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Program Activities

The Fellows program focuses on the key leadership qualities and principles that were embodied by Senator Henry M. Jackson, namely a focus on informed and careful analysis, deliberate and principled decision making, bipartisanship, and public service.

“As a millennial, the scale and complexity of the challenges facing our communities and the globe can feel at times overwhelming.  I am grateful to the Jackson Foundation’s Leadership Fellows program for providing me with the tools, the networks and the mentorships that have allowed me to build the right coalitions to start to solve these complex issues, be it climate change, forest fires, flooding or drought. And I am humbled and filled with hope knowing that there are organizations like the Jackson Foundation committed to helping my generation develop the tools necessary to meet these challenges head on.”

– Tom Bugert, 2016 Fellow

The Henry M. Jackson Leadership Fellows Program involves an active, personalized leadership experience focusing on professional development and networking, with access to senior professionals.  Key activities include the following:

Participation in Events: The Fellows will be included in all Jackson Foundation events throughout the year, including the Annual Board meeting.

In-depth Fellows Activity: Working with Foundation staff, each Fellow will determine the nature of their project and identify what resources and mentors would be needed to accomplish it. The Fellows program focuses on each Fellow's field of interest as well as leadership development goals. The participant-generated project provides an important vehicle for integrating the year’s experiences. For more information about 2016 Fellow projects, please click here.  The photo below is Ilana Cone Kennedy conducting the monthly meeting of the Student Leadership Board for the Holocaust Center for Humanity, her project for the year.

Ilana Cone Kennedy at a monthly meeting of the Student Leadership Board

Monthly Meetings: The Fellows meet monthly to participate in skill-building workshops on leadership, hear from community leaders and have time to share their expertise with each other. Regardless of format, all monthly gatherings are followed by an informal networking opportunity that allow the Fellows to build stronger connections.

The year will begin in October 2016 in Seattle. The initial meeting will be a day-long Jackson Leadership Fellows orientation, including interaction with Foundation Board members, and the first in a series of leadership training conducted by a regional and nationally known expert. The Fellows will receive feedback on their leadership skills and learn how to better leverage them in their work and community. Other meetings will focus on the broader elements of leadership with a workshop on Servant Leadership and how to build extraordinary teams. The monthly meetings will include discussions with leaders from the community and an opportunity for active engagement among the Fellows.

Mentorship: Foundation Board members will provide mentorship to Fellows during and in-between meetings.

LinkedIn Group and Website: To support the Fellows in maintaining contact beyond the life of the program and to grow a robust network, the Jackson Foundation utilizes social media platforms such as LinkedIn for online networking. The Foundation also features the members of each class with a brief bio and contact information on its website.

Washington, D.C. Briefing: The year culminates in a trip and event in Washington, D.C. to introduce the Fellows to Congressional and U.S. government policy makers, East Coast Foundation Board Members, nonprofit organizations, and other leaders in the area. This assists each of the Fellows in making important connections for the future.


By participating in the program, Fellows gain skills and access to mentors who help them advance in their fields. Fellows explore across disciplines and build connections that will enable them to be more effective in their own realm of practice, as well as better contributors to their communities and the nation.