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 Home > Government > White House Fellows

Selection Process

Vice President Cheney speaks at lectern. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stands next to him. White House photo by Karen Ballard. The selection process is very competitive. There can be as many as 1,000 applicants for the 11 to 19 fellowships. Candidates are judged on their professional, academic and other accomplishments that indicate they have demonstrated remarkable achievement in the early stages of their career. They also are judged on their current leadership skills and evidence of growth potential in those skills. In addition, a strong commitment to public service, exceptional writing ability, and strong organizational and management skills are required for a successful year as a special assistant to the highest-level government officials. All of these qualities, combined with others such as strength of character, a positive attitude, and the ability to work well with others, are taken into consideration in selecting a class of Fellows.

Standards for the selection of White House Fellows are set by members of The President's Commission on White House Fellowships, 20 to 30 outstanding citizens representing a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and professions. Members of the commission are appointed by the President; some have served through several administrations and some are former fellows. The commission upholds the fellowship program's strictly non-partisan tradition.

Completed applications are processed by officials of the White House Fellows Program and screened by former fellows from all over the country. Approximately 100 of the most promising applicants are selected for interviews by 8 to 10 regional panels. The panels are composed of leading citizens from each region. Based on the results of these interviews, candidates are selected to be national finalists.

All national finalists are required to undergo comprehensive background investigations to ensure that they qualify for the security clearance necessary for their fellowship work assignments. National finalists are interviewed over three-and-a-half days at a location near Washington, DC, by members of The President's Commission. The Commission then recommends to the President those individuals it finds most qualified for the fellowship.

The White House Fellows Program Washington, D.C. 20415
c/o O.P.M. - Shelia Coates 1900 E Street, NW, Room B431
Washington, D.C. 20415
Phone (if sending by express mail) 202-606-1818
Internet: Facsimile
(202) 395-6179

White House Fellows
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Class of 2005-2006
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