Kennedy
Fellows

DRIVING POLICY CHANGE

Public Policy Fellowship

We seek an exemplary professional, and/or a person experiencing disability, or a family member of someone with intellectual or developmental disabilities to serve as a 2024 Public Policy Fellow in Washington, DC. The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellowship is a one-year, full-time, intensive immersion experience in Washington, D.C. A link to the full announcement and the application process can be found by clicking “Learn More”.

PAST FELLOWS

George Jesien

1995

Executive Director, Association of University Centers on Disabilities (Retired)

Sue Swenson

1996

President, Inclusion International
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

Dan Mont

2003

CEO, and Co-Founder, Center for
Inclusive Policy

Sharon Lewis

2007

Principal, Health Management Associates

Lisa Pugh

2008

Newsmakers Host, WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network

Kimberly Knackstedt

2009

White House Disability Policy Director

Michael Gamel-McCormick

2010

Disability Policy Director, Office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)

Jake Cornett

2012

Executive Director,
Disability Rights Oregon

Scott Robertson

2013

Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor

Patricia Nobbie

2014

Disability Policy Engagement Director, Anthem, Inc.

Valerie Williams

2015

Director of the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

David Egan

2015

Author, IDD community member,
and IDD leader and advocate

Mary Schuh

2017

Research Associate Professor,
University of New Hampshire

Jackie Hubbard

2018

Attorney, Disability Law Center

Ashley White

2019

Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin

Montrel Tennessee

2022

Government of the District of Columbia Department on Disability Services

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation 2024 Public Policy Fellowship Program

We seek an exemplary professional, a person experiencing disability, or a family member of someone with intellectual or developmental disabilities to serve as a 2024 Public Policy Fellow in Washington, DC.

The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellowship is a one-year, full-time, intensive immersion experience. Fellows are assigned for a full year to actively participate in public policy development in the offices of a Member of Congress, a Congressional committee, or more rarely in a federal agency. The purpose of the Fellowship is to prepare emerging and established leaders to assume new public policy leadership roles at the state or national levels. The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellowship is a one-year, full-time, intensive immersion experience in Washington, D.C. During the year, Fellows will learn first-hand:

– how federal legislation is initiated, developed, and passed by Congress;
– how programs are administered and regulations promulgated by federal agencies; and
– how the organized disability community works to shape public policy for people with disabilities and their families.

Since its founding in 1946, the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation has supported the creation of practical programs to benefit persons with intellectual disabilities, their families and their communities. The Foundation has always worked with national leaders who understand both the promise and realities of the U.S.’s system of government. The need for skilled leadership in government, in organizations providing services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as public policy advocacy has never been greater. In response to this need, the Foundation initiated the Public Policy Fellowship Program. Fellows receive first-hand knowledge and experience in the development of public policy and the opportunity to participate in an advocacy-training workshop, national disability policy seminars and other learning opportunities.
The experience is a unique chance to understand the intersection of public policy, disability advocacy, and the political process and to establish connections with the broader community of disability advocates and policymakers. The purpose of the Fellowship is to prepare emerging leaders to assume leadership roles in the public policy arena at the state and/or national levels. During this one-year Fellowship, the successful applicant will learn how federal legislation is initiated, developed, and passed by the Congress, as well as how programs are administered, and regulated promulgated by federal agencies. Fellows also learn how the organized disability community works to shape public policy affecting people with disabilities and their families.

The coming year promises to be a challenging opportunity to participate in the policy development process as there a Presidential (and Congressional) election in November 2024. There are multiple issues before what will be the second session of the 118th Congress and with the administration. Issues in the presidential election will affect people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, communities and supportive organizations doing work with, and on behalf of, people with disabilities. Key legislation may include The Higher Education Act, The ABLE Act, SSI reallocation and Work Incentives reform, Keeping All Students Safe Act, and many briefings and hearings, all impacting the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and for their families. Several of these issues may be resolved prior to the opening of the second session of the 118th Congress being seated.
The successful applicant’s background will include distinguished involvement in efforts to improve the lives of persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities at the regional, state, or national level. Successful applicants will have demonstrated outstanding experience and accomplishment in at least one of the following areas:

1. State or national level advocacy for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families;
2. Health care, mental health care, employment, education, childcare, child welfare, law, community organizing, housing or development of inclusive community supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
3. Development of training programs for people with disabilities, families and communities and/or for the professionals who work with and for them;
4. Development or improvements of family support services, programs focused on increasing individual’s control of resources and decisions impacting their lives, technology in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and any other area of focus important to these Americans.
5. Enhancing the empowerment and influence of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through organized efforts and programs.

The expectation is that fellows will become future leaders in the area of inclusive community supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After their year in Washington, the Foundation expects former Kennedy Fellows will make significant contributions to policy and program development in their home state or another state and/or continue to advance public policy on the national level.

The program provides a one-year full-time exposure to the federal public policy making process and includes a stipend and modest relocation expenses. Selected fellows must be prepared to live in the Washington, DC area full-time during their fellowship year and to devote themselves full-time to the fellowship.

Application process and guidelines:

Applicants should submit a letter of application between 2 to no more than 4 pages in length, single spaced in 12-point font with 1 inch margins, stating their background and history in the field of services and supports to people with intellectual disabilities, interests and accomplishments to date, as well as what they hope to do with the knowledge and experience gained from the fellowship. They should also attach either a résumé detailing their work and educational experience or a summary of their involvement in the field along with three letters of support from people familiar with their work. Applications should
clearly show the candidate’s name, address, telephone number(s), and e-mail address on the first page.

APPLICATION
The sole method of application, including letters of support and résumé submission is via an online system that is located at https://jpkf.org/application-form/

Hard copies will not be accepted!

Letters of support should also be via a PDF file or a word file. Please make sure that each letter clearly specifies the candidate for which the letter is being submitted.
The application deadline for the 2024 fellowship is December 10, 2023 by 5:00 P.M. EST
The Foundation fellowship (s) will be awarded for the period beginning as early as January and running for one year, with the actual schedule subject to negotiation between the successful applicant and the Foundation.

Finalists will be invited to Washington in late 2023 or early 2024 to be interviewed by a distinguished panel of national Public Policy experts.

Should you have any questions please contact Steven M. Eidelman – Eidelman@jpkf.org Applications will only be accepted online at: https://jpkf.org/application-form/ Please do not send paper copies to the foundation.

Letters of support should be uploaded via a PDF file or a MS Word file. Please make sure that each letter clearly specifies the candidate for whom the letter is being submitted.

Finalists will be invited to Washington in late 2023 or early 2024 to be interviewed by a distinguished panel of national Public Policy experts.

Questions? Please contact Steven M. Eidelman Eidelman@jpkf.org

Address letters of application to:
Public Policy Fellowship
The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation

Please Note: NO hard copies will be accepted!