletter. I would like to thank those alumni on our public relations and recruiting advisory committees for their help. In particular, I would like to thank Leigh Warner ('89-'90) who has put much time and thought into helping us put together a strong plan.
Through Carlos Del Torro ('98-'99), we have secured, at no cost, the use of the former presidential yacht Sequoia. We plan to have a reception on the Sequoia for Principals and the current class of Fellows this summer and a reception next fall for Principals and the 2002-2003 class of Fellows.
White House Fellows Program Office Upgrades
I have accepted the kind offer from Scalamandre to donate to the White House Fellows office new curtains, guest chairs and new fabric for our conference table chairs. As most of you know, Scalamandre has helped to furnish the Oval office and offices in the United States Capital. We also have secured a new four-pedestal reproduction conference table that is more fitting for the high caliber of the White House Fellows program. We also recently painted the offices and are getting new carpeting installed. Finally, we have re-arranged the book shelves and have some memorabilia and photographs on display for all to enjoy. We plan to invite alumni to come visit our new offices once the re-decoration is completed.
Finally, I hope you all read and enjoy the new column we have started for current Fellows to tell you about their year. The 2001-2002 class continues to excel and is serving the White House Fellows program well.