Pew Leadership Year

National deadline:  The Pew Charitable Trust will not be offering any Pew Leadership Year fellowships for the 2013-14 year.

Eligibility requirements:

  • completion of a bachelor or advanced degree from December 2013 through August 2014.
  • Individuals who studied the following areas are strongly encouraged to apply: economics, political science, environmental science, health science, communications, journalism or public policy.
  • must have the legal right to work in the United States at the time of applying to the program.

Award summary and conditions:  The Pew Leadership Year provides individuals who are dedicated to building a leadership career in the public or nonprofit sectors with hands-on experience in solving today’s most challenging problems. By applying a rigorous, analytical approach to public policy advocacy, research, government relations and communications, Pew Leadership Year participants gain invaluable perspective on developing fact-based solutions to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.

Called “fellows,” Pew Leadership Year participants have recently completed an undergraduate or advanced degree and serve in full-time, paid positions. Individuals selected for the program start in September and continue working through August of the following year. Fellows are asked to commit to the entire duration of the program. All positions are based in the Washington, D.C. office.

Fellows develop valuable professional skills while making important contributions to Pew’s work. They learn and hone abilities that help them thrive during the Pew Leadership Year and in subsequent career choices. Participants work with a diverse group of Pew professionals on critical public policy issues, which may include:

• global and/or U.S. land conservation
• domestic and international ocean conservation
• clean energy policy
• federal banking regulations
• financial reform
• state fiscal issues
• election initiatives
• public safety
• early childhood development and health

Each fellow focuses on one discipline - advocacy/policy, research or communications - within one of four departments: the Pew Environment Group, Pew Center on the States, Pew Health Group or Philanthropic Partnership Group. While immersed in one area of Pew’s work, participants have ample visibility into programs across the organization and are invited and encouraged to attend professional and leadership development seminars.

Over the course of the year, fellows may:
• assist in the research, planning, strategy formulation and execution of a multi-state advocacy campaign;
• collect, compile and analyze data;
• reach out to policy makers and coalition partners to coordinate work and promote various issues and campaigns;
• help prepare for press and other events by drafting press releases, creating fact sheets and reaching out to key media outlets;
• track legislation and media coverage and research public officials’ records and statements;
• conduct original research and writing projects.

Application process: electronic

Application materials:

  • Applications for the Pew Leadership Year are available on the Pew Leadership Year Web site and must be submitted through our online application system. Applicants may submit a resume for no more than two Pew Leadership Year positions.
  • Applicants are required to submit a résumé, cover letter, and essay. Cover letters should explain the reasons for applying to Pew’s one-year leadership program and for choosing the area of interest. The essay should be no longer than 400 words on the following subject:  Describe an experience that demonstrates your leadership skills and that illustrates your ability to work independently and as part of a team. Please explain the objective of the effort, the role you played, a specific contribution you made to the effort’s success and what, in hindsight, you would do differently.
  • Applicants are encouraged to describe notable coursework, research projects, work experience and/or volunteer activities that have prepared them to pursue a career in public policy or the nonprofit sector.
  • Applicants selected for interviews are required to submit school transcripts and recommendation letters when notified.

Faculty Representative:  Keith Raether

National committee interview:
  Yes.  First-round interviewees will be contacted in late May.  The first round of interviews will be conducted by telephone.  We expect to invite finalist candidates to our Washington, DC, office for a last round of interviews in the first two weeks of June.  Arrangements may be made for a video-conference interview in lieu of an in-office interview.  Please note that applicants are responsible for any travel expenses.

Selection process:  The criteria for assessment of applicants includes:
•    Evidence of superior academic achievement.
•    Demonstrated analytical skills through academic studies and/or work experience, including an ability to synthesize large amounts of information and focus quickly on the essence of an issue.
•    Strong commitment to producing measurable results.
•    Demonstrated leadership capabilities.
•    Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear, effective manner for a general audience.
•    Demonstrated interest through academic study and/or prior full-time or part-time work experience in building a leadership career.
•    Demonstrated understanding of policy, research and organizational issues.
•    Ability to perform substantive research.
•    Results-oriented style with a focus on process and achievement.
•    Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization.
•    Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and manage productive relationships with colleagues.

Announcement date:  Offers will be extended in late June/early July.

Contact information: