Emerson Hunger Fellowship


National deadline:  January 6, 2015

Eligibility and selection criteria:

  • Commitment to social justice
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Commitment to anti-racism
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Flexibility and ability to adjust to new situations
  • Creativity and initiative in problem solving
  • Willingness to learn from experts in the field, and commitment to the search for new models in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work

Award summary and conditions: The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, is a unique leadership development opportunity for motivated individuals seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty. Each year 16 to 20 participants are selected for this eleven-month program. Fellows are placed for half their term of service with urban and rural community-based organizations all over the country involved in fighting hunger at the local level, such as grass roots organizing groups, food banks, economic development agencies, local advocacy groups and faith-based organizations. They then move to Washington, DC to complete the year with national organizations involved in the anti-hunger and poverty movement, including national advocacy organizations, think tanks, and federal agencies. Through this unique program, the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program develops effective leaders with a deep understanding of hunger and poverty at both the local and national level that enables them to find innovative solutions and create the political will to end hunger.


  • $16,000 annual living allowance
  • Health insurance
  • Travel expenses
  • Housing during field placement
  • $3,500 end of service award
  • $4,000 housing subsidy in D.C.
  • Relocation subsidies
  • Connection to an extensive community of Hunger Fellows and network of alumni, partners, and experts
  • Experience with community and policy leaders
  • Training / Mentoring / Leadership Development
  • Experience in project management

Application Materials:  Online application.  Applications should consist of one .pdf or MS Word document, three pages in length to be uploaded with your application form:

  • The first page should be your resume.   Please be certain to include your email address and phone number.
  • The second page your personal statement. Personal Statement: What values, principles, and personal factors (social, economic, and cultural) have shaped your interest in participating in the Emerson Hunger Fellows Program? What particular qualities, knowledge, experiences, and skills will you contribute to your field and policy placements? How do you expect this fellowship to contribute to your professional goals?
  • The third page your answers to the two short essay questions:
    • What role do you believe the government plays or should play in ending hunger?
    • How have your community work and/or general experiences changed your perspective on poverty over time?

Two letters of recommendation: Please ask your recommenders to evaluate your written and oral communication skills, demonstrated leadership qualities or experience, and professional skills, if applicable. At least one letter should be from a supervisor (as opposed to a professor or advisor). Letters should include a telephone number and email address, and should be sent by the recommender via email to fellows@hungercenter.org, via fax to 202-547-7575, or via post to: Emerson Selection Committee
Congressional Hunger Center
400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite G100
Washington, D.C. 20001

Faculty representative: Keith Raether

National committee interview: Yes, via telephone and/or in person

Timeline:  Semifinalist selection will be complete by mid-February; interviews will be scheduled in Washington, D.C. in March; and final selection decisions will be made in April.

Contact: Jonathan Wogman
202/547-7022 ext 29


Congressional Hunger Center
Hall of the States Building
400 North Capitol Street, NW
Suite G100
Washington, D.C. 20001